Motivational Speakers Focus On Why As Much As How

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Sometimes The Secret To Success For Motivational Speakers Isn’t In The HOW But In The WHY

Motivational speakers struggle with crafting their message, communicating it, and then getting hired for it. And I hear them ask over and over, “How do I become a motivational speaker?”  While this is a valid question, I think there is a more important question to ask first and that’s “Why do you want to become a motivational speaker?”  Sometimes that will help you get more clarity than jumping directly to the how.

For example…I recently spoke to a chapter of NSA (National Speakers Association) and one man came up with just that question: “How do I become a motivational speaker?”  Usually that prompts me to launch into a conversation that really has no end. Talking with me is like turning on a faucet full speed – you just wanted a drink, and instead you get blasted with water. But in this case, I stopped myself from giving him one hundred ways to get started, and simply stopped and asked him why he wanted to be a speaker. Without hesitation, he said that he wanted to help people who had been through the same sort of pain that he had been through – and show them a way out.

Bingo.  I knew that this one question would guide him down the right path to figuring out his core message – which is the first thing you need to do if you want to become a motivational speaker.

So today, for all you aspiring speakers out there who have no idea where to start – I suggest you start with that one question – the question that in truth is far more important than the how. And even if you are a seasoned speaker, maybe it’s time to ask yourself why you’re doing this. Who knows, you might find the clarity to which you seek. There is no right answer or wrong answer. There is only your answer.

So, I’m listening – Why do you want to be a motivational speaker?


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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who teaches you how to harness the power of your story to connect, engage, and get results. In this blog, Kelly focuses on the business of professional speaking. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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  • Great post Kelly! I love the fact you stepped back and got his true purpose right out there. My reason? To help share my enthusaiasm (to the point of crazy) that fitness can change your life.