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Yes You Can: How to Be an Effective Motivational Speaker

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Jack LaLanne, the fitness guru who lived to be 96, said, “If you believe in something, you can talk about it.” He believed in fitness, and he was a gifted motivational speaker who was able to get others excited about fitness.

When motivational speakers have a message they believe is so important, they are compelled to share it. They believe that when people hear the message, they will also consider it important.

Tailor Your Message

Know who your audience is and the best manner in which to speak to them. Good speakers can switch roles quickly depending on the venue and audience. When the current CEO of Ernst & Young, Mark Weinberger, served as assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury for Tax Policy, he addressed Congress fairly often. To describe complicated tax code, he delivered information in a straightforward manner. But in smaller committees on tax topics that he was particularly passionate about, he raised his intensity and spoke with appropriate fervor.

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Write Often to Speak Better

For the motivational speaker, writing can become an important tool to improve your skills. Writing books, articles and blog posts about your passion gives you practice expressing your viewpoint. You’ll also likely get more feedback on your written work than on your public speaking engagements—people are more likely to write a comment on your blog post than send you a note after a presentation. This gives you an opportunity to hear what the public has to say about your message, which is important if you want to fine-tune the delivery so it reaches more people.

More Connection Is Required

Tony Robbins is a world-famous motivational speaker and life coach. He stresses the importance of putting yourself in the audience members’ heads and hearts and tailoring your speech to what they need, not what you want to talk about. Connecting with the audience gives you a sense of what expectations they have and gives you more control over your presentation.

Your Speech Becomes Your Brand

For the motivational speaker, the speech becomes the brand for which they are known. Your speech carries with it the message you are delivering through the words you use, the tone and the storytelling. Often, motivational speakers talk about the struggles of other professionals and how they overcame their challenges. Then they throw in some of their own story. To see examples of this, do a Google search for “public speaking tips,” or study how CEO Weinberger peppers his speeches with personal anecdotes.

This is how your speech and the connection you have with your audience become how people remember you. They will remember your personal struggles and achievements, and the passion you have for your message. They will remember how your speech made them feel, much more so than the words you used.

A great speaker uses elements of motivational speaking at just the right time. It gets people thinking about something. It also can move them to take some action. This is the major goal of any motivational speaker.

What motivational speaking tips do you have? Share them in the comments.

Trevor Farrell is an aspiring news anchor who writes any chance he can get.

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