There a lot of people pondering and wondering. How do I become a motivational speaker? What steps do I take? I want to inspire people? How do I do it? I wish I could speak eloquently and help people, how do I go about becoming a great role model, an inspiration for others?
How to become a motivational speaker Part I
Before you get all excited and ready to start inspiring others, I believe you should check out my other article with 10 great tips for public speaking beginners. I think it’s a perfect place to start, and it should provide you with amazing tips on how to become a public speaker.
Initial Pointers for those Seeking to Become a Motivational Speaker
Motivational speaking isn’t just about speaking to the crowd. I mean, anyone can do that. It is about connecting to the audience, buying their trust, it is about problem-solving. Now that you want to start your journey on being a motivational speaker, there are things you should know.
1. Niche Down & Know Your Audience
A motivational speaker doesn’t just speak on any topic. He or she must be versed and grounded in a specialized field. The more grounded he is, the more confident and broader he will go.
A motivational speaker’s field can be on business, relationship, value, life’s worth, building self-esteem, e. t.c. Always try to narrow down your niche, identify the groups you really want to address so you can create contents that will resonate with them.
Not only should a speaker know his field, but you must also put your audience in first. They could be university undergraduates, graduates, elderlies, couples, businessmen, entrepreneurs, etc. It wouldn’t go well with a motivational speaker if he has to be talking about the essence of love with entrepreneurs.
Some audience needs the assurance that they aren’t alone in their problems. If you can deliver your speech in a way that they can relate, and easily be able to trust the words from your motivational speech, then you would have done an excellent job in establishing a connection with them.
A motivational speaker can connect through his audience a lot through eye contact and confidence. Your approach, confidence, mannerisms say a lot to the audience. Being a motivational speaker, you must know and believe in what you are saying. You should bear in mind that you satisfy the needs of the audience; therefore you should pinpoint specific probable questions that could be lurking on the mind of the audience, ask them and answer them.
2. Diversify your Skills & Keep Learning
Most motivational speakers are always good at presentation and marketing skills because they have to be able to convince their audience. This should be noted as a mandatory talent for a motivational speaker. A speaker who can’t convince his audience has lost his motivating skills.
As a motivational speaker, you must develop your speaking, marketing, and business skills as this will be a huge benefit for you in the field. It is very crucial for anybody that wants to be a motivational speaker to be a good reader of books and also have an oratory skill or smooth talker as most will say in lame language.
A motivational speaker’s work is to travel all around the world, presenting new approaches or sometimes even using his life’s experience in the field of work. Though not all motivational speakers, especially beginners get funded enough to travel around the world. They can, however, make use of their social media networking. Most motivational speaker’s don’t have to travel to get to their audience, some do this by creating short, captivating video clips that pinpoint on the topic.
At some point, the audience hangs on your every word as a truth which could change their lives. Hence, they must be interested in your experience, strategies and what you have to offer. Think thoroughly on what you want to tell your audience, don’t stop there, do your research, ask people, especially those who are more experienced: the experts.
The audience also has interests in speakers who happen to be more creative, give examples, tell stories and give vivid representations. Your presentations must be original and captivating, the audience must be able to relate to it and find solutions from it.
All this still falls back to the fact that a speaker must be well developed in his speaking prowess, and be always curious and explore the world. If you find out that you aren’t so good at speaking, it isn’t the end of the road, there are classes you can go to develop your creativity and speech likewise. The art of convincing is the tool of a motivational speaker with which you can shape the heart of the audience.
3. Overcome Stage Fright & Better Connect with Your Audience
Public speaking classes also help to develop your stage management skills and even your confidence. It helps to build your behavior on the stage. A speaker’s voice should never shake on stage, that portrays weakness. The way a speaker moves and acts on stage also should go along with his words and overall message. When you need to drive a point home, your voice should rise gradually carrying the audience along with you. When you have made your point you lower your voice and pause to let your point drive home. These are some of the lessons a motivational speaker learns in classes he or she takes.
Jay Danzie quoted:
Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.
As a speaker, you must be able to keep your audience at ease, smile more. Your message can still be passed across with a smile. Let your personality be worth listening to as a speaker. A motivational speaker should also learn the art of humor. It reduces the tension and adds to the effect of your motivational speaking. Always make sure, you leave your audience better than how you met them.
4. I guess you are wondering ‘Where to start?’
Small beginnings help you foster your strengths and practice makes perfect they say. Look for small and local outlets and activities where you can speak to people. Start small, be it from your religious congregation place, children departments to your youth forums.
It doesn’t have to be long, a few minutes will do and have people record you. Watch it later and rate yourself judging from the audience responses. If you are opportune, send secretly for reviews through the usage of questioners asking for the people’s opinion of your lectures or speech.
Be on the lookout for conferences, events, and forums where you can speak or address people. Network and look for people in the same field as yours and study where they speak and how they go about it.
Don’t be an island, explore! Ask! Learn from experts. Apply for opportunities. Reach out to event planners and ask them to inform you on different gigs you could perform. The more events you perform, the more people will ask of you.
It is hard to start a career in this field as the most successful and popular motivational speakers are mostly recommended. You, therefore, have to be unique in your style and work harder if you found a passion for it. But you can make yourself and your work known through social media like I earlier stated. The better developed you become, the more recommended you could also be. You just have to apply a dose of patience.
Take your time, promote yourself and you could even start a blog. Let people know your credibility and your worth, make a difference, and you never know, you could exceed your expectations. If you inspire thousands or millions online, more people will want to hear from you.
5. Plan, Revise and Ensure Your Speeches are Memorable
As a speaker, always make sure you revise your contents. When you have written a well-developed speech, always take time to revise it for unclear points and errors that could occur. Also, the timing for a speaker is very essential, the speech you have written should be within the allotted time you are given.
I insist, plan ahead by timing yourself and making sure your content is within the stipulated time. Expand every detail that seems unclear and doesn’t sound right to you. Keep at it till you are confident of your time management prowess.
If you are allowed 20 minutes, keep your speech to 15 minutes, so you don’t run over. Revising shouldn’t be done a day, rather as often as possible before the time comes so that by then you will be more confident in your work and it would have become a part of you.
Test yourself, it can be painful sometimes to hear yourself speak and your mind overcriticizes yourself more and in other cases not really see what you are hoping for. In such cases, watch videos of other motivational speakers, and compare it to yours.
You can show it to others and ask for their opinions also. Trust me it helps. From this, you notice where you slacked when you were to stand firm, where you bent or swayed, your blunders, strength, and weaknesses.
You may be aiming to become a motivational speaker to genuinely help others, to leave a legacy, or even to make a career out of it. Regardless of your chose pathway, I believe that you stand only to gain by practicing and improving your speaking skills.
The more your speaking career grows, the less you will need to apply for opportunities as they will come for you. And eventually, the more you develop yourself and the more credibility you portray, you will start being called up for higher paying gigs.
Thank you for reading this far, I hope you found it helpful. I will be writing a second part for this blog post, share your comments, questions, and be sure to come back to check part II in the next few weeks.
PS: Here’s a list of the top 15 Motivational speakers, based on popularity, made by Virtual Speech. I am sure you can find some masters to learn from and start following (I am Les Brown fan by the way).
This is one of our posts on the types of speech series, should you be interested in learning about other types of speeches, please click on of the links below when you are done reading this article.
Types of Speech Series
Part I. 8 Persuasive Speech Techniques & Topics
Part II. 9 Tips for Writing and Amazing Informative Speech and 120+ Topic Ideas
Part III. 5 Quick Tips on how to Give an Effective Motivational Speech
Part IV. 15 Demonstration Speech Ideas and Techniques
Part V. How to Give an Effective Special Occasion Speech?
Part VI. 6 Key Tips for a Memorable Entertaining Speech + Topics and Ideas
Part VII. Explanatory Speech: 7 Key Tips to Help You Deliver an Effective Speech
Part VIII. 5-Step Strategy for an Effective Debate and Speech Delivery
Part IX. 7 Oratory Secrets: How to Deliver Effective Oratorical Speeches
Part X. Public Speaking Contests: 7 Ways to Nail at Forensic Speech Competitions
Part XI. 80+ Impromptu Speech Topics & 7 Ways to Nail One
Part XII. 13 Ways to Effectively Deliver Pitching Presentations
Part XIII. Farewell Speech – An 8-step guide to help you deliver a Memorable one
Part XIV. Eulogy Guide: How to Give a Heartfelt Funeral Speech (with 4 Eulogy examples)