leadership speaker

Motivational Speakers: Leaders Who Move People to Action

What are motivational speakers? A motivational speaker is a person who delivers speeches before an audience to teach, inspire, and encourage people to make their dreams happen. Motivational speakers challenge audiences to let go of excuses brought about by failures and a fixed mindset. 

Most motivational speakers speak to express themselves. Others deliver speeches as a product of their speaking business.

This guide is for you if

  • You are an educator and you want to inspire students, delivering motivational speeches that make them take charge of their future.
  • You are a supervisor or a manager who wants to deliver motivational speeches.
  • You want to become a confident public speaker.
  • You frequently deliver speeches as a resource speaker and you want to create more inspiring moments in your presentations.
  • You are a governor, a mayor, or a barangay leader who wants to rally your people to a common cause.
  • You want to become a motivational speaker in the Philippines and you want to make money while inspiring people.

We can motivate others.

For me, motivational speakers deliver hope. They show you what limitless possibilities await you. Want to become a motivational speaker? Learn the secrets today.

I’ve been delivering inspirational messages on the stage since my seminary days. That was more than three decades ago. I started my professional speaking career when I left the academe in 2004. Today, I’ve delivered hundreds of speeches to thousands of people in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, and Singapore.

So, whatever I will share with you today is a by-product of my experiences and deliberate study of the speaking craft and the business of motivational speaking.

How I Became A Motivational Speaker

I started my career as a motivational speaker in the Philippines in 2004. Before that, I was a school teacher. But many things that I learned about motivating people, I learned as a Catholic seminarian and as a student activist.

When I was in third-year high school, one Easter Sunday, I discovered that my life is a message that can inspire and motivate others. I was then speaking to thousands of students, many of whom cried while I was speaking on the stage. Many of them told me that I inspired them and that I gave them hope.

When I was in the seminary, I conducted many spiritual retreats. It was there that I learned the value of sticking to one message, rehearsing speeches, and using your body, voice, and eyes to communicate a message.

As a student activist, I learned how to sell ideas by answering the question, “What’s in it for them?”. I discovered the enormous value confident public speaking has to anyone who desires to lead.

I have delivered speeches all over the Philippines. I have also been invited to speak in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Thailand.

I will know that I will be reaching more people in the coming years. And I know that I can help those who intend to become motivational speakers.

This article is an important step in helping those who want to motivate people in the Philippines, and the rest of the world.

What are motivational speakers?

Motivational speakers are professionals who deliver speeches that encourage and move audiences to action. Motivational speeches clarify what people want and why they are not getting what they want. Then, the speaker offers solutions the audience must act upon to make change happen.

Start today if you want to learn how to become a motivational speaker. Learn easy and practical ways to get started influencing people with your words.

Who are motivational speakers?

Anyone can be a motivational speaker. You don’t have to get a license to motivate people. There is also no contest for motivational speaking, although some people like to brand themselves as the best motivational speaker.

Motivational speakers are mentors on stage. They persuade us to change how we do things so we can change our results.

Many motivational speakers are great storytellers who also use humor to keep us laughing.

Some speakers touch our emotions. They make us cry as we listen to sob stories – and make us feel good knowing that they bounced forward.

And a few give us proven formulas to speed up our success. This kind of speaker is very popular.

Newbies get a bottle of wine for a speech. Others get 10,000 pesos for a speech. And there are rockstars and celebrity motivational speakers who take home seven-figure fees.

Wannabes often asked me how to become a motivational speaker in the Philippines. My quick answer: call yourself a motivational speaker. 

And how can one be the best, like x, y, and z? Build a website, stuff your notes with the words “best,” “Filipino,” “motivational,” “speaker,” and “Philippines.” SEO tactics like this create visibility, and many people readily believe the claim without question.

It is good?

I doubt it.

These are tactics. These are not sustainable ways to become a known speaker. But some motivational speakers show initial success by doing these things.

So, I will encourage you to find better ways.

Perhaps, you can learn 1 of the 24 strategic ways today to become a trusted and respected motivational speaker. So, please continue reading.

I only want to become a better speaker.
If that’s all you want, I share more ideas on how you can speak with confidence. Go to public speaking.

The benefits of being a motivational speaker.

Leaders, you can turn yourself into a motivational leader. Aside from hiring a motivational speaker every year, you can help your employees get motivated every week.

Your value can be equal to 52 motivational speakers. 

But unlike a professional motivational speaker, you have opportunities to understand people on a deeper level. You know the dreams and aspirations of your people. And more importantly, you speak their language. 

Though this guide is for those who intend to become professional speakers, the motivational leader can apply the first 20 ways immediately. Notice that you will become a confident speaker who can deliver persuasive speeches.

You can make a difference.

A motivational speaker can make a big difference. Making a difference is a worthy goal.

Motivational speaking is a lucrative business too. This is why every day, motivational speaker wannabes are born. They think that all they have to do is stand in front of people, regurgitate ideas they heard from good speakers, and become famous.

Indeed, you can become one of the few who became rich and famous when you do motivational speaking right.

You can also be like those who still beg for clients after years of trying hard to become another Tony Robbins or Les Brown.

Let’s start.

how to become motivational speakers? Start speaking.
It begins by speaking about what you are passionate about.

Start with Passion

There are many reasons why people want to be motivational speakers. Most want the money; some want to educate, and some are dying to save the world. 

I dare say that all people who want to change our minds and make us do something are motivational speakers. But they don’t call them as such. They call themselves by various names: teachers, trainers, doctors, engineers, salesmen, business owners, market vendors, et cetera.

The best motivational speakers I know are doing their vocation. They inspire people because that’s their purpose in life. They want to share their messages with the world to uplift people’s lives.

1. Are you meant to become a motivational speaker?

Know thy self and to thy self be true. Remember those times when we ask kids what they want to be when they grow up? They usually give us cute answers.

They want to become A to help B. I also get the same answer when I ask wannabes why they wish to become motivational speakers.

They wanted to help people. Cute answer.

Some more questions, and you’ll find out most of them do not know. They want to try it out. Motivational speakers on stage look cool. They have great messages which the wannabes wish to spread to the world. 

Multi-level marketing created the most number of wannabes. They want to free people from the slavery called work. They wish to help people who are broke like them to find financial freedom.

Second to MLMs are religious groups. They followed a path paved for them by prosperity preachers. They want to spread the gospel and wish to be as wealthy as their preachers.

Though unsaid, money is a natural magnet for motivational speaker wannabes.

Don’t worry. You are not bad for wanting the money. 

Motivational speakers who don’t want the money call themselves activists, and those who desire all the money are politicians who call themselves public servants. I meant no offense to honest public servants and good politicians. 

Those who want to help people and earn from doing so are called professionals.

Know thy self and to thy self be true.

2. Are you passionate about inspiring others?

I entered a Catholic seminary after high school. My passion was to spread and teach God’s word and save souls. I knew that to be true. Later, I found out that many seminarians joined the congregation so they could get a college education. I went out after two years.

I took Political Science. I became a student leader and an activist. My passion was to fight for what’s right, teach the greatest good, and serve the poorest of the poor. The latter I got from my last year in the seminary. The life of Bishop Julio Labayen inspired me to serve the poorest of the poor.

Three months before I graduated from college, I applied for a high school teaching position. Three months after, a college teaching position. I want to educate people. 

I can tell my history, but that’s not my point.  

We gravitate towards our passion. And I believe that giving your best comes naturally when you are passionate about what you do.

To become a motivational speaker, your passion does not have to be motivational speaking. Your passions can be technology, medicine, travel, human rights, photography, or public service — and you are too happy to share this passion with others. 

3. Do you have what it takes to motivate others?

Many motivational speakers are, well, great speakers. Their words can mesmerize you by making you raise your hand, then put them down to get your wallets.

You don’t have to become a great speaker to become motivational. A good enough speaker with a gift for storytelling, singing, dancing, painting, playing instruments, comedy, acting, or sports will find themselves a notch above other motivational speakers. Many speakers who lost body parts became famous for their talents, skills, and sheer grit.

You will find yourself in your best element when you use your gifts to communicate your message. Use them.

Besides, you can learn how to speak well. You can know how to tell stories. You can understand what motivates people and how to motivate them.

Knowing and using your gifts will speed up the growth of your motivational speaking career.

crowd of people waiting for a motivational speaker to appear.
The Crowd Is Waiting for the motivational Speakers to Appear. Are you ready?

4. Who do you want to motivate?

Motivational speakers know their starving crowd.

A starving crowd is your prospective customers whose needs aren’t served. They are hungry for your message. They want solutions that you have. If you have read my notes on the starving crowd, you know this step is crucial to your success.

Not all people are willing to listen to you. Your message may have universal appeal, but the universe will not stop what it is doing because you appeared on the stage as a motivational speaker.

It does not matter to most people if you call yourself the first certified or registered intergalactic motivational speaker. You may get their attention or mockery, but they listen to you.

It does not matter whether you are the only Filipino to be a member of a global organization of speakers. Even with this accolade, people won’t pay to listen to you.

It might feed my ego when I have some of these accolades. It might help me cure my imposter syndrome. I do not know.

I know you don’t need any of these to become a motivational speaker. So, do not fret over not having any of these.

Direct your attention instead to finding your starving crowd. Find the people who, at this very moment, need to hear your message of you – or the elixir you discovered that will heal them.

Some people are praying for someone like you to appear. Though initially unknown, if your message resonates with them, they’ll create a formation around you. They’ll dance to your music because it is the music they want. They’ll quote you and spread your word around. They’ll buy your products and services because they are starving.

Look around you.

Some preachers have mega-churches. These preachers attract large followers who bring others to them because their message feeds the starving crowd. 

Others have churches where people come and never come back.

I am not saying that you build your mega-church. A good business, like motivational speaking, may bring you good money once you have 1000 true fans.

But to be a motivational speaker people can trust and follow, you need to find your starving crowd. You do not have to be a mini-me of the motivational speaker you idolize. You do not have to regurgitate their ideas. 

Find your starving crowd and feed them fresh and authentic ideas.

be a motivational speaker, embrace empty chairs
Don’t be afraid of empty chairs. They are the first audience of new motivational speakers.


Here are some questions I am often asked. There are many professionals who aspire to be motivational speakers in the Philippines.

There is no barrier to entry. Any professional can register a speaking business and market himself as the most incredible motivational speaker in the Philippines. Unlike accountants who must pass the board, anyone can be a motivational speaker in the Philippines.

But it does not mean that everyone will become successful. Most motivational speakers believe that all they do is give talks. Others look at motivational speaking as a business. They design strategies and execute them. They build their authority and credibility to get to the right audience.

Yes, I have my own “Acres of Diamonds” motivational speeches. I mean the kind of speech you believe you can deliver 5000 times without you getting bored.

But as a learner and problem solver, I choose to tailor-fit my speeches to the need of my audience. That means I need to find new data, stories, and examples so the audience can easily relate.

I talk about life-changing habits that build teams, increase productivity, and eliminate procrastination.

The only registration that matters is your business registration. Some clients will ask for receipts.

There are money-making associations that will offer you to become a registered member. Some motivational speakers think that having acronyms after their name will make people buy. Well, a few clients are suckers for acronyms. To be fair, membership in a speaking organization may help you understand the ins and out of professional speaking.

But you don’t need those registrations and acronyms if you are John Maxwell, Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Francis Kong, Bo Sanchez, or Manny Villar. Manny Villar is not a motivational speaker, but people will listen to him if he talks about leadership and governance. All of these names I have mentioned have credibility and authority.

To be a motivational speaker sought-after by clients, build your visibility, credibility, and authority.

Any money-making association can have you as a registered member. You can tell the world that you are a registered speaker. But high-end clients don’t care. If you are not famous, high-end clients want to know if you are certified. We don’t have a certifying body in the Philippines.

The most recognized and respected acronym is CSP, or Certified Speaking Professional, conferred by the National Speakers Association. Some Filipinos have CSP titles, but those I know do their motivational speaking business in the US or Singapore.

You can set fees from 1,000 to 300,000 pesos. It does not matter if you have just started speaking. What matters most is your credibility and authority. You can probably go seven figures if you are a celebrated authority. I met some people who have been charging six-figure fees in the ’80s. They’re dead now.

I am busy doing a lot of things outside motivational speaking. I won’t have the time to devote to you. But I can teach you one thing or two. Or, if you have the passion and ability to organize people, you can work with me in creating a guild for professional speakers. Building a guild is a dream I am yet to accomplish.

Matt Folley’s Van Down the River

Be A Motivational Speaker

You want to become a motivational speaker. I hope this guide helped you get started on your journey.

You can make this a side hustle. Or make it a full-time business.  

If you decide to make motivational speaking a business, I encourage you to think strategically and invest your time, effort, and energy. You will be in the business of helping people achieve their dreams.

When you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out.

You can be a motivational speaker who touches lives.

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