When Jeff Ber beat his terminal testicular cancer diagnosis, he never imagined that he would one day share his survival story on a public platform. In addition to being a business management consultant and the VP of Operations at OneBall, Jeff Ber is also a motivational speaker. Hoping to reduce the stigma associated with talking about men’s health, he is now sharing his personal experiences with audiences across the United States. If you are interested in becoming a motivational speaker but do not know where to start, you have come to the right place. Jeff Ber is sharing his best-kept secrets to becoming an effective motivational speaker with little to no experience.
What is Motivational Speaking?
‘Motivational speaking’ is a very diverse profession, addressing everything from business management to strengthening interpersonal relationships. Every successful motivational speaker has a specific area of focus. Defining your message and target demographic is essential in understanding what to say and who to approach. Instead of imitating someone else’s tactics, strategies, and expertise, stay true to your own story and experiences — drawing from your own life is much more likely to leave a lasting impression on your audience. Jeff Ber shares the importance of understanding the overarching message you hope to instill. Is it time management? How to achieve any goal? Build better habits? Understanding your ‘mission statement’ will help you sell and build your brand.
Planning Your Speech
Once you have defined the topics, stories, and strategies you want to cover, it is time to write your speech. If you have ever watched a TED Talk or attended a public speaking engagement, you know how important it is to maintain the consistent focus of your audience throughout the talk. Jeff Ber encourages you to start by building an outline. Write and introduction, conclusion, and then organize all of your points into the body — playing with the order until you find a formula that feels right. Throwing in anecdotes, analogies, or stories can keep it fresh and exciting. You might even consider using a visual aid to further exemplify your point.
Trial and Error
Motivational speaking is like any other skill, it requires practice, trial and error, and patience to master. Jeff Ber suggests taking every opportunity you can to improve your public speaking skills. A great way to become comfortable with public speaking prior to performing in front of an audience is to practice your speech for loved ones. Another great way to practice is by recording your speech and studying the flow, mannerisms and habits (like saying ‘um’ too many times!). This might feel uncomfortable at first but over time you will become comfortable in front of an audience.
Get Real-Life Experience
One of the biggest obstacles you will face as a new speaker is securing paying jobs. To gain more experience, offer to speak for free. By reaching out to local organizations, conferences, and events that align with your content and message, you can quickly build your resume and network with potential clients. In addition to giving you real-world experience, Jeff Ber explains that it can provide you with valuable feedback before you start doing paid gigs. He encourages you to offer feedback surveys for organizers to fill out, providing you with valuable insight into what you are doing right and what you still have to improve.
When you are new to motivational speaking, building credibility is vital to securing paid jobs and instilling confidence in your clients and audience. A website is a great place to build an audience and share your mission and message. When you identify the social media platforms that best align with your mission and goals, drive all of the traffic towards your website. A way to achieve this is to build a newsletter that shares some of the tips and tricks you share in your speech.