Definitive Guide 2020: How to Become a Motivational Speaker

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel the world, share your story, and have a meaningful impact on people’s lives?

A man grasp a microphone

Becoming a motivational speaker is a great way to make that happen. Often people realize that they want to become motivational speakers but they aren’t quite sure what that means or how to get started. This handy guide will give you all of the steps to becoming a motivational speaker.

What Is a Motivational Speaker?

A motivational speaker is a person who speaks to audiences and inspires people to look at their own lives and take specific actions to make a change. Motivational speakers might speak on topics that help people change how they think, how they live, or how they approach their jobs. The best motivational speakers are able to connect with their audience and inspire them to take positive actions in their own lives.

There are different types of motivational speaker careers. Some focus on inspiring sales teams and others focus on students. You can talk about personal growth or how to become more successful. You need to look at your own life and develop your message. If you have overcome adversity, you can use it to show people that they can overcome their own challenges.

People who have been successful in business often share their experiences with others to show them how they can find their own successes. People are looking for the keys to success laid out in an actionable plan. You can also motivate people to learn from failures and grow, how to develop confidence, and how to be the best they can be.

As motivational speakers, some people specialize in speaking to a particular group of people, including children, college students, professionals, or individuals looking to make changes in their lives. College motivational speakers speak to college students and inspire them to go out in the world and find meaning.

You can become a female motivational speaker who addresses topics of interest to women or a black motivational speaker who addresses topics that are important to the African American community. You can also become a youth motivational speaker and speak to children about topics such as leadership and how to set goals.

You can also choose a topic to specialize in, which could be drug abuse, overcoming adversity, becoming successful, or improving productivity. You might become a Christian motivational speaker who addresses spirituality.

Another route that some motivational speakers take is to specialize in a field. Normally they have some connection to the field. You could specialize in management, sports, marketing, or any field where you have experience. Whatever you choose, you need to have an actionable plan for success that is exemplified by your own story.

Motivational speakers are paid to go to different places and give inspirational talks, and they often customize their speeches for particular audiences. It is important that they know the audience and give a presentation that will resonate with the majority of the people there. For example, if you are hired to speak at a graduation, you will want to customize your speech for the graduating class.

As a motivational speaker, you will need strong speaking skills. You will also need to understand how to brand yourself and manage your business. You won’t be hired to give talks if you don’t have a presence; you can create this presence as you gain experience. You want to have a website, a blog, social media pages, and a YouTube channel. This will help you get your name out there.

People want to be inspired and motivated. You can talk about anything as long as you have a compelling story to tell with a plan that helps people to get excited about making changes in their lives. The key is to make sure that your message is something that can help a group of people improve their lives.

Who Is the Best Motivational Speaker?

There are many great motivational speakers but Tony Robbins is one of the best. He motivates and inspires people throughout the world to make changes that lead to a healthier, more fulfilling, and more purposeful life. He has been inspiring people for 40 years.

He does seminars where he helps people learn how to choose their destinies and overcome fears. He also teaches them to improve communication and manage relationships. He has tips for how to build wealth and improve health and fitness.

He covers a wide range of topics and he makes a huge difference in people’s lives. He is enthusiastic and passionate, and he is one of the best examples of someone who is very successful as a motivational speaker.

Motivational Speaker Salary

Motivational speakers are able to earn different salaries depending on their experience and expertise. Generally speaking, a motivational speaker is hired to come to an event and educate an audience on how to make changes to improve the quality of various aspects of their lives. Events are looking for speakers who can fill seats and deliver an inspirational message.

There are five different pay scales, and each one has a salary range attached to it. How much you can earn as a motivational speaker is directly related to how experienced you are and whether you have developed a level of expertise in your field. Take a look at the following pay scales.

1. Beginner Speaker

When you first start out as a motivational speaker, you might do some free speaking engagements in the beginning. At this stage, you need to gain experience and network. You will work on developing your style and your delivery.

This initial phase of your career is a time for investing in your future as well. You may want to consider hiring a public speaking coach to help you with your tone, your body language, your delivery, and your public speaking technique.

Once you have a few engagements under your belt, you can apply to conventions and other local events. You can expect to earn up to $1000 at this point in your career. Focus on perfecting your message and your style. As you make more connections, you will find more opportunities.

2. Some Experience

After you have made some connections and gained some experience, you may be invited to speak at events in your local community. Even though your career is starting to blossom, you need to stay focused on your delivery and perfecting your message.

As more people know who you are, it becomes even more important for you to leave your audience with an impactful message. You should start working on your Internet presence during this phase so that people can connect with you. Link a video of a motivational speech that you are proud of and make sure that you interconnect your website, your blog, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You can expect to earn between $1000 and $2500 at this stage.

3. More Experience

You will reach this stage when you make an impression. People will leave your talk and share their enthusiasm for what they heard. Your message is clear and based on your personal experience, and your delivery generates enthusiasm from your audience.

You should be sure to continue adding to your Internet presence. Upload speeches, write blog posts, and provide opportunities for people to interact with you online. You can move from establishing a presence to branding yourself and you will start to show your followers that you are an expert in your niche.

You can expect to earn between $2500 and $5000 at this stage. However, you can earn additional money online through your website, your blog, or your YouTube channel. You should work hard to show your expertise in your subject matter through your online presence.

4. Established Speaker

Once you are known to be an authority in your subject matter, you will reach this stage. You will be asked to travel for paid speaking engagements and your expenses will be paid. You will have no trouble filling seats at any venue.

Even though you are starting to be known as an expert in your niche, you need to press on and continue building your brand. You want to move forward so that you are not just an authority in your area; you want to be THE authority in your area. Upload more speeches, do some live streams, and write as much as you can. You can expect to earn $5000 to $10,000 for each engagement at this time.

5. Excellent Speaker

When you become an excellent speaker, you have established yourself as an expert in your field. You will be in demand and you need to continue building up your Internet presence to stay there. You will be able to earn more money by writing self-motivation books and there is no limit to what you can earn at this level.

Detailed Steps to Becoming a Motivational Speaker

If you want to become a motivational speaker, there are steps for you to take. It can be challenging to break into the motivational speaking industry but if you work hard, it can be a very fulfilling career. You can make a good living and get paid to help people improve their lives.

Read on to see the steps that you will take to become a motivational speaker and start your speaker career.

Step 1: Determine What You Will Speak About

Before you become a motivational speaker, you need a message. It should be based on your own personal experiences and you should have a deep understanding of what it is, why it matters, and how it can help other people.

For example, if you grew up poor and have become successful in business, you might use the topic of overcoming poverty. You need to reflect on your own life and determine what is going to be inspirational to others. Your message must be clear and people should be able to relate to it.

There are many different topics to choose from. You might speak to people to raise awareness for addiction or for domestic violence. People who have experienced these issues will come to look to you to help them move on with their lives. If you have battled a weight problem, you might speak about weight loss. Inspire others to make healthy lifestyle changes through a plan that worked for you.

You might want to motivate people to be motivated and you can talk about intrinsic motivation that comes from within versus extrinsic motivation that occurs when you are externally motivated. When you are intrinsically motivated, you do something because you want to do it as opposed to doing it for another end.

Once you know what your topic is, you should research it further. You have your own personal experience but by understanding more about how others are impacted by your topic, you will give a better presentation. Look online to see if anyone else speaks on your topic.

You will need to come up with your topic and give a strong presentation but you will also need to write out your speech. You might consider taking creative writing or speech writing classes to perfect your skills. This will help you improve your writing, which will help you give a better presentation.

Step 2: Perfect Your Public Speaking Skills

Once you have your topic, you need to make sure that your public speaking skills are top-notch. Public speaking is more than standing up and talking. You need to engage with your audience from the stage. You will want to work on eye contact, intonation, delivery, presentation, body language, and more.

You can also join a Toastmasters group in your community. They meet and work on speech and delivery. It is a great way to practice, learn, and get valuable feedback from other people. It will also help you overcome fear of public speaking if you have any.

Practice in front of a mirror to see how your presentation looks. You can also video yourself and play it back. As you practice, make sure that you perfect your skills. If you want to be a motivational speaker, you need to be engaging and interact with the audience. They need to feel your energy and your passion. You can consider working with a public speaking coach at this stage.

Step 3: Study the Experts

No matter what your motivational topics are, you should watch experts and learn how they connect with audiences. Observe how they deliver their messages. If you have an opportunity, go and see one of them live. This will help you to understand how they become so successful.

You might consider taking a public speaking class to gain experience. You should network and meet other people who are interested in your subject matter. Ask for advice, ask for feedback, and listen and observe. This is a critical part of the process because no matter what your message is, you need to be able to communicate it effectively.

Step 4: Determine Who Is Your Audience

When you determine that your public speaking skills are top-notch and you have defined your topic, you need to figure out who your ideal audience is. There are many different groups that you can speak to so you need to determine who your target audience is to perfect your presentation.

Your message might be for students or it might be for a sales team at a company. Whoever it is, it will require interactions and engagements that work for that particular audience. Your goal is to gain the trust of your audience and inspire them. You can do this more effectively when you know who they are.

Your audience might be a demographic such as teenagers, college students, women, or another group that can benefit from what you have to say. If you are transitioning from a role in business, you might speak to entrepreneurs or people with management positions.

Step 5: Choose Your Location

When you are confident that your presentation is ready, you have a motivational topic, and you know who your audience is, it is time to choose the location for your event. You will first need to decide how many people you plan to have at the event. You want to choose a venue that holds your audience and you want to be able to fill the room. Don’t book a large ball room for an intimate gathering of 25 people.

When you are starting out, you might want to have smaller events. It is easier to connect with a smaller group of people and this will help you gain confidence as you are getting started in the field. You can also invite friends and family and let them invite friends to come along. If you have a social media following, you can consider them as potential attendees as well.

Think through the logistics of the space. How will the room be set up, will you have a microphone, and will you be on stage? It will be better to choose a smaller venue and sell out than it would to choose a larger venue and have empty seats.

Step 6: Advertise Your Event

Once you have it all planned out, you need to get people to your event. You should invite family and friends and have them invite some VIPs. If you are using a larger venue, you need to advertise. Social media is a powerful tool, especially if you have followers already.

You should have a social media page set up just for your motivational speaking career and you can use advertising to target your audience for your event. When you use social media, people have an opportunity to connect with you. You should respond to any messages or comments on your page and stay engaged with people as much as possible.

Step 7: Build Your Brand

One of the most powerful tools for building your brand is social media. You should have accounts with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and any other social media that you have time for. These should be pages dedicated to your motivational speaking career.

It is important to engage with your followers every day. People stop following pages when there isn’t any activity so it is important to write posts. You can link your account together so that one post goes out across the platforms. You can reach people who can’t attend your events by creating YouTube motivational videos.

You can also do motivational speaker podcasts to reach people who will listen. There are many different ways to expand your reach and you should expand as much as you can.

You want to develop content that gets people excited about what you have to say. As you write more about your chosen niche, people will begin to associate you with it. Your ultimate goal in becoming a motivational speaker is to be recognized as the expert in your area so write as much as possible now. Make it interesting so that people return to your page and share it.

You can expand your reach by commenting on other speakers’ social media or becoming a guest blogger. As your name gets out into more places, people will begin to recognize you as the expert in your area. This will help you to grow your business and find more engagement.

Step 8: Give Free Talks

One of the best ways to gain experience when you are starting out is to give free talks. This provides you with the ability to test your topics on an audience and see how it is received. You will learn whether it is your words or your presentation and you can tweak what you need to tweak to improve it.

You can find local networking groups and other organizations in your community and look for opportunities to speak. Practice your motivational speech in front of a mirror and have a friend or family member record you to see where you can make improvements to it. When you give a free talk, be sure to have someone video it so that you can upload it to your YouTube account. You can share it across your other social media platforms.

Step 9: Ask for Feedback

It is definitely a good idea to ask professionals and audience members for feedback. It might be hard to hear what other people say but it is an important part of perfecting your presentation. Motivational speakers who are able to fill rooms and sell out can relate to a wide range of people, and your goal is to do the same.

Consider it a learning process. If someone had a different takeaway, you can consider how you could better reach that person. In addition, be sure to post your best speeches online and ask for feedback. You can conduct polls and find other ways to generate a lot of feedback. This will help you develop your style and reach more people.

Step 10: Keep an Open Mind

When you spend so much time working on a speech for a particular topic and message, you might not want to change it. However, you need to keep an open mind. Even if you think your message is dead on, your feedback may indicate that it doesn’t generate the interest you are looking for. You need to be in a position to rethink your message if it needs to be changed.

Your goal is to come across as genuine and authentic, and keeping an open mind will help you to accomplish this. Your audience wants to hear your story and find inspiration in it; your goal is to give it to them. Always listen to criticism and feedback. Make changes when something isn’t working.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Motivational Speaker?

It depends on how long it takes for you to attract clients. It is so important for you to get experience in any way that you can and then upload your best videos and share them on social media. You want to be seen by as many people as possible and you need to try to build a following. People will hire you to speak when you are in demand.

What Are the Job Opportunities?

If you are looking to be hired to speak at conferences, you would look for opportunities with businesses, schools, or conferences. Whether or not you get hired will depend on whether they know who you are and what kind of following you have. If you have built up a strong following, you have a more likely chance of landing one of these engagements.

Social media provides you with a valuable tool for building a following. You should be active and engage as much as you can with your followers. Get feedback and customize your speeches for your audience. You need to be in demand if you want these jobs.

If you are looking to develop a career in motivational speaking, there is more to it than getting paid to speak. As you specialize, you can get paid more money for speaking but you can also write books and offer training courses for people to learn how to accomplish the things that you are talking about.

Many successful motivational speakers talk about how to become a motivational speaker and they will share their experiences. This might be helpful for you to learn in detail what it takes to become successful in this field.

Motivational Speaker License

There is no specific degree or training program that you need to take to become a motivational speaker. You just need to have a story that relates to your own life that can serve as inspiration to other people. However, if you want to be considered as an expert speaker in a niche topic, you need to have the credentials to back up your claim of being an expert.

You will start with your message. It can be anything that can serve to inspire others and motivate them to improve their own lives. Your message needs to be authentic. However, this is only part of the battle. You need to be able to present your message in a compelling and engaging way, and you might need to take classes for this.

Start by working with a public speaking coach to develop your style of delivery. In addition, you need good writing skills. Motivational speakers need to craft their speeches and you will want to share your content on social media.

Although there are no mandatory licenses required for motivational speakers, there are voluntary certifications available. For example, the National Speakers Association offers a Certified Speaking Professional certificate to people who meet certain criteria for earnings and experience. You also need to provide client recommendations.

In addition, many motivational speakers offer workshops and trainings that will certify you to use their methods in motivational speaking. You need to decide what your area of interest is. If you want to use another speaker’s methods, you can earn certification from their courses.


If you have a unique message that you can use to inspire people and motivate them to change their lives, you might consider becoming a motivational speaker. It takes a lot of work but it can be a very enriching and fulfilling career. You need to make sure that you work hard to perfect your delivery and practice whenever you can.

In addition, you should brand yourself on social media. You should create a social media presence and upload videos of your favorite speeches. This is a good way to get feedback and improve your delivery so that you can inspire more people.

Most of all, have fun with it. Be passionate about your message so that your passion will inspire others and help them believe that they can change their lives for the better. Be genuine and authentic, and love what you are doing. This can be a rewarding and fulfilling career.

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Jesse Long

Hi, my name is Jesse, father of a Yorkie and the founder of I really enjoy writing, especially the inspired and motivational articles, and believe that they will definitely help you become better.

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