What is it about a particular motivational speaker that makes them inspiring while another one is merely ‘okay’? Are there some rules to follow? Is it something else?
If it’s about rules, there are indeed some rules in place:
- A good motivational speaker makes lots of eye contact with their audience.
- A good motivational speaker doesn’t fiddle when they are speaking.
- A good motivational speaker does not portray any signs of nervousness.
- A good motivational speaker says this type of thing…
Basically, the rules behind being a good motivational speaker tell you not to be yourself, to be someone else. But the problem is if you are nervous when public speaking as many people are, don’t these rules serve to make you more nervous as opposed to being more natural?
Perhaps good motivational speakers do all the things on the rule list. But this is not what makes them good. It’s not so much about a list of behavioural rules as it is about having certain qualities about how you speak. For a motivational speaker to be truly inspiring it – the ability – comes from within rather than applying certain rules that arise from a rule book. Those rules simply serve to make an inspirational speaker stiffer, more ‘professionally’ awkward. They don’t serve to make you fresher, more connective, more spontaneous – all of which are traits of a good or even a great motivational speaker. The more you try to be someone else the more you will lose what it is that makes you appealing in your own unique way.
So here are six qualities that an exceptional motivational speaker will have.
Awareness represents the quality of a motivational speaker that allows them to have a choice over their actions. Developing awareness means that you can pick up the sort of behaviours that cater best to your audience while dropping the ones that don’t work in getting your message across.
The majority of motivational speakers start out with the preparation of their speech by asking themselves “what is it that I should say?” A great inspirational speaker will start out with the preparation of their speech by seeking the perspective of their unique audience. They, the speaker, primarily seek to serve the audience’s goals. By achieving this, the speaker is not only listened to but also respected for their craft.
Freshness is the quality that provides uniqueness to any talk. With freshness comes spontaneity and this makes the speech memorable.
Fearlessness is when you as a motivational speaker can go over and beyond your typical comfort zone in servicing your audience. It’s a quality that brings with it power and edginess because your audience will sense just how much importance the topic has for you as a speaker.
Balance is having the ability to make a judgment about what information should be included in the speech and what information should be left out. If you get this right you can repeatedly take your audience with you on an incredible journey.
Arguably the most important quality in terms of being a captivating speaker is maintaining an ability to be yourself. That should always be the case even if it makes you feel vulnerable and even if it makes you feel inappropriate. Authenticity makes a connection to the humanity of your audience which means they too can be authentic. It’s the quality that takes any motivational speaker from being ‘very good technically’ to having a ‘Wow’ factor.
Even when a motivational speaker lacks confidence or is not 100% in terms of maintaining the rules, that same speaker can be truly inspirational by focusing on the six qualities above.
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