If you’ve had the opportunity to see a great motivational speaker in person, you were surely impressed. That’s the point, after all – to impress you; to motivate you and to inspire you. YOU CAN DO IT! The reality is, it’s a bit of a magic show, really. A good motivational speaker will keep the audience energized – hanging on to every word, when in fact the truth is, they may be delivering very little content of any substance – and that’s ok. The fact is, it’s about a journey. It’s about entering the room unmotivated, and leaving the room motivated…energized…inspired. I CAN DO IT!
I’ve written previously about some of the tricks of presenting with respect to movement, dynamics and storytelling, but a motivational talk is a different animal altogether. Of course all the usual presenting skills are still in play, but when we’re looking to motivate, we need to throw in a healthy dash of psychology. No need to be afraid of that ‘P’ word, because every good presentation, regardless of content uses it, but with a strictly motivational presentation, it becomes more of a necessary focus.
There are three key psychological components of motivation:
The first one is easy. Your audience has made a conscious decision to listen to you speak. They have at least some interest in what you’re ‘selling’ and they are there for a reason. Your audience has been assembled to listen to you speak, and are ready to be motivated. They have been Activated
Persistence refers to your audience making a continued effort toward their goal, even in spite of obstacles in their way. A good motivational speaker will convince his audience that they can achieve, no matter what is in their way. Easier said than done, but the most effective method for this would be through personal experience. A good motivator will tell personal and semi-personal stories of overcoming obstacles. When this component is personalized, we connect and believe the presenter. Why would he lie to us – right?
The third component is also quite straightforward. Intensity is getting the audience to ‘turn it up to 11.’ If you’re at 80% now, you need to be at 100%! If you’re making 5 sales calls a day, you need to make 10. And so on. Again, easy to say, but why should we listen? Well, in an ideal situation, we are now motivated, and our juices are flowing. We understand what can be achieved, because our motivator has told us about his personal successes in life – and we want what he has (pssst, psychology again). Our obstacles also look slightly less intimidating than they did yesterday. I CAN DO IT!!!
The ‘Magic Trick’ part of all this, is that it takes very little meaningful content to motivate. A few personal stories of overcoming and triumph; a little yelling; a little crying, and then closing it all down. You see, the real magic occurs because people want to be motivated. We want to be shown the way. We want someone to tell us that we can overcome, and that we can achieve. We want to be told that the impossible is actually possible. Human nature wins in the end. As long as a motivational speaker has the proper credentials, the right stories, and of course is an absolute pro in the rules of effective public speaking, we are ready to eat it up.
Now get out there and DO IT!