Author: Andrew vonWiesenthal

Learn to MOTIVATE When You Speak!

Let's start from the beginning.

1. What is your life experience?

If you want to learn to be a motivational speaker, you first must figure out what you are going to speak about. The best place to start looking is your own life.  Make a list of goals you have met and achievements you have earned. For example, graduating from college, landing your first job, overcoming drugs, or even achieving lifelong dreams.  If you just so happen to be a best selling author or an Olympic Medalist then that would definitely add to your credibility; however, it is not necessary to provide material for speeches.

2. What do you have to offer?

Second you must identify what you have to offer. Lucky enough, everyday goals can be used in providing material, such as quitting smoking, overcoming an addiction, finally getting your anger under control, losing weight. On the negative side maybe you have been in a drunk driving accident. Talk about how that changed your life and the struggles you had to endure. Talk about how you overcame adversity and how you pushed hard to get through it. Pour your heart out on the table to the audience; they love to connect to the emotion that you offer.

           3. Head to the base!

“It is really difficult for people to believe you when you say, ‘I can solve every one of your problems’. “  This is the step where you need to get serious. It is time to find your “niche”. You need to figure out your specialty, whether it is leadership or perserverance, etc., because people tend to be more willing to listen if the speaker (you) has an expertise property about them. In other words, if you know what you are talking about and you show your intelligence, people are more willing to listen to what you say.

            4. Know what to say before they hear it.

You need to know your audience. Depending on what type of niche you chose, you can characterize your audience depending on: age, gender, location, interests, or any other traits like religion and culture. Once that is organized you can then figure out how to aim your efforts to where the audience feels as if your speech talks to them individually.  Motivation comes from believing, and believing comes from the heart. Make sure you touch their heart.

            5. Build a structure.

It is time to start writing your speech. The best way to organize a speech is to first make an outline of your speech. Then, label key points in your speech and make sure you stay on topic. For a preview of what your outline should look like feel free to click on the link labeled outline.

           6. Fill in the ________.

Once you make the skeleton of your outline for your speech, it is time to fill in the gaps within different sections of your speech with supporting ideas and details. What ideas do you have that you can tell the audience to support your main points in the speech? Also make sure you have examples and anecdotes you can share with the audience to prove your struggles. If your speech is particularly long, do not be afraid to use humor! Throw in a few jokes and make the audience smile because comedic relief is the best way for the audience to forget their problems. Last but not least make sure you have visuals before, during, and after your speech to give the audience a better understanding of what you went through. A great example of a visual could be a homemade video of yourself, or even pictures to show where you came from and what you have accomplished (before and after).

           7. Memorize and shake the cobwebs off.

Once you have finished your speech, memorize it. Once you have it memorized, there is no need for you look at notecards or the screen, which gives you the ability to have eye contact with your audience. This is extremely beneficial to your speech because not only can you make the audience feel like you are talking to them one-on-one, but at the same time gives you the boost you need to be exciting and bring personality to the stage. It is ok to feel nervous at the beginning, but as a motivational speaker it is your job not to show it. 

For new speakers:
If you do need help learning how to speak, you can find your local Toastmasters nearest to your area. Toastmasters is an international non-profit organization that helps people practice speaking skills at weekly meetings. Once you feel comfortable with your abilities and the speech you have prepared, do not be afraid to start booking gigs. While practicing at home is great, there is no comparison to putting on a REAL show for REAL people. There is no substitute for experience, so get out there and give the power of motivation to people who need it.

            Now THAT is how you write a speech.

Useful Tips:


·      “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up” – Jimmy V.

·      Own the Stage.

You must realize you are not a "sage on a stage." You are a performer and if you wish to speak with motivational success you must put on a great show, otherwise the audience is going to feel as if you wasted their time. You are the star of the show, so you must practice, practice, and practice.

·      Keep it simpleWhen you speak to the audience, do not attempt to develop a brain trust. Keep your message simple and strong.

·      Never let your audiences forget your niche.

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