There is something powerful hidden in the act of inspiration. And motivational speakers use this uncanny force to stir the emotions of their audience to help inspire them.
- Make sure to establish yourself as a credible speaker
- Organize your presentation and content before arriving on the stage
- Tell compelling and engaging personal stories
- Integrate plenty of humor into your act
- View silences as just another way to communicate with your audience members
- Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to your speaking
- Take your time building rapport, but don’t go overboard
- Ignore any self-doubt you may be experiencing
- Ooze passion and excitement in your act
- Never show up without a plan of action
- Acknowledge your audience as unique
- Listeners don’t want to be lectured
But not all speakers can successfully wield this power. Sometimes, speakers can step on stage, and their words fall on deaf ears.
If that has happened to you before, you likely need to take a step back and look at how you can improve as a motivational speaker. As a successful and experienced corporate emcee myself, I know exactly how to use the spoken word to engage, connect, and communicate with an audience.
Here are twelve of my top tips to help you become the best MOTIVATIONAL speaker you can be!
See Related: 5 Reasons Why Logos Is Important For An Effective Speech
How To Become A Motivational Speaker That Truly Inspires
Motivational speaking is about more than just saying a few buzzwords and hoping your audience is listening at least a little bit.
In fact, motivational speakers have an immense responsibility and power to bring forth their listener’s deepest emotions and hidden desires that usually lie dormant.
It’s very rare for inspiration to happen naturally, which is why motivational speakers utilize exceptional public speaking skills to help their target audience feel motivated.
Many motivational speakers possess exceptional skills in public speaking, audience engagement, and even marketing strategy. But they didn’t get there without profound practice and dedication to their craft.
There are a few key attributes that all inspirational speakers have in common. And here are twelve major tips that almost all speakers use to make their acts successful!
#1. Make Sure You Establish Your Credibility As A Motivational Speaker
To be a great professional motivational speaker, you need to be an expert on your chosen topic. In fact, any type of speaker needs to be able to establish credibility from the get-go.
Think about it like this: what audience would want to listen to a speaker who has no idea what they’re talking about?
If you can’t establish credibility as a motivational speaker, your audience won’t take you seriously. So you need to show them why they should respect your words.
You can do this by establishing a trustworthy character, competence in the subject matter, and common ground with your audience. Then, when your audience sees you as credible, they’ll listen to you, and you’ll be a successful motivational speaker!
#2. Organize Your Presentation Before Stepping On Stage
The key to succeeding at anything in life is preparation.
So, if you want to be a great inspirational speaker, you must ensure you get this fundamental aspect down!
If you’re giving a motivational presentation, you might have some sort of visual aid. Make sure it’s informative, concise, and aesthetically pleasing. And make sure you prepare it in advance!
You also might need to prepare a script, sound equipment, or other event tokens for the audience. Anything you need to do before your speech, make sure you get it done early and get it done well!
#3. Tell A Compelling Personal Story
People relate to stories more than anything else. Storytelling has a specific power, and the best professional speakers use that to their advantage!
Humans have used stories as a primary form of communication for many years. Stories are used to share lessons, teach histories, and inspire people. A good speaker knows how to use stories to successfully and effectively get their point across.
And the thing about a good story is that there are endless to choose from. So if you’re planning to tell a third-person narrative, find a great example to incorporate into your speech.
But where third-person stories come up short, first-person stories prevail. Besides, an audience is typically drawn more toward personal first-person stories than anything else.
As the speaker, it’s up to you to use your experience and expertise to motivate your audience. When you tell interesting and compelling personal tales, the audience will be more inclined to listen and trust you.
Ensure the story ties in with the message you’re giving. You want to make sure your stories add value to your speeches, not detract from them!
#4. Integrate Humor Into Your Speeches
Don’t be afraid to crack a joke.
People like to laugh. There’s no doubt about that! Plus, making your audience laugh makes them much more comfortable and trusting of you.
So, use humor in your speeches. No one likes a boring, stuffy speech with no intrigue and engagement. But humor gives your audience everything they need to truly feel inspired and motivated at the end!
I’ve seen first-hand how humor can genuinely turn an entire event around. I think even professional speakers don’t realize how critical it is to use humor in your speech.
People want to feel like they can relate to their speaker. And humor, jokes, and laughter is the best way to make them feel comfortable and more readily heed your words.
Don’t be afraid to even use self-deprecating humor. Audiences always like someone who can laugh at themselves!
That’s why I always use humor in my acts. And the greatest speakers consistently do!
#5. View Silence As Just Another Medium Of Communication
Don’t be afraid of silence.
Rookie speakers make the mistake of rushing to fill every quiet moment with awkward rambling. They do this because they’re afraid of silence!
But great inspirational speakers know how to use silence to their advantage. Quiet moments make your message more dramatic and insightful.
This is called using pauses. Motivational speakers strategically place pauses and silences in their speeches to provide emphasis and clarity.
So, if there’s a moment of silence during your speech, don’t be afraid of it. Use it to your advantage, and then use it some more!
#6. Avoid A One-Size-Fits-All Approach
Not all listeners want the same thing.
You need to take that into consideration when crafting and giving your speech. For example, some audiences might be more interested in your personal appeal while others might care only about the facts.
The best way to be prepared for this is to know your audience. Then, adapt your content and tailor it to who you’re speaking to. In a one-on-one situation, it’s easier to make the conversation unique to the person you’re conversing with.
But when speaking to a larger crowd, you must address each person’s unique desires. So, give the people what they want!
Bonus: 6 Reasons Why Public Speaking Is Actually Really Hard
#7. Take Your Time (But Not Too Much!)
Many people have a fear of public speaking whether at events, in a workplace meeting, or even at the dinner table at home. If you fall into that category, it’s totally normal. Don’t stress about it!
But a common thing that newbie speakers do is rush. They hurry their content and end up with jumbled words and hectic sentences.
The best motivational speakers know how to slow down and use their time wisely. And as I said earlier, use pauses!
Make sure you don’t rush it. Take your time. But ensure you don’t go over your allotted time and get your conclusion cut off.
Manage your time wisely.
#8. Ignore Any Self-Doubt And Focus On Confidence
If you’re just beginning your motivational speaking journey, you might be a little unsure about your abilities. Feeling nervous and doubtful when stepping on stage is natural if you haven’t already established self-confidence.
But confidence is vital to motivational speeches. Your message won’t be successful if you don’t deliver it with pride and enthusiasm.
So, get rid of any self-doubt and nervousness. Calm your nerves, and relax. You’ve got this!
#9. Ooze Passion And Excitement
Your audience can quickly tell if you’re not excited to be there.
Each and every motivational speaker should constantly show off abundant amounts of passion, intrigue, and excitement. Keep in mind all these feelings are contagious!
If an audience is watching a speaker who is bored, tired, and unenthused, the audience will reflect these emotions. But if you show up smiling with an engaging energy, your audience will respond by feeling empowered by your message!
#10. Never Show Up Without A Game Plan
You can’t expect to walk on stage without a plan and wow your audience. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that!
You need to establish a solid game plan before you show up to give a keynote speech. Your visual aids should be created, sound equipment tested, and your script written.
But you also need to know what to do if your audience starts firing questions, or they don’t laugh at your jokes, or you didn’t properly prepare your slideshow in advance.
We all know that life doesn’t always go according to plan. So when life does start to go sideways, you need to know how to react and adapt instantaneously.
This will ensure your speech goes smoothly and your audience leaves motivated and inspired. Responding negatively to trip-ups will ensure your entire act is a bust!
#11. Acknowledge What Makes Your Audience Unique
Each gig you go to will have a unique audience. So you must adapt your style to fit the people you’re speaking to.
For example, you wouldn’t use the same mannerisms speaking to a group of scientists as you would to college students. You must be fluid with your vocabulary, energy levels, and body language.
If you behave incorrectly, your audience won’t take you seriously and listen to what you’re saying. That’s why it’s also critical to know your audience and research beforehand.
#12. Listeners Don’t Like To Be Lectured
The foundation of a motivational speech is in how you deliver it.
It’s more about your mannerisms, behaviors, and character than your visual aid, the words you say, or the outfit you wear. You need to have an open conversation with your listeners.
There’s nothing more off-putting than a speech that feels like a lecture. Your listeners didn’t come there to get a flashback to high school math class. They came to feel inspired, motivated, and energized!
So, create this level of comfort and open-mindedness right off the bat. Don’t waste time in the beginning by giving a boring background lesson. Instead, start with passion, intrigue, and excitement.
You must also ensure you don’t tell your audience what to do. People don’t like to be bossed around, and your audience won’t take it too well if you only lecture them on how to find motivation.
Use stories and your expertise to open their minds up to endless possibilities. Help them discover their inner potential through connectivity. Deliver your message in a way that resonates with them, not in a way that will bore or exclude them.
Utilizing the power of motivation is an exceptional skill to have. And combining that skill set with public speaking to inspire people can be extremely rewarding.
When it comes down to it, have fun with your message, and be true to yourself. Your audience will respond to that!
Keep Reading: 7 Simple Ways To Build Rapport With Your Audience
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.