Motivational Speaking as a Recovering Addict
As a recovering addict, you have an important message for the world. You have experiences that can help others. So, why not share your message and your experiences with an audience? Giving motivational talks is a powerful way to reach out to other addicts as well as non-addicts who can use a boost and inspiration in all aspects of their lives. The best speakers are those who have experienced, struggled through, and triumphed over difficult times. If you are firmly in the recovery phase of your addiction, you could be a successful motivational speaker.
Do You Have What it Takes?
The job of a motivational speaker is to inspire the individuals in an audience to live a better life, to strive for success, and to overcome hardships with perseverance and strength. The most important thing to have as a motivational speaker is the ability to speak well. It seems obvious, but not all people, even those with a powerful message, are able to speak inspirationally to an audience. If you have a serious case of stage fright or speaking is just not your strong suit, this may not be a good path for you.
The next most important aspect of a good speaker is having had experiences that inform an inspirational message. As an addict in recovery, you have exactly that. You have a message to give to an audience about addiction, specifically. But, you also have a message that can be generalized to other audiences. It is a message about temptation, struggle, adversity, and overcoming them all.
Finally, as a recovering addict hoping to become a good speaker, it is very important that you really are firmly entrenched in the recovery process. Of course, you are never fully recovered, but if you are only a month or even a year into sobriety, it is probably too soon to start sharing your message. The best recovery speakers are those who can talk to their audiences from the other side of the depths of addiction. If you are in constant danger of slipping back into usage, you need to focus your attention on yourself, not your audience.
What Do Motivational Speakers Do?
If you feel you meet the criteria for becoming a good speaker, you need to find out more about the role. Search out successful motivational speakers, especially those who are recovering addicts, and learn from them. See their talks and connect with them afterwards. Most will be happy to speak with you and to tell you more about what they do. In general, motivational speakers give talks to groups of people in a variety of settings. This can take place at a recovery facility, a school, a place of business, or at a conference. They often write and sell books to get out their message and may also sell DVDs.
Should You Speak for Free?
Now you have a choice to make: volunteer your services as a speaker or become a paid, professional public speaker. Are you interested in making a career out of speaking or do you simply hope to help young people in your spare time? The good news is that it is possible to do both. You could work towards becoming a professional speaker by volunteering your time at recovery centers and at public schools. Both places welcome free speakers who can motivate their recovering addicts and students to succeed. Or, if you become a successful, paid speaker, you may choose to volunteer your spare time to help out those who cannot afford your fees. Volunteering to help others get through a similar struggle or to help prevent young people from going down the road of addiction can be a powerful and rewarding experience.
How to Get Started
If you are interested in becoming a speaker, the first thing you should do is practice. How do you know if you can be a good speaker if you have never done it? Call on friends and family to be a practice audience for you. They can give you valuable feedback and give you the chance to hone your skills. While some people are naturally good speakers, even the best need to develop and practice their speaking abilities. While practicing the finer points of speaking, make sure you fine tune your message as well. A clear message is important when it comes to making an impact on an audience.
Once you are confident with your ability to give a good talk, it’s time to network. Starting with free talks for non-profits is a good idea. It will help you hone your skills and will get your name out there. Also start contacting corporations and professional associations to find jobs. Consider making a DVD of one of your free engagements and send it along as a sample as you make contacts. With practice and diligent networking, you should be a successful motivational speaker in no time!