Become a Motivational Speaker
And Grow Your Coaching Business

Eight Tips And Some Traps To Avoid...

 As a coach, mentor or consultant you can become a motivational speaker and successfully promote your services and niche.   It's a most successful way to raise your profile and attract new clients.

There is a certain kudos that comes your way when you take on a stage persona  and present to an audience that gives you credibility almost the minute you stand up to speak.

AND if you can follow through with persuasive speaking skills, you will soon become recognized as an articulate expert and be in demand for all sorts of occasions.

If you suffer, as so many do, from speaking anxiety - public speaking terrifies you - get some confidence and presentation skills training in how to become a motivational speaker, from joining the local branch of a worldwide speaking organization such as Toastmasters or The National Speakers Association.

Organisers of events are always looking for good speakers with interesting subjects, so one of the first steps to become a motivational speaker is to develop two or three presentations that demonstrate the benefits of coaching and get the audience involved.

The Magic of Public Speaking by Andrii Sedniev is a useful reference book for new speakers with lots of good information on presenting and some great gems to avoid having those "learning experiences."

How you can become a motivational speaker

Here are some tips I have found worked for me to get you started. I usually present using a theme related to the information in my book Be Your Own Goals Coach, and, within the time frame I am given, base the presentation on three to five of the key points.

Tips to become a motivational speaker

  • Keep it interesting
    Don’t just stand up there and waffle on about coaching and how great it is. That is not the way to become a motivational speaker. Pick a favorite coaching process or two build your presentation around that. Include personal stories and relate experiences you have had with clients (anonymously of course) and leave the audience with a value tip to take away with them.

  • Get them to participate
    I get the audience to participate, even if it is only a show of hands.

    If you are really, and I mean really, sure of yourself, and have the time, you could even give a coaching demonstration with a member of the audience.

    However, I have seen this idea flop so many times I hesitate to recommend this.
  • Summarize your content
    Start by telling the audience what you are going to talk about in point form and end with a summary of the information,a call for questions and remember to promote any yourself products you have.

  • Avoid "Death by Power Point" presentations
    If you use PowerPoint (and personally I never have so I can’t give you any tips on that☺.) Make sure your PowerPoint presentation is used just as a prompt, an anchor or a summary and is interesting to look at. Don’t just stand there and read off your PowerPoint slides - that is not the way to become a motivational speaker.
Don't send your audience to sleep
  • One of my most successful presentations was at the end of the first day of a conference, late in the afternoon, when the audience was literally suffering “death by PowerPoint”, and almost asleep after numerous informative but boring presentations. I had been invited to talk about networking (I had framed it up as Networking as a Tool to Achieving Your Goals), and had the audience up, moving, interacting and having fun.

    I got the highest speaker evaluation at that conference, even though my information was fairly basic.

  • Tailor to different durations
    Make the subject of each presentation something that can be tailored to different time slots. For instance at a networking breakfast or lunch you will most likely get between 20 and 40 minutes to get your message across, whereas in a conference you might get 45 minutes to an hour or even longer.

  • Customize your presentation
    When approaching a networking organization you would like to speak at, try and find out what sort of subjects their members are requesting information on. Are they interested in goal setting, work life balance, marketing, sales, change etc. etc. If you know what they are looking for you can frame up your proposal to match and adapt your content to suit.

    Let’s face it many aspect of coaching can be customized to suit almost any industry or situation. Also, take the trouble to familiarize yourself with the profession or industry so you can drop in information that relates to your audience and shows you have done your homework about them and are not just giving a rote presentation. Again this is where Toastmasters or the National Speakers Association can help train you in effective presentation skills.

  • Get clear on how long they want you to speak
    And please, please remember to ask when you are booked to speak, how long they want you to speak for – and be prepared to have less if the other activities of the function run over.

    Unfortunately some hosts will talk on and on about their organization and upcoming events and will be oblivious to the fact that you are sitting, sweating with nerves and just wanting to get on with it. It’s always a good idea to ask your host, just before you stand up “how long have I got?” This will enable you to edit your content, close properly and make any special offer instead of being cut short. Conferences are a different matter as they are usually well organized and well timed.

  • Leave them with a written handout
    Always have a value-added handout to leave the audience with and make sure it has your contact details on it. (Obvious I know, but you’d be surprised!).

The pitfalls of poor event planning management

I learned a long time ago that event planning can be pivotal to your presentation's success. Unfortunately, your brilliant words are only part of the presentation’s success, how the audience receives you and how you profit from your efforts.

Check out these strategies to create a speaking environment that to allow you to give of your best and become a motivational speaker.

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Be Your Own Goals Coach by Wendy Buckingham
These regular coach the coach tips will help you jumpstart your practice