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It's not difficult to become a motivational speaker if you have a true passion for it. Motivational speaking may or may not lead to well-paying engagements, so it's best done by those with the main purpose of getting their motivational message out to others rather than those looking to earn money right away. In the beginning of their speaking careers, motivational speakers almost always have to speak for free as they build a reputation. To become a motivational speaker, you must have a unique message and decide which stories best get your point of view across.
You need to understand how to interest others with what you have to say. For example, you could explain a point of what you did in your life by acting out the steps you took such as illustrating picking corn by using your hands to demonstrate this. Good storytelling is only good if you have a unique message to share. Maybe you started a successful business from nothing and want to impart those ideas to fuel others to achieve their own dreams. Ask yourself what you achieved in your life that could motivate others and develop your message in ways that are both creative and communicative.
Once you have your subject and basic presentation ideas, perfect your speech by choosing appropriate stories and language. Practice your speech out loud many times as it takes time to avoid awkward pauses and unpleasant sounds such as "er" and "um" when speaking in front of a group. Starting speeches for a novice speaker should be up to an hour long, but when you become a motivational speaker with more experience, you can double that time for your speeches. Toastmasters Clubs are organizations found in many communities that allow speakers to gain practice in the art of public speaking. If you want to become a motivational speaker, consider joining a Toastmasters Club or a similar group in your area.
Aspiring motivational speakers can often gain valuable experience by speaking at local service clubs. You can contact service clubs in your area and approach them with your interest in speaking at one of their functions. It's a great idea to have the outline and basic points of your message printed on a brochure that promotes your abilities if you want to become a motivational speaker. Consider hiring a freelance marketing copywriter to write compelling copy that promotes your speaking services and lets people know where to contact you for speaking gigs.
You should have a website in which you publish articles about tips on motivational speaking. You can also have articles published in Internet article directories and in local newspapers and magazines. Positioning yourself as an expert in your topic and getting your name and contact information out constantly is a great way to get noticed and help you land speaking engagements. The more you put yourself out there and motivate others with your unique voice and stories, the more people will want to hire you.
The best motivational speaker I've ever heard was comedian Jerry Clower. He was raised in poverty in Depression-era southern Mississippi and started out selling fertilizer and speaking. He had a gift for making people laugh, and eventually became a professional comedian and a member of the Grand Old Opry. He also did a lot of motivational speaking, as well.
I don't think most people start out as motivational speakers. I think they usually start with being able to hold people's attention, and it frequently goes from there.
At the risk of sounding a little cynical, I'm just automatically suspicious of most motivational speakers, unless they have a back story that I think is genuine and meaningful.
I've seen some of these TV speakers who just seem so fake and I wonder if they've ever really had the experiences they say they've had. That guy on Public Television -- Wayne Dyer -- is always dropping names like crazy: "The other day when I was playing golf with the Dalai Lama..." That sort of thing.
I think the best motivational speakers have real, verifiable stories of overcoming adversity.
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