Become a speaker

How do you become a motivational speaker? In 5 steps to your first motivational speech!

If you have the desire to become a motivational speaker, it is important that you understand what makes a top speaker and which companies seek cooperation with a motivational speaker. In this post, I’ll prepare you for public speaking and give you tips on the structure of motivational speeches. 

My goal is that by the end you know how to get started in motivational speaking, what basic skills you need to acquire and how to get requests from your ideal client and where to find them.


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What is motivation?

What is Motivation

If I had to describe the term motivation in one word, motivation is your “why”! Motivation comes from the word motive – a reason for doing something. So if you have a goal in mind – your “what” that you want to achieve – then your motivation ensures that you don’t run out of gas before you get to your destination.

Motivation is your "why"! When you have a goal in mind – your "what" that you want to achieve – your motivation ensures that you don't run out of gas before you reach your destination. Click To Tweet

The greater your why for a cause, the higher your motivation and the more willing you will be to step out of your comfort zone to put your plan into action.

What is a motivational speaker?

Simply put, a professional motivational speaker is a keynote speaker whose presentation inspires, motivates and enriches his or her audience with positive ideas. Motivational speakers help their listeners to overcome challenges from self-help, to money and even corporate topics like careers.

It is quite common to find motivational speakers who have built a community around their message to give their followers hope and resources. 

Motivational speakers are often booked by companies or for an event to give motivational speeches to their own employees, leadership or valuable customers. In the current times of change, more and more requests also come digitally. Large international companies also like to book a speaker in English.

Who are the top 10 motivational speakers around the world? From Tony Robbins to Oprah Winfrey

The world’s best motivational speakers read themselves like a who is who in public speaking. You will find accolades like New York Times best-selling author, award-winning entrepreneur to inspiring television personality up to the point that they have built a career as an inspirational speaker.

From number 1 life coach and personal development goliath Tony “I am not your guru” Robbins, Les Brown, Eric Thomas to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oprah Winfrey you can find all walks of lives and careers. Since there is no clear ranking method, the order is totally subjective. One of those motivational speakers rankings you can find in this article.

Now it’s your turn !

Motivational speakers have always been an impetus for change. Today, in the age of digitalization, the wheel of change is turning faster and faster. Are you ready to become a unique speaker?

Silhouette of businessman running for the carrot and reflection in water.

Who needs a motivational speaker?

Motivational speakers have a wide range of impact. Companies especially like to book speakers for their management to initiate new impulses in thinking. When they appear on stage or on the digital screen, entrepreneurs often want to initiate change.

Motivational speakers for business leadership

One usually finds motivational trainers or speakers where goals are to be achieved and results need to be worked out. You’ll also be right at home as a speaker in companies where change, such as digitization, is being promoted.

Speakers in the business context are no longer booked only for the leadership team … as an expert I had over the years appearances for executives, management, marketing, sales as well as for other employees.

Leading sports organizations to excellence as a speaker

In sports, many international and national sports professionals also afford a personal motivational coach in order to achieve desired goals, for example, a cup victory or the championship title. Likewise, major sports organizations today are also aware of the value of motivational speakers.

Captain of the Soccer Team Stands on His Knees Celebrates Awesome Victory, Makes YES Gesture Champion Team Joins Him. Successful Happy Football Players Celebrate Victory. Shot with Warm Sunlight Flare.

For example, both the NHL champion Washington Capitals and the NBA champion Golden State Warriors have flown in #1 Life and Business Coach Tony Robbins to provide not only motivation but also renewed courage before the playoffs.

What education do you need to become a motivational speaker?

Male student sitting in university classroom

Do you have to study for it? Is there any essential education for motivational speakers? And above all… who gives you the legitimacy to speak in front of other people? The short answer: only one person can give you that: YOU! Basically, you are the only one who decides if you want to put yourself in front of other people to open your heart and share your story.

Do I need a university degree?

In the vastness of the internet, you can find umpteen motivational speakers. Again and again, you will find especially speaker Dr. So-and-so in the title.

Having completed two degrees myself, I know that a degree does have its advantages… however, it has zero bearing on your ability in public speaking to deliver a motivational talk.

In motivational speaking, it is all about your story and how you inspire your audience in your speeches.

Using your story to motivate

So how do professional speakers motivate his audience to achieve the best in their lives? We humans learn best when we don’t know we’re learning…through stories. A good approach is to tell your story as a motivational incentive.

With your Story

Speak from the heart. When you tell your story, you evoke emotion. You trigger mirror neurons in others. When I tell you about a story from my childhood, you automatically think of your childhood. When I tell you about a time when I had no money, you do the same. Stories allow us to empathize and experience. This motivates and inspires.

The power of simplicity

But what do you do if you don’t have an “earth-shattering” story because you haven’t been to the moon, survived cancer, or traveled once around the world in 80 days? We often don’t think of our own story as something special or worth mentioning.

keep it simple

But imagine you started a business out of nothing because you specialized in a certain niche. Because you are involved with it on a daily basis, your success has become commonplace for you.

Even more, you are amazed when those around you think your actions are extraordinary. Just try a change of perspective and look at your story through the eyes of a stranger.

What is normal for you may be an outstanding achievement for the other person. When you tell your story in your motivational speech, your experience can be a motivation and inspiration for others. It always depends on the perspective.

What is normal for you may be an outstanding achievement for someone else. Click To Tweet

How to create your first motivational speech

This section is dedicated to your first motivational speech as a speaker. There will be many talks after this, but I’m sure you’ll always think back to the beginning as a speaker, how you spent days learning the skills and tweaking your keynote.

1. First define your goal

The very first thing to do is to define your goal: what do you want to achieve with your speech? What do you want your audience to do after your speeches? How do you want them to feel? What do you want your audience to remember about your talk?

What is your goal?

These are all important questions to clarify. At least as important as your “what” is the search for your “why.” Be clear to yourself about your motivation for getting on stage.

2. For which target audience do you want to create your keynote?

An important aspect to consider in your speeches is the question of the audience: who is your motivational speech for? It makes a big difference whether you’re a motivational speaker meant to motivate salespeople in a company or you’re giving your keynote in front of a mixed audience with different objectives in a town hall. Also think about if your inspirational mission is to create a community and maybe even to build a professional career as a life coach with public seminars.

What type of event is your talk for?

Even the type of event will have an impact on your speeches. At an open free event, the topic will need to be approached differently than at high-priced seminars in front of a select small group of managers.

Who is your audience?

Business presentation. Grateful audience clapping hands to speaker

Of course, the style of your talk will also depend on whether you are, for example, motivating employees or bringing ideas about motivation to a team of executives. Your average entrepreneur, founder or co-founder will look for different motivational speakers than someone who feels called upon to get a new job.

On-site vs. digital events

Especially in times of advanced digitalization, you should think about whether your talk is also suitable for a digital audience. The digital possibilities are almost limitless… yet not every talk is suitable for digitization or may need to be adapted for digitization.

3. Start with the end first

starting with the end first

Now we come to the practical implementation of your speech as a speaker. After you have defined your goal and know your customers, think carefully about the feelings you want them to leave with. Do you want to encourage them?

Do you want to give new impulses that will change your audience’s world? With the goal in mind, which runs like a red thread through your keynote, you will succeed in motivating your audience. The goal of your speech thus also gives you a theme – you know where the journey is going.

4. The right introduction to motivate your audience

starting path

As with any speech, the success of your keynote stands and falls with a successful introduction. A good coach, a top motivational trainer, knows the importance of the first few minutes of his speech. It has to sit well, nothing can be left to chance.

The first few minutes will determine whether you will emotionally engage your audience, or whether your presentation will just elicit a bored yawn. Always remember, first impressions don’t get a second chance.

5. Fill your motivational speech with life

Fill you speach with life

Now that you have a beginning and an end, you need to fill your speech with life. The best way to do this is to follow a structure, how you will lead your audience from the beginning to the end.

The power of 3 points

Young woman over yellow wall happy and counting three with fingers

We often remember things more easily within a structure if they are broken down into 3 points: first, second, third. This is tangible and stays on top of mind. It is also often easy to represent graphically.

Of course, each of these points must now be filled with life… this means that it is not enough to simply name the points here. These points must be substantiated: with numbers, data, facts and, best of all, with corresponding stories and examples.

Create your story inventory

Create your story

Each of us has not just one story, but a whole arsenal of stories that we have experienced in our lives. If you want to create your first motivational speech, your job is to sit and write down all the stories you can think of around your topic.

These can be long or short, your own or other people’s stories. When you have given all these stories a title, then also write the meaning of each story next to it. This doesn’t mean you have to use all of these stories, but you now have a quiver full of exciting stories for your keynote! All you have to do is assign them to the appropriate content points of your speech.

Practice makes perfect

With every presentation you will become more confident. To start as a motivational trainer and coach, you need courage so that you can rise above yourself. After the first step, you need to practice, practice and practice again to level up not only your presentation but also improve your stage presence. Targeted voice training can also pay dividends to help you reach your audience even better.

You will become more self-confident with every speech. You need courage to start as a motivational trainer and coach so that you can grow beyond yourself. Click To Tweet

You’ll find that you get better with each time. It’s a good idea to practice your first presentations in front of friends or acquaintances once and incorporate their feedback. Besides content and voice there is a third important component: under this link you will find tips on non-verbal communication. Of course, you can also hire a professional speech coach to help you not only with your structure, but also to shine on stage.

Over the years, you’ll become an expert on your topic, showing people the right way to do things and motivating them to perform at their best with their own knowledge.

How to market yourself as a motivational speaker

If you have decided to start a professional motivational speaking career, you should also think about a marketing strategy that works. If you have followed the steps above to create your presentation, then you already know who your target audience is.

The only question is how to reach them and show them your skills? You need a website where potential customers can find and book you as a speaker. 

A video of you or even better of your keynotes on your site underlines your expertise. If you need tips on speaking in front of the camera, you can find them here. Ideally, you will find a speaker agency that will help you market yourself. Successful networking is essential if you want to be successful in your motivational speaking career.

For an example of a website where you can hire me as a keynote speaker in German and English, just click on the link. There you will also find an overview of all my keynote speeches and public speaking experience.

Ronny Stage Coach EN

Ask Ronny to coach you for your next performance

Click on the button and send a non-binding request to Ronny to be your coach for your next keynote, speech or presentation.


What is still missing for your first keynote?

Now is the right time to start and to inspire people with your story as motivation at events. Humanity is undergoing unprecedented change. Digitalization needs to be driven forward.

Leadership is needed now to inspire people and drive them to perform at their best. If motivating and public speaking in front of an audience is your passion, now is the time for you to make it a career.

successful woman Concept motivation, inspiration

What topic do you want your first motivational speech to be about? Feel free to write me a comment below the article and if you still need help, just e-mail me. 

All the best and I look forward to reading from you!

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  1. Thank you for sharing this informative article on how to become a motivational speaker. As a motivational speaker, you have the opportunity to inspire and impact the lives of others in a positive way. Here are some actionable tips to help you get started on your journey:

    Identify your niche: Determine what topics you are passionate about and what sets you apart from other motivational speakers. This will help you define your niche and find your unique voice as a speaker.

    Build your expertise: Develop your knowledge and skills in your area of expertise. Read books, attend workshops, and seek out mentorship opportunities to build your credibility as a motivational speaker.

    Create a portfolio: Create a portfolio of your work, including videos of your speeches, testimonials, and writing samples. This will help you showcase your skills and gain exposure to potential clients.

    Practice, practice, practice: The more you practice speaking in front of an audience, the better you will become. Find opportunities to speak in front of small groups and gradually build up to larger audiences.

    Network and build relationships: Network with other motivational speakers and industry professionals to gain exposure and build relationships. Attend events, join professional organizations, and connect with others on social media to expand your network.

    Market yourself effectively: Develop a strong personal brand and market yourself effectively to potential clients. Use social media, your website, and other marketing channels to promote your services and reach your target audience.

    I hope these tips help you on your journey to becoming a successful motivational speaker. Good luck!

    1. Thank you very much Steve for your valuable insights! I love how you stepped up to add value! Thank you and all the best to you!

  2. Thank you Ronny for the wonderful tips and guidelines. Writing from the other side of the Atlantic in Cameroon, and your article has just grounded my burning desire to start my journey as a motivational speaker. Now, this might not be a so well developed field in my country and the opportunities hard to find. But looking things the other way round, this might be the opportunity for passionate people to pioneer motivational speaking and make it glow. Thanks again for the extra motivation.

    1. Thank you so much for your words Landry! I am happy to have ignited even more of the fire that already is inside of you. Cannot wait to hear more of your success story! Remember: when your why is big enough you will find a how!

  3. This was such a good read. I would also be having my first motivational talk today around overcoming sexual shame and guilt. These have been helpful.

    1. Thank you very much for sharing Joy! This means a lot to me. All the best to your talk today on such an important topic!

  4. I am 40 years old, and just recently have I been able to live with and accept my own mental health challenges. I want others to learn from my story, my pain, and my mistakes so they can start on their own path out of the darkness.

    1. Thank you Mike for sharing your story. That’s the beauty of learning from our own challenges and passing it own to others who might need it exactly at that time.

  5. Hey guys I’m very much interested in becoming va motivational speaker,been married for the past 15 years now and going through Divorce .how did I find myself in this situation and why I satyed for so long in this relationship are my why,the reasons iwant to help others who are facing similar situations ,rasing kids on your own .

    1. Having a strong personal story is always a great way to start. It’s about really figuring out who is it, that this story resonates with… and crafting your skills and working on them.

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