By Damilola Faustino
You don’t always have to be on the receiving end of motivation. Sometimes, be the one encouraging someone. But being a motivational speaker is not all about being a smooth talker or speaker. There is more to it. If you learn the ropes of being a motivational speaker you can earn good money that will pay your bills:
Have unique ideas
You won’t become a successful motivational speaker if your ideas are stale and unrefreshing. If this is the case, you will sound boring and this is a turnoff for your target audience. You need to develop fresh, relevant content that people want to hear. Invest a lot of time into thinking about your message and how you can deliver it in a way that will inspire, motivate, and captivate an audience.
Identify your target audience
It can be misleading or erroneous to think your message is for everyone. However, the fact is, a message that’s too generic will have little or no impact on anyone. So rather than decide you’re going to speak about sales or that you’re going to motivate all business leaders, narrow down your niche. Identify the types of groups who you really want to reach so you can create content that will resonate with them.
Try to acquire speaking skills
Your talent alone is not enough to become a motivational speaker. The way you deliver your message is more important than the words you use. Even if you think you’re the best speaker already, there’s a good chance you have some bad habits. Join a public speaking group, take a college communications class, or hire a speaking coach to help you develop better communication habits. You can also, record yourself giving a speech and watch or listen it back.
Speak for free
When you eventually have your content ready to go and you’re comfortable speaking to an audience, offer to speak for free. Reach out to local organizations who may benefit from your content. There are many conferences around who don’t pay speakers. Apply to speak for them to help you gain practice speaking to a live audience. Some people do a handful of free speaking engagements before they feel equipped to look for paid speaking opportunities while others speak at a few dozen events before they feel comfortable charging. But be prepared to speak for free until you’re in-demand.
Once you feel like you have a talk ready to go, start marketing yourself. Build a website that shows you’re a speaker. Add ‘speaker’ to your social media profiles. Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for speaking engagements. Word of mouth is often a key factor in getting speaking engagements. Keep releasing content too. Blog about your ideas, guest post on popular sites, make videos or write a book. Release your ideas into the world so you can gain credibility as an expert.
Apply for speaking opportunities
Early on in your speaking career, you may need to apply for speaking opportunities. Be on the lookout for conferences, conventions, and gigs. Find other speakers with a similar message and see where they’re speaking. You might reach out to event organizers and ask them to keep you in mind for future events.
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