How to Become a Motivational Speaker

Motivational Speaker Key Stats
Education 1-2 Years
Job Outlook 3%

Some people may believe that Motivational Speakers are already well known individuals such as celebrities or famous politicians that happen upon motivational speaking as a new profession.

In reality, the average person can also make a living in this profession with hard work, dedication and a strong following.

Individuals who want to become a Motivational Speaker will need to be able to speak in front of groups to provide words of encouragement to their audience.

Some additional helpful skills to succeed in this profession include communication skills, writing skills and a basic understanding of self-marketing.

Education Requirements to Become a Motivational Speaker

There are no specific requirements in order to become a Motivational Speaker.

However, a postsecondary degree is highly encouraged.

Individuals will also benefit by seeking certification from a professional association and learning how to self-market themselves to gain a personal following.

As undergraduates, individuals are encouraged to focus their degree in communications or public speaking.

Typical courses in a communications degree may include the following:

  • Public speaking
  • Verbal communication
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Writing
  • Intercultural communication
  • Classes focusing on motivating or persuading a crowd

A communications degree will help individuals learn writing methods to prepare for speeches, verbal and nonverbal communication techniques and skills to ramp up a crowd and provide motivation.

Individuals who want to become a Motivational Speaker also have the option to become a member of an organization and seek certification.

The National Speakers Association is a professional association that offers memberships and also administers the Certified Speaking Professionals accreditation.

Certification can take up to five years to complete and requires individuals to complete live presentations and speeches and pursue ongoing education.

Motivational Speaker Job Description

Motivational Speakers are professionals who are experienced in self-promotion, an area of expertise and speaking in front of audiences to provide motivation and inspiration.

Motivational Speakers will need to focus on an area of expertise, gain a strong following and be able to self-promote and market themselves in order to be successful.

Motivational Speakers just entering the filed may be responsible for booking their own speaking engagements and manage the logistics and business aspects of being an up and coming professional.

Motivational Speakers are encouraged to write, keep blogs and join social media for marketing purposes.

As another way to earn more, some Motivational Speakers will write print books and have other materials at their speaking engagements.

Successful Motivational Speakers will find different revenue streams advertised before and after their speeches to inspired audience members.

Some common forms of additional revenue streams include selling books, DVDs, e-books and memberships to podcasts.

Fees will vary by the type of item and amount of inventory available at events.

Motivational Speaker Salary and Career Path

A Motivational Speaker’s yearly salary will depend on a variety of factors including professional reputation, other revenue streams such as book writing and the amount of speeches given each year.

An individual’s reputation can be earned and then communicated onto their professional resume to showcase both experience and skills.

Individuals typically charge a fee per speech they present.

On average, Motivational Speakers just starting their careers in this field typically charge an average fee of $6,000 per speech given.

Experienced or well-known Motivational speakers can charge up to $20,000 per speech sometimes more if they are well known in the professional field.

For example, some well-known politicians are known to enter this profession and make a living out of presenting speeches.

The job outlook for Motivational Speakers heavily relies on the overall state of the economy.

The speaking industry suffered a loss when the 2008 recession began.

These professionals are more successful during times when the economy is strong.

Motivational Speakers are part of a competitive field.

Individuals who focus on an area of expertise will help individuals be successful and gain a following.

For example, individuals focusing on an area of expertise such as: financial topics, political background, sports, religious or another focused theme can help create a following from admirers interested in that specific topic.

Motivational Speakers are professionals who use a variety of skills to self-promote themselves and their area of expertise in order to make a career out of motivational speaking.

It may take several years to become successful for those just beginning this career.

However, once individuals start making a name for themselves and have a strong following, the level of success has no limits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a motivational speaker do?

A motivational speaker can also be referred to as an ‘inspirational speaker’.

The professional’s main job is to deliver speeches that can inspire or motivate people that are present in the audience.

Motivational speakers can be experts in a certain field and they usually encourage other people to develop their own abilities and talents and look at some things from a different perspective.

There are a few different areas of expertise, when it comes to motivational speakers – business, personal development, youth mentor, and community.

No matter what the area is, the goal of a motivational speaker is to change the people on an emotional level and encourage them to make some positive changes in their lives.

How much do motivational speakers make?

On average, a motivational speaker can make a little more than $55.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to choose this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $34.000 and $217.000 annually.

The salary would certainly depend on a variety of factors – your education and experience level, the employer, the location, and so on.

An entry-level motivational speaker can earn around $16 per hour, while a top-level specialist with plenty of experience can make $104 and more per hour.

How much does it cost to become a motivational speaker?

Motivational speakers have absolutely different backgrounds and you don’t necessarily need to go for a degree to become an expert that will inspire other people.

However, a motivational speaker has to have impeccable public speaking skills.

You can attend public speaking classes in a community college or join a public speaking club.

Some courses cost $70, while others can be a bit pricier; you can easily find different options both online and offline for any budget.

What is the demand for motivational speakers?

Between 2018 and 2028, the marketing manager job market is expected to increase by 3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s a little slower than the average for all occupations in the United States.

Bear in mind that the competition in the industry is extremely strong.

The services of motivational speakers will be in demand in the near future; however, more and more professionals will be using computers in their job and that will allow having bigger audiences worldwide.

How long does it take to become a motivational speaker?

You can go for an undergraduate degree program in communications; it will take you around two years to complete and, in the end, you are going to have knowledge about public speaking, intercultural communication, and even staging and lighting techniques.

To become the National Speakers Association’s Certified Speaking Professional you would need 5 years (the course includes ongoing education and live performances).

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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