Have you ever opened a Ted Talk on YouTube with the intention of simply passing time, and ended up with a surge of motivation to do something? Or have you ever attended a speech in person that inspired you to actually do something instead of simply waiting for it to get over with?
Well, if you have, then you have an idea about what a motivational speech is and how it operates.
Motivational speeches are used by many speakers. In fact, they’re one of the most common speeches that are being delivered out there. And yet, for how commonly they’re used, writing & delivering a good motivational speech–you know, one that actually motivates–is no easy task.
After reading all this, you’re probably wondering why there is such a ruckus around being a motivational speaker & what sets motivational speeches apart from other speeches.
Motivational speeches are important because they work to inspire you, enhance your creativity, reduce fear & apprehension, offers a new outlook on things, and helps you meet other people on the same boat as you.
Don’t worry, we’ve elaborated on all this below.
Motivational Speaking: Definition And Purpose
Before we delve into the importance of motivational speeches, let’s first get down to the basics & understand what the motivational speech actually means.
For motivational speeches, the definition actually corresponds with its purpose.
A motivational speech is intended to persuade or motivate the audience to take some course of action.
This definition more or less covers what is the purpose of delivering a motivational speech as well i.e to motivate people to do something.
Motivational speeches are delivered to inspire the audience, to make them think, and finally to get them to accept & follow your call to action. That is, they not only have a cognitive purpose, but also an emotional and actionable one.
How Motivational Speeches Help People
Now that you know what a motivational speech is & the reason why it’s delivered, let’s move onto the next step i.e figuring out what, exactly, is it about motivational speeches that help people.
Motivation is important for everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do: you need motivation if you want to do something in your life, no matter how small the task.
Except for this, the help that Motivational Speeches provide people is also rooted in the actionable part of the definition of motivational speeches.
Motivational speeches are intended to inspire other people, yes. But it’s not solely that is inspiration drawn through powerful words that they depend on.
Although the end message is no doubt powerful, motivational speakers not only ask you to do something but also outline the steps on how to actually go about achieving things.
Motivational speakers provide their audience with important insight–which is sometimes personal–into how to actually go about achieving the things they’re asking them to achieve.
Not only this, but they also provide effective systems and examples or tried and tested methods of achieving the end goal. The most common way through which this is done is through storytelling.
Why Motivational Speeches Are Important
1. Everything Needs Motivation–Even The Smallest Things
So many people think that motivation is only something that people require to achieve the big goals in their life like that dream job or maybe winning some other race.
However, while achieving big goals is certainly one object of motivation, it’s not the only one. You need motivation even for doing small tasks in life like painting your house, reading that book, or even working out.
Think of the last time you heard someone (or yourself) say I lost motivation to go to the gym today or finish my work and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
2. Changes Your Perspective
Another key reason why motivational speeches are important is that motivational speeches change the way you approach or see certain things or topics.
Motivational speeches often offer a new perspective onto something, a different way of seeing something that people have been seeing for a long time.
This can help people transform perceived hurdles into challenges to overcome, or simply offer new insight into something.
3. Improves Task Performance
Motivation is imperative to improving your task performance. While motivation is important for actually getting off your butt and doing something, how much motivation you have will also determine the quality of the work you do.
In this sense, motivational speeches are important as they provide the audience with an outline on how to really improve their performance in life. Through the real-life examples and tips they provide, motivational speeches can greatly improve how well a person operates.
4. Gives New Ideas & Solutions
Another key reason why motivational speeches are important is that they give new ideas to the audience & provide new solutions to problems that they’ve been probably facing for a long time.
Motivational speakers can also keep you informed about all the new developments in their respective fields, and thereby keep you up to date on the easiest way to achieve what you want.
5. Provides A Burst Of Energy & Inspiration
To actually put things into action, not only do you need inspiration but also the energy to carry out that action.
Motivational speeches help you achieve both of these things. Through the surge of inspiration that they provide, and the general inspired atmosphere of motivational speeches, a speaker can make the audience feel imbued with energy and want to get on their feet.
6. Reduces Fear & Apprehension
For many people, doing something new or simply seeing things in a new perspective often evokes feelings of apprehension or sometimes even downright fear.
Motivational speeches can help reduce this fear to an extent, as the speaker will actively work to make the unknown familiar to you and to provide real-life examples that you can draw upon.
Reducing the fear or apprehension associated with a particular topic goes a long way in how successful you’re able to carry out the task.
7. Builds Confidence
Another reason why motivational speeches are so effective is that they help the audience members build a sense of confidence. Confidence is imperative if you want to take the first step forward & try out something new.
Motivational speakers provide people with some key tools that they need in order to build their confidence, like knowledge, motivation & relatable stories.
8. Teaches You To Value Both: Sucess & Failure
Failure is inevitable if you’re truly doing something new. Think of all the biggest innovations in history, and you’ll realize just how many times the person had to fail before they were able to succeed.
And yet, failure is something that many people still view with fearful eyes. Attending motivational speeches–especially if they’re centered around similar topics–will help you greatly overcome your fear of apprehension and teach you to value both: failure & success.
9. Helps Meet People On The Same Boat As You
Attending motivational speeches is a great opportunity for networking & meeting other people who are going through the same things you are.
This allows you to broaden your network and to get to meet new people who probably want to achieve the same things as you. This can also help you achieve goals that you wouldn’t have been able to on your own.
So, for instance, if you’re attending a motivational speech for young entrepreneurs, then you can meet like-minded people who’re also on the same path as you–and maybe even figure out how to build something together.
10. Boosts Creativity
Ever left a particularly inspiring speech with your brain in brain-storm mode? Well, you’re not alone. The motivation & inspiration that strikes you during a particularly good motivational speech will work to get your brain juices flowing & enter you into a creative mindset.
This can further help you out because your creative idea might actually work to inspire you more, leading to more brainstorming…and so on. A cycle–but not a vicious one.
Tips To Write A Great Motivational Speech
1. Don’t Have Too Many Different Points
While it’s perfectly alright to divide up one main point into multiple different ones for ease of understanding, you don’t want to have multiple main points. This will end up confusing your audience, and they will most likely not have a clear idea of which direction to head in.
You want the audience to leave your speech with a clear-cut mindset about what they’re supposed to do next. Not have them scratching their heads about what to do.
2. Structure It Well
The way you structure your speech is going to have a major impact on how well you manage to connect with the audience and how much of the message they actually understand. Don’t just dive into writing your speech without structuring it first. Your speech should have a well-defined beginning, middle, and end.
That’s why it’s important to write down your speech beforehand. It will allow you to better the way your speech flows.
For more information on why it’s important to write down your speech, check out our article on 9 Reasons Why Writing A Speech Is Important.
3. Use Simple Language
Now is not the time to be hit by a bout of verbosity. Seriously. You don’t want to use big or complicated words–this might make you sound smart, but will also make your audience more confused about what you actually want them to do.
So, use simple language to explain your main idea. This doesn’t have to impact the quality of your speech in any way. Remember that you’re there to talk to ordinary people, so speak as they do.
4. Incorporate Storytelling & Real-Life Examples
This is a must for any motivational speech. Stories are an integral element of any speech, yes. But they become even more important when you’re delivering a motivational speech. This is because if you truly wish to inspire people, you must give them examples of real instances where other people have been benefitted from taking inspiration from your topic.
So, make sure to incorporate real-life stories in your speech. Want more information about how to fully explore storytelling in your speech? Head over to our article on 9 Storytelling Approaches For Your Next Speech Or Presentation.
5. Have A Really Powerful Opening & Ending
Your opening & ending are the most important components of your speech. However, they become even more important when you’re delivering a motivational speech. This is because the opening will determine how you inspire your audience right off the bat, and the kind of emotional mood they’re in for the rest of your speech.
Your ending, on the other hand, is what will remain with your audience after you’re done with your speaking–and that’s where most of the actual work is going to be done.
Importance Of A Motivational Speaker
1. Helps Personal Development
This is perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of motivational speakers, and for good reason. Motivational speakers can–if they are actually experienced in their field of speaking–help the people listening to their speech develop themselves.
They can help the listeners set goals–both long term as well as short term, and also aid in figuring out a strategy to achieve those goals.
2. Helps Businesses And Companies
Many companies and workplaces these days invite motivational speakers to talk with their members, and for good reason.
Motivational speakers can help employees boost their productivity and infuse within them a sense of enthusiasm. They can also inspire people to improve their work and figure out how to cultivate good company culture.
3. Educating The Public
Motivational speakers also work to educate the general public on a variety of topics that are relevant to them. Motivational speakers can rally the public to take action about a particular good cause.
They can help people see certain important aspects that they might be overlooking, and figure out a plan of action to coordinate.
4. Inspires Youth
Many motivational talks these days are directed towards the youth. That’s because the youth is the heart of any country, and what plays the most integral role in driving it forward.
Motivational speakers can help inspire the youth, and to organize their collective energy in a positive way. They can also act as a source of guidance for the youth, and make them see all the different directions they can take their life in.
5. Help People Get Together
Another reason why motivational speakers are important–and one that is often overlooked–is that motivational speakers help people get together and find a common purpose.
Strife is common in any country, community, or even workplace. However, motivational speakers, by employing all of the factors mentioned above, can actually help people from all walks of life come together and find a common purpose.
Especially if teamwork is an area that the speaker specializes in, they can make a key difference in drawing people together.
How To Keep Up The Motivation Rolling AFTER The Speech Ends?
So, you’ve either delivered a motivational speech or just finished hearing one. Your endorphins are rolling, you feel like you’re at the top of the world, like you can do anything and everything…
And then some time passes. And you realize well, do you really need to do it all right now…
And there goes the motivation.
How do you get around this? How do you keep up your motivation after the actual event has ended? Or how do you avoid your audience from losing out on all the motivation you’ve spent so long attempting to infuse them with?
Well, there are a few things that you can do…
1. Don’t Ask For TOO Much
A lot of motivational speakers make this mistake. They ask their audience to achieve some giant goal, say like, becoming their fittest possible self by the end of the year. However, for someone who’s never really stepped on a treadmill their entire life, this can be quite overwhelming.
While they might find the idea enchanting, that’s all it will be: an enchanting dream, out of their reach. And if they think it’s just a dream they can never achieve…well, they won’t try, will they?
So, start by asking something small. Say, like, getting them to work out for twenty minutes every three days. Or simply avoiding eating out on the weekends. Don’t overwhelm them.
2. Clearly Outline The Next Steps
If you really want your audience to do something, then CLEARLY tell them what you want them to do. Give them a list of things that they should do as soon as your talk gets over, and also outline a broad plan for what they should do after those steps have ended.
Sticking with the example mentioned above, you can tell them that if they’re going to go out for drinks this week, they should stick with just water as mix-ins. You can also provide them with information about fitness classes trials that you–or someone else nearby–are taking.
3. Stay In Touch With Them
One of the best ways to monitor your audience’s progress over time is by staying in touch with them. This way, you will directly know where they are in terms of progress. It will also allow you to gently motivate them and send them reminders about their goals–however, remember to not force or coerce them into doing something.
You can do this by sharing your contact details with the audience. You can also make them sign up for your newsletter or make them a part of your email list.
How To Be An Authentic Motivational Speaker
While delivering a motivational speech or becoming a motivational speaker sounds easy enough, it’s not so. A lot of people believe that becoming a motivational speaker is the same as delivering a speech on any other topic. However, this cannot be further from the truth.
If you truly wish to become a motivational speaker that helps people, then you need to be authentic. Your speech must draw from your own personal thoughts, emotions and ideas, yes. But more importantly, your speech must be from your own experiences. First-hand experiences are vital for any motivational speaker.
Think of it this way: if you had to pick the more authentic and trustable source from a person who’s watched a lot of youtube videos on fitness & is passionate about them vs. someone who is a personal trainer with hands-on experience with multiple clients and a passion for fitness, who would you pick?
The second one, most likely.
So, if you truly wish to become an authentic speaker, then you must let yourself first experience your area of expertise, and derive enough experience from it to make other people want to experience it too.
Examples Of Great Motivational Speeches
1. Richard St. John: Secrets Of Success In 8 Words, 3 Minutes
Takeaway: This is one of the best ted talks in the realm of motivational speaking. One of the reasons why this talk is so great is because of how brilliantly the speech is structured. The speaker manages to condense such a big amount of information into a talk that lasts less than four minutes, and yet nowhere does it feel rushed or cramped together. You can use his structure as an inspiration to your own speech.
2. Simon T. Bailey: To Break Through, Find Your True Calling
Takeaway: The reason why this ted-talk is so great is because of the speaker’s outstanding delivery. He uses various strategies to emotionally connect with his audience. His body language, the way he intonates, gestures, and facial expressions all come together to create a truly amazing speech experience that is likely to motivate his audience into taking action.
3. J.K Rowling: Harvard Commencement Speech
Takeaway: Whatever your opinions about Rowling, one cannot deny that this is truly an amazing speech to study. This is because of the beautiful way in which Rowling has organized the main content of her speech, and the way she explains it all in such a simplistic way.
The theme of the topic is imagination and failure, and how these two elements are crucial to success. While at first glance there seems to be no relationship between these three words, the way she speaks makes you realize how intricately they’re connected.
Use this speech as a guideline to organize your material and how to structure your content in order for it to be simple and yet at the same time unique. For more information on what makes speakers great, check out our article on 11 Qualities Of A Great Speaker.
To sum up, motivational speeches are important for a variety of reasons. Motivational speeches are an important type of speech because they work to inspire you, enhance your creativity, reduce fear & apprehension, offers a new outlook on things, and helps you meet other people on the same boat as you. By using the tips mentioned above & taking inspiration from real-life motivational speeches, you too can become an excellent motivational speaker.