How to become a motivational speaker

At some point in your life, you must have come across a motivational video that left a strong impression on you. It may have been when you were at your lowest and it succeeded in lifting your spirit. It may have stirred you to consider an aspect of your life that you could do better at, and given you the courage to make important changes. The point is, everyone has encountered motivational videos and at least has changed their lives. And the ones to thank are motivational speakers. 

Motivational speakers are business professionals who make a living from their life experiences and wisdom. They deliver well-crafted speeches designed to inspire and motivate others to overcome difficult situations. They encourage people to live their best lives and use the wisdom and knowledge they have accumulated in life to advise others. They positively influence their audience and encourage them to make decisions and changes in their lives that will benefit them. 

Becoming a motivational speaker requires passion, hard work and patience. Motivational speakers are successful individuals who have great qualities including leadership, communication, confidence, empathy, storytelling, passion, authenticity and many more. 

There are many reasons you may want to be a motivational speaker; you may just have the passion for it, you may be successful in life and want to motivate others too, or you may have overcome difficult situations in life and you want to help others in similar situations. Regardless of your reason, you are in the right place, as I will be outlining ways to help you actualise your goal of becoming a motivational speaker in this article. 

Steps to become a motivational speaker

1. Discover your passion

There must be a subject that ignites a fire in you, and finding out what that is is the key to starting your journey to becoming a motivational speaker. Look within yourself to discover what you’re passionate about and start building on it. It may be something that you have a deep interest in or an experience that has shaped you. Whatever it is, it has to be something that can send a profound message to others. 

The subject you decide to pursue may not seem all that relevant to others, but what matters the most is your ability to convince others that it matters. It must matter strongly and resonate deeply within you. If not, there is no way that you can convince others of its relevance. 

2. Develop unique and engaging content

The ability to inspire others with your content is what makes you a good motivational speaker. Your content must be authentic and captivating, and your storytelling must be good enough to stir the emotions of your audience. Even if you do not have expert-level knowledge on the subject, convey expertise by using quotes, statistics, and anecdotes to support your messages. 

You must keep your audience engaged at all times so make sure to keep your messages simple and succinct, and avoid using jargon and phrases that are hard to understand. 

3. Hone your storytelling and public speaking skills

The qualities that truly stand out in a motivational speaker are storytelling and public speaking skills. You must have a good command of the language, and deliver your content in a way that captivates your audience. You must be able to use your storytelling to deeply touch your audience and stir their emotions. Your body language, delivery and tone must be on point to send a powerful message. You should leave your audience with a lasting impression of you and a hunger for more. 

There are several ways you can improve your speaking skills. You could hire a mentor, take public speaking courses, or practice speaking in small gatherings. 

4. Know your audience

It is impossible for your message to appeal to everyone, and reaching out to the wrong crowd will lead to disappointment and failure. Once you have decided on the kind of message you want to send, you should research the type of audience that will most likely appreciate your content. You can find information by doing questionnaires, polls and surveys.

Once you have identified your target audience, you need to truly understand them and find out their interests, what motivates them, their aspirations and challenges. Using this information, you can then come up with content that will be relevant and impactful to them. 

There are several ways you can learn more about your audience, including message boards, fan mails, social media engagement, and emails. Always encourage communication with your audience, and listen to what they have to say no matter how insignificant it may seem. 

5. Build experience 

Becoming a motivational speaker will not happen overnight. You have to start small and build your way up. Start by offering free speeches at schools, local events, community gatherings and workshops. Encourage feedback and use it to refine your skills.

Create a portfolio of successful speaking engagements to establish your expertise and help open more opportunities for you in the future. As you improve and hone your skills, you can then start charging fees for your services. 

6. Leverage social media and invest in marketing 

To become a successful motivational speaker, you need to have a very wide audience. The more people listen to you and get inspired by your speeches, the more successful you will be. 

Everybody uses social media nowadays, so you should emphasize building your social media presence. Share your motivational insights, quotes and videos on social media to reach a broader audience. Create a social media account dedicated to your profession and garner followers and fans. 

You should not only rely on social media to increase your popularity, it may also benefit you to hire marketing professionals to help advertise your career. Tell your friends, family and colleagues to also help you spread the word. With all these, it wouldn’t take long before you become popular. 

7. Network and collaborate

Meeting with other motivational speakers will be invaluable to your growth. There is a lot to learn, and you can only learn the nitty-gritty details from someone who has already gone through it personally. Especially when you’re starting, it is important to meet with professional motivational speakers and learn from them.

You will also build networks along the way that will help to build your career further. Even when you become successful, engaging with other motivational speakers will help you build influence more in the field. 

8. Apply for speaking gigs

When you’re confident enough to start your career as a motivational speaker, then it’s time to apply for speaking gigs. You already have some experience so you can start charging fees for your services, but try to charge lower fees since you’re still new to the business. As you build your network and increase in skills and popularity so will your earning potential. 

Try to get as many gigs as you can even if they do not pay that well because it will help you reach more people and increase your popularity. Research available gigs in your niche and apply for them. Work may be slow and your earnings might be low, but as your skills, experience and popularity increase, more high-paying engagements will be thrown your way. 


A career as a motivational speaker is extremely rewarding as it gives you the satisfaction of making many people feel better. If you have the passion for it, then there’s nothing stopping you from becoming successful. As long as you have a profound message to share and have mastered the way to deliver it, then the sky won’t be your limit but your starting point. 

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Habibat Musa

Habibat Musa

Habibat Musa is a content writer with She writes predominantly on topics related to education, career and business. She is an English language major with keen interest in career growth and development.

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