How to be a Motivational Speaker: 4 Key Components

Have you ever wondered how to be a motivational speaker that makes a meaningful impact? A good motivational speaker has a combination of the following four components:

  1. An understanding of how motivation works
  2. A burning desire to help people
  3. Strong public speaking skills
  4. The ability to relate to their audience

Let’s look at how to be a motivational speaker in more detail.

Components For Becoming Motivational Speaker Image - Ts

1- You Have to Understand How Motivation Works

The best motivational speakers know how motivation works. There are two types of motivation – intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation comes from an external source. It is grounded in the concept of positive and negative reinforcement, which is known as the “ carrot and stick ” technique in the management world. Positive behavior is rewarded, and negative behavior is punished. Many business owners try to motivate their employees with if-then statements following this format:

“If you do A, B, and C, you will be eligible for a raise in X months.”

Intrinsic motivation comes from within. Studies have shown intrinsic motivation is the key to long-term improvement, while extrinsic motivation only works in the short-term. This is why a lot of personal development workshops focus on figuring out your “Why.” Setting goals is a key to success, but having a strong “Why” behind those goals is the key to fulfillment.

A good motivational speaker knows how to empower their audience to motivate themselves.

2- You Have to Possess a Burning Desire to Help People

Motivational speaking is not something you do for the money. There are many more lucrative public speaking paths. Instead, motivational speakers get into the field because they need to satisfy their burning desire to help people.

You can tell if a speaker has this burning desire by the focus of their content. Are their presentations mostly focused on them, or are they focused on providing the most valuable possible to their audience?

Listen to the tone and pace of their voice. Is it robotic and uninspiring, or can you feel the passion in their voice?

3- You Have to be a Good Public Speaker

The primary difference between a motivational speaker and a life coach is a motivational speaker must be a great public speaker. Fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears, which is why there are so few great public speakers.

One of the most important components of how to be a motivational speaker is to understand public speaking is a skill that can be improved. No one is born a great public speaker – it takes hard work and a commitment to consistent growth.

Public speaking is a skill that is useful in practically any niche. An easy way to improve your public speaking is to record yourself. Practice a speech in front of a camera and pretend you are speaking to a live audience. Watch and listen to the recording to make a note of your verbal and nonverbal expressions.

4- You Have to be able to Relate to Your Audience

If a motivational speaker can’t relate to their audience, the quality of their content is irrelevant. For an audience to be inspired, they have to be able to see themselves in the speaker.

Personal stories of failure and struggle show a speaker’s vulnerability, and this earns the trust of the audience. American author Mark Twain once said:

“…the really great make you feel like you, too, can become great.”

A great motivational speaker helps their audience realize there is nothing unique about what they’ve accomplished, and that everyone in the audience has the power within them to achieve the same success.

Final Thoughts on How to be a Motivational Speaker

Remember these four components when diagnosing the capabilities of a motivational speaker:

  1. An understanding of how motivation works
  2. A burning desire to help people
  3. Strong public speaking skills
  4. An ability to relate to their audience

Arman has experience as a motivational speaker and regularly conducts seminars. Click here to check out his next seminar.



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