How to Become a Motivational Speaker

Do you want to learn how to become a motivational speaker that can inspire large groups of people with confidence and ease? Just a few years ago, I had SO much fear and anxiety about public speaking… and now I regularly teach groups of 20-30 students and speak on stages in front of hundreds of people( when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic)! If you want to learn how I overcame my fears to become a successful speaker, keep reading!

Sometimes when you hear someone talk about how to become a motivational speaker, they’ll share their story and it’ll sound like they’ve been public speaking since they came out of the womb!

If you want to become a successful speaker but you’re shy, introverted, or nervous about getting up in front of a room full of people, this can be kind of intimidating.

But don’t worry, I used to be the exact same way… 

It used to be that I would get SO nervous if I had to have a conversation with two or more people. Even that amount of attention would make me anxious.

If I had to speak to a group, I had so much anxiety and fear that my heart would be beating out of my chest, my hands would be shaking, and I’d have to go pee about 45 times!

But even amidst all of that fear and all of those thoughts, underneath it all, I had a really strong desire to share my story.

I knew I’d gone through some really tough periods in my life, and that I’d overcome them by switching my mindset. I wanted to share my story to inspire others to do the same.

As scared as I was to speak and share my message, on the flipside, I also felt like I had a responsibility.

I knew that I only get this one life, and if I share my message, not only will it make me feel happy and satisfied to share it, but it will deeply impact the lives of others.

When I thought about it that way, I knew that it was my responsibility to figure out how to get over my fear of public speaking. 

Once I was able to overcome this fear, I went from someone who was afraid to raise her hand in a meeting at work to someone who runs her own business, leads groups, goes live on social media at the drop of a hat, and speaks in front of hundreds of people. 

This is why I’m sharing my insights on how to become a motivational speaker with you… if I can overcome my fears, you can too!


1) Modeling Success

My first tip on how to become a motivational speaker who inspires others is to “model” the success of others you admire.

“Modeling” is a concept that we teach in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) that involves reverse-engineering success by observing someone who has already created success, and creating a “model” to follow.

If you want to know how to become a motivational speaker, teacher, or trainer, a great place to start is to look at people who are great at what they do.

When I first got started on my public speaking journey, I would watch successful speakers on YouTube and take a look at what they were doing that was so effective, and you can do the same!

Listen to their intonations.

Look at their hand gestures and facial expressions.

Notice how comfortable they feel on stage. 

See what confidence looks like.

Observe all of this not from a place of comparison or competition, but to realize that if they can do it, you can do it too. You already have all the resources you need to be successful. 

Image: You Have Everything You Need To Be Successful


2) Embrace Your Purpose & Your Uniqueness

As I mentioned, one of the main reasons I was able to overcome my fear of public speaking was that I had a sense of purpose behind it.

When you study NLP, you’ll learn about the logical levels of the mind and how we can work with them to create change. The highest level of the mind is Purpose, which means that when we make a change on that level, it filters down into our Identity, our Values, and so on… all the way down to our Behaviours and Environment.

Behaviour Pyramid

So as you’re discovering how to become a motivational speaker, you’ll find that a lot of power comes from being clear on your purpose and the message you want to share.

For me, I knew that I had a unique story to share that people needed to hear. I also knew that people needed to see a woman of color like me, who had overcome the obstacles that I’ve faced, step onto big stages and share what she had learned.

I had to work hard to overcome my fears so that I could share my story of overcoming insecurities, shyness, living in an abusive environment, and feeling alone and singled out as one of the only women of color at school growing up.

(Even now, I have to laugh when people describe me as “confident,” because I know that just a few years ago, that couldn’t have been further from the truth!)

By embracing my uniqueness, sharing my story, and inspiring others, I was able to keep working through my fears because I knew I was working for a much greater purpose than just myself.

Just know that if you look around and don’t see public speakers who look like you or have a story like yours, that might just be a sign that you’re meant to be that role model to someone else!


3) Visualize Success

Imagine you live in a world where people want to support you and want to see you win.

What would it be like if you walked onstage with that energy?

When I first started public speaking, I may not have always had the perfect speech, but people could feel the love, and the energy that I was bringing with me.

Sometimes I’d be nervous, mess up, or I’d stumble over my words… but afterwards, people would always tell me that something I said helped them so much.

So if you’re wondering how to become a motivational speaker, remember that the energy you bring is everything… and visualizing success is a powerful way to prepare.

The subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined, which means that when you see yourself speaking at the front of a room, you make it feel more familiar. We fear what’s unfamiliar, but feel good around what’s familiar… so you have to make it feel normal to be a successful public speaker.

And this tip applies to anything you want to create… more money, more success, a better relationship, driving your dream car… make it real in your mind first.

Image: You Have To Believe It Before You Can See It

Visualize yourself getting up in front of the room and successfully giving a speech.

Imagine people thanking you afterwards.

Expect the best case scenario.

Walk into the room with that energy.


4) Get Out There and Practice!

A big reason people are afraid of public speaking is because they rarely do it. This is why my next tip on how to become a motivational speaker might sound obvious, but it’s SO important… just get out there and practice!

When I first started out, I signed up for a club called Toastmasters which gave me the opportunity to practice public speaking in front of groups of people.

I won’t lie… it was scary at first!

Every time I had to get up in front of the group I would be shaking, and panic stricken. But getting up there over and over again helped me so much.

As an introvert and also an empath, I’m super sensitive to people’s energy. As soon as I walked to the front of the room, all eyes were on me and I’d feel the energy hit me like a ton of bricks! I almost felt like it was pushing me back.

But by doing it over and over again, I started to get used to all the attention and became more comfortable onstage.

At the time, I hadn’t yet learned about Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), which is the programming language of your mind.

If you want to think differently and show up differently in the world, I definitely recommend studying NLP… it’s one of the methods that’s truly changed my life.

But because I didn’t have it back then, I had to learn how to become a motivational speaker the hard way… by repetition and force. I had to throw myself into these situations over and over again and just push through the nerves.

If you want to ease yourself into a change, there are ways to work with the subconscious mind to do so.

When your mind is saying that public speaking isn’t safe, your body responds with shakiness and nerves… but when you get your mind in check and feel confident and comfortable, your body will relax.

Which brings me to my final tip…


5) Learn Neuro Linguistic Programming 

Have you ever watched a show or gone to a conference, and someone walks on stage and just captivates the audience?

Successful speakers have powerful unconscious methods they use to build connection and rapport with their audiences.

From hand gestures to facial expressions, to how they move their bodies or anchor different areas of the stage, all of these seemingly unnoticeable things have a powerful impact on people.

As I mentioned earlier, a core piece of NLP is modeling success… and so many of the world’s best trainers, teachers, and motivational speakers have been modeled when it comes to public speaking.

If you’re here because you want to know how to become a motivational speaker but you’re afraid you don’t have what it takes, you can use NLP to work with your subconscious mind to step into the identity of a successful public speaker, which ripples down to through the rest of your life. Check out my 5-Day Challenge to discover mindset secrets and tools you can use in your coaching business or in your journey to become a successful public speaker! 

Reese Evans is the founder of YES SUPPLY INC., who has trained over 1000 coaches in her methods and teachings. She's a mom, and a lover of teaching manifestation, mindset, and helping people all over the world overcome their past and create their best life. Follow along on instagram @yessupply for more behind the scenes.

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