All posts by Annie Haynes

8 Tips Every Novice Motivational Speaker Needs to Know

A novice motivational speaker has to be prepared for the big day. These eight tips will help you with your preparation.

1. Choose the speaking engagement to nod to.

Don’t grab every opportunity to give a speech because some events, together with their target audiences, are probably not meant for the type of motivational speech you have. It will be like dancing the cha-cha at an underground hip-hop battle event.

Assess if the goal of the event is the same as yours. Also, determine if the event will help you grow or will just be another gig with no substance.

2. Practice a lot in front of the mirror.

Being a motivational speaker requires mastering both verbal and non-verbal communication. Having great things to say is just one of the ingredients. You also have to deliver the speech in the most appealing and understandable way. That is through gestures, blocking, facial expressions, and whole lot of eye contact.

By practicing in front of a mirror, you will be able to see if your movements have synchronicity with your spoken words and tone. You’ll determine what looks awkward and what looks forced, and you’ll be more comfortable in your own skin.

3. Record your practice sessions for assessment.

Keynote SpeakerSome nuisances are hard to detect while you are focusing on your speech and movement. You might be too mentally busy to even see the difference between an awkward facial expression and a deadpan face. The solution is to record everything and watch with full attention afterwards. You can also ask a friend or family member to assess it.

Recording and playing back your speech is also a great way to measure the liveliness and integrity in your voice.

4. Ask a friend to give his honest opinion about your speech.

All published writers get a bit of help from editors. The same is true for a motivational speaker. There is a possibility that you’d fail to see some errors and questionable statements in your speech because you are too happy or satisfied with your own work.

Have a friend validate your statements and if there are some questions, debate whether to improve it, cut it, or stick with your principles.

5. Ask the organizer to give you background information about the event, its theme, and the expected attendees.

A great motivational speaker always looks at a picture from afar to see all the elements around it. When you focus on the theme given to you, it’s possible that you’d forget important elements that make your speech useful. These elements include the audience, the prevailing culture and norms in the place, the type of venue (some presentations and blocking might not be possible on some venues), the tools for presentations (the organizer might not have projectors available), and the length of time given to you (some speeches cannot be completed because speakers run out of time).

6. Include a lot of visual presentations.

Audiences nowadays are very particular when it comes to presentations. They are now used to seeing more appealing and entertaining presentations, so they may be disappointed if you fail to deliver the way they expect you to. A lot of solutions can be found, especially online, making it easier for you to come up with great visual presentations.

7. Don’t forget about the anecdotes.

Lessons are best told through stories that the audience can relate to. For your speech to become memorable, you have to tap their emotions—make them smile, laugh, cry, and angry—by telling stories that are easy to understand.

8. Offer an extra to the organizer.

If you really want to make a good impression, you will have to offer something extra. This can be a hard and digital copy of your speech, a free consultation after the event, or a meet-and-greet session.

All in all, following these tips isn’t difficult and so, you don’t have any excuse not to take advantage of them.

Influence expert Garrison Wynn is a motivational speaker known for his entertaining, customized and research driven programs.