How to Become a Motivational Speaker

Forget the cliché beginnings where I tell you about the transformative power of motivational speaking. You’re here because you know that already. What you’re hunting for is the raw, unpolished truth about how to carve your path in this fiercely competitive arena.

So, let’s slice through the fluff and dive into the real meat of becoming a motivational speaker, with insights drawn not just from my journey but also from those who’ve mastered the art.  Becoming a motivational speaker is exciting and rewarding.  But it is a journey with many steps, effort, set backs and a lot of conviction.


What you will learn

  1. Definition and role of a motivational speaker
  2. Steps to become a motivational speaker
  3. Tips to improve as a motivational speaker
  4. How a motivational speaker inspires and motivates audiences.
  5. Delivering speeches to encourage personal or professional development.
  6. Identifying your message and audience.
  7. Gain experience, create a website, and start speaking.
  8. Be authentic, relatable, engaging, prepared, and open to feedback.

What is a motivational speaker?

A motivational speaker, in the simplest terms, is someone who speaks to inspire. But let’s be clear, it’s not about spewing inspirational quotes or regurgitating self-help books. It’s about connecting with people on a profound level, often by sharing personal stories of overcoming adversity, to ignite a transformation within them.

It’s a craft that demands authenticity, resilience, and an unwavering passion to make a difference in the lives of others. If you’re entering this field hoping for quick fame or easy money, you’re in for a rude awakening.

What does a motivational speaker do?

At its core, a motivational speaker serves as a catalyst for change. Whether it’s encouraging students to reach their fullest potential, helping professionals navigate career challenges, or supporting individuals through personal growth, the essence of what we do is to empower others to take actionable steps towards their goals.

It’s a multifaceted role that involves not just speaking, but also listening, understanding the unique needs of your audience, and crafting messages that resonate on a personal level. It’s about being an educator, a storyteller, and a coach all rolled into one.

Persuasive Presentation

How to become a motivational speaker

1. Identify your message and audience

Before you even think about stepping onto a stage, you need to know what you’re going to say and to whom. This isn’t about picking a niche because it’s popular or profitable. It’s about finding a message that you’re deeply passionate about, one that aligns with your personal experiences and values.

For me, it was about sharing the lessons I learned from battling and overcoming chronic illness. It wasn’t an easy choice, but it was authentic to who I am. Remember, your audience will see right through you if your message isn’t genuine.

2. Get educated

While there’s no formal degree for motivational speaking, investing in your education is crucial. This could mean taking courses on public speaking, psychology, or even marketing. It’s about equipping yourself with the tools to not only deliver your message effectively but also understand the dynamics of human behavior and how to reach your audience on a deeper level.

Insider Tip: Join a Toastmasters club. It’s a brilliant way to polish your speaking skills in a supportive environment.

3. Get experience

You won’t become a renowned speaker overnight. Start small—speak at local community events, schools, or even online through webinars and podcasts. Each platform offers a unique set of challenges and learning opportunities.

I vividly remember my first speaking gig at a small local library. It was far from glamorous, but the feedback I received was invaluable. Embrace every opportunity to speak, no matter how insignificant it might seem.

4. Create a website

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is non-negotiable. Your website is not just a platform to showcase your work; it’s a reflection of your brand. Include videos of your speeches, testimonials, and a blog where you can share insights and connect with your audience on a personal level.

5. Start speaking

This might seem obvious, but the key to becoming a motivational speaker is to…well, start speaking. Don’t wait for opportunities to come knocking on your door. Reach out to conference organizers, schools, and companies. Offer to speak for free if you have to. The more you speak, the more you refine your craft and build your reputation.

How much do motivational speakers make?

Let’s talk numbers. The earning potential in this field is vast, ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands per engagement. But here’s the catch—it takes time, persistence, and a lot of hard work to get to the higher end of that spectrum.

In my early days, I was thrilled to get £200 for a speech. Fast forward several years, and the scenario is vastly different. But it wasn’t luck; it was the result of relentless dedication and strategic positioning.

Real-Life Success Story: From Wallflower to Inspirational Speaker

From Fear to Confidence

Growing up, Sarah was always the quiet one in a crowd, preferring to listen rather than speak. However, after facing a series of personal challenges that she managed to overcome with resilience and positivity, she found her voice and a burning passion to inspire others. Sarah’s journey from a shy introvert to a confident motivational speaker is a testament to the transformative power of self-belief and perseverance.

Embracing Vulnerability

Sarah’s authenticity and willingness to share her own struggles resonated with audiences on a deep level. By opening up about her own vulnerabilities and showing that it’s okay to be imperfect, she connected with her listeners in a way that traditional speakers often couldn’t.

Impact and Growth

Through her dedication to continuous improvement and genuine connection with her audience, Sarah’s speaking engagements began to increase in frequency and reach. Today, she travels the country spreading messages of hope and empowerment, earning not just a living but a profound sense of fulfilment from touching the lives of others.

This real-life success story illustrates that anyone, regardless of their starting point, can become a motivational speaker with dedication, authenticity, and a willingness to grow.

How to become a better motivational speaker

1. Be authentic

In a world filled with copycats, your biggest asset is your authenticity. Don’t try to mimic others. Embrace your quirks, your story, and your style. It’s what sets you apart and makes your message resonate on a deeper level.

2. Be relatable

Your audience needs to see themselves in your story. Share not just your triumphs but also your struggles. It’s your vulnerability that will forge a deeper connection and inspire others to believe that they, too, can overcome their challenges.

3. Be engaging

Gone are the days of monotonous speeches. Use stories, anecdotes, and even humor to keep your audience hooked. Remember, you’re not just imparting wisdom; you’re providing an experience.

4. Be prepared

Know your material inside out. But also be prepared for anything—technical glitches, tough questions, or unexpected emotional reactions. Your ability to handle these situations with grace will not only showcase your professionalism but also enhance your credibility.

5. Be open to feedback

No matter how seasoned you become, there’s always room for improvement. Seek feedback, reflect on your performances, and be willing to make changes. It’s a continuous journey of growth and development.

How to find speaking opportunities

Finding speaking gigs, especially in the early stages of your career, can be daunting. Start by leveraging your network—friends, family, colleagues. Use social media to share your insights and connect with potential clients. Attend industry events, not just as a speaker but as a participant. The key is to get your name out there, one step at a time.

Insider Tip: Don’t underestimate the power of local events. They might not have the glamour of international conferences, but they’re a goldmine for building connections and honing your skills.


Becoming a motivational speaker is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a journey fraught with challenges, rejections, and moments of self-doubt. But it’s also incredibly rewarding. To stand on a stage and know that your words have the power to change lives is an indescribable feeling.

So, if you’re ready to embark on this journey, brace yourself. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride, but with persistence, passion, and a willingness to learn, you’ll find your voice and, in the process, inspire others to find theirs.

Common Questions

Who can become a motivational speaker?

Anyone with a passion for inspiring others through public speaking.

What skills are needed to be a motivational speaker?

Effective communication, public speaking, and storytelling skills.

How can I start my journey to become a motivational speaker?

Begin by identifying your message, practicing speaking, and seeking speaking opportunities.

What if I am nervous about public speaking?

Overcome nerves by practising, visualising success, and seeking support from mentors.

How can I find speaking opportunities as a beginner?

Start by offering to speak at local events, networking meetings, or volunteering for non-profit organisations.

What if I am unsure of my message or niche?

Take time to reflect on your experiences, passions, and values to determine your unique message and niche as a motivational speaker.

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