How to be a PAID Motivational Speaker in Ten Steps - Pegine

How to be a PAID Motivational Speaker in Ten Steps

I’ve been a professional full-time motivational speaker for over twenty years.  I often receive the same question.

1. Practice Your Craft

To be a paid motivational speaker you have to be, at the minimum, a good speaker.  That means you have to practice speaking, everywhere all the time.  Before you ask for money you really should give 100 motivational speeches and hone your skills.

2. Learn how to sell

80% of your time will be spent on selling and marketing yourself. You will really have to get comfortable asking for the business and learn how to get out of your own way. You have to believe in yourself and know why you are unique.

You have to learn how you help others get what they want.  You really have to learn to listen to people. To listen to their needs and wants so that you can construct a program that is relevant to them.

You will really need to learn how to sell.

First and foremost your reputation matters BIG TIME.  Do what you say you will do. Have clear values of how you want your company to run and then live by your values.

Books I love:

Lois Creamer – Book More Business  – Lois is the Queen of selling for professional speakers.

Alan Weiss – Money Talks: How to Make a Million As A Speaker


3. Get really clear who you serve and know who they are in detail

You can’t say you speak to ‘everyone’.  That won’t get you very far. You have to have a specific person in mind that you know you are here to serve.


To make sure you are making money you have to have three people in mind.


  1. The person you want to speak to. Make sure there are thousands of them because they become your target group. They will buy products at the back of the room, they will refer you and tell their bosses to hire you.
  2. The person who is the decision maker that hires people to speak to your target group. They will pay you to speak to the group. If they love you they will share you with their network.
  3. The person who is the decision-maker that wants their product in front of your target group. They will pay you to speak to the group on the condition that you mention their product and that they can promote their product along with you. Your reputation must be stellar.

4. You have to learn how to run a business.

Being a paid motivational speaker means you are in business.

Take courses offered by the Small Business Administration. Look for local Chambers of Commerce, Small Business Development Centers in your area. Take all the courses. You will become prepared for your success.

This is when you are sowing the soil.  You have to be prepared for success.

5. National Speakers Association Academy


The National Speakers Association (NSA) Academy is a great investment for your career. 

I like the NSA program because it is committed to providing a depth and breadth of information from all aspects and opinions of being in the speaking business.  It speaks to ethics, values, and processes culled from working with speakers during 30+ years of serving the industry.

There are lots of people selling how to be a professional speaker. Beware…..Most are doing it because they are looking for additional funds to supplement their career. In other words, they are teaching you what they aren’t doing themselves but know they should be doing. They will brag and boast and often have little or no speaking business outside of their promotional seminar business. Lol
There are others who are the They are teaching from their experience and truth.
Always Buyer beware

6. Read Speaker Magazine

Speaker Magazine is free and chock-full of information, insights, and wisdom.  A great resource for you.

7. Learn to be funny on stage

There is a saying in the speaking business “if you want to get paid you have to be funny”.  Take comedy classes at your local comedy club. Watch great comics tell their stories. Learn how to pause, make a face and really incorporate your human frailty into your stories, it makes your message relatable and resonates with their heart.

8. Market, Market, Market.  Make the media  your friend

To be seen as a viable speaker you need media exposure. You really have to become a resource in your expertise to the media.  Learn how to work with the media, learn how they like to receive information.  How do they want to be addressed?

Get comfortable on video. Practice before a camera. Show energy, enthusiasm, and passion.  Remember that people respond to your magnetism. Be magnetic.

When in media speak in very short sentences.  They will edit and promote your interview with only a short clip. Make short meaningful statements that provide you and them with great sound bites.


Use the media on your website.

Pegine in the News and Media

9. You need a Website

The basics of a motivational speakers website:

Without a website, you won’t get hired. Period.

10. Have tenacity, persistence, determination, and focus

This is a long-term business. Success does not come overnight, and if it does it will still require a tremendous amount of tenacity, persistence, and determination to stay out in front.  Stuff happens and it is up to you to weather the storm, keep going and create momentum.

As a professional speaker, this is what it is all about.  MOMENTUM and ENERGY  the two biggest keys to success as a speaker.

11. BONUS: Be Grateful, Enjoy Traveling and Don’t Moan About It

Be grateful and appreciative of what you have in your life because of your speaking career.  You will travel and you will see many different places.  Appreciate it, don’t moan and groan or complain.  Be the force of good and positivity for those in the travel industry. Live the way you tell others to.  Focus on the gift, keep quiet about the negative experiences you have, even in your worst moments your life is better than most.

12. Some bubble bursting,  reality check. I am going be a millionaire speaking!

Let’s take the avg speaker. According to the National Speakers Association, motivational speakers earn an average of  $177,000.  What is missing is what it COSTS to run a speaking business. I am using ballpark figures here.

Take out membership in NSA (or any professional association your choose) $450,

Attend the convention (all costs) 3k,

Have a website and along with all the social media costs $12k (1k a month hosting, all the other little costs hoot suite, mail chimp)

Add your professional speaking coaches (2 to 25k) let’s to $5k,

Purchase Healthcare minimum of $700 a month that is $8,400,

You need insurance liability $500 minimum.

There are more costs..: taxes, Virtual assistant ($2,400 min), graphic artists and subcontractors, professional development (webinars, coursework)

Add in  the sales calling and additional conferences for your market
The point here is that the $177,000 isn’t the salary. It is your gross earnings. Professional Speakers are in business, we are entreprenuers.

A handful do make this as their salary, they are working for a company or are in the Million Dollar Speakers Group. A small group.

Just keeping it real folks.

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Pegine makes leaders great! A leadership speaker, women in business speaker, motivational speaker, and author. Pegine’s energy, experience, tell it like it keynotes provide real deal strategies, tips, and techniques to have impact, influence and be able to inspire others. She pushes, prods and provokes the audience to get out of their comfort zone and lead using humor and comedy. Pegine has spoken to over 20,000 military officers, and hundreds of thousands of leaders worldwide and over a million people. Clients include ten percent of the Fortune 500 global corporations, twelve percent of Direct Selling News 2016 North American Top 50 and all branches of the US military. Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame speaker. Award-winning author. Her book “Sometimes You Have to Kick Your Own Butt” was named the top ten book for women four years in a row by Society of Human Resource Management. Clorox and General Motors have both hired Pegine as their spokesperson to inspire women to be great leaders. She is one of 8 women in the 58-member Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame, one of 3 inducted into the Hispanic Speakers Hall of Fame. Her company was named the #3 Fastest Growing Privately Owned Company in North Florida by the Business Journal and she was named by Macy’s, Minority Business Entrepreneur Magazine and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as one of 3 minority women in the nation who rock in business. The award is called “WBEs Who Rock”. She was the first and Latina in the Million Dollar Speakers Group of the National Speakers Association. She has been featured in the NYT, Wall Street Journal, Newsday and Latina Magazine among others.

Pegine is the author of ‘Sometimes You Need to Kick Your Own Butt,’ ‘Bragging Rights: Transform Your Team in 21 Days,’ ‘I’ve Got the Power To Lead & Think Big,’ and ’50 Success Secrets of Feisty, Focused, Fearless, Fun Female Leaders.’

She is Magical and an Experience, That is What Her Audiences Say

See testimonials here: :

Here is how she does it:


Participants receive actionable content. Techniques and strategies that they use immediately and long after the event is over


Participants are enthused Pegine engages attendees with her charisma before the event. She meets people where they are sitting. It is part of her process. She gets there early and then interacts welcoming participants and being interested in them. She is magnetic.


Pegine provides engagement opportunities for audiences to connect and build camaraderie amongst each other by creating lasting memories. Pairs, small group, large group processes that are relevant and meaningful.


Pegine utilizes chants and cadences to imprint key points in her audience’s mind, so they can recall and use them later. Think of a jingle that you can’t get out of your mind that is what her chants do to audiences


Audiences utilize the processes and systems taught long after a Pegine Experience. This is a verified and quantified statement


Participants laugh. Pegine uses humor, stories and is amazing at incorporating your culture, your unique message into her message. She uses clean, often self-deprecating humor that people laugh at because they relate to her.



Posted in Inspiration, Motivation, Self Development, Selling in a diverse world on August 18, 2017 by admin.

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4 Responses to How to be a PAID Motivational Speaker in Ten Steps

  1. Ovidilio: December 31, 2017 at 9:58 am

    I love it. Very detailed. Well explained. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Karen A Snyder: December 31, 2017 at 11:30 am

    I love it! Even at it’s worst, your life will be better than most.

  3. Zelda: December 31, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Love this. Especially #5

  4. Angela: October 24, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Well done Pegine!

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