Much like reality show contestants, just because your family say you are the songbird of our generation doesn’t mean you actually are. The same goes for motivational speaking. You may have delivered a great speech at your last company function, or have built a successful business from scratch, but simply being able to relay your personal conquest verbatim is not often what an audience is looking for.
Motivational speaking is an art form, and audiences want unique content delivered in an engaging way. The best motivational speakers create such an atmosphere that even the most lethargic of participants feel they can achieve anything upon leaving. If you feel like you have something to say, confidence, and the urge to inspire, read on to find out how to become an awesome motivational speaker.
Will I Need Formal Training?
To enter the world of motivational speaking, you do not need a degree or training programme. Having a wonderful grasp of language can help, but mostly a talent for communicating and a unique story or perspective to share is all you need. Spending time figuring out your niche and edge will help you understand what kind of audience will benefit most from what you have to share, allowing you to research and develop your speech further.
Being engaging is key and can rarely be learnt. You will have to be able to keep audiences (of various numbers) glued to you by filling a lengthy timeslot with creative and captivating ideas. Your speech will most likely be edited and tweaked throughout the beginning of your career as you adapt it to reflect audience feedback. If writing does not come naturally to you, but you have incredible ideas, it can be worth attending a creative writing course or workshop.
Don’t forget, it is all well and good having a fantastic speech, but you need the stage presence to bring it to life. The way in which you speak, gesture, and hold yourself are all part of a motivational speaker’s checklist and one cannot be without the other.
Do I Need a License or Certification?
By law, motivational speakers are not required to hold any type of license. However, to improve your credibility, there are a number of voluntary certifications you can achieve. The National Speakers Association offers the Certified Speaking Professional and the Professional Speaking Association has different levels to apply for, from associate to fellow. It must be remembered that you may need some level of experience to fill the criteria for various certifications, but each will be laid out clearly.
How Will I Begin Booking Jobs?
Before you go out in the world and start trying to secure some opportunities, ensure you have a solid social media presence and established website. Having this in place will enable you to connect with potential clients and have something to put on those all-important business cards. If budgets allow, hire an SEO professional to give you the best chance of your website appearing high in search engine results for certain key words.
To entice more people to book you, it is most likely you will have to start off offering your presentation for free. This will help you gain experience and become comfortable, at the same time as building a reputation. Once you feel like you are nailing your speech time and time again, get some high-quality video recordings made of you at functions, and have an editor make a clips reel. You can not only put this on your website, but also provide it to potential clients.
Lastly, once you have gained ample experience and can prove your credibility, it may be worth approaching a reputable speaker agency to help secure bookings on your behalf. Getting on to the books of a reputable agent will require professional headshots and video reels and is not easy feat, but as you establish a name for yourself you will be surprised how many people begin to take notice.