Talking The Talk - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Q: People have always told me how I enlighten them and give them direction in their lives. I feel confident that I can be an excellent motivational speaker. Do you have some tips on how to get started?
–T. L. West, Kansas City, Missouri

A: Your first challenge will be to gain experience and training. There is a big difference between counseling an individual in private and standing up in public to speak before dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people — especially if you expect to get paid to do it.

First, join Toastmasters, an organization for those who want to become better communicators. Go to to find a chapter near you.

Another helpful resource is Great Speaking E-zine (, a free electronic magazine distributed via e-mail twice a month. Great Speaking covers such topics as presentation skills and how to make money as a speaker., a Website which markets electronic career-choice guides, offers an e-book called The Guide to Becoming a Motivational Speaker ( speaker.asp) for $39.95 via e-mail or for $44.95 (plus $5 for shipping and handling) on CD-ROM.

Finally, read “Brand Yourself,” the cover story of the March 2002 issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE. The article tells you how to package your skills, experiences, message, and expertise into a marketable brand. Your ability to do this will be critical to your ability to succeed as a motivational speaker.

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Alfred Edmond, Jr.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is SVP/Editor-at-large of BLACK ENTERPRISE. He is a content leader, brand representative and expert resource for all media platforms under the BLACK ENTERPRISE brand, including the magazine, television shows, web site, social media and live networking events. From 2008 through 2010, Edmond was SVP/Editor-in-chief of, helping to lead the transition of BLACK ENTERPRISE from single-magazine publisher to digital-first multimedia company. From 1995 through 2008, Edmond was chief editor of BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine. He also hosts The Urban Business Roundtable on WVON-AM in Chicago and Money Matters, a syndicated radio feature of American Urban Radio Networks.