This is Brad Montgomery. Welcome to this recording on how to be a motivational speaker. Remember, it doesn't matter if you want to be a business speaker, or an inspirational speaker, or a funny humorist speaker. I'm gonna give you tips that will help you get started right away. If there is one email, if there is one question I get all the time it is, “How do I do it?” “How do I get started as a motivational speaker?” “How can I be a professional speaker?” So, this recording is really an effort to answer some of those questions. Clearly there is an need, trust me, there there is a need. There are so many of you out there who want this. And with this recording, I hope to serve you all at once.
Let me tell you a little bit about my background. My background is that I've been a speaker for over 20 years. I started out in entertainment. I started as a magician, that led to comedy. I was working in comedy clubs and cruise ships. For ages, I did magic and comedy in the corporate scene that slowly moved over to the speaking world. So, I still use some of my skills for the entertainment background. But today, I bill myself as a motivational speaker and business speaker. So, I've been at this a long time. I have learned the hard way. Trust me, I have learned the hard way, and what I've planned to do over the next few minutes is to just dump on you. I'm going to give you my best ideas. I'm going to give you the shortcuts. I'm going to talk to you like you're my best friend and you want to do this and you want to do it fast. So, strap on your seat belt and get ready. Let's go. How do you do it?
Alright, the first thing you're going to need is a topic. You want to be a speaker, so you're going to talk about something and you might laugh at this initial point, but I can't tell you how many times I hear this. People want to be a speaker, I ask what they want to speak about, and they don't know.
Well, you're not alone. So, let me give you some ideas about how to find your topic. The first thing is that when you're looking for a topic, you might as well pick a topic that is going to make you some money. So, ask yourself this question: Is what you plan on talking about the benefit to organizations or just a benefit to individuals? If it's not a benefit to an organization, you're going to have a tough time getting the dough later. So, why not just do it now. If you're looking for a topic, pick a topic you can sell. That means, good topics are going to be topics about leadership, topics about attitude, topics about managing or sales skills. Bad topics are going to be how to draw better, bad topics are going to be how to eat really healthy with just a bean and rice diet.
I had a really wonderful woman talk to me once. She was going to be speaker. She was all excited to bring this message to the business world. It was how she has avoided using antibiotics for 20 years. Well you know, good for her. I'm happy for her. But, the point is, I can't imagine any organization saying, “Wow that is really worth it to pull all of my people away from their desks to hear about how they can avoid antibiotics and how that's going to help them.” No, it's just a really hard sell. So, although your topic might be a good one like that and very interesting and perhaps very healthful and helpful, if it doesn't help the organization in an obvious way, you're making it really hard on yourself. So, pick a topic that's going to help the organization not just individuals.
Now also when you're picking a topic, I think it's important you pick a topic that you have some passion for, that you're interested in. Again, it might sound lame and obvious, but I can't tell you how many bad speakers I've met that are speaking on things they just don't give a darn about. So, if you're really into leadership in the new era, in the new business world, go for it. If that makes your eyes roll to the back of your head, this is not for you. That's a hint. So, find a topic that you have passion for. Trust me, this is going to help you not only in the development of your program, it's gonna help you in your long term happiness, but perhaps most importantly, it's going to have to happen with your business. If you want to make money as a speaker, you're never going to be any good at it, and you're never going to be marketable in less your audience sees that you have a passion. So, go for it. Find whatever you're into.
The second point that's related is, find something you know about. If you know all about managing in the business world, well that's a good place to start. What do you know? If you are a sales person, this is a good place to start. Right, if you have a really great attitude this might be something you can be an expert on. So, I really think it's important to ask yourself, and if you don't know, ask people who know you best. What are you good at? What do you know that you have passion about?
Now, let me give you a personal story. When I first started being a speaker, I decided, I want to be a speaker, what am I going to speak about? And, I decided to talk about success and success principles. Well this was a real idiotic idea for me because although my career was going well at the time as an entertainer. What do I know about success and success principles? Really nothing. So, it was a really bad fit. I can't tell you how many audiences it took me to figure that out. That this is not something I really know about.
So, right now when I talk to audiences about lightening up and taking themselves less seriously, when I talk to them about bringing a sense of humor to them at work and how that's gonna help their organization. It's something I know a lot about because I've studied humor for years. I've used humor for years and I know humor. So, it's really easy for me to make that translation. There is no doubt in my mind that one of the reasons I am better now, than when I first started on the speaker path is that I have a lot of experience, but equally true is that I had a totally wrong topic. I was picking something I didn't have a ton of passion about and I really didn't know anything about. And once I lined up what I spoke about with my passion and with my expertise, things became easier. Not only on the platform, but in the business side. You know, I got more work because I was better and it was a better fit and people saw that.
Let's talk a little bit more about becoming an expert. Let's say you have passion, but not a lot of expertise. Let's say you are a salesman, but not an excellent sales person. I've got you covered. Guess what? The only thing separating you from true expertise is knowledge and if you set your mind to it, you have the potential to learn and gain all the expertise you need. Here's the sources you need: the internet, Amazon.com, the public library. What I'm talking about is reading some books. If you were to pick a new topic that you didn't know a ton about and read 7 or 10 or 15 books about it. You would become an expert.
Let's say that you're a sales person. We'll go back to that example. Maybe you're a sales person, but you're not the best sales person or you're not an expert sales person. Well, go read the books about how to be a sales person, about how to close the deal, about how to initiate the sale, about how to find leads. And you will become an expert sales person and then you can make yourself available to speak to sales people. Rock on! You can do it. Just read a book, read lots of books. Become an expert.