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Top Motivational Speaker Strategies
Top 5 Motivational Speaking Strategies That Leaders Should Develop
Did you know that 70% of people rank public speaking as their biggest fear? It can be nerve-wracking to stand and speak in front of a live audience. However, you might find that (whether you like it or not) your job requires you to do just that.
In my talk called “Developing Influential Leaders: Five Traits That Create High Impact Leadership,” I share strategies and tools for achieving your full leadership potential. Developing your public speaking ability is one essential tool for excelling as a leader.
If you’re a manager wanting to motivate your employees, here are five top motivational speaking strategies that will help you inspire and energize your team:
1. Learning to speak without reading from a script.
Reading from a piece of paper is the perfect way to stop connecting with your audience. If you don’t maintain eye contact, you stop engaging people. You might feel that memorizing the speech by heart is a surefire way to get it right; however, this actually puts more pressure on you to summon up the words exactly as you practiced them. Instead, use handheld cue cards reminding you of the main points you need to cover. Most importantly, pay attention to your audience to gauge their interest. Like any of the top motivational keynote speakers, with practice, you’ll learn to read the audience’s signals.
2. Being unapologetic about your speaking abilities.
Have you ever been to a speech where the speaker pleads for sympathy by saying something along the lines of, “I’m not really good at this, so please bear with me?” This approach never works. Just as you want to do well, your audience is rooting for your success. They’ve given up precious time to listen to you, but if you start the speech out negatively by suggesting that you’re not prepared or the speech might turn out to be bad, they’ll take your word for it.
3. Making strong eye contact.
Maybe you want to make eye contact, but you find it uncomfortable or don’t want to put someone on the spot. So you look over the audiences’ heads or to the wall in front of you. Your body language during a presentation is critical. Not establishing eye contact makes you look like you’re uninterested or even dishonest; people might appear to listen but won’t believe a word you say. Making eye contact means making a connection with a member of the audience—something the top motivational speakers have a knack for. Move around and try to connect with everyone in the room. This will help you to build trust, keep your listeners engaged, and make them less likely to tune out.
4. Speaking from your own experience.
An expert event or conference speaker knows that the key to connecting with an audience is to make it seem like you’re one of them. You understand their pain, you identify with their goals, and you know exactly what they want (or need) to hear. Using big words or highly technical language in an attempt to impress the audience and sweep them off their feet just doesn’t work. In fact, it can work against you. Use words and language that you know your audience will relate to and can easily understand. After all, one of the best motivational speaking strategies is to be yourself, speaking from your own experience.
5. Avoiding bad humor.
Unless you’ve got a killer joke up your sleeve that you’re absolutely certain your entire audience will enjoy, avoid starting with a joke. If in doubt, proceed with caution. A bad or inappropriate joke can kill your presentation before it even begins. Humor is one of the top bonding strategies used by motivational speakers, helping them instantly connect with the audience and get them on their side. But you’ve got to be careful with it. A good alternative is to use stories. They work well and can often end up being naturally funny.
It will take a bit of time to perfect these skills, but they’ll help you start improving your skills right away. Use the strategies described here, and you’ll be well on your way to making your speech a resounding success.
Are you looking for a skilled motivator to serve as the keynote speaker for your next conference or seminar? Joel Garfinkle knows all the right strategies to engage and motivate your employees and make your event a success. Book Joel as your motivational speaker to get the best results for your investment.
Copyright © 2012 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved. Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Subscribe to his Fulfillment at Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, "41 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!"
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