How to Make Money as a Motivational Speaker: 5 Ways to Become A Top Earner

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If you have what it takes to inspire people to be their best, here’s a guide on how you can make money as a motivational speaker.

As a positive-minded person with good oratory skills, you need to consider earning as a motivational speaker. This is a good career that helps you make money while positively impacting people’s lives.

Motivational speakers speak at professional meetings, government functions, corporate events, schools, conventions, resorts, and spas. Although not everyone can be a motivational speaker; some people are scared of speaking in public.

Being a motivational speaker is demanding and requires you to be honest, confident, educated, and articulate with an interesting personality. There is no limit to what you can talk about as a motivational speaker.

In this article, I will reveal how you can make money as a motivational speaker through the following ways:

  • Keynote speech, conference presentations, and personal platform speech
  • Sell your services
  • Public seminars
  • Training
  • Brand advocate or ambassador

1. Keynote Speech, Conference Presentations, and Personal Platform Speech

This is the main job that comes to the mind of most people when they think of a motivational speaker. Motivational speakers that offer these services are paid based on their experience and their ability to attract people to an event.

Keynote speakers or conference presenters are paid a fee for their time. Personal platform speakers, like Tony Robbins, are paid by attendees to see them on stage and hear what they have to say. Hosting your event signifies the peak of success for many motivational speakers.

Apart from being the star of the show, you can also sell your services to your audience. So, you need to portray yourself as an expert in your niche. You can start by hosting workshops in your community. Also, you can go to a café and ask if you can host an event for them.

2. Sell Your Services

Not every motivational speaking gig has to be done before a large audience. You can also offer personal coaching, consulting, and other services to earn more income.

Even if you love speaking before a crowd, it can also be satisfying to help individuals attain their goals by offering coaching and other related services. Being able to take time from your busy schedule and meeting with clients individually allows you to earn from both worlds.

3. Public Seminars

I understand you may be wondering what differentiates public seminars from keynote speeches. Keynote speeches are parts of a conference in an organization while public seminars are targeted at the public.

Another difference is that you will earn less from public speaking than a keynote speech. You may not even get paid in some cases. However, there are other means through which you can earn from seminars.

SEE: How to Make Money with Your Voice

How to Earn from Public Seminars

There are direct and indirect ways to earn from public seminars. Here are some of the direct ways:

Sell Tickets

A company that is organizing a seminar often takes the revenues gotten from selling the tickets. If you are the one organizing the seminar, you can charge and make a profit. However, it is difficult to get attendees to pay for seminars if you are not known.

Sell Books or Products

You can make money from seminars by selling books and other products at the end of the seminar. This method is referred to as ‘back of room sales.’

If you are a professional in your field, then you must have written some books or created products that you can sell at the end of the seminar.

You can promote your books or products by mentioning them while you’re on stage but don’t spend the entire seminar marketing your products.

Sell Your Services

You can sell your coaching and consultancy services if you don’t have any book or product to sell.

Here are indirect ways through which you can make money from seminars:

Marketing and Branding

A well-delivered speech is powerful for branding and marketing. Marketers invest a lot to get the attention of customers. They do this through the use of social media ads, TV ads, billboards, Google AdWords, and lots more.

What makes seminars effective for marketing and branding is that attendees have already decided to pay attention to the speaker.

If you (as the speaker) deliver a great speech and offer value through your presentation, you will create more awareness and interest in the minds of the attendees.

4. Training

As a motivational speaker, you can create a course on something that you are knowledgeable in. This may be about your profession or hobby. After creating the course, you can either sell it online or to training companies.

For your course to be successful, you need to have great content and must also be in a field that has huge demand.

How to Create Great Content for Your Course

You need two things to create a course with great content. These are an excellent structure for the course and lots of knowledge in what the course is about.

Since you are creating a course in a field that you are knowledgeable in, then I believe you have some knowledge that you can build on. Ensure you do the necessary research even if you are an expert in the topic of the course.

To do this, you need to read lots of books, stay in touch with the latest news, and watch videos to know more about the topic. The more knowledgeable you are in the topic, the easier it will be for you to create the course.

After gathering the required knowledge, you can then go ahead to structure your course. Pay attention to the content and length while structuring your course. The ideal thing is to have different lengths that will meet the needs of different customers.

Also, be flexible while structuring your content. The content must meet the specific needs and expectations of your clients. For instance, if your client wants a 2-hour course, then create a course that meets that requirement.

To structure your course, break it down into main modules and break each module into sub-modules. Ensure each of the submodules is independent of each other. This will make it possible to add or remove a module without affecting the flow of the course.

If your client wants you to deliver the course, you can provide all tips under each of the modules.

How to Know if There is an Audience for Your Course

No matter how great the structure of your course is, it won’t sell if you don’t have enough market for it. The most effective way to know if there is a demand for your course is to use the Google Keyword Planner tool.

If you don’t have a Gmail account, sign up for one and click on ‘Get search volume data and trends.’ Type in the topic, title, or keywords from your course. Also, choose the city that is relevant to your course and find out the number of people that search for the terms in your city or town.

There is no specific figure about the number of monthly searches that will be good for your course. That depends on your location. Type in different terms you know are in demand in your location and check their search volumes for the terms.

SEE: Create an Online Course Like a Pro

5. Brand Advocate or Ambassador

Some companies hire professional motivational speakers as brand ambassadors whenever they need to make a presentation. Motivational speakers are adept at helping organizations make presentations and create awareness for their brands.

How to Become a Motivational Speaker

If you want to become a motivational speaker, you need to think about experiences and events that will make a large or small audience pay attention to what you have to say. The key to being a successful motivational speaker lies in having a message that listeners find valuable.

Before speaking on any topic, ask why should people hear you talk about that topic? Ensure that your audience can relate to your message; this is the only way they can appreciate your effort.

If your message is unique and motivating, your listeners will be glad to pay to hear you speak.

How Much Can You Make as a Motivational Speaker?

Motivational speakers earn a median annual salary of $104,173. This means that half earn more than this figure while the other half earn less. The lowest earners earn $10,860 while the highest earners earn at least $312,000 per year.

How to Increase Your Income as a Motivational Speaker

To become a sought-after and well-paid motivational speaker, you must be diligent and committed to improving yourself. If you are a beginner, you can start speaking at small venues such as community centers, rotary clubs, and small business groups.

You can also join Toastmasters International to learn and gain advanced speaking skills. Such an organization will also help you gain helpful critical feedback.

Also, you need to market yourself through social media and local advertising channels. These will increase your presence and also boost your speaking engagement bookings. You can also more income as a motivational speaker by selling your motivational speeches on CDs or DVDs.

Some motivational speakers expand the messages contained in their speeches by compiling them in ebooks and selling them on their blogs.


Can you make money as a motivational speaker?

Yes, you can make money as a motivational speaker. If you are just starting, you can begin your career earning about $200 per speech. As you gain more reputation, you can start charging between $2,000 and $10,000 per gig.

When you combine the amounts earned from speaking and product sales, you can earn over $200,000 every year. Most motivational speakers earn an average amount of $44,000 per annum.

Can you make a career out of motivational speaking?

Yes, you can make a career out of motivational speaking. Motivational speaking is a valuable skill in the personal development and business development industries.

Many organizations make the motivation of their staff a strong focus. If you are good at motivating others, you can consider a career as a motivational speaker and generate more income from it.

SEE: Make Money Speaking Another Language

Are motivational speakers worth it?

Yes, motivational speakers are worth it. Motivational speakers can help business owners inspire people in a short time, and if they can inspire a good number of employees, business owners can see a short-term increase in productivity.

As a result, motivational speakers are worth to be invested in.


I hope you’ve learned how to make money as a motivational speaker in this article.

There are lots of money to earn from being a motivational speaker. From the different methods discussed in this article, keynote speaking is the most difficult one, but it’s also the most lucrative. You need to establish yourself as an authority in your niche to command high fees.

The more popular you are in your field, the more fees you can charge. You can establish yourself as an authority by speaking and writing.

Another method that I recommend is speaking at public seminars. Although the public seminars do not pay much directly, you can still make lots of money by selling your products and services and boosting your brand recognition and awareness.

One of the products you can sell at public seminars is your course. Look for a topic that you are knowledgeable and interested in, research the topic, create a well-structured course, and sell the course to those that attend your public seminars.

In case you will like to create webinars as a motivational speaker, here’s a guide on how you can make money with a webinar.

Thanks for reading.