Motivational speaking is supposed to inspire and engage its audience. You may be anxious about speaking in public, or uncertain about what to say and how to say it. Here are some fascinating facts about presenting and some motivational speaking tips to help you succeed on stage.
Motivational Speaking Tips- People’s Phobia Number One
Glossophobia or the fear of public speaking is still number one on the list of people’s phobia- followed by fear of death, spiders, the dark and heights!
So, if you fear public speaking, you are not alone
Lawyers (58%-64% are introverts) have high propensity toward speaking anxiety. Very talented in the written word they can lose sight of skills as speakers.
The pressure to inspire and grip an audience with motivational speaking can add to speakers’ anxiety. I wrote about overcoming this anxiety in my post on public speaking anxiety covering the idea of preparation reducing anxiety. Once you are on stage the terror can take hold – so here are some public speaking tips to help to handle that terror. You need to overcome the fear before you can truly become a motivational speaker.
i. Slow breathing before going on stage, and cold water on your wrists to cool you down. Use a face spritzer to refresh your face.
ii. Practice, practice, practice…till you are sick of your speech! Then you will have removed the fear of forgetting something!
iii. Try using visualisation techniques- see yourself giving the speech and I expect you will instantly see mistakes, embarrassment, failure…the trick is now to replace those negative images with positive, successful ones and keep doing that. This is a key trick of motivational speaking the first person you need to motivate positively is yourself.
iv. Accept embarrassment- we rarely get everything right and even the most polished speakers make mistakes. Accept that you might feel embarrassed- so what? How many of your friends would have the guts to stand and talk in front of others? Plus, I can guarantee your audience do not dwell on, or even notice your mistakes as much as you do!
We usually have a rough idea of how long we have to speak and then start to create a talk that fits that time. Some people heavily script their talks down to the last minute- this does not work for others. Most practised public speakers have an outline, a few notes on index cards and then speak. If you then told them to tell their story in 9 minutes instead of an hour and a half; they could! As a rule of thumb- if you could tell your story in 10% of the time you have allocated- you truly know it- your speech is ready.
When crafting a motivational speech it is even more important to understand the core idea that will inspire. The best motivational speakers can get their ideas across succinctly.
So, test your speech- scan it, can you tell the key facts and ideas in ten percent of your actual talk time? Public speaking tips often focus on content- this exercise focuses on the nuts and bolts- the key message without additional content. If you have that down, you can build from it. Plus, if you do this exercise you may find you want to cut some fluff from your final talk! You are aiming to inspire with motivational speaking and inspiration is connecting your audience to your central idea.
Motivational Speaking tips – Focus on getting your opening absolutely right
The first 30 seconds of your speech sets the tone for your audience- it can be the make or break part of your talk. How would you react if a speaker said this?
Okay, now I don’t want to alarm anybody in this room, but it’s just come to my attention that the person to your right is a liar.
Well, the audience roared with laughter…and were hooked. If you want an idea of great openers for your speech, check out TED talks- some of the best speakers in the world deliver these and they are not necessarily expert public speakers! What all great motivational speakers have in common is that they make a personal connection with their audience right from the start. They are not afraid to be personal, or controversial or self-deprecating. Think about your first paragraph and what impact and message you want to get across- it is by far the most important part of your speech. Because with motivational speaking you are creating an impact, being personal is important.
Your opening in motivational speaking is your hook, the promise of inspiration to come and a fast track way to connect with your audience- you want them to empathise, believe in you and look forward to what you have to say.
To read some more motivational and public speaking tips- check out my Huffington Post article HERE