I often have people come up to me and ask, “I think I would be a great motivational speaker. I would like to know how to get started.” I get this a lot of times, so I thought I would make a blogpost about and direct people here for the interest of everyone’s time.
So here is my advice on how to be a motivational speaker:
- Make sure you have something profound and magical that if anyone hears it. It will be life changing.
- Create a witty, humorous, super-awesome one hour speech regarding that life changing magical thing you have to say.
- Make sure that your speech is DIFFERENT from all the other super-awesome life changing magical speeches out there. It doesn’t have to be better. Not yet, but it has to be DIFFERENT.
- Do NOT show it to the public until you’re done, the last thing you need is someone to say, of I read/heard it sucks.
- Show it to other motivational speakers in the meetings industry. Listen to what they have to say, take it all and shut your ego. Update what you need to update until you are sure you have created something so much better.
- Do NOT rely on people close to you for comments, they love you, they won’t tell you it sucks. Unless they are professional motivational speakers themselves.
- Once you’re profound magical super-awesome life changing speech is ready. Give it away for a low fee. Get experience, update it to make it even better.
- Hire a professional videographer to take HIGH QUALITY videos. Not a shaky phone videos, with terrible sound and lighting unless you want it to end up like a Blair Witch.
- Hire a professional editor to make a rough cut, with awesome intros.
- Hire ANOTHER editor to make the final version. And they need to know what Meeting Planners want to see. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. It is a very costly mistake to repeat the last 3 steps.
- Build a professional magical ultra-awesome website. Spend a couple of thousand on SEO / SEM and other marketing. Do not stop working on this until it gets to least page 5 of Google.
- Create a marketing plan on how you’re going to market yourself as a BRAND, people do not know you, meeting planners do not know you. Make sure you put your best foot forward all the time, every time. Everywhere.
- Attend chapter meetings of the National Speakers Association, click the link to check on the chapters near you. Listen to people about presentation skills, branding, ethics, technology needs, everything!
- Visit other speaker websites AGAIN, (You should have done this while making yours). Look at other topics. See how they do it. Find inspiration. DO NOT COPY. Get inspired. Look for a model that works FOR YOU. I recommend people like Linda Larsen, Christine Cashen, Kelly Swanson, Colette Carlson, Tim Gard and Brian Walter and Bill Stainton.
- Commit to being the best, well-prepared, hassle free, awesome super amazing, world class, super motivational speaker. Commit to this like breathing. Do not waiver, someone will always be better. Strive for number 1. Only the best gets paid. Be in that category. Be the best in that category.
- Commit to giving away your newly improved profound magical life changing super awesome speech all the time. If people pay for it, great. But do not go for the money. Commit to changing as many lives as possible in one’s lifetime. The money may follow. If you improve your speech enough
- Don’t quit your day job.
This is a short list of what needs to be done, and this is an oversimplified version of it. This will give you an idea of the rough road ahead. Think about it clearly to see if this is something you WANT to do. If you think you CAN but not WANT to. Then it’s not for you. This is an endless cycle of Give your 110% all the time, every time, then 111% next time, then 112% next time. So unless you really really want to commit to it with the entirety of your life, body, and soul. Stay with your day job.
Exception to the rule
The thing is a lot of professional motivational speakers in the “super best” category did not do all, or just a few of the above list. But for most of us. It’s a long hard road to get to the top. There are LeBron James, who have talent, the commitment, who gets taken out of High School straight to the top.
Then, there are Michael Jordan’s who have to work for years to be great.
Okay, that’s all for now, I have to go and prepare for my next talk, I have to interview a couple of attendees to make sure that I am creating the perfect super awesome magical life changing content for them. I have to talk to my audio-visual people to make sure they have everything ready with backups ahead of time.
I have to make sure my travel arrangements are flawless a week before the date. I have to make sure I have back up for that too. I need to call a dozen different associations, chapter members, other companies and invite them for free to hear me speak. I have to be over prepared. You should be too.
These are just some of the key things to remember in order for you to become fully successful in the field of motivational speaking. Besides charisma and providing value to the audience, it is always helps to be able to actively hone your skills and network with other motivational speakers and leading industry players in order to expand not just your network, but also to learn tricks of the trade from the best.
Always remember: You are only as good as your last show, so be sure to always give it your best whenever you are before an audience as these people are only going to be your biggest advocates, they will also will help you better plan for future speaking engagements.