You might have made a public speech before, or perhaps you have never made one. Making your first motivational speech is an exciting prospect. You have the power in your hands to deliver a speech that could potentially change someone’s life for the better. It’s a versatile skill that can also boost your personal development.
Your motivational speech needs to engage your audience. You want your audience to hang on to every word and feel excited about what is coming next. However, it can be challenging to keep people engaged. A recent study by Microsoft has shown attention spans in the last few years have reduced to only 8 seconds.
Engaging Your Audience From The Beginning
Luckily, you can do many different things to connect with your audience. Here are three examples you can use to help you bridge the gap between you and your audience. Think about these areas when you start writing a motivational speech.
Tell A Story To Create A Connection
A story is a powerful tool to use in a motivational speech. It is something that people can listen to and follow. Like all stories, there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. People will think about how it affects them and if they can relate to it. Have they shared a similar experience? Does your story make them see things differently?
Ask A Deep Question
Starting a speech with a question gets everybody’s attention. It’s a super personal reach out that can attract everyone. You might even see some of your audience shifting in seats. Don’t worry about it if this happens. It means your question is affecting the audience. You are making a proper connection.
Share A Strong Motivational Statistic
Sharing a statistic that can help give credibility to your speech. People love facts and figures and might take them away and use them. Find something juicy and relevant to your speech. Also, make sure that the statistic is up-to-date. Anything more than two years old will seem irrelevant, like “old news”.
Keeping The Audience Hooked During A Motivational Speech
Now you know how to start a motivational speech. But how can you keep it going? You can try using one or all of these to keep your audience on the hook. Stick with the ones that feel more comfortable and natural for you. It will help you stay upbeat and confident while delivering your speech.
A Visual Prop Is A Must
With 8-second attention spans, visual props are excellent tools to keep your audience interested. You can use practically anything in your speech as a prop. It can be eye-catching, funny, unusual, or something completely different. It refocuses your audience and also makes your motivational speech more memorable.
Stick To The Subject During A Motivational Speech
You need to do everything you can to stay connected with your audience. Sticking to the subject of your speech is crucial. Going off in different directions and topics can confuse your audience. Plus, they will switch off if they are not interested in your new topic of discussion. After all, they came to hear you talk about a set motivation topic.
Use Pauses To Your Advantage
Pausing at the right time in a speech can have a considerable impact. If you put your pauses in the right places, you can drive your audience wild. For example, you can pause before you deliver a significant statistic, to give it more clout. Or, if you want to share a motivational quote with them, you could pause for a few moments after the quote.
Humour can be tricky, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you. It’s important to remember what you think is funny might not be funny for somebody else. Choose your jokes wisely and deliver them in the right way. Practise your speech with a friend and get their honest feedback. It will help you decide what works best for you.
The Best Way To Finish A Motivational Speech
The pointers above will help you during your presentation. You also need to think about how you will end your speech. All speeches need to finish with a bang to make them memorable. With a motivational speech, you want to leave your audience with a positive impression of you and your topic. Try doing these three things.
Give A Summary
It is incredible how many people forget to give a summary. It’s a great way to bring together your speech and highlight the key points. Perhaps your audience might have missed something, or it will reinforce something they liked. It also gives your speech more credibility as it shows you have prepared it in an organized way.
Close With A Story
If you’ve already used a story or two, it is still acceptable to finish with one. People love stories. Motivational stories are things people remember and might share with others. Don’t forget that your main goal is to motivate your audience. Make sure your story is inspirational and evokes emotion.
Give A Call To Action
At the end of your speech, give a “call to action”. You can do this in many different ways. For example, ask the audience to copy something you did, to get in touch with you, or to set themselves a motivational task. You could also invite them to come and talk with you after the speech.
Your Next Steps
Now, you have all the tools to start your first motivational speech. It’s an exciting skill to learn. Don’t be afraid to keep trying different things until you find something that works for you. When you practice your speech, you will have a gut instinct about what does and doesn’t work.
Start looking forward to inspiring an eager, excited audience who you will leave wanting more. If you need help writing the speech, contact a professional writer and explain what you need. A motivational speech writer can help you create a speech that matches your audience. All you need to do is knock it out of the park!
Sally Leslie is a motivational coach and optimist. She helps freelancers and entrepreneurs create balance in their lives and work towards their personal and professional goals. Sally also creates B2B content for businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups. A lover of plants, freedom, and football!