The majority of motivational speakers are men, and that needs to change. The good news is that it has been slowly changing over the last 20 years. It used to be around 8% women and now 21% of top motivational speakers are women.
Given that audiences are often more than 50% women, it makes sense to have at least 50% women speakers. Even at many events with 100% women audiences, you’ll find mostly male speakers.
Why so few women in this profession? Here is a list of possible reasons. Feel free to add in your own opinions.
TOP 3 REASONS
- SUBCONSCIOUS PROGRAMMING: To be a motivational speaker is to stand in your authority and be “the tall poppy”. Tall poppies get cut down. You have to have the courage to receive pushback from your audience, to embody the truth of your message and inspire people to action. In many cultures, this kind of behaviour has been seen as “unladylike”. Many women took on subconscious programs as a girl about what they can or cannot do as a women in the world. They’d need to erase the limiting beliefs and replace them with a more supportive beliefs. For more free tools on being a Self Confident woman check out our free online tutorial entitled:The Art of Mindset Mastery: a 5 Step Process for Turning Self Doubt into Self Confidence
- RELATIONSHIP VS GOAL ORIENTED: Women traditionally prioritize relationships over achievements. Being a top motivational speaker requires being highly goal oriented and ambitious, since it’s very competitive. Many women prefer to be “one of the crowd” than the lonely leader at the top, or more focused on child rearing than chasing the podium. That said, there ARE ways to be a speaker and do it in a feminine way. We coach many women speakers to get to the top of their game.
- PREJUDICE: Many event planners don’t think women are generally as good as men when it comes to inspiring an audience. We also hear event planners say that male speakers sell more from the stage. If they get a commission on what the speaker sells, then it becomes a bottom line issue. That said, there ARE plenty of women who are excellent motivational speakers. Check out the roster at The Women Speakers Association.
Audiences around the world need to be hearing from more women, so that the messages people hear are more diverse.
HOW DO I GET STARTED AS A WOMAN SPEAKER?
To get started, think of audiences you’d like to connect with and how you’d like to positively impact them. Avoid the mistake of trying to be a speaker on all motivational topics to all people, because it’s very hard to get booked to speak that way.
STEP 1: Think about groups you’re already connected to. The more specific, the better. It could be teachers in alternative learning school systems, or new mothers in their 30’s, or leaders in virtual reality gaming companies.
STEP 2: Brainstorm on all possible motivational topics you think would help that group. For example, “How to Boost Creativity” might great for teachers in alternative schools. New mothers in their 30’s might need “Work-Life Balance” motivation. Leaders in gaming companies may need “The Power of Dreaming”.
STEP 3: Pick just one topic to get known by. This is just to get launched. You can branch out after that. For example, Brene Brown did that in her TEDx talk “The Power of Vulnerability“, or Elizabeth Gilbert did that in her TED talk, “Your Elusive Creative Genius“. Most people totally relate that topic to that speaker.
STEP 4: Just decide how far you’d like to travel, whether you want to speak at live events, or virtual ones, and if you want to get paid or not to speak.
Then, you just get online and see what events fit your criteria, and call the Program Manager and see how they book speakers. Once you book one event it will snowball into others if you play your cards right.
If you’d like more details on how to become a motivational speaker check out this FREE Webinar with Carla Rieger entitled: “How to Book Lucrative Speaking Gigs“. It will give you a step-by-step process for getting booked.