How to Become a Motivational Speaker

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Motivational speakers are public speakers who aim to inspire, encourage, and stimulate their audiences to accomplish goals in life. A motivational speaker is very similar to a life coach, except that he or she speaks in front of large groups of people rather than working with clients on a one-on-one basis. The field of motivational speaking is not a credentialed one, which means that these individuals are not required to have a college degree.

Motivational Speaker.jpg

Flickr: jurvetson
Education Varies from high school diploma to bachelor's or master's degree
Starting pay $2500 per keynote[1]
Median pay $4500 per keynote[1]
10 yr growth N/A
Related professions Life coach, counselor
Author Selena Robinson

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Motivational Speaker Job Overview

A motivational speaker is primarily concerned with creating keynote addresses that contain encouraging and empowering messages for the audience. To do this, speakers spend a lot of time evaluating their audiences and developing speeches that are designed to stimulate them to feel good about their life prospects and work toward their goals. Motivational speakers must also look for appropriate speaking venues, market themselves and their services, and travel extensively to engagements they receive.[2][3]

Motivational Speaker Education

An individual who wants to become a motivational speaker is not required to get a college degree. However, many successful motivational speakers have attended college and obtained either a bachelor's or a master's degree. Some have even decided to attend law school or graduate school.[4] In college, these students can take valuable courses that will help them during their careers such as public speaking, English, psychology, and marketing. These classes help aspiring motivational speakers to develop their speech writing and oration skills, as well as promote their businesses after graduation.[5]

Motivational Speaker Training

Even though motivational speaking is not an occupation that requires a license, many find it helpful to join a professional organization that offers credentialing. For example, the National Speakers Association is a professional group that provides training and support for public speakers of all kinds, including motivational speakers. In order to join, members must meet certain criteria, including having earned at least $250,000 in speaking fees during the last five years.[4]

Some individuals who want to break into the motivational speaking industry enlist the services of a life coach or mentor to help them. These consultants can assist new speakers to decide on the target audience they want to attract and then outline how to develop a plan to deliver a stimulating message to them.[5]

Skills for Motivational Speakers

Developing authenticity as a motivational speaker

Also See: How to Become a Life Coach, How to Become a Doula, How to Become an English Teacher


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