Entire libraries have been filled with books on this subject.
If you look at them, you’ll see literally thousands of different definitions of “motivational speaking” and many of those will contradict others.
Let’s demolish one myth immediately – motivational speaking is NOT about making speeches!
Given some basic training, almost anyone can prepare and deliver a credible speech. The audience might find it clever, entertaining, well delivered and perhaps even agree with everything said. The acid test though is, will it change their behaviours? The response with most ordinary speeches is “no”.
That’s the difference between delivering a passive speech and motivational speaking. Motivational speaking is about speaking to people (it might just be a single other person) in such a way as to get them motivated to do or stop doing something.
That’s far from easy and space here doesn’t permit a full discussion. What we can do though is to pick out a few of the typical characteristics required to make speech motivating as opposed to simply communicative:
- Confidence and conviction. If you don’t demonstrate confidence in what you’re saying and the conviction that it’s correct, then nobody else will either.
- Inner strength. This can’t be easily defined but if, metaphorically speaking, you’re asking people to charge the enemy’s cannons behind you, then they had better sense that you have the strength and conditioning to get them and yourself through it.
- Having all the above characteristics won’t count for much if your audience thinks that you lack the basic professional competence (e.g. skills and experience) to deliver. Remember, some of the biggest military, political and economic disasters in history were caused by leaders who had confidence and strength but who lacked the required skill sets.
- People will want to believe that you see them and their potential as human beings not just cogs in a wheel.
A tall order?
Yes, perhaps but one that’s perfectly achievable via our motivational speaking development!