Words are powerful. They can create experiences, take your audience to new heights and shift how they think. That’s what a motivational speech does. It goes beyond informing and convincing. A good motivational speech moves people emotionally. Most motivational speeches contain these elements:
- Use of stories – usually the hero’s journey
- Inspiration to make a positive change
- Emotional experience that moves people to take action
- A challenge to think differently
Most importantly, motivational speeches link back the message to the current reality of the audience.
Let’s examine some of my favorite motivational speakers:
Martin Luther King wraps his talk around a higher cause that changed the world. He employs repetition of his powerful message”–I have a dream ” and skillfully uses alliteration-“not the color of their skin but the content of their character.” He’s a master of language and speaks emotionally from the depths of his soul.
Oprah Winfrey speaks with clarity and emotion. Although she’s giving an acceptance speech, she inspires with her message, her reference to others, and by being a living example of her message.
Elizabeth Gilbert disarms her audience with true disclosure by sharing her vulnerbilities and fear of failure. This creates trust and a bond with the audience.
Lisa Nichols transforms her audience through her personal stories of tragedy into triumph. With great sincerity and a dynamic delivery she interacts with the audience and you feel she is talking just to you.
Les Brown has a clarity of purpose and uses his incredible story and common sense solutions to wake people up to their greatness. His passionate message of the hero’s journey and powerful vocal skill make you uncomfortable accepting mediocrity.
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