How To Write a Motivational Speech: 8 Speech Writing Tips

How To Write a Motivational Speech: 8 Speech Writing Tips

Give Your Best Tip For Writing A Motivational Speech?

To help you write motivational speeches, we asked motivational speakers and speech writers this question for their best insights. From being authentic to holding the attention of your audience, there are several tips to take note of in order to write effective motivational speeches.

Here Are Eight Tips For Writing Motivational Speeches:

  • Be Authentic
  • Avoid the Clichés
  • Understand Your Audience
  • Learn From The Original Masters
  • Take Notes and Organize Your Thoughts
  • Make Your Message Empathetic Yet Powerful
  • Stay On Topic
  • Hold The Attention of Your Audience

Be Authentic

Do not focus too much on making your speech motivational. If it comes from an authentic place from within, it will turn out motivational naturally. For instance, think of how you can incorporate the feelings you experienced in certain situations you encountered in the past.

Even if these feelings are not too dramatic, people will still connect with them if they are real. They will be able to tell if you are being over-dramatic versus if you are being sincere, and insincerity is usually a turnoff.

Miles Beckett, Flossy

Avoid Clichés

Motivational speeches can often fall victim to too many clichés, usually because the tried and tested phrases are easy to sprinkle in and get the message across – “you can do it” and “anything is possible” are a few of the biggest clichés.

While it might be helpful, there’s more value in actually showing people that they can do it or that anything is possible. Crafting a story, whether it’s from personal experience or not, is a great way to avoid clichés while still getting the same motivational message across.

Adam Shlomi, SoFlo Tutors

Understand Your Audience

Motivational speeches must be aware of their audience. Each person is motivated differently. A wide range of life experiences can have a varying impact on people depending on their temperament. A speech writer must speak to the audience they are addressing because motivation is often a personalized message.

A speech can motivate a group without knowing the personal details of individual members but the speech should address the points that the group has in common if it is to be an effective motivator.

For example, a group of parents may be motivated by the idea of sacrificing for the improvement of their children’s lives or a group of people struggling to finish their education may be motivated by the idea of opportunity. A speech must be aware of its audience if it is to provide motivation.

Liza Kirsh, DYMAPAK

Learn From The Original Masters

Rhetoric was conceptualized more than 2,000 years ago, but much of it still holds true today. Some of our most persuasive contemporary speakers still deploy rhetorical techniques that Aristotle would have recognized, so when thinking about your own speeches why not go back to the originators?

Many rhetorical figures are still in use, including rhetorical questions, anaphora (the repetition of keywords at the beginning of subsequent sentences), and isocolon (a series of clauses of the same length and structure). 

To really use rhetoric’s insights though, consider how persuasive speakers structure their appeals through a series of ordered precepts. Introduction (how you open and prove your bonafide), narration (set out the landscape and commonly accepted facts), division (what you and your opponents disagree on), proof (rationally setting out your argument), refutation (taking apart your opponents’ case), and peroration (a grand finale with lots of rousing rhetorical flourishes)!

Scott Hitchins, Interact Software

Take Notes and Organize Your Thoughts

You’ll want your motivational speech to be as emotionally impactful and inspiring to your audience as possible. Ensure your speech makes an impact by taking notes to structure your thoughts. First determine the purpose for the occasion and the message you won’t to convey.

Then jot down potential angles and key talking points to expand upon. If you refer to your notes during your speech, make sure they are as brief and concise as possible. Notes are a great way to structure your motivational speech in a manner that is cohesive and specially crafted to better resonate emotionally with your audience.

Ray Leon, Pet Insurance Review

Make Your Message Empathetic Yet Powerful

Motivational speeches are an effective way to inspire a group of individuals. If you need to write a motivational speech and are unsure of how to go about it, remember to lead with empathy. A motivational speech is most powerful when the audience can relate and feel connected to you.

One way you can build this connection is by conveying that you know the fears and doubts running through their mind and that you have been there too. This reveals that you know the route to acquiring something and are not someone who has been handed what they’ve achieved.

Igal Rubinshtein, Home Essentials Direct

Stay On Topic

Don’t lose your focus. A strong motivational speech has a point to make. It’s easy to get caught up in your speech and lose sight of the point you’re trying to make. When writing your speech avoid going off onto tangents. It’s alright to tell a relatable story, but make sure that it doesn’t run on for too long.

Any derivative topic you bring up should always have the goal of rounding back to the key points of your speech. After you write your speech, it doesn’t hurt to read it over aloud and look for any places where you’ve lost your focus.

Go back and streamline your narrative until you’re comfortable that you’ve found a middle ground between being relatable and being effective. Once you achieve this, you’ll have a speech with an ideal mixture of empathy and purpose.

Caleb Ulffers, Haven Athletic

Hold The Attention of Your Audience

Create a mystery up front. To keep the audience’s attention, you can pose a question or tell a story while withholding compelling information that will be revealed later. You can talk about a challenge you had to overcome, and use it to build suspense by telling them what happened near the speech’s end.

TV shows and movies use this device to keep the viewer engaged, so why not use it too? By keeping the mystery relevant to your theme, your speech can have a framework that speaks to the message you’re trying to convey.

Ari Evans, Maestro


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