Motivational Speakers


Employment Prospects


A variety of clients hire motivational speakers. Depending on the focus of their speeches, speakers are hired by schools, government agencies, small businesses, large corporations, resorts, health clubs, spas, and even cruise lines.

Most speakers are self-employed and work for clients on a one-time basis. Some speakers have repeat clients, such as those who are hired to give a presentation at an annual conference. Speakers who focus on employee training may be hired full time to train new workers directly or teach managers about training methods.

Starting Out

It is difficult to work full time as a motivational speaker. Most speakers work part time until they develop a list of clients and build a solid reputation as a speaker. To start out, many speakers offer to talk for free or for a nominal fee. This gives them experience and references for future clients.

Most speakers prepare promotional packets to send out to potential clients. These include an introductory letter, a resume, references, a color photo, and a demo video of one of their speeches. Many now have Web sites that provide this information and they also maintaine a presence on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Clients also may choose to join a professional organization such as the American Speakers Bureau Corporation ( and All American Speakers Bureau (https://www.allamericanspeakers) for exposure and job assistance. Speakers are listed on these organizations' Web sites by specialty and region.

Advancement Prospects

Motivational speakers advance by working for larger clients, earning more money per speech, or working full time. Popular motivational speakers can advance by working more in the spotlight, hosting radio or television programs, writing books, or running Web sites. A good example of this type of personality is Dr. Phil McGraw, personal growth specialist, speaker, writer, and TV host.

Tips for Entry

Read magazines such as Speaker ( to learn more about the field.

Practice your public speaking skills and give speeches to local community groups or church congregations. Another good way to practice is by joining your school's debate team.

Talk to motivational speakers about their careers. Ask them for advice on breaking into the field. Visit for a list of members of the National Speakers Association.