How to Become a Motivational Speaker
I'm often asked by other motivational speakers, and even those in the audience at one of my talks, how I became a youth motivational speakers for primary schools, high schools, guest speaker for corporate events, and reducing stress workshop facilitator.
I mean, my past wouldn't suggest I'd be standing in front of a room full of teachers and helping them reduce their stress and anxiety.
10 years ago I would've laughed uncontrollably if you suggested I'd be one of the most sought after youth motivational speakers for schools and groups.
Being a socially awkward young man all those years ago, the thought of standing in front of the heads of NRL, and was guest speaker at their event, where even the current CEO was in attendance, just the thought of that would've electrified my body with nerves.
It's been a cool journey being on the motivational speakers circuit these last few years.
So how did it all get to this point?
Where some weeks on tour I've done 16 talks in 4 days! Where most weeks I'm traveling the country as guest motivational speakers for schools, corporate events, and even prisons?
Did I want this?
Not really to be honest.
Because it was so far from what I thought I could achieve. I mean, I'd get awkward speaking to one person, so there's no way I thought I could hold my own up on a stage. I had never spoken in public! I mean, admittedly I held group classes at the gym, but even when starting that, the night before I couldn't sleep. I just kept doing it though and eventually I was comfortable. Could it be the same for anything else? Of course!
So how did I start speaking?
My book, Stabbed Ego - A Thug's Journey to Enlightenment, was released in late 2014, and a local school teacher from Hurstville Boys had read it. She emailed me and asked if I could come out and speak to their yr 10's because they were having a few issues that she believed my story and messaging could help out with. I read the email and responded, telling her I'd love to (never one to say I can't do anything), and asked how much time I had. I still didn't think it would happen, I had the idea that I was going to find an excuse and email her to pull out.
That email received, I had no idea that from here, I would soon be one of Australia'a most south after youth motivational speakers for schools, speaker for primary schools, corporate events speakers, reducing stress facilitator for teachers, and regularly hold parent evenings.
She responded by saying I had a few weeks. During those few weeks I was absolutely terrified as I imagined me staring in front of a bunch of students and me stuffing up my words or going blank. I spoke with people close to me and was looking for them to but into my excuse that I've never spoken before, or had any training, and a few weeks is nowhere near enough time. The people close to me, my wife at the time, Jade, didn't buy into my bullshit. Telling me that I've already helped so many people, now it's time to take the next step.
I didn't know what I was doing. I had never structured a talk before, I had no idea about presentation slides, but all of this was just rubbish excuses I was trying to use so I could stay comfortable.
I didn't want just another bad guy gone good story, because there's 1000's of those. I wanted to get deep, but use my cool stories as an opening and connection.
I looked at why so many people liked my book, and also what helped me change my life around.
People liked my book because of the deepness and exciting stories, but it was changing people's lives because of the explanation of my mindset struggles, and opening their eyes to ego - to the false self. I help people become aware of the labels that they've found themselves struggling to live up to. Becoming aware of this is the first step towards taking that ego mask off and getting back to your true self - where all happiness, peace, success, and love comes from.
So that's what I wanted out of my talk.
How was I going to deliver?
How would I start?
What do I do?
Will they intro me?
Do I allow questions?
What if my slides don't work?
Who online can I copy?
How do I finish my talk?
What if they don't like it?
Will I need a microphone?
What if my stories are too heavy for the students?
What if they don't believe me?
Do I charge them for my talk?
How much should I charge them?
Being a socially awkward person back then, the idea of talking about money, or asking for cash, absolutely suffocated me. So, to get rid of that feeling, I told them I'd do it for free.
After typing in google, "How to become a motivational speaker", "tips for motivational speakers", "what if I go blank on stage?", How much does a motivational speaker charge?", and any other advice from experts, I was a little confused. Some said don't practice your talk word for word, others said for your first, to practice daily!
I erred on the side of caution, and practiced twice a day