The Guide To Being A Motivational Speaker

Motivational speakers do a lot more than just tell inspiring stories — they encourage and convince people to get excited about their lives, too! But before you decide you want to break into the field, learn how the pros work their magic and check out the Wendy’s Motivational Chicken to observe a master in action.

1. Point

a2gemma / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr: a2gemma

Motivational speakers point at everything. Those people in the audience probably paid to attend the event, and pointing at them is how speakers give the impression they already knew everyone existed.

2. Fist Pump

Speakers raise the energy in the room by fist pumping! It’s an easy way to convince people that they’re cool, and reveals that even motivational speakers enjoy spending a Sunday watching a Jersey Shore marathon and eating Pringles.

3. Have An Amazing Head Shot

All motivational speakers have head shots. Some choose to have theirs taken outside, but I think we can all see the real magic happens in a studio.

4. Roll Up The Sleeves

Most speakers like to roll up their sleeves. It reinforces the idea that they’re in the trenches with the audience… (even though they’re not, because they went and became motivational speakers.)

5. Have A Loudspeaker

alexmh17 / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr: 27976373@N05

Airhorns are commonly used at sporting events, and some speakers use them to get people to think about their lives as competitions. And who doesn’t succeed when they’re thinking about their life in terms of a little league soccer game?

6. Have An American Flag

Speakers love to have American flags as their backdrops. It gets the people thinking of how they’re not maximizing their potential or living their own “American Dream,” and then they are more willing to do what the speaker recommends.

7. Gesticulate

Michael Coghlan / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: mikecogh

To prevent people from tuning out, speakers do complicated things with their hands. Someone in the audience may be thinking about their dog but once they see the speaker do something like this hand gesture, they’ll pay attention again because they want to know about that super thick PBJ.

8. Pose For Pictures

Realtor Action Center / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr: realtoractioncenter

Professional speakers are all about posing for pictures. They like to gauge their performance based on how many people are waiting in line to meet them, and how quickly teenage boys want to start wearing inspirational merchandise.

9. Have A Dramatic Set And Great Lighting

colink. / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: colink

In addition to powerful words and exhilarating phrases, motivational speakers are mindful of how they’re also selling a memorable experience. So any time they can decorate the venue so the audience thinks its about to watch a performance of “The Phantom of the Opera,” they do.

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