Do you have a knack for offering kick-ass advice to others? Do you enjoy telling others how to visualize the path to success, trail that path, and actually achieve success? Have you been told more than countable times that you’d make a very good motivational speaker? And do you think speaking for a living is suitable for you?

If you just gave a “yes” answer to any of these questions, chances are you’d really make a good motivational writer.

However, becoming a motivational speaker requires going through a learning process. Some so-called gurus out there are teaching people how to become motivational speakers, but they are not motivational speakers themselves. You won’t gain much from such people, and they won’t make good mentors.

To boost your chances of becoming a successful motivational speaker, you need to learn from those who have achieved huge success as motivational speakers. Start by learning the characteristics of these individuals and try to emulate those characteristics. Here are 10 characteristics of successful motivational speakers that you should emulate if you want to be like them.

10 Characteristics of Successful Motivational Speakers

1. Passion

Just as you cannot be a know-it-all, you cannot be a “generalist” motivational speaker. Successful motivational speakers choose a niche or area they are passionate about and they stick with it. So, you need to figure out what you are passionate about and enjoy speaking about. For example, you can specialize in career and job search, business, relationship and marriage, personal improvement, and so on, depending on your interests.

2. Knowledge and expertise

Successful motivational writers know their areas of specialization like their own palms. And this is why they can continue to speak on that topic for hours without running out of points or ideas. So, you really need to know your area of specialization and study it deeply.

Expertise comes with time and increasing experience, but knowledge—in the most part—can be acquired right from the start. So if for example, you want to become a motivational speaker focusing on business, you might not need to have many years of experience as entrepreneur yourself (that could be a huge plus, though), but you need to know a lot about business by reading books, meeting gurus, and searching the web.

3. Eloquence and confidence

To become a successful motivational speaker, not only must you be bold enough to face huge audiences, but your must also be eloquent and confident. Successful motivational writers are always confident and have a good grasp of powerful language. So, if you are still having problems with choosing the right words or speaking smoothly when in front of an audience, you need to improve in that aspect before starting out as a motivational speaker.

4. Empathy

Successful motivational speakers are always able to put themselves in the shoes of their listeners. That is, they fully understand the worries, concerns, challenges, fears, and hopes of their listeners. This helps them know what points to emphasize to inspire their listeners and motivate them to achieve positive results. This explains why the most successful motivational speakers are usually those who have undergone the same experience as their target listeners. This is not a must, though.

5. Selflessness

Selflessness is another hallmark of successful motivational speakers. And the only way to have this quality is to make helping others achieving their goals your primary aim, and profit your secondary. This way, you will be able to help others even when you will be getting no profits. And interestingly, good karma will find a way to reward you for selflessly helping others achieve success. If you are always willing to help others, the money, fame and success will come.

6. Dynamic

People’s needs and hopes changes with time and circumstance. Successful motivational speakers understand this fact, and they easily bend their tutelage in line with the changing expectations of their listeners. To become a motivational speaker, you must be dynamic. This requires keeping abreast of latest trends in your area of specialization and the changing fears, hopes, and concerns of your target listeners.

7. Integrity

Except for those who once had a dirty past and are now inspiring others to stop change for the better like they did, most successful motivational speakers are people of integrity. They only learn, do, and teach the ethical ways to achieving goals and discourage anything unethical. If you love cutting corners and want inspire people to do the same, you can never become a motivational speaker.

8. Stellar writing skills

As a motivational speaker, you will sometimes need to communication with your listeners in ways other than speaking—writing, especially. Sometimes writing has a more powerful motivational effect than speaking. So, you need to be a very good writer to succeed as a motivational speaker. You will most likely have seen books written by successful motivational speakers. That drives home the point that they are not just good speakers, but they are good writers, too.

9. Bluntness and succinctness

Successful motivational speakers are straight-to-the-point and terse in their speech. They don’t beat about the bush. And they don’t use unnecessary words. Rather, they use few words to produce a powerful effect on their audience.

10. Liveliness

Being lively and fun to be with is another characteristic of successful motivational speakers. They don’t wear stern looks while speaking, and they usually have a good sense of humor. To become a successful motivational speaker you need to be lively and humorous.