How to Become a Motivational Speaker


Being a successful motivational speaker can not only open up a new career path for your future, but honing your motivational speaking skills can also help you become a better leader and an even more successful entrepreneur. Public speaking is difficult enough for most people to master; being a polished motivational public speaker can be even more challenging.

How Do I Become a Motivational Speaker?

If you can master the art of motivational speaking, you can be on your way to a long and lucrative career. Some of the top motivational speakers today can make as much as $100,000 per speech, just for a single engagement! While not all motivational speakers will earn this type of money, there are many who have made a career out of this art form.

If you want to be a motivational speaker, you need to be willing to start small. Motivational speakers typically don’t develop a following or a reputation that earns six figures overnight. Motivational speakers don’t need a degree or training program, but they do need a venue and an audience. Typically, business conferences are a great way to start out, but first you will need to join a professional speaking association and tape some of your speeches to try and secure potential gigs.

The first gig is often the hardest, but make sure to keep taping speeches and building a portfolio so you can continue to find paying jobs that will help solidify your career.

Famous Motivational Speakers And What We Can Learn From Them

Not all motivational speakers are created equal. With this being said, there are several famous motivational speakers who have left a major impact on the motivational speaking industry. These are the experts of the market and the individuals who have the right blend of message, personality and delivery. These famous motivational speakers are not only people who should be admired, but also people who have many lessons aspiring motivational can learn from:

  • Eric Thomas: This former NFL player went from being homeless at age 16 to playing nine seasons as a cornerback in the NFL. His public speaking events are not only sell-out affairs, but he can also teach any aspiring speaker about the importance of creating an online following. Short, motivational YouTube videos are a great way to earn a dedicated following and extra revenue, and Thomas’ videos are some of the most watched on the video platform.


  • Tony Robbins: Robbins left home at 17 and eventually went on to use his past experiences to create motivational messages for others. Robbins can teach any aspiring speaker about the importance of finding a niche. Robbins’ niche is helping to change people’s perspectives and lives in a matter of minutes. There are videos of him famously curing stutters and saving marriages with his motivational approach. He is one of most recognized public speakers in the world, has spoken at events around the globe and even made appearances in several films and television shows.


  • Magic Johnson. Entrepreneur, Hall of Fame basketball player and motivational speaker Magic Johnson is not only one of the most recognized athletes in the world, but he has also mastered the art of motivating others through personal stories. Magic Johnson famously uses his 12-year career in the NBA, work as an entrepreneur, successful business ventures, philanthropic work and his very public struggle with HIV as material for his events. He shows other speakers the importance of using personal experiences as a motivator. What is so motivational about Johnson’s speeches is that he can not only talk about his career as one of the world’s best professional athletes, but as one of the millions of people today who are battling HIV and AIDS in America.


  • Grant Cardone. Grant Cardone is a Louisiana native and an established motivational speaker and author. He has worked with the National Geographic Channel and Atlas Media with different reality shows that showcase his unique investment style. He operates several businesses, is the author of five books and is valued around $350 million. He has also made a successful career for himself with motivational speaking. The author often speaks on investment strategies and different business philosophies and he has motivated millions from around the world to take a chance and try something new with their investments and their future. He speaks all over the world, today and continues to author books such as Sell or be Sold and If You’re Not First, You’re Last to the many who are inspired by his business and financial success.


  • Tai Lopez. Tai Lopez is a famed public speaker, social media star, and the inventor of the 67 Step program. This program offers a detailed guide for those who want to transform their lives and have a happier life. His approach works on training your mind and when you hear him speak about the approach live, chances are you will be motivated, like so many already have to change your life and change your way of doing things. He helps people work on their mental strength and inspires them to make a change. His videos can be found all over the web and he is constantly speaking at new venues all over the country, inspiring even more individuals to take a chance and do something to change their lives. Just follow one of his social media accounts to see first hand this speaker’s unique way of doing things.

Study the work of these individuals and you will see first-hand what a polished and professional motivational speaker looks like. Chances are you can not only find their books at stores around the country, but several clips of their speaking style in action right online.

What Makes the Best Motivational Speakers?

The best motivational speakers may all have different speaking approaches or different ways of motivating people, but they all have a few of the same qualities:

  • The best public speakers have a clear message to deliver. They have something to say based on their own experiences and deliver this message in a relatable and convincing way.
  • The best public speakers are also great writers. Learn how to master your writing skills and you can go far. The best public speakers are often also columnists and book authors.
  • The best public speakers have confidence. Motivational speakers embody what others want to be like or achieve. If you are not confident during your delivery, you will have a hard time convincing others to follow your advice.
  • The best motivational speakers have energy. Charisma and energy are crucial to any motivational speech. If you are not filled with energy during the entire speech, you can lose your audience in an instant.

Keep these tips in mind during your quest to become a motivational speaker and look at what has made different famous motivational speakers successful in the past, and you can be on your way to mastering the art of public speaking in ways you never thought possible.

What Type of Motivational Speaking is Right For You?

Before you can start your venture as a professional motivational speaker, you need to decide what type of motivational speaker you want to be. While there is no end to the different individual types of motivational speakers out there, there are a few different general types of motivational speakers. Narrowing down you options to determine what type of motivational speaking is right for you, is a great way to hone in on a speaking style that will best fit your talents.

  • Corporate Motivational Speaking– There is always a need for corporate motivational speakers. These are professionals that come into big companies or attend big conferences and help motivate people to do their best in the workplace and be the best professionals they can be. These individuals need to have some business talent and success behind them and master the art of making “work talk” exciting.
  • Youth Motivational Speaking– There are many people who find their niche speaking to youth. This is a great place to start public speaking if you don’t necessarily have the career chops to back your speech, or if you are particularly passionate about helping children. You can speak to at-risk children or even tour around schools speaking on different topics. As an adult, you may be surprised to find just how much you have to say to younger generations.
  • Athletic/Sports Motivational Speaking– Athletes and former athletes can often find a great deal of success in speaking to other athletes. You don’t have to be a professional sports star either in order to find your niche. Perhaps you were a coach or a high school stand-out, or you overcame some obstacle. This is a great genre of speaking, particularly if sports are a passion of yours and you can speak to individuals at all different age levels.

Think about these three different types of motivational speaking and decide which type of motivational speaking is right for you and for your goals for the future.

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1 Comment on "How to Become a Motivational Speaker"

  1. I liked what you said about what makes the best motivational speakers. Having charisma and energy seems like a really important part of engaging audiences with what you’re saying. You also made a good point about how having a clear message is important for keeping an audience’s attention and for them to understand the point you’re trying to get across. These two qualities seem important for giving a great speech. Thanks for posting this!

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