Public speaking is an activity a lot of people shy away from. While there are people who do so, there are also others who aspire to build their own public speaking career. One of the best facets of public speaking you can build your career on is motivational speaking. Learning how to become a motivational speaker takes time and a lot of practice.
Let me share with you the lessons I learned during my own motivational speaking opportunities.
Building A Career In Public Speaking
How to start motivational speaking
YOUR story could change the world. – Ted McGrath pic.twitter.com/CHEVRu1n1s
— Ted McGrath (@ted_mcgrath) July 18, 2017
If you want to become a motivational speaker, get yourself out there and speak.
When I started out as a speaker, I gave my first ever talk at a financial seminar. My first speech was in front of an audience who were invited through direct mail. I was 22 years old at that time, but I looked like a 12-year-old.
There were 40 people in that financial seminar—this was back when I was with New York Life Insurance—and I remember that I could not even face them. I was pacing back and forth the room. I could not look at the people because I just could not confront the audience.
My advice is this: the first thing you need to be able to do is to face the audience and just be there.
My first seminar was amazing—I actually gained a client that earned me around $7,000.00 when I was 22. It became a success because I had the guts to get up there and do it. So my first advice for you is to actually go do it.
How to train yourself in motivational speaking
As a speaker, one of the things you can do with five or ten friends is to stand in front of the group and look at them before you even speak. This is the best training you can ever have because most people are so afraid to confront one human being, let alone ten.
Learn to look at the audience before you start your speech. This will allow you to get more comfortable with the crowd by building your connection with them. Remember that you don’t have to start speaking right away. A moment’s silence can also catch or bring back your audience’s attention to you.
Of course, a lot of practice will do wonders for you. You will learn your own do’s and don’t’s in motivational speaking through repetition. I did a lot of talks when I first started out and decided I wanted to become a public speaker. I spoke to local audiences with five to eight people and practiced my public speaking skills through them. So you just really have to do it and get a lot of practice. You also have to be able to bounce back.
Bounce back from mistakes
It’s easy to challenge yourself every day, but how can you use that to succeed? Find out here 🏋🏻 https://t.co/oQTD2Whulm
— Ted McGrath (@ted_mcgrath) July 17, 2017
Mistakes are always bound to happen, whether during your practice sessions or in actual speaking events. You need to learn how you can bounce back from those mistakes. Let me share with you one of my most embarrassing moments as a speaker.
I got up in front of an audience after three days of drinking hard core. It was a Monday morning, and I was supposed to give a talk for ten CPAs. Lo and behold, I forgot my own lines. I went completely blank and I couldn’t even remember my own name. I started sweating profusely and almost passed out. It was so embarrassing that I couldn’t even speak. I just sat down in the front row with the audience—I was literally sitting in the front row with the ten CPAs I was supposed to be speaking to! That’s how embarrassing it was.
You’re going to have embarrassing moments, but you have to bounce back. If I was able to recover from my experience, you can too. I highly recommend that you bounce back when you have those tough times.
Learn to sell
Another advice I have for you is this: learn to sell. You need to learn how to sell because doing so will take you to a whole new level of audience confrontation. It’s one thing to give a motivational talk, but another thing to actually make an offer on stage.
I tell you, it’s an admirable thing to be able to make an offer and to allow somebody to either reject or accept it. More so when you don’t easily get discouraged when someone rejects your offer. To be honest, when I first gave a talk where I sold to 52 people in the room, all 52 rejected my offer. It felt like I got shot by 52 bullets.
I took the rejection personally and the truth was, I just wasn’t dialed-in on selling yet because I hadn’t done it before. A lot of times people say that they can’t speak or sell in front of a room. Well, the truth is, you can’t do it because you haven’t done it before.
If you had a horrible first-time experience with speaking or selling in front of an audience, you can consider your experience normal. Why? Because if you had to name one thing you have done amazingly for the first time, you would probably have a hard time doing so. Personally, I can’t think of anything I’ve ever done for the first time where I was so amazing.
Learning how to become a motivational speaker starts with the readiness to get up and speak to an audience. Once you have this nailed down, you can improve yourself by practicing and bouncing back from mistakes. A career in public speaking can certainly help you earn. But when you also know how to sell and make an offer on stage, you have more potential to increase your income.
What kind of the first-time experience did you have with public speaking or selling? Share them with me in the comments section below!