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In becoming a motivational speaker, I went from being a standup comic, flying coach, getting heckled, and sharing a Motel 6 to being a paid speaker, traveling first class, speaking to an appreciative audience, and staying in fancy hotels with spa soap. Rather than doing nine shows a week in a comedy club, I was now earning more doing just one speech.
In 2008, however, everything changed. When the recession hit, the motivational speaking market went downhill as companies could no longer justify hiring a pick-them-up, make-them-laugh speaker. Rather than entertainment, they needed someone with a message, someone who would deliver “take-aways” that improved efficiency, reduced sick days, and boosted their bottom line.
Seeing the writing on the podium, I switched from being a “lighten up humorist” to speaking on the topics of stress reduction and leadership. I continued to use my comedy material to keep the audience laughing, but added specific ACTION STEPS to make my points create lasting results. Developing these STEPS are essential if you want to have a moneymaking message as a motivational speaker.
In my online speaking workshop, students find these crucial action steps by examining their own “mess-to-success” journeys and taking advantage of the specifics that worked for them. Few thought to examine how they lost weight, conquered a depression, or started a business. They were so busy keeping up with LinkedIn and Facebook, they overlooked what they’d learned about overcoming a particular challenge. Getting in touch with those steps is the way to earn extra income as a speaker and can even transform into a book.
Here are some steps to help you find your Action Steps to become a motivation speaker. This is excerpted from my book “The Message of You”:
- Make a list of your successes.
- Next to each, note your starting point, i.e., bad health, living with your parents, directionless, whatever.
- Explain how you got from your “mess” to your “success.”
- Find 3 things you did differently that worked.
- Give a name/label to those 3 things that got you to success as those are your Action Steps.
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