Motivational Speaker Training: 9 Tips to Motivate Any Audience


The oft-maligned motivational speech is actually a critical tool for leaders of all kinds. Whether your audience is made up of sales people, clients, church congregants, association members, soldiers, fundraisers, donors, staff, shareholders, your sports team, your constituents or members of your community, all are tacitly saying, “Motivate me.”

Before you recoil from visions of yourself as a high-charged presenter bouncing across the stage and shouting “You can DO it,” as you punch the air in front of you, let me assure you that while this is one slice of the motivational pie, it is not our vision for you. ‘Hype’ and ‘motivation’ are not synonyms. Real motivation is about inspiring people to improve: themselves, their organization, their industry, their community, their world.

Motivation gives people a reason to move. It impels them to action. A motivational speech uses energy, psychology and examples the group can relate to, so that individually and collectively, the audience members will be inclined to follow the actions suggested by the speaker.

While the motivational speech is among the most difficult types to prepare and present, the resulting sales, funding, mandate, and team support make it among the most valuable for the development of your career. Included in this article are 9 significant tips to make you an outstanding motivator, either in speeches or just in daily interaction. Now let’s check out some ideas.

Exude energy.

Pick up the pace. Speak quickly. Use short sentences. Move with vigour and purpose. Use large arm movements. Frequently look at different parts of your audience. Just remember to stay in control. Match your eye contact, gestures and movements to your content.

Also remember that leashed energy can be even more effective than overt displays, so range between controlled action and peppiness. Much as a runaway train is exciting, no one wants to follow it.

Be interactive.

Call out questions. Refer to individuals. Ask for a show of hands. But always keep up the pace.

Be extremely inclusive.

Use “we,” “us,” “our,” or “you” and “yours.” Avoid “I,” “me,” and “my.”

Alternate moods.

Like the wave of an alternating electrical current, the mood of the presentation should sweep up and down in a continuous flow. Alternate humour, poignancy, statements about positive developments, nostalgia, hard-headed pragmatism and hope for the future.

Stress the benefits to the listeners.

It may be your vision or objective, but if they are to follow your lead, listeners need to be regularly reminded of the benefits to themselves or to those they care about.

Suggest targets.

Establish attainable short-term goals as the first steps on the path to the broader vision.

Paint a lot of word pictures.

Use them to make the targeted possibilities more familiar and therefore more attainable.

Use stories.

Stories of others who have successfully done what you are asking your listeners to do make it easier for the audience to feel they can do it too. Turn every statistic into a person or a recognizable situation.

Let them dream a little.

Paint a picture of a safer community, leadership in their industry, a greater country, research breakthroughs or funding records. Then, show the audience the pathway to get there.

We recommend that you try these suggestions one at a time in your various motivational speaker jobs over the next few months. By the end of the season you will have developed your motivational skills and your motivational speeches.


Delva Rebin is part of a family of professional speakers. Collectively, Norm, Delva and Niki Rebin have spoken to, trained or coached over one million people. The biggest question they are asked is: “How can I control my public speaking fears?” To get the answer, visit here:


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1 thought on “Motivational Speaker Training: 9 Tips to Motivate Any Audience

  1. Reblogged this on The Sunny Side and commented:

    many of us here give presentations, public addresses, and motivational speaches – here are a couple of refresher tips – from our little music school – sending love – S

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