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16 March 2020

10 Tips on How to Become a Motivational Speaker

Jairek Robbins

Ready to make an impact on people’s lives through speaking?

Today’s topic is “10 tips on how to become a motivational speaker,” so let’s dive right in!

1. Fall in Love With What Your Audience Needs Vs. Your Own Story

So often, I run across people and they say, “I love to figure out how I can become a motivational speaker.” And I ask them why they want to become a motivational speaker. Their response is that they want to become a speaker because they have a story to tell. They have something that they want to share. They have something that they think people will really value. 

The people say that instead of saying that they sat down and did some research and found out that a bunch of people in my community really needs something, and the thing they need is what I am really proficient at delivering and I would love to share it with them in the capacity of a speech. I really believe that would be the most efficient way of transferring this information from me to them, or this experience from me to them so that they can get what they want in their results. 

So, fall in love with your audience and what they need, instead of your story and your experience or what you want.

2. A Motivational Speech is a vehicle to Transport a Message to the People Who Need to Receive It

I always tell people, if juggling fire sticks or singing or acting or dancing or being a CEO or being a better dad or whatever transported the message in my heart better and more efficiently to the people who needed it at the moment they need it, then by God, I would be juggling fire sticks or learning how to sing better. 

It just so happens that the audience I speak to tends best to receive what it is that they need or want from me through speaking, through training, through coaching, through a book, through a training program. Those are the vehicles that best transport this message.

So, the second thing if you really want to become a motivational speaker is ask, what is the best vehicle to transport the message that people need to hear or experience from you? Is a speech really the best vehicle? It might be!

3. Focus on Inspiring New Action Instead of Gaining Applause

So many people judge their speech by how big the applause was that they got from the audience or people they were talking to instead of, if I watch these people over the next 24 hours, 3 days, 5 weeks or even 10 years, did they make a significant shift in who they are and how they do life or the results they go after? Or do they just clap real hard and then just go home and do the exact same stuff they were doing before and nothing has changed.

Seek actual transformation not just gaining of applause.

4. Go There to Share

This is important; I’ve met a lot of people who go out to speak with the goal of filling their own emotional confidence or emotional needs, wants and desires instead of taking the time to do the work on themselves mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually and then going to that venue to share all the excess that they have built up from within. 

They are going there to try to fill up from the people and get the clapping, get the high-fives, and so on instead of going to share the abundance of the love, joy, knowledge, gratitude, information or whatever with the people at the speaking event. So, go there to share.

5. Go to Give Vs. Going to Get

There’s a beautiful story of a comedian, his name is Michael Junior. He says when he first started as a speaker and a comedian, he would often go to audiences and try to get laughs out of them. Meaning, he would tell a joke in order to get the audience to laugh. However, he found out over the years that he was there to give laughs, to create space so that people could relax and enjoy a few moments in their life when they are going through hard times.

One of the most beautiful stories he tells is of this one time he went to a place and was giving his speech to all these children. And there was this little boy dressed as Spiderman in the front row with the mask on. He makes a couple of good jokes and the boy doesn’t budge at all throughout the speech. He learns, by asking questions during the speech, that the boy wears the outfit in order to protect himself since he comes from an abusive situation. And when he is wearing his Spiderman mask it protects him and he can’t get hurt.

Related: Give Vs. Get

As the comedian is giving laughs, cracking jokes and making his speech, he suddenly notices that Spiderman has taken his mask off. At that moment, the comedian realized that his entire purpose in being there was to give laughs and create a safe space where people could enjoy themselves so much so that Spiderman took his mask off since he felt safe enough to do so by the laughter, the joy and the comedic factor that the gentleman was sharing on stage. And so he was there to give laughs, not try to get anything from that little Spiderman. That’s a beautiful transition; go to give.

6. Study Your Audience and Know Everything You Can About Them

Study the beliefs, wants, desires, needs, and values of the audience more than they do. Now, it is hard to know about someone more than they know about themselves, but that’s why you’ve got to do your homework! You’ve got to know what they struggle with, what they are curious about, what they are excited about, what they are worried about, what they are working on, what triggers them, what sets them off, what frustrates them, what they are dreaming of in their lives. You’ve got to know these things if you are going out to talk to these people.

If you do that, they will realize that you are not just giving a speech that you prepared for them, but that you are really truly talking to them, to who they are, to their soul, to their experiences and to their traumas, their goals and dreams and helping to guide them on their journey through the speech that you deliver.

7. Speak to Transform, Not to Inform

Being there to just give good information isn’t very helpful because anyone can get that on YouTube or these videos. If you’ve got to show up and be in the same room as other people, be there to transform. Share something in a way that will transform and transcend the current circumstances, not just inform them of stuff they need to know.

8. Practice and Refine

Practice, practice, and practice! Michael Jordan did a thousand jump-shots a day before and after practice. Kobe Bryant and other greats also did hundreds of jump-starts before their daily practice!

Practice what you are going to deliver and make sure that you have rehearsed it and built it in so that if you forget what to say, you will immediately know how to recover because you practiced so much and are adequately prepared.

Thereafter, refine your craft. After every presentation, ask what went great, what did I learn, what needs to be better? And practice the improvements, practice getting better.

9. Speak Deep Truths

Speak what is true, speak what is real. Don’t just speak the floppy stuff because it is fun, speak what is real and watch what happens. 

10. Live It

Make sure that you are living the message you want to speak about. Now, this is my little story of how I actually got invited to give my first motivational speech. I had started my own coaching practice, one on one coaching, and I ramped up my business from the front den of the house from zero clients to 52 one-on-one coaching clients in 8 months!

Now, most coaches make about $42,000 a year working part-time hours while making a full-time income. I was able to surpass that, more than 2x what the average coach makes, in my first 8 months. 

The reason why I was invited to go give that speech in London was because I had transcended a gap, I had accomplished more in 8 months that what most coaches do in two decades of their career, business-wise. 

The place where I was invited to go and speak was at a conference for coaches learning how to build their coaching business. I was living the results that they asked me to go and speak about so that others could pick up some clues on how to go and do it themselves. Note that I wasn’t hypothetically sharing something that I thought might be useful because I read about it and attended a seminar where someone else taught it and I wrote down the tip and promised that I was going to speak and share about it. No! 

I just went out there and said, hey, here is what I did, in a format of some inspiring and empowering words that caused people to get excited to go do that themselves. And so the final tip, if you want to be a motivational speaker, is, live it! Live what you are talking about. Produce the results yourself and then guide people. Let them be the hero, let them be the champion of the story. You are nothing more than their guide saying that I’ve done it, let me shine some light on some important facts, but I want to help you to be your hero on your journey to transcend this gap as well.

I hope this is helpful. I hope this is useful. If you know someone who would like to get into the speaking industry, tag them to this, but I would like to know if you are a speaker as well, what tips would you give someone who is just beginning, on how to get started? 

The easiest way is to start talking, start sharing on a place like this and watch who connects, watch who gathers, watch who finds it useful and uses it, and watch who keeps coming back for more. So, enjoy this, have some fun, we are going to do our next baby ultrasound, so I’m out and will see you again tomorrow! 

To Your Success,

Jairek Robbins



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