If you examine the podium professionals that have top speakers bureau representation, you’ll see members of the business and political elite.
For example, Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin brand, is prominently displayed at one of the agencies that represents me. Clearly, he is a business celebrity, in the same way that Donald Trump deserves this moniker.
But strictly speaking, are they MOTIVATIONAL speakers? Not really. Their message may be, “Here’s how I did it,” but the same talk won’t also promise, “And you can, too.”
In fairness, though, he didn’t lose his family’s fortune. He built on it, but that is a far different challenge than starting from scratch. As some say, success is really measured by the distance we have traversed from where we started the journey.
So you want to become a motivational speaker. It could be because you’ve overcome something that you’re really proud of and you want to share how you did it with others. It could be because you’ve helped countless friends get over their hurdles and you’ve realized that you shared the same core message despite using different words and experiences. To be a public speaker, you’ll need to do a few things.
First, you’ll need to reevaluate your communication skills. How did you come to the conclusion that you can inspire or motivate others? When you changed someone else’s life for the better, how many conversations did it take? Some speakers do it over the course of a few sessions. Others only speak for an hour. You should be able to do your motivational speeches in an hour without your message losing any value.
Another thing to do before becoming a speaker is to be an expert in your chosen niche. Choose a niche that you are really good at and have a passion for and you’ll be fine. If you have personal experiences related to that niche, even better. You’ll want to be seen as an authority on the subject matter you choose. Being able to connect with an audience almost always guarantees that they will listen to you.
Taking classes is also a good option. Public speaking is like voiceover work. Voice actors often have backgrounds in singing, theatre, acting, and improv. If they don’t, they usually take classes for them. Do the same for public speaking. Join Toastmaster organizations. Attend improv classes. You don’t necessarily have to be an English major, but brush up on your English so as to not sound too redundant on your speeches.
Finally, you’ll want to learn a little bit of marketing. The main difficulty in public speaking careers is the fact that the demand is too little and too occasional. When an event calls for a speaker, there are a lot to choose from and you want to stand out. This is where your expertise and English skills come in. In addition to advertising, you can also create an online presence through writing content on your chosen niche. Practicing your written English also helps in creating concise yet valuable speeches.
Once you’ve done all of the aforementioned things, you will be ready to embark on your journey to become a motivational speaker. It’s important to remember that there are hardships ahead and you will need to persevere to live your dream.
What separates a professional motivational speaker from an ordinary guy? Mostly it’s just studying the basics and practicing the established techniques of an established, successful professional motivational speaker. Unless you are that one in a million type of person who can just wing it on stage and hold a large audience of people captive with the strength of your personality and the power of your voice, you must learn the basics before you begin to speak publicly. These naturals exist, that but they are few and far between and, truth be told, they’ve practiced and rehearsed even that seemingly relaxed, improvisational style. Most people take the time to learn the basics. Here are some to start with:
Many beginners are so concerned with their appearance and the way they come off that they pay absolutely no attention to who they are talking to. The better you know your audience the better chances you have of being accepted by them
You can be charming and have the voice of an angel, but after a few minutes, if you don’t start speaking about something the audience wants to hear, you’ll be ignored until you stop.
Test your equipment
Fiddling with microphones, slide presentations and such is the true sign of a nervous amateur and someone who will not be listened to.
Stumbling over your speech and being unfamiliar with your subject material is a sure way to be ignored.
Unless you are a stand up comedian brought in to relax the audience you want to use some humor in your speaking but not so much as to detract from your message.
Getting in and out of an event fast is a good way to be forgotten. Take the time to meet people, and talk with them. That way they’ll pay more attention to you when you speak and they’ll remember you when you’re done.
There are so many things you have to learn to become a professional motivational speaker. You have to look right, sound right, act right and say the right things to be accepted as someone worthy of being listened to. It takes time and hard work studying and practicing the lessons of an established professional motivational speaker before you can be accepted on your own. When that happens, then you can formulate your own teaching program and instruct others how to duplicate your own success.