Motivational speakers tend to be people who have unique life stories or philosophies to share.
They may specialise in speaking to children, teenagers, students or professionals, and they may also specialise in certain topics, such as dealing with drug or alcohol abuse, building self esteem, resolving conflict, improving communication or productivity and so on. They may also specialise in a certain field like marketing, management, sport or sales.
But, what they all have in common is that they all have the same goal – to motivate and inspire their audience. And they can often tailor their presentation to suit the specific needs of a certain person.
What skills do they have?
Firstly, it goes without saying that a motivational speaker must have strong speaking skills – they must be able to grab and hold onto the attention of the audience for the duration of their speech. Ensuring that they aren’t only listening, but taking onboard and learning from what is being said. For a great example of this have a listen to Les Brown.
To ensure that they get their story across in the right way, would-be motivational speakers may take creative writing course and workshops to enhance their story telling skills. Public speaking classes should follow this, because a compelling speech won’t have the same impact without equally compelling speaking and presentation skills.
How do they inspire people?
Many motivational speakers have achieved something incredibly impressive in their lives, often despite the odds or have come back from rock bottom and made a success of themselves. Therefore, they inspire people because they are talking from personal experience. They want to help you to learn from their mistakes and not to make the same ones.
The fact they are talking from personal experience means that their talks are passionate, and it is this passion that really helps to inspire people and potentially change mindsets.
Take TED Talks, for example. TED Talks are influential videos from expert speakers giving powerful talks to feed your curiosity and make you think. They cover a range of topics, including surviving and learning from terrorist attacks. Gill Hicks, a survivor of the London terrorist bombings, shares her story of the events of that day and the profound lessons she learned.
Likewise, listen to this inspiring speech from Steve Jobs. He talks about how he started Apple in his parents garage when he was just 20 and how, 10 years later it had grown into a $2 billion dollar company with over 4000 employees.
Then he got fired … but he goes on to explain, although he couldn’t see it at the time, getting fired was the best thing that could have ever happened to him. He says ‘The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again’, and so goes on to explain how he built himself back up.
Just by listening to these people talk, their stories, how they tell them and the way they tell them, makes you feel motivated to better yourself, to make the most of the life you have and not leave it until it is too late.
Many people start their day listening to such speakers to pump themselves up and, for the same reason, many companies hire them to talk at their events – to inspire and motivate their employees – which will subsequently benefit the business.
Did you know, for example, that you can hire inspirational speakers such as Paralympic athlete Karen Darke? Not only is this fitting with both the Olympics and Paralympics taking place in Rio this year, but Karen, who is paralysed from the chest down, is an expert in overcoming adversity in both sport and life. She has embraced challenge and achieved the impossible and will leave audiences feeling invigorated.
If you haven’t listened to a motivational speaker before, give it a try – you might be surprised how unstoppable it makes you feel.