How to Become a Motivational Speaker

Aug 14, 2019

Students wondering how to become motivational speakers and make a career of inspirational thinking do not need a motivational speaking degree. Learn the steps to becoming a motivational speaker using your own personal experiences.

How to Become a Motivational Speaker

Motivational speakers are usually professional speakers who talk on specific subject matters and include inspirational speaking throughout their presentation. Some may speak on personal experiences, a particular industry or career, and/or other subjects they are experts in through education, research, or work experience. The purpose of their talks is usually to encourage and motivate the audience into an action of some sort. Although there is not a required or set path for becoming a motivational speaker, some common steps to becoming a motivational speaker generally include:

  • Education
  • Preparation
  • Experience


Motivational speakers are usually experts in their field or subject matter, so they are likely to hold a college degree in some field. While there is not a specific motivational speaking degree or formal education requirements for the career due to the wide range of possible subjects, there are several degree programs that may prove beneficial.

Those wishing to become a professional speaker may pursue an advanced degree in communications, such as a master's degree program in public speaking or another related field, like a master's degree in public relations or business management. These degree programs could help further develop one's speaking and communication skills so he or she can relate to his or her audiences and/or help prepare for the business side of promoting his or her work. Other options may include courses in preaching, rhetoric, and public speaking that may be offered through seminaries, law schools, or other institutions.


After identifying what they are good at and what they wish to speak on from their educational background and/or personal experiences, motivational speakers must prepare their material. This portion of the process may be similar to some of the job duties of writers or authors:

  • Conduct any necessary research
  • Create drafts of their talks
  • Edit material
  • Consider audience reactions

Once motivational speakers have developed their material, they may spend hours practicing their speeches. It is important that they are familiar and comfortable with their material so that it flows naturally, highlights the main points, and captivates and motivates the audience.


The next step to becoming a motivational speaker is to start delivering talks and speeches. Motivational speakers may speak at conferences, community events, meetings, religious gatherings, and more, which may also serve as great networking opportunities. Typically, speaking at more and more events helps to build one's reputation and earn new clients for future talks.

Motivational Speaker Salary reported that the median annual salary for a lecturer/speaker was $51,780, as of July 2019. Another website, reported that the average salary for a motivational speaker was $72,248, also as of July 2019. This website also stated that the salary range for most in the profession was $59,537 to $88,212.

It is important to note that when considering income, some motivational speakers may be self-employed and may only work part-time speaking while also holding a profession in their area of expertise. Another factor when discussing income is the fact that many motivational speakers travel to deliver their speeches. Traveling expenses may be the responsibility of the speaker or the host event.

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