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How to write a motivational speech
There is no better way to influence a group of people than through public speaking. Today, people count on email, social media, blogs and several online means to communicate ideas. However, nothing trumps the power of getting up in front of a room, looking people in the eyes and sharing your energy and ideas. Look at any influential leader today, and you will see he regularly gives motivational speeches to move a room to action.
Any leader who cowers at public speaking needs to understand it's powerful impact on a team, culture, and morale. Without regular motivational speeches, groups lack congruence, purpose, direction, and confidence.
You can learn to become a powerful speaker, and reduce nerves, stress, and anxiety around public speaking .
Stop Making it All About You.
When I started as a motivational speaker, I remember the days when I would approach the stage, overwhelmed with fear and self-doubt. My mind kept gnawing at me with reminders; I have to be interesting, I have to say it correctly, I have to be energetic .
The trouble with this thinking is it’s all about me. I was so wrapped up in preserving my self-worth that I forgot to focus on the audience.
In any area of life, the pressure to perform mounts when the focus is self-absorbed, eventually it can exhaust you to burn out.
With the help of the book, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyways , I learned to focus less on me and more on the audience and the goal of the speech.
Motivational speaker, Dale Carnegie says, being interested in other people is a lot easier than trying to get others interested in you.
Here are some tips for writing and delivering an outstanding motivational speech:
Actively involve the audience and think of yourself as a facilitator rather than a performer. Ask for audience input, feedback, and ideas throughout the presentation. Also, have empathy for the audience and forget about yourself. We often assume other people are judging us when they are too busy thinking about their life problems.
Focus on your motivational speech message, not on yourself. Instead of worrying if the audience likes you, focus on how your message will help and support them. Let the audience judge the words, not you
How to Write a Motivational Speech
Open a speech with something that gets people's attention. A startling fact, quote or story will help set people up to listen. Also, consider using interaction right away, so the audience knows this is not a passive learning experience or just another speech. Next, set out your objective. A speech objective anchors you and your audience to your message. It will help a speaker stay on track with the speech and guide the audience toward your goal.
Once you have developed your speech objective than you will design your content around the objective.
Take the audience on a journey
First, decide on the destination. Tell the audience the result, so they know what they are investing their time in and don’t get lost along the way. Be very clear and specific about your goal.
Also, provide guideposts along the way, so they know when you are switching directions.
Motivational speaker Hugh Culver suggests using the formulae -story, lesson, and application to illustrate a point.
The audience needs you to Segway for them the lesson to take away from the story and application of their lives.
Be Motivational and Inspire Hope
A motivational speech is different from other types of speech. It has to be motivational with the purpose of moving people forward. Thus, you're not just sharing information, you are organizing the message around a goal and using motivational techniques to influence others.
To persuade others, you have to tap into their emotion, not just logic. Ignite passion through story, analogy, humor or interaction. Story and analogy draw an audience in by describing events that they can relate. A story can elicit emotion like fear, inspiration, sadness, joy and more. The feeling is critical to help the audience tap into the emotive part of their brain. Stories also illustrate points.
Humor and interaction keep an audience awake, focused and engaged. A laugh in the middle of a speech floods the brain with endorphins that wake you up and creates interest. Interacting forces the audience to think about the message and pay attention. When time allows, you can sprinkle in some fun audience-interactive games or activities. Anytime a group comes together and has fun, it builds rapport, creates memories and decreases stress.
A leader's most magnificent job is to give people hope, and your team needs optimism to lift them up. Thus, leadership should have a goal of providing regular inspirational speeches with the objective of spreading faith in uncertainty. Many people today are overworked and overwhelmed and starved for inspiration. With the pace of change in work today, people just need to feel like what they are doing is not getting lost in the shuffle and that it means something. Connect work activity to the team, organization or greater community good, this is essential to keep people focused and motivated.
Some teams are working to build something that doesn't exist right now. Thus, they have to believe in it and belief requires hope. It's easy to continue doing thing the way you have always done them because you have concrete evidence that it works.
Hope believes that our efforts will contribute to something worthwhile. For instance, you don't say I believe in gravity or coffee because you have proof and experience with it - it already exists. What leaders often overlook is that their team needs hope and to believe in something down that road that doesn't permeate their lives right now. This unknown can be challenging for organizations, and they need confidence that its possible.
Building Your Content
Less is More
Never overwhelm the audience with too much information. People will only retain two or three points anyways, so be clear on what those ideas are.
Trying to dump everything you know about a topic on your audience will cause information overload, and many people will tune you out.
Statistics are not impressive unless you point out why they are essential. Unravel a learning point with several techniques: analogy, interaction, humor, etc
Rhetorical devices like questions (i.e., could we do better?) or repetition and parallelism help build momentum and reinforce ideas. Relying on these devices can make writing a motivational speech a lot easier, and it creates consistency in your speaking style. How long should you speak? A motivational speech does not have to be a 60 minute or more. In fact, it is better for leaders to deliver short 5- 10-minute motivational speeches on a more regular basis to reinforce direction and keep momentum high. These short motivational speeches serve a purpose to appreciate and celebrate progress, provide information or to boost morale. Often a motivational speech is to celebrate an achievement. Thus, highlight what the team has accomplished as a group, recognize specific individual efforts and tie it all back to what the goal is and a vision of where you're headed. Most people don't feel enough appreciation in their work, and lack of recognition is the number one reason people leave their job.
The Audience Doesn’t Know your Speech
Once I finished a speech, got off the stage and suddenly realized I forgot an entire section of my talk. I was mortified but soon realized the audience doesn’t know anything was left out. You can’t miss what you didn’t know about in the first place.
I often see speakers stumble and apologize for messing up, this just wastes time and undermines your confidence. If you just carry on as nothing happened, nobody will know the difference.
Energy & Confidence
Fake it until you make it
Increase your energy and act like you’re incredibly excited about your audience and your message. If you feel nervous, just pretend you’re confident. Act like a confident person, and eventually, you will catch up.
The body doesn’t know the difference between a real and an imagined thought, so if you tell yourself you're scared, or you tell yourself you’re confident, either way, you’re right.
Confidence starts in the brain. If you believe you are uncomfortable or lack certainty, it will show.
Act the part, act as you belong, that you are prepared and confident and others will treat you like you do. Confidence is what gets you in the door, without it you miss out on a lot of opportunities.
Natural is Overrated
I once took a public speaking seminar about being authentic. The main idea was to be yourself. It’s encouraging to know that being who you are naturally is all you need. However, the best motivational speakers I’ve known increase their energy and presence on stage. In a keynote speech delivered to hundreds of people, you have to have enough power to infect everyone. Most people don’t naturally walk around emphasizing specific words or projecting their voice to fill the room
Also, the idea of trying to be natural seems- unnatural.
How to Influence Different Audiences
Knowing your audience is key to public speaking. But what does this mean and why is it so critical?
It means you want to Influence from the perspective of the audience. Usually, your own style of influence only works with people similar to you.
It’s far more difficult dealing with people who don’t think like you. With these audiences, first, you have to find out what really does matter to them. Uncover their magic buttons by listening to them.
When I started as a motivational speaker, I did well with female audiences because we share similar experiences and perspectives. I found it much easier for me to influence this group because we are more alike.
The most difficult groups for me to connect with were blue-collar male audiences. Our perspectives were worlds apart, so I had to figure out what makes them tick. After listening to many of them over the years, I’ve found they are very hands-on, hard-working people. Thus, I stick to concrete hands-on advice, related to their work. They don’t do well with generalities; it has to be connected to their job.
Next, they are usually family oriented, so I evolve key points around family.
Finally, they also like to laugh at themselves, so I engage them with interaction and humor. Thus, small adjustments help create a much stronger connection with an audience.
Always start writing a motivational speech by researching and understanding the audience. I often use a questionnaire and interview audience members before a speech. Some of the questions that help me understand the audience include: What is important to people in the audience? What do they most need to hear? What are this audience top sources of stress and joy? What is a typical day? What are some buzz words or acronyms that the group use regularly? By knowing the audience, you can relate to them in their language. How to Overcome Stage Fright
We all have times in our lives when we doubt ourselves. Doubt can quickly come screaming to the surface when you are thrust in the limelight in front of hundreds of people and expected to perform
Fear creates a deep emotional outpour that goes along with physiological changes like sweaty palms, shakiness, increased blood pressure, heart rate and more. None of this lends itself to a focused, dynamic performance.
Circumvent the fear by focusing on your message and the audience -use this to stay in the present moment. Don’t let fear and self-doubt pull you into negative dialogue in your head.
The Motivational Speech Close
People remember the first and the last words that you say. Thus, close your speech with a call to action, it should link to and reinforce your objective. Therefore, you want to end where you began and remind people of what they have learned along the way.
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How to Start a Motivational Speech: 5 Strategies for Capturing the Audience
Inspiring people to take positive action is a superpower for CEOs like you. The five strategies for starting a motivational speech covered in this article are meant to help you acquire this superpower and use it to motivate clients and employees alike.
Imagine standing on stage in a room filled with people in your target audience. You have been booked to give a motivational speech. How are you going to start? You have to capture the attention of your audience before you can motivate anyone. Each type of audience requires a different attention-grabbing tactic. The best motivational speakers are masters at knowing their audience and adapting their speeches accordingly.
Master the following five strategies for how to start a motivational speech and you will leave your next audience feeling energized and inspired.
1 – Ask a Question to Make the Audience Feel Like Part of a Conversation
A dry, one-way lecture is the fastest way to lose your audience. Great motivational speaking makes the audience feel like a part of a conversation. Starting with a question is a great way to start that tone. Your question should act as a lead-in to the core topic of your speech.
If your speech is on how to stay motivated when their business is struggling , then your question could be something like “By a show of hands, how many of you have ever felt like you just wanted a give up and close the business down?”
2 – Engage Your Audience With an Activity
Your audience is much more likely to pay attention to you if you can get them moving. The key to successfully using an activity to start a motivational speech is to pay attention to detail. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How many people are expected?
- What are the demographics of attendees?
- How much time do you have?
These seemingly insignificant details are the difference between a hit activity and a flop.
Just like asking a question, you want your activity to be a lead-in for the content of your speech. The best activities include a physical element. Say your topic is the relationship between your mood and your motivation to improve your business . You could start your motivational speech with a breathing exercise for calming one’s mind or a quick smiling exercise.
3 – Tell a Story to Make Your Motivational Speech More Relatable
We are instinctually wired to learn through storytelling, dating back to our days as cavepeople . There are a few different types of stories you could tell to start your motivational speech – each with a different effect.
- Historical Stories
You can use a story from history that relates to the subject matter of your speech. This story could be based on a popular fable or a factual historical event. The benefit of a historical story is it is easy to find a story that fits with your topic perfectly. The downside is they are not as personal as your other options. Your audience may relate to the story, but do they relate to you ?
- Professional Stories
As a successful CEO you have a bunch of professional stories you can use to inspire your audience. These stories are especially effective when trying to motivate employees or speaking in front of industry colleagues.
The key to using professional stories is to make sure they fit the context of the speech topic. If you are speaking to fellow CEOs, tell a story about overcoming a problem a fellow CEO would face. If you were speaking to aspiring business owners , tell a story from when you first started your business.
- Personal Stories
It takes courage to be vulnerable and tell a story from your personal life, but it is one of the most powerful tools for connecting with your audience. You have to prove you have motivated yourself in your darkest times if you want to motivate your audience to do the same.
Again, context is key. A personal story is only powerful if you can use it to segue into your main topic.
4 – Quote a Scientific Study to Give Your Motivational Speech Authority
A scientific study gives your motivational speech instant authority. A piece of interesting research related to your topic signals to your audience that you are not just going to pull information out of thin air.
You can even start your motivational speech with research on motivation. This article here from Business Insider is a good place to start. It has 42 different studies on motivation for you to choose from complete with visual aids.
5 – Tell Your Audience Something They Were Not Expecting to Hear
So many motivational speeches start the same way. The speaker will ask the audience how they are doing, and then they will give an overview of the main point of their speech. It is ineffective because it is what your audience expects.
If you cannot think of a good way to use the other four ways to start a motivational speech, just say anything besides what they expect. Do not be afraid to be different – the more you let your personality shine through in your introduction, the more likely your audience is to actually be motivated by your words.
5 Inspiring Motivational Speeches From Highly Successful People
How to start a motivational speech is, literally, just the beginning. The best way to write a motivational speech that is impactful from start to finish is by studying amazing motivational speeches. Watch the following speeches with a pen and notepad. Answer the following:
- When is the first point in the speech where you feel drawn in? What were the words?
- What is the speaker’s tone of voice? Does the pace change throughout? How?
- What pieces of information stuck with you after you got to the end?
1 – Denzel Washington Commencement Speech – Fall Forward
Denzel Washington’s 2011 commencement speech at the University of Penn. He says he doesn’t want to fall back on anything, but rather fall forward by taking risks.
He mentions how Thomas Edison conducted 1,000 failed experiences before he created the light bulb.
The motivational message is that failed experiences are a necessary part of success. He backs it up with a personal story from his own failures auditioning for roles early on in his acting career.
2 – Eric Thomas Speaks to Olympic Athletes – I Can, I Will, I Must
In 2016, Dick’s Sporting Goods brought in Eric Thomas to speak to the Olympians they sponsored.
Knowing that his audience was a bunch of high-achievers, he tailored his speech to them. He talks about how important it is to stay hungry when you have already achieved a high level of success.
This point is driven home by saying how an alligator can be killed by a human with their bare hands right after the alligator eats. Why? Because they go into a state similar to paralysis once their hunger is satisfied.
3 – Arnold Schwarzenegger – Work Your Ass Off
Arnold Schwarzenegger gave this motivational speech in 2018 and it has since racked up millions of views on YouTube.
He gives some secrets to his success, but his most important message is that nothing else matters if you don’t work your ass off.
The speech is filled with personal stories from his own life that show how he worked his ass off to become a successful bodybuilder, movie star, and politician.
4 – Jim Carrey Commencement Speech – Passion is Worth the Risk
Jim Carrey’s 2014 commencement speech at the Maharishi University of Management is one of the most highly viewed motivational speeches on YouTube.
He starts his speech with classical Jim Carrey humor, but by the middle of the speech, he shares profound wisdom on pursuing a career in what you love.
Jim Carrey shares his own personal story of resilience, but perhaps more powerful is the story of his dad, who settled for the “safe” career and still ended up failing.
5 – J.K. Rowling Commencement Speech – The Fringe Benefits of Failure
J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard commencement speech is all about the benefits of failure.
She starts the speech with her typical sense of self-deprecating humor, even though she is the most successful children’s author who has ever lived.
Rowling shares how the first Harry Potter novel was rejected dozens of times, and how her faith in herself kept her going through the rejection.
Fictional Motivational Speeches That Provide Real Inspiration
A fictional motivational speech may be scripted, but that doesn’t mean it can’t give you real inspiration. These are the most popular movie speeches.
1 – Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness – Protect Your Dream
At first, Will Smith’s character discourages his son’s dream of being a professional basketball player.
He quickly realizes his mistake after seeing his son’s reaction and tells him to never let anyone discourage him from pursuing his dreams – even his own father.
2 – Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday – Inch by Inch
Pacino’s character gives an inspirational speech at halftime that applies to both football and life.
He says life is a game of inches, and those willing to fight and claw for every single inch are the ones who are the most successful.
3 – Sylvester Stallone in Rocky – Take the Hits
Sylvester Stallone’s character is talking to his adult son, who he feels has lost his way.
It is a great motivational speech on the power of resilience, and how success comes from taking the hits and getting back up until you achieve your goal.
4 – Kurt Russel in Miracle – You Were Born for This
Kurt Russel’s character is speaking to the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team in the locker room before they take on the highly favorited Russians.
His speech is a great message about how the odds of success don’t matter. If you only believe you can succeed when the odds are in your favor, then you really don’t believe in yourself at all.
5 – Mel Gibson in Braveheart – They Will Never Take Our Freedom
Mel Gibson’s character rallies his troops before heading into battle against a much bigger army.
This speech is one of the most popular motivational movie speeches of all time because makes people think about how they are failing to fight for their own freedom in their lives.
How to Start a Motivational Speech: Final Thoughts
Now that you are armed with the firepower and secrets for instantly capturing your audience, don’t forget that the real challenge is how to keep their attention throughout your time on stage!
Capture their attention and inspire them to do things they never thought possible without using anything but your words. That is the true superpower you can have if you learn the secrets to inspiring others to take action .
Knowing how to start a motivational speech is just the first step towards being an effective motivational speaker. Stay tuned to the Titanium Success blog to learn how to select a good topic for your speech and how to conclude your speech so your audience remembers you.
As a business coach and CEO advisor , one of the things I help my clients with is establishing themselves as experts in their industries. I teach you how to use educational content to build trust and generate opportunities to speak within your industry. Schedule a consultation with me if you want an advisor to help you become a magnetic speaker.
This video below shows me in action as a motivational speaker. If you want to book me as a motivational speaker, check out this page .
If you have any questions about how to start a motivational speech, leave them in the comments. I will answer as soon as I can.
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I am going to be the number one meditation speaker in the world
I am a long distance runner and walker for 50 years. it is about time I start telling people what I know and how to succeed in life and sport. I am also a Christian and have talked to groups of men. I live in the Central West of New South Wales. it would be good if someone could help me get started.
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How to Write a Speech About Yourself
Last Updated: July 13, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Michelle Golden, PhD . Michelle Golden is an English teacher in Athens, Georgia. She received her MA in Language Arts Teacher Education in 2008 and received her PhD in English from Georgia State University in 2015. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 839,592 times.
There is a lot of work and preparation that goes into writing a speech. If you're writing a speech about yourself, you need to consider a variety of factors, including your audience, the purpose of the speech, and how long your speech should be. With a good amount of preparation, planning, and editing, you can craft a speech that introduces yourself effectively and entertainingly.
Prewriting Your Speech
- One method for brainstorming is to create a mind map. You can do this with a paper and pencil, starting by writing your central idea or theme in the middle of the page. Then use lines to connect ideas and points that branch off from this central idea. For a speech about yourself, you might start with a central bubble labeled "Me". Then you might have three or four bubbles connected to the central one that say things like "Interests", "Aspirations", etcetera. Then as you continue branching out the bubbles will get more specific.
- There are other methods for brainstorming you might find useful. You could try the alphabet method, where you list a few things related to the subject of your speech for each letter, starting with A and working down.
- Another brainstorming method is the three perspectives method. You think about the subject of the speech in three perspectives. First, describe the subject, which is yourself in this case. Then, trace it. Trace your history, where you came from and where you've come to, and how you've changed over that journey. Finally, map it. Think about who and what has influenced you and how. How do you fit into the bigger picture.  X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source
- It's worth thinking about various aspects of the audience, because this will determine various aspects of your speech, such as its length, its tone, etcetera.
- For example, if your audience is a wedding reception, and this is a best man speech, your audience will be most interested in your relationship with the groom and your history with him. You also don't want a speech like this to drag on because the best man isn't the focal point of the event.
Writing Your Speech
- The most important difference between a long and a short speech is the amount of detail. A two minute speech in which you introduce yourself to a class will have a short intro that might be just your opening statement. There might be only a paragraph or two in the body of the speech, and the conclusion will probably be only a sentence or two.
- A ten to fifteen minute speech will have an introduction that in itself has a beginning, middle, and end, an opening statement, an introduction fo the main points of speech, and a summary of the main theme. The body might consist of four to six paragraphs, and each one will include both explanations of the main points, as well as examples. The conclusion will be a lengthier summary, and might include a sentence or two that ties the theme of the speech into a broader context.
- Depending on the length of your speech, you may need to break up the body section into multiple parts, like "Paragraph 1," "Paragraph 2," etcetera.
- Speeches two minutes and shorter should have one or two main points, which can probably fit into a single body paragraph.
- Speeches between two and five minutes should have two to three main points, given a paragraph each in the body.
- Longer speeches, over five minutes, should have up to five main points, given a paragraph each in the body.
- At this stage, you should also begin thinking about how your content will be organized. For a speech about yourself, it would make sense to either organize your content chronologically, with each main point being a different period in your history, or topically, with each main point as a different topic related to yourself.
- If this is a simple, short speech, meant to introduce you to your class or group, you can start with a basic introduction that includes a brief greeting, your name, and the purpose of the speech. This can look something like "Good morning everyone! My name is so-and-so and I'd like to take this chance to introduce myself to the group."
- If this speech about yourself is for a more specific purpose than just introducing yourself, you may want to make the introduction a little more entertaining and interesting. You can start with a provocative question, a shocking fact, a joke, or an evocative image. For example, if your speech is about an interesting aspect of your life, like your unusual profession, you can start with something like "Imagine waking up every morning to sound of safari wildlife in every direction around you."
- For example, if you're giving a small speech about yourself to your class you can say something like "First I'll tell you a little bit about my past, and then I'll tell you about some of my interests and aspirations. I'll close with my plans for my career."
- For example, if you're writing an introductory speech for a college organization, like a photography club, you might start the body with a paragraph about how you got interested in photography. The opening sentence might go like "Photography caught my interest very early on, especially with its ability to caption and preserve life's precious moments." The closing sentence might look like "Since then, I've been eagerly pursuing more knowledge on the ins and outs of what makes a photo great."
- For example, if your speech was about your interest and experience in the film industry, you can tie your own experiences with the idea of cinema on a grand scale. The conclusion should focus on the overarching importance of the topic of your speech.
- If your speech is simply to introduce yourself, you can end with a less grand conclusion. The conclusion of a self-introduction speech should reiterate and summarize the most important parts of your speech, the main details about yourself that you shared.
Improving Your Speech
- Read your speech out loud as well. This will help you hear the rhythm of the speech and make adjustments to improve its flow. Fragments are okay, as long as they're used sparingly. Use active verbs in favor of passive ones.
- When reading your speech out loud to yourself, note any sentences that are too long to be spoken comfortably in one breath. Split these sentences up as you edit.
- When running through a short list of ideas, numeric signposts are used like "first," "second," and "third," or "firstly," "secondly," and "thirdly."
- Signposts that show how two ideas relate to each other include, "furthermore," "in addition," "nevertheless," "however," "subsequently," and "for instance."
- Major signposts tell the listener where in the speech you are. For example, the first paragraph will often start with something like, "I'd like to start by..." and the final paragraph will often start with something like "To summarize..."
- What do you replace cliches with? First you have to deduce the basic meaning of the cliche phrase, then you can either think of a more interesting way to say the same thing, or, in many cases, you can forgo the phrase entirely.
- For example, the phrase "in conclusion" means that you are signaling that you going to summarize all the ideas previously stated. This can be replaced by something like, "So what does this all mean?" or "I've told you a lot about myself. Here's the reason."
- Often, cliche phrases are just filler that don't add anything important to the speech. Instead of saying, "Today I'll be talking to you about..." just start talking about it.
- Avoid speaking too highly of yourself. For example, saying "everyone know's that I'm the best soccer player on the team..." when receiving the captain award in the presence of your entire soccer team probably won't go over well.
- If, for example, you're the best soccer player on your team, you can instead humbly highlight your accomplishments by saying something like, "I've beat my personal record this season and scored 12 total goals. While it feels great to set this record, I know that it wouldn't be possible without the hard work and help of my teammates."
- If you feel uncomfortable, it's okay to add some humor or briefly acknowledge that you feel awkward about talking about yourself. This will just make your audience feel like they can relate better to you.
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- Make cue cards, these are good because if you've practised well enough, you will be able to be reminded on what you're saying by looking at a couple of words written on some card. Your flow will come out more naturally and you can also ad lib around it (if you're allowed). Avoid reading directly from the card. Thanks Helpful 14 Not Helpful 0
- Always stay connected to your audience and make eye contact with them. Thanks Helpful 19 Not Helpful 1
- When you've written your speech, be sure to practice it until you feel comfortable. Thanks Helpful 166 Not Helpful 36
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- ↑ https://www.hawaii.edu/mauispeech/html/your_purpose.html
- ↑ https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/WC116
- ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/brainstorming/
- ↑ http://pac.org/content/speechwriting-101-writing-effective-speech
- ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/understanding-assignments/
- ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/publicspeaking/chapter/10-2-keeping-your-speech-moving/
- ↑ https://www.lib.sfu.ca/about/branches-depts/slc/writing/organization/conclusions
About This Article
Before you start writing a speech about yourself, create an outline on a blank page with the headings Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Then, add bullet points under each section, and fill them in with the key issues you want to discuss. In the Introduction, tell your audience who you are and explain briefly what you'll cover in the speech. Additionally, you'll want to have 1-2 main ideas in the body if the speech is for 2 minutes, or 3 ideas if it's a 5-minute speech. Finally, write a conclusion to sum up the main points you've made. For tips on how to take inspiration from other speeches and how to edit your first draft, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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5 Steps to Writing a Motivational Speech With Sample Outline
- DESCRIPTION woman doing motivational speech
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- PERMISSION Used under license
Who doesn't love a little pick me up or a dash of inspiration? When we're feeling low, a small bout of motivational medicine can be enough to lift someone up and out of their slump. If you've been tasked with this wonderful opportunity, we hope these five steps for how to write a motivational speech help you draw in the crowd and start changing lives, one truth at a time.
1. Be Clear About Your Message
Have you ever listened to someone deliver a speech and, although they were quite affable, wondered, "What in the world are they even talking about?" It might've felt disjointed or like they were moving all over the map. The problem there is that they probably weren't super clear themselves about the message they wanted to deliver. So, the first step for writing a motivational speech is to have a clear and concise message .
Create a Central Theme
You might compare it to the thesis statement of an essay. It's one sentence that defines the entirety of everything else that's to come. If you can focus on that one, central theme, you can direct every ensuing point back to that main motivational idea.
If you consider some of the most famous motivational speakers in the world, you'll note that every one of their speeches has one central theme. They don't speak on multiple topics within singular speeches; they focus on one powerfully potent thought. Tony Robbins has been transforming lives for years. Look at his catalog of videos to see how he uses one compelling message per video.
2. Start With a Bang
Of all the components of a speech, your opening lines are the most important. A good hook is absolutely crucial to your success. You may be likable. You may have great energy. But if you don't say something to perk up the ears in the crowd, you'll have lost them even before you've begun.
To help with this, check out how to write a hook . It'll reemphasize the power of the hook and helps you draft your own.
3. Share Narratives
There are a few ways to connect with your audience . The first is eye contact. As you move around the room, it's important to continually scan the crowd and make the audience feel like you're speaking to them directly.
Once you make that connection, share a personal narrative or two. Think of it as a conversation between friends. We're all interrelational on one level or another. Sharing a personal narrative helps you forge that connection in a way straightforward facts and figures cannot.
Consider these narrative essay examples . Although they're intended for the written word, you can see how one moving snippet is enough to move an entire audience.
4. Keep the Audience in Mind
If you consider the word "motivate," it implies action of some sort. This means your motivational speech can't be self-focused. Rather, you have to be the driving force that motivates the audience to some sort of action. Consider your speech as a two-way street. Ask rhetorical questions when possible.
Simply put, you never want to just focus on yourself, your testimony or your narratives. Instead, you want to keep the audience as your primary focus.
- Will they understand what you're saying?
- Can they relate to your narratives?
- Are you providing them with enough examples to encourage them to go out and make a change?
As an added bonus, keeping the focus on them (and not on you) will help keep your nervousness at bay. For more on this, check out these tips on speech writing . They'll help you stamp down any anxieties you may be having and organize a compelling speech.
5. Conclude With a Compelling Thought
Like the hook, how you close is also important. Humans are so fickle and distracted; it's possible your audience will walk out of the room and forget everything you just said.
But, you can stay with them if you can close in a manner that lingers in their mind.
- Ask them to take some sort of action.
- Ask them to step outside their busy lives and do something peculiar to them.
- Ask a rhetorical question that they can answer within their own minds.
A motivational speech is a persuasive speech. You want to foster some type of positive change. To help you along, check out these steps for writing a persuasive speech . They'll help you pull all your thoughts together into a cohesive, yet compelling, train of thought.
Motivational Speech Example
Who among us doesn't ponder the meaning of life from time to time? Where we have been and where we will be in the future is pivotal to our growth. Steve Jobs explored this in his motivational speech at the Stanford Commencement Address .
"Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
As you watch Job's speech, you'll note he ends with a call to action, "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish". Those final words will stick with people and likely propel them toward some sort of action.
Motivational Speech Outline Example
For more on how to structure your speech, consider emulating the outline below. Use it as a template to help you gather your thoughts and make major waves.
5 steps writing motivational speech
How to write a motivational speech.
Wherever you go, you can choose to be the light in the room. Spread positivity. Let people know they can achieve their life's mission. Best of all, you don't have to toil over what to say. Just choose one thing and build out from there. The less your speech resembles a spider web, the more people you'll touch.
To help you stay on track, take a look at these quick keyword outline examples . A keyword outline will be your best friend when you're up there on the stage. It's a reassuring little piece of paper that lets you know you are, indeed, motivating the crowd.
How to Write an Inspirational Speech
How to write an inspirational speech: intro.
“Greatness is inspiring others to be their best.”
It’s very hard and even wearying to inspire someone to accomplish great things in their life. And it’s not because you lack persuasion skills or the depth of sincerity. Yes, to inspire people, you need them to have perseverance and determination, which is not superficial and can be attained through various inspiration-rousing tools like an inspirational speech. Very powerful by its nature, this type of a speech has become insanely popular over the years and been given wherever it is important to uplift the mood. So, what is an inspirational speech, anyway? A speech used to uplift the audience and make them feel inspired – this is probably one of the simplest and most concise definitions. To inspirit your audience, you don’t have to be a rhetoric god able to mesmerize someone with your speech. What you need to have is a good grasp of the pivotal elements that make up the art of creating a weighty inspirational speech. So, if you really want to plunge into how to write an inspirational speech, help yourself to our vital solutions and suggestions below!
Steps to Write a Masterful Inspirational Speech
“I don’t believe in luck, I believe in preparation.”
We begin our inside-out guide with steps, as they help generate the strategy of your speech, as well as form its framework. Before you start writing your speech, you definitely want to make thorough preparation, such as develop a plan. In order to prepare brilliantly for your inspirational speech, or get some insight into how to write an inspirational book, you need to think through several crucial cornerstones.
1. Consider your qualification
This aspect is all about realizing why you are qualified enough to write this speech. That is, what advantage you have over the other candidates that made them choose you to fulfill this mission. You need to consider this aspect so as to figure out and shortlist your milestones. Then, you should highlight them in your speech, as this is what plays a tremendous role in encouraging the audience.
2. Regard for your audience
Another important element of planning your speech is knowing your audience. Research and give thought to fundamental factors about your audience: their demographic, occupation, etc. Based on these factors, you have to choose the theme, style, and even length of your speech.
3. Establish three main points of your speech
This is essential to avoid rambling in the speech. Try to identify the keystones of your inspirational address and center it around them. Before you tackle those points, keep in mind that they have to resonate with your audience.
4. Choose your topic
The topic of your speech is supposed to convey your main message and unite all the points you make in your address. Defining the topic is highly critical when it comes to how to write an inspirational letter. Again, the topic has to be chosen with regard to the aforementioned factors of the audience.
Tips for Creating an Inspirational Address
“The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others.”
Now it’s time to move to suggestions. Skilled and competent as you may be, it never hurts to broaden the horizons of your knowledge with wise suggestions from others. Just take a look at them, and who knows, maybe they’ll come in handy when you start creating your piece of inspirational art.
- Stay sanguine. Otherwise, there’s no point of writing an inspirational speech. To lift the audience up, you have to remain uplifted yourself.
- Be emotional. Overcome your timidity and empower your speech with emotional vocabulary. Uncovering emotions in your speech helps bridge the gap between you and the listeners, as this appeals to their own emotions and feelings towards what you’re speaking about.
- Tell a story or several stories. People love listening to stories, so they will especially appreciate one in your speech. Moreover, storytelling better illustrates your point as well as the overall topic of your speech and enagges the audience.
- Be sincere. Although listed near the end, this must be by far the most important aspect of writing an inspirational address. If you want your speech to actually impress people and brighten their lives, you have to write from your heart and mean what you write about.
- Leave some room to think at the end. The ending of any great speech urges the listeners to question the matters raised in the speech, much as the beginning of their favorite songs makes their hearts jump. Fill your ending with open-ended questions, or focus on some challenging thoughts and ideas. And remember that it has to pertain to your audience.
Inspirational Speech Example Analysis
We have provided an analysis of an inspirational speech to help you understand how to create one yourself. Just take a look at the pictures below (click them to see the full size).
All said and done, we’ve come to the conclusion that getting inspired is much easier than actually inspiring others. But having some useful and comprehensive guide at hand will smooth the way for your writing experience and make it seamless. Well, no one says that you should confine the range of your writing habits and solutions to just these tips and suggestions. What you can do is supply your writing proficiency and expertise with these effective guidelines, learning something worthy from them. And keep in mind that to inspire someone, you have to inspire yourself.
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Non-fiction review, creative review, business letters, academic letters, personal letters, essay writing, business writing, creative writing, research papers, writing tips.
- By James Haynes
How to give a motivational speech
Table of contents, introduction.
So you want to learn how to give a motivational speech. Maybe it’s for a motivational speech for work, or maybe it’s for a school project. You have an idea of what you want to speak about, but how do you actually create your talk? How do you give a motivational speech? And what makes a talk “good”?
In this post, you can read answers to all of those questions. You’ll learn tips to go through the process to create a great motivational speech from idea to completion. And you’ll learn how to write and give an inspiring motivational speech. Need examples of a motivational speech? Some examples will be at the end of this post!
What is a motivational speech?
A motivational speech is simply a talk meant to get your audience to see or do something. Many of the practices that you can do to prepare for a motivational speech apply to any other type of talk!
The best motivational speakers on the planet only have one or two talks they do and those talks are insanely good. Start by developing just one, really amazing talk that resonates deeply with your intended audience. The best marketing for your motivational speaking business is a great talk, so it is worth it to put in the hours for this part. Yes, even if your first speaking gig is a free talk at a community center.
Keep in mind: Your audience is always going to be asking two questions: “so what?” and “now what?” So what means, what does this have to do with me? Now what is what you want the audience to do as a result of your talk. Give them action steps to implement what you taught them. If they hear you speak but literally don’t do anything differently, what’s the point?
Giving a motivational speech is almost like mapping for a road trip. If you are going to go on a road trip, it’s easier to have a paper map or Google Maps to tell you where you’re going. But if you just get in the car and you start driving, and people are in the car asking you where we’re going, you’re in trouble! But by organizing and structuring your talk, you can lead the audience to your conclusions. And you can effectively answer those two questions: “so what?” and “now what?”
Want to learn how to write a motivational speech? Read on for 3 steps to make it unforgettable:
1. Begin with the end in mind and tell a story
Have you ever been left at the end of a speech wondering, “What was the point of this talk?” Don’t do that to your audience. When creating your talk, determine the destination that you want to take them to. Once you pick a point, then you can work backwards and reverse engineer how to get your audience to that place.
The best way to do the point of your talk is to find where your audience’s needs converge with your passions. Think about what problems you like to solve and what topics you want to talk about and look out into the world. Who is asking for solutions to those problems? Become the expert on that audience and commit yourself to meeting their needs. (for more on finding your big idea, check out this episode of The Speaker Lab podcast)
Okay, so now you have your topic, the idea you want to communicate. Now what? One of the best ways to create a memorable, relatable talk is by integrating first-person stories . You don’t have to have lost a limb or scaled Mount Everest. Keep an eye out in your everyday life for little moments that can contribute to your message. Write them down and integrate them into your talk. As you get more speaking gigs, you will very quickly learn which stories are a hit and which are total flops…which is all part of the process!
Humans relate to stories. We connect to stories. Funny stories. Sad stories. Inspirational stories. We love stories. So tell them. Lots of them. Stories will keep your audience engaged and are also easier for you to memorize. Telling stories that you lived and experienced generally makes the story better for you and the audience. For the audience, they can often times find themselves in your story. For you as the speaker, it’s much easier (and more powerful) to tell a story that you lived versus one you read in a book.
2. Write out your material
Professional speakers don’t just make stuff up. They don’t write a few thoughts on a notecard and then shoot from the hip for an entire presentation. They take the time to write and carefully craft their material.
Oftentimes speakers want to have Powerpoint or Keynote slides to use as notes for their presentation. This is lazy. Don’t do this. Any slides you use should be an enhancement not a replacement of your talk. If you’re just going to stand up there and read off the screen, what does the audience need you for?
Use Powerpoint to show images that make a point. Some speakers will build their talk around their slides. Start with the talk FIRST and then determine if slides are needed or necessary. Slides are generally most effective for showing images or videos that can’t be conveyed in words. For example, if you were in some death-defying crash and that’s part of your talk, it’s one thing to tell that story, but it’s incredibly more powerful if you show pictures or video of it all.
Consider writing out your material. Professional speakers don’t just write a few thoughts on a notecard and then shoot from the hip for an entire presentation. They take the time to write and carefully craft their material. There is no right way to create a talk. You don’t need to memorize your talk like a script, but manuscripting can help you to think through the entire presentation and to know exactly how it all flows together. Some speakers prefer to have an outline with several bullet points and flesh it out from there. Every speaker is different. Find a process that works for you. (For more on fleshing out your talk, check out this episode of the Speaker Lab podcast here .)
3. On stage, be an amplified version of you
The bigger the venue, the bigger you need to be on stage. The way you would communicate to a group of 10 people is very different than how you would need to communicate to a room of 10,000. Both should be an authentic version of you, but simply amplified to the setting. The bottom line is don’t try to be something you’re not on stage. Be you.
Keep it slow and steady. When you are talking really fast, it becomes difficult for the audience to follow. It’s hard to keep up and process. Plus the faster you talk, the harder it is to understand what you’re saying. So slow down and enunciate. Give the audience the chance to keep up with where you’re going.
Don’t be afraid of the silence. The silence to a speaker can feel deafening but it can be powerful. Silence shows confidence that you’re in control of the talk and the room and you’re continuing to guide them towards a common purpose. When you make a strong point, don’t rush to the next line. Stop and let it hang there. The silence is your friend.
For some reason, there’s this misconception that the audience is out to get you. Like they are rooting for you to fail. Nothing could be further from the truth. The audience wants you to do well. They don’t want it to be a train wreck. If they’re going to spend their precious time sitting in your session, they want it to be good. They are on your side. So relax. Take a deep breath and enjoy yourself.
By following these steps, you can set yourself up for success. Many external variables help make a motivational speech go well. Beyond working these steps before giving a motivational speech, you should try to put as many of those variables in your favor as possible. Don’t stay up late the night before at a reception. Don’t eat a massive pasta bowl before you go on stage. Try to avoid speaking during a slot when most of the audience will be distracted. If all the variables are stacked against you but you crush your talk, it can still come across as “meh” to the audience.
Keep in mind: Speaking is like playing jazz – you don’t have to give a talk the same way every time. You can improvise and mix it up sometimes, and you don’t need to plan out every hand gesture or movement or exact line you’ll use. Some of that is fine, but also be present enough with the audience that you can play jazz when the moment calls for it.
If you have a dream to inspire others with your message, you’ve probably considered taking your passion to the stage. Becoming a motivational speaker might sound like a charmed life in many ways. And while it does take hard work, it totally is. Want to go deeper and learn how to become a motivational speaker? Check out our article, “How to Become a Motivational Speaker” here!
In the meantime, here are a few rapid fire FAQs about motivational speeches. Happy speaking!
What are some examples of a motivational speech?
Some of the best motivational speeches have been at graduations from a school or training. One example is David Foster Wallace’s famous “This is Water” speech, delivered at Kenyon College in 2005. Foster Wallace’s big idea, that liberal arts should be about taking a step outside one’s own point of view, is brought home by his analogy of a fish that can’t discern the water it swims in.
Another example of a famous motivational speech is academic researcher Brené Brown’s breakout 2010 TEDx Houston talk, “The Power of Vulnerability”, which became a top 5-viewed TED Talk online.
Looking for more examples of a motivational speech? Check out this article here.
How much money can you make as a motivational speaker?
The runway to a successful business is often slow. But many speakers make 6+ figures a year within a couple years of starting their speaking business!
What degree you need to become a motivational speaker?
It does not matter! You can have no degree or a PhD in whatever field you like and still be a great motivational speaker.
Can anyone become a motivational speaker?
How long does it take to become a motivational speaker?
This may vary quite a bit, primarily based on your state in life.
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