Motivational speaking is about talking to crowds. It could be a crowd of two, two thousand or two hundred thousand. Inspiring them through your words and personal story of how to do remarkable things, how you have achieved your goals in life and how they can do the same or even better are critical elements of a motivational speech. You must consider them if you want to be a motivational speaker. It is not simply about presenting facts, data, PowerPoint slides or making a rational argument. You must have substance fused with emotions to make people understand you and connect with you with your head and heart. We will discuss here step by step how to put together your motivational speech and the skill you need to deliver it.
Are you a motivating person?
You must first ask yourself whether people are motivated by you. Do the people who know you: your colleagues, family or friends, get energy and inspiration from your personality? Is there something inspiring about you because it is tough just to cook it up and become a motivational speaker? It is not a matter of writing something out and practicing it with performance skills. There must be something unique inside you. So, the first thing you must do is examine your life carefully and think about the things or situations you have overcome. What adversity have you overcome, and is your struggle impressive for people?
Now, if you have a story like being born in a one-parent family, labeled retarded or poor, and had remarkable success in politics, media or any other field, it is a very inspirational story that motivates people to rise high from a very low level. On the other hand, if you were born on Park Avenue with wealthy parents, studied in the finest school and universities, and ended up rich. That will not be motivational to most people because they cannot relate to that as you already started life from a level some people cannot reach even after spending their whole life working hard.
Michael Eisner, the former CEO of Disney, was a motivational speaker at conferences because he did not just go on to be an investment banker. He took the Walt Disney Company to an extremely high level compared to when he joined it. He made it larger and progressive. So, he became a motivational speaker for people with an interest in the entertainment industry. Going to other motivational speakers or books, cobbling something together, and putting yourself out with it will not make you a motivational speaker. It could be done, but it is much harder to be motivational and inspirational in this way.
What makes you Special?
Think about what is unique about you for which people must listen to you. People do not want to listen to someone just like them or someone on the same station in life. What is extraordinary about making people listen to what you are saying. You must isolate that quality. Apart from that, people are also interested in how you were worse off than they were before your struggle. Many great motivational speakers are people who have gained tremendous success in life after some car crash, losing any limb, or burned victims still going on to lead happy successful lives. They may be labeled retarded, disabled, or mentally challenged but go up to a level where everyone looks at them with inspiration. There is a basic structure in motivational speeches where people tell how they made it to the top from very low, bad, or adverse situations. They tell people how they made it through all the challenging circumstances, and if they can do this while being worse off than them, how hard could it be for them to do the same thing.
There needs to be a component of your struggle and at least a temporary worse-off situation than the average person in the audience. A typical story in which a person is graduating from a reputable financial institution with distinction, hired by a successful multinational organization, and retiring at 40 with a lot of bank balance is not inspiring. Such a person may have some exciting things to say that can motivate people from the finance world, but it will not have that common touch to be a motivational speaker that can speak to thousands of people, students and people at large rallies. Isolate the thing that makes you unique, whether your friends and colleagues know it, what was that actual struggle that took place, how you overcame it, and how you were a lot worse off than an average person at a specific point in your life. These are the critical factors in most motivational speeches.
Types of motivational speech
Motivational speeches may be generic, which means that every person can relate to them on a human level, like the speeches of Anthony Robbins. The second type is industry-specific motivational speeches. For example, the speeches of Steve Jobs when he was talking about any product motivated people to buy a specific product. You must make yourself clear which category you fall in and your style. You cannot be a Steve Jobs-style motivated speaker until you have created a software company worth billions everyone loves and respects. This is not possible for most people in the world. But you can have success on a much lower level in your community and tell the tale of how you succeeded in your field.
To become a motivational speaker is not something you can just design or practice to be. You must be motivational in some way to a community or people at large. Find anything special in you and how you have overcome adverse situations and times while being worse off than an average person at some stage in your life. If there is something different or specific, only then will people be interested in listening to you because people are not generally interested in listening to people like themselves.