How to Become a Motivational Speaker UK and Global

Learn how to become a motivational speaker by following all the necessary steps in this detailed guide.

Motivation Inspiring
  • Release Date: 29 March 2023
  • Update Date: 21 May 2024
  • Author: Speaker Agency
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Most people will have an irrational fear of public speaking. For most of you, fear is holding you back from a potentially illustrious career. According to Glassdoor, motivational speakers in the UK can earn over £35,000 per year - and that doesn’t include sponsorships or the value that networking can bring in. 

Now, you’re probably wondering how to become a motivational speaker or how to become a public speaker. The following tips will help you kickstart your career: 

1 - Find your core subject

Your journey begins with a core subject; what are you going to talk about on stage? The biggest mistake is choosing something you deem popular, rather than a topic you know and understand.

Anyone can go online and read articles about “popular” subjects. However, if you don’t truly understand the subject, all you’ll do is recite information that you’ve read elsewhere. 

People don’t hire motivational speakers to tell them what they already know. They hire you to motivate and inspire; you need to offer unique insights and viewpoints that people haven’t heard before. Motivation speaking is an art. 

First understand where your strengths lie. What topics are you passionate about and or comfortable with speaking about ? 

2 - Understand your target audience

When a business produces a product, it has to define its target audience and create customer profiles. The same approach should be applied to anyone that wants to know how to become a motivational speaker. As a professional public speaker, you have a duty to understand your audience and know as much about them as possible. 

Understanding the audience means empathy and figuring out what they want to hear. You also need to determine how you will perform your speeches. 

Different audiences want different things based on who they are. Remember, your motivational speeches are about them, not you. The only way you will be a successful speaker is if you know how to appeal to your audience and solve their problems. 

3 - Have a structure to your speech, but remain flexible

These two points feel like contradictions, but there is a lot of sense behind them. Every motivational speaker will have structure to their speeches. This can be as simple as defining the format of your presentation: an introduction, the main body of the speech, a conclusion and then a question & answer section. 

For instance, you need an introduction to hook everyone in and outline what it is you will discuss. Highlight the key points and then the main part goes through all of your talking points in more detail. A conclusion helps you wrap everything up, while the question & answer bit allows the audience to become more involved and focus on specific points they want to learn more about. 

Obviously, you need to write down a speech and learn it as well as possible. 

While testing your audience, don’t be afraid to freestyle and add impromptu things in as well; create a general structure, but give yourself the freedom to adapt and be flexible when needed. Great public speakers use these skills.

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4 - Work on your nonverbal communication

This whole article is on how to become a motivational speaker. The very nature of this job suggests that verbal communication is at the forefront of your career. However, nonverbal communication is arguably more important. The art of public speaking is not limited to words.

Research suggests that between 70-93% of all communication is nonverbal. This is broken down to 55% body language and 38% voice/tone, with just 7% of communication falling under the category of spoken words. All inspirational speakers value this for it is one of the most important public speaking skills.  

Yes, the words you speak are important, but to truly get your message across, you need to work on the nonverbal aspect of your speeches. They help you to engage with your audience naturally.

When you’re reading, it’s hard to manipulate your tone and your body language remains really rigid. Try to loosen up, focus on getting the right tone across to express emotion and use your body language to good effect. No one denies the impact created by word of mouth, however a good speaker has to know how to involve his figure.  

Hand gestures and your posture make a massive difference. They emphasise your points and improve your image as a motivational speaker. Someone who is striding around the stage with good posture and constantly gesturing with their hands will convey a powerful appearance.

Remember, no hunched-over back, make eye contact and make gestures.

Ironically, to become a motivational speaker, you need to think about your job as more of a motivational performer. Harness the power of nonverbal communication and you will go far. 

5 - Get on the radar and practice

When you clicked on this article, you did so with the intention of learning how to become a speaker that performs in front of thousands. Think of being on stage at a huge TED Talk or business conference, inspiring and motivating people. 

How to become a motivational speaker is the question, getting on the radar is the answer. Public speaking tips and specific information about how to become a motivational speaker are obviously valuable. But you have to make yourself noticed - and this means gaining experience.

The best way to be noticed is by volunteering at different events throughout your industry. There are events that have open invitations for speakers all the time, but you perform for free. The added benefit here is you get to practise how to become a better speaker. 

Find community events which can help you practise speaking in front of an audience. Get testimonials and reviews from people after the events or speaking engagements which you can display on your website. 

That’s another thing, you should develop your own website. It will be an online hub where people can search for you online, while also being an excuse to market yourself. 

At the time and age we live in, the power of social media, if used properly, will have a huge impact on your speaking career. Then you eventually start applying for paid speaking gigs. One cannot deny the power of blog posts and all other digital tools to get noticed.  

The knock-on benefit of volunteering and finding small gigs is that you can practise your material before you put it out for large crowds. When you get used to speaking publicly, request feedback from audiences. Most audience members are receptive to this. 

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6 - Reach out to events

Eventually, you will reach a point where you feel confident as a public speaker. Speaker Agency has a number of inspirational and motivational speakers who can provide some guidance for you. 

The best approach is to email events, displaying your interest. Think about your industry and search for upcoming events and get in touch with the organisers.

Most events have contact details you can use, so send emails out to these people. Include links to your website, along with testimonials and a breakdown of your experience so far. 

Overall, becoming a motivational speaker is a fantastically rewarding career. You will inspire thousands of people during your time, possibly being the key that helps them unlock their potential. 

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