Make Motivational Speaking Your Career

Think about your life. What have you done? Did you climb a mountain? Break a drug habit? Beat the odds? Perform groundbreaking research? Would people pay to hear what you have to say? You can make a career out of speaking about your experiences if you’re a motivational speaker.

Motivational speakers are communication professionals who speak about their life experiences. Their messages are meant to inspire, motivate, inform, advise, and benefit listeners.

Motivational speakers speak at government functions, corporate events, professional meetings, schools, resorts, conventions, spas, and even work on cruise ships.

Public speaking is not for everyone. Some people have a fear of public speaking called glassophobia. Others get severe butterflies. Some people can only speak to an audience if they imagine the crowd totally naked. Being a motivational speaker is challenging work that demands a confident, honest, educated, and articulate individual with a warm personality.

There is no end to what motivational speakers can speak about. Topics cover a wide variety of subjects such as overcoming addiction, increasing sales, dealing with diversity, adjusting to life, preparing for retirement, or switching careers.

To become a motivational speaker, brainstorm about experiences and events that may intrigue a large or small audience. The key to success is to have a message that is valuable to the listeners. Ask, why do people want to hear what I have to say? Make sure that the audience can relate to and appreciate the message. If the message is unique and motivating, people will happily pay money to hear what you have to say.

Motivational speakers must be able to articulate ideas clearly and simply. Speeches take time and effort to prepare. Teaching life lessons to people is a talent and a business. Speeches can be made or broken because of eye contact, posture, dress, or wording. Be sure to engage the audience and play the role that fits the message.

A successful, aspiring motivational speaker will jump on any opportunity to speak in front of an audience. Even if it is for free or requires traveling, every speaking presentation is a chance to establish yourself. Gaining public speaking experience is crucial to success. Experience and feedback helps fine tune the message and gives the speaker the chance to figure out what is a hit and what isn’t. Try joining the local Toastmasters Club to learn the ropes.

Once a motivational speaker is established, the National Speakers Association offers certification. There are over 3,000 members of NSA that do over 20 speeches per year. Most of theses keynote speakers make over $5,000 per presentation.

To become certified, years of public speaking, number of presentations, number of clients, and speaking income are all considered. Being certified helps motivational speakers market themselves across the country.

Some speakers use speaker’s bureaus to find gigs. Others spend their free time contacting businesses and organizations that will benefit from their message. The most successful motivational speakers expand their message into books, audio books, interviews, seminars, podcasts, blogs, lectures, and seminars. This helps spread the message even when you’re not speaking in person.

To be successful in this career, motivational speakers must find and deliver a fresh message that matters. Motivational speakers might begin their career making $0 to $200 per speech. As they gain a motivational reputation, they may make $2,000 to $10,000 per gig. With speaking and product sales, some motivational speakers pull in over $200,000 per year. On average, most earn $44,000 per year. Pay all depends on your name, expertise, niche, experience, and message.

Motivational speakers may be celebrities, but they may also be people you’ve never heard of. It’s all about the message and changing lives with words. What’s your message going to be?

Quick Facts About Motivational Speaking Work

Job Title: Motivational speaker, Inspirational speaker
Office: In front of crowds
Description: Speaking to inspire, motivate, inform, or advise audiences on a niche subject
Certifications/Education: No formal education
Necessary Skills: Public Speaking, Psychology, Confidence
Potential Employers: Self Employed
Pay: Depends on many factors, Can range from $100 to $10,000 per gig

Helpful Links:
American Speakers Bureau
Professional Speakers Guild
Toastmasters International
World Speakers Association
Professional Speakers Federation
National Speakers Association

 

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