How To Become A Motivational Speaker

(And Not Just Any – But The Best In The World!)

So Again, the REAL question is — how to become a Motivational Speaker?

Every day, I get several emails, calls and messages from people asking me, “Yogesh, how can I become a motivational speaker?” or “I am interested in becoming a professional speaker, how do I go about it?”

I decided to write this as an answer to all those questions. I will share all the strategies, tips and secrets that helped me become a leader in the field of public speaking. I have also made lots of mistakes and learned from them through trial and error. Hopefully, you don’t have to make any of my mistakes and can benefit from the strategies that gave me success.

The first seminar I did was attended by only five people. The recent ones I do easily have anywhere between 500 to 10,000 people. I feel super blessed and grateful.

Also, I will keep updating this post with more strategies and answers to make sure it is the most detailed and thorough guide for anyone wanting to become a professional speaker anywhere in the world.

Don’t Be ONLY A Motivational Speaker – Instead, Become A Master In Your Field

Whoever asks me how to become a motivational speaker, my usual reply to them is to not be only a motivational speaker, instead become a master of your domain.

In today’s world, nobody wants to invite or listen to someone who is just a motivational speaker – they want to listen to someone who is considered world-class in their field.

Decide what you are passionate about, and work towards becoming a master at it. You can use the strategy of Goal Setting and achieving the goal. (I shared this in detail in Succeed The Happionaire Way too).

So in my case, I have always been passionate about business, sales (almost everyone knows how I started selling at the age of 5), living life to the fullest, success, happiness and having fun at whatever I do. Speaking, sharing ideas and writing is all a part of what I love doing. This is why I am regularly invited to speak and share strategies on sales, happiness, business, entrepreneurship and life. I speak about what I do and have experienced.

For someone else, it might be being a movie star or becoming the President of a country or being a top performing athlete. Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Bush and Barrack Obama – all top performers in their respective fields, are also among some of the highest paid motivational speakers in the world. They are highly inspirational in nature, and are regularly invited to speak across the world at motivational seminars, leadership summits and conferences.

It could be anything that guarantees you have a unique story and experience – from climbing Mt. Everest in the shortest time period to becoming a pioneer in setting up colonies on Mars.

People love stories and real-world experiences.
Go ahead and have them. There is nothing more inspirational than living life to the fullest.

image1
Here’s my good friend, Gennady Polonsky, with Arnold Schwarzenegger at a conference Kiev, Ukraine, which had over 7000 people.

So, to start with, take a piece of paper, and write down the answers to these questions right away:

  • What is your area of mastery?
  • What makes you unique and special?
  • What’s your story?
  • Why should the world listen to you?
  • How can you help and add value to the world?

1. Create A Unique Brand

Imagine two suits, both of them have been manufactured in the same factory and have exactly the same quality– one of them has a logo which states “Cheap Brand” and the other has “Armani” or “Hugo Boss”. What’s going to happen to the suits? Which one would sell for more? Which one is going to have celebrity customers? Which one is going to be preferred by CEOs and high performers? Which one is going to have high demand? The answer is very simple and everyone knows it. Yet, few people invest in creating a personal brand.

Branding is very important for success, not just for a professional speaker, but for everyone and everything. Brands are easily able to charge a premium and have raving fans.

A brand signifies quality and trust. A brand also differentiates from others. As a speaker, everyone should immediately be able to differentiate you from others. You need to stand out.

So for example, every time you hear the words, Happionaire or Yogesh Chabria- you immediately associate it with lots of positive feelings, such as happiness, bliss, wealth, fun, success and living life to the fullest. It’s a unique brand, which has immense power. People are free to use it and call themselves happionaires – this further propagates our message.

As a speaker, you need to ensure that you have invested and branded yourself very very well – rather, excellently.

Make sure you have a website which lets the world know who you are and what your message is. Make sure you are present on YouTube (so that people can see and hear you speak!) and all other major social media platforms. And make sure to be active on them, and keep updating them to engage with your audience.

DO THIS NOW

Make sure you have the following as a Professional Speaker:

  • A special and unique brand which people can connect with…
  • A website that lets the world know who you are and what your special expertise is. This is your profile and your chance to let people know how you can be of help and add value as a speaker…
  • A Youtube channel, where people can watch and listen to you speak. In case you have never spoken in public, you can simply shoot some videos and speak about things you are passionate about. Make sure the sound quality and lighting is good. A high-quality video is very important for success as a motivational speaker…
  • Presence on all major social media platforms, so people can stay connected with you…

As step two, take a piece of paper and answer the following:

  • What are three qualities that make your brand unique?
  • Have you created an incredible website? Do you regularly update it with valuable content?
  • Do you have a Youtube channel with excellent videos that can help, inspire and motivate people? As an example, you can check out one of my Youtube videos here:

  • Are you active on social media platforms? Do you regularly communicate with your fans?

2. Market & Start Speaking

Once you have a website and a Youtube channel where people can hear you speak and get exposed to your ideas, it’s time to start marketing and speaking in public. Start connecting with everyone who needs a speaker. In the beginning, you might have to speak for free. Go ahead and do it.

The best places to start speaking are business organizations, voluntary groups, the non-profit organization, networking groups, Universities, and schools.

You can apply to the following groups in your local community, write them an email or call them, and SIMPLY TELL THEM  that you would be happy to volunteer and speak on whatever topic you are passionate about.

Some groups that regularly need speakers are:

  • Rotray Club
  • Lions Club
  • BNI – Business Networking
  • Toastmasters International
  • Local Chambers of Commerce & Industry
  • TEDx

Build your brand and fan base.

Gain experience and also get high-quality videos and photos. The videos can go on your Youtube channel, while the photos can be used on your website and social media.

Once people have heard you speak, they will be more open to recommending you.

When you are speaking for free, make sure to let people know how and where they can reach you. Also, start networking with people in these groups and let them know you are available to be invited for paid speaking engagements.

The more you speak, the more people know who you are.

Once your brand is strong enough, then you don’t need to speak for free. You can then start demanding what you truly deserve.

I usually recommend people to do a maximum of 10 free speaking sessions. After that, you will surely have a nice profile, with videos and photos and experience from interacting with your audience – to start approaching companies who have budgets to pay for speaking sessions.

To start getting more speaking sessions, do the following immediately:  

  • Identify groups, organizations and Universities that need speakers.
  • Write an email to them introducing yourself, share a link to your website and video and offer to speak for free.
  • Have a strong follow up – call and write often. You will certainly get invited to speak.
  • Build a network with the audience, who can introduce you to companies that have budgets to book you as a speaker.
  • Ensure your sessions are recorded on video and several photos are taken with the audience.
  • Use the video and photos to further build up your profile and target paying customers.

For step three, take a piece of paper and answer the following:

  • Who are the groups and people you are going to call immediately and offer your services as a motivational speaker? I want you to contact a minimum of 10 such people immediately. Then keep following it up with 10 more.
  • Are you regularly emailing and following up with the people you have on your list?
  • Who are the people you can network with to get more speaking engagements? Are you regularly connected with them?
  • Once you have got your speaking engagement, have you ensured you have someone taking high quality videos and pictures?
  • Are you updating the videos and photos on your website and making your profile stronger?
Selling is a very important skill you need as a speaker (or as anything else!) Listen to what the best trait is to sell like a master:

3. Getting Paid To Speak – How To Get Paid As A Motivational Speaker

So by now, you have worked and acted on all the above steps. Now the money-making question is how to make money i.e. how to get paid? Now the question comes how to get paid? Getting paid can be really simple or extremely difficult – depending on your business, sales and entrepreneurial skills. If you are someone who loves business and selling, this is going to be super easy. If you are someone who doesn’t have the mindset for business, sales and entrepreneurship – you better start developing it, because it is crucial for success in today’s world.

There are two ways to get paid as a professional speaker:

1. Get paid by an organization inviting speakers

This could be a corporation wanting to inspire their sales force, senior leadership or boost happiness and morale. Almost every company has such programs regularly. Largely companies, have larger programs with multi-million dollar budgets in place.

For someone starting out, this is a good place to target as you will have a ready audience and can receive direct payments from the company.

The HR Heads, Learning & Development Departments, Sales & Training Heads, CEOs and Managing Directors are the various groups of people who make decisions and have budgets for training and speakers. Make sure you connect with them, write to them, call them and let them know about the services you can offer. As you become more popular and develop your brand, people will start approaching you directly.

You can also connect with event organizers and speaking bureaus, who work closely with organizations to ensure their events are a success.

2. Organize your own seminar and sell tickets

Ticketed events and open house sessions have a mixed crowd. You, as the speaker, can come up with a one, two or three day program and market it to a diverse audience.

Here you will need to invest in marketing as well as organize a venue along with sound, video, registration desks, etc. to ensure the event is a success.

The key to making such a program a success is to ensure you have a good crowd coming in and have fun doing what you do.

One of the earliest seminars I had organized had only five people attending. I was barely 21 at the time and we had lots of fun. What I did was very simple. I put out a post on our blog announcing we are doing a half-day seminar and registrations are open.

Once people registered, I went and booked a venue depending on the size of the audience. I had five confirmed registrations, and that’s why I booked a small classroom.

Don’t make the mistake

I have seen many of them booking a venue without being certain about the number of people who will be attending. As a speaker, you will feel very strange, speaking in a large room with the capacity of say 1000 people, with only 100 seats occupied.

To get paid to speak, do the following immediately:  

  • Connect with organizations who have budgets to engage speakers.
  • The people responsible for engaging speakers are HR Heads, Sales & Marketing Heads, Learning & Development Heads, Training Heads, CEOs & MDs
  • Connect with various event companies and speaking bureaus
  • You can organize ticketed events and open house session
  • Make sure you focus on marketing and making sure your event is profitable

Want some help with step 2? Read this: 10 Proven Strategies To Increase Sales

As step four, take a piece of paper and answer the following:

  • Who are the people with ready budgets who engage speakers regularly?
  • Who are the key people you are connecting with?
  • Which are the event companies and speaking bureaus you are connecting with?
  • How are you going to market and organize your ticketed event?

“Make sure you value your products and services, that’s the only way other’s will too.”

4. Keep Investing In Growth

So let’s say you have started speaking, you have started getting paid and more and more people have started inviting you as a speaker. Now, make sure you look at speaking the same way you would look at any other business. In order to grow bigger and become better you need to keep investing in learning, growing your content and in branding and marketing.

Areas you need to invest in:

1. Content & Ideas

You need to keep updated with new content, ideas, and strategies. For instance, I am always sharing new strategies, ideas and techniques to help people grow their business, sales and increase happiness and well-being. This ensures they keep getting benefitted and become long-term fans.

Only if I keep myself updated and invest in my learning, will I be really able to help people.

So for instance, recently, I have been learning more about the world of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, and how these areas can help humanity work and live better.

You can do this through reading books, watching videos, attending seminars and courses and just meeting experts in the filed you want to know more about.

Make sure every moment, you are learning and growing. This is important not just to succeed as a professional speaker, but to succeed at anything.

2. Invest In Branding & Marketing

You need to continuously keep investing in branding and marketing to ensure, your message and impact is reaching the maximum number of people. You can invest in writing articles and sharing your ideas with various media outlets, TV Channels, newspapers, and magazines. This is how I have been covered by almost every major media outlet on the planet.

I share valuable ideas and strategies in the areas I am an expert in. The best way to brand and market is to give something of incredible value for free.

So let’s say your area of expertise is health – start sharing, strategies, tools, and techniques with people on how they can be healthy. Once people become healthy because of your strategies and guidance, they will immediately start wanting more from you.

Also regularly invest in running promotions and campaigns on social media channels like Youtube, Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Twitter. A systematic and targeted approach here will ensure your message reaches the right target audience – which will lead to more revenue.

The best return on investment someone can get is by investing in advertising, marketing, and branding.

Want to Become a Happionaire? Contact Me

As step five, take a piece of paper and answer the following:

  • Are you constantly investing in your learning? What did you read? Who did you meet? Which new areas have you gains expertise and mastery in?
  • What new area did you gain mastery over today/this week/this month?
  • Are you investing in branding and marketing?
  • Are you contributing guest articles to well-known media/newspapers/websites?
  • Are you regularly covered in the press?
  • Are you regularly investing in branding and promotion on various social media platforms?

“Invest in yourself, it’s the best investment you will ever make!”

Ultimately this is for people who take action & who really want to be the kick-ass motivational speaker.

If that’s you, today is the day you start the journey of becoming one.

Go ahead, have fun, be yourself and share your unique message with the world!

 
Yogesh Chabria

FAQs:

What are qualities of a great motivational speaker?

Be honest and true to yourself. Connect with people, laugh and make people laugh, and share stories that are real. Communicate with the audience and share actionable ideas. At the end of your session, people should be able to bring about a real change in their life.  

How to improve my public speaking skills?

Keep practicing and shoot a video of yourself speaking. Watch the video, and get a few people close to you to watch the video too. They can give you suggestions and tips to improve. Also, make sure you write your key ideas and work on developing original content. That way you can have structure.

Make sure you are true to yourself and not copying anyone else. The best way to speak, is to speak as if you are speaking to your friends and have absolutely no fear.

How much does a motivational speaker get paid?

It’s very variable. It’s like asking, how much does a sportsperson or actor make. The best in the industry can make 1000 times, more than the ordinary. The best can make upto $1 million in a single day and the ones who are sub-standard, make nothing. My advice is to never worry about how much you will get paid, instead look at ensuring you give the most incredible session so that people benefit. Be passionate about what you do, and the money will follow.

Does one need to take a course in order to become a motivational speaker?

No and yes. It is like asking, do you need to take a course in order to become an actor or singer?  You don’t need to take a course in order to become a professional speaker. What you need to be is super hungry to learn, practice and grow. I personally didn’t take any course – what I did was practice – lots and lots of practice. The best way to do something, is by doing it!

Do you have a course for becoming a speaker?

We get lots of enquiries for this, however no – I don’t have any such course as our focus at The Happionaire Way is on other areas. The reason I wrote this piece is so that anyone wanting to really become a speaker can simply follow the strategies and grow on their own.

I love speaking and sharing ideas, however I have no audience. How do I start?

Read the above article in detail and take action point by point. To start, take a camera and video record your sessions. Watch it, observe it and perfect it. Once you have perfected it, start sharing it with your friends and family. Get their feedback and start sharing your videos – this will help you grow your audience and base.

Which cities have the biggest demand for motivational speakers?

Larger cities usually have a larger demand for motivational speakers – this is because they usually have a lot more events and a larger working population. For example in my case, we have a large demand from cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata in India. Internationally, big markets are Dubai, New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Moscow and Singapore.

Do I have to be living in any of these cities to be able to do business?

No, you can be living anywhere and speak all over the world. For instance, I largely live in Mumbai, but travel all over the world.

Do I need to write a book to be a motivational speaker?

You don’t have to write a book to become a motivational speaker, however writing a book helps grow and expand your brand. For example, my book Succeed The Happionaire Way, is a #1 Bestseller, this helps more people know about my message and grows my brand. Most top motivational speakers, are also very successful authors.

What technical tools do you use on stage as a speaker?

I like using a clip-on mic (a wireless lapel mic) – this helps me keep my hands free. I also use music and lights, to enhance the experience. I hate using PowerPoint presentations, as they break the flow and make the session too boring. As a professional speaker, it is my mission to ensure everybody is highly engaged.

Do you have any special routine before going on stage?

Before I go on stage, first I meditate and visualize an incredible experience. I have run the entire session in my mind, several times, so I know exactly how amazing it is going to be. I also love listening to high energy music – Eye of The Tiger, as it is a mental anchor about winning and achieving one’s dreams and goals.