All posts by Bradley Underwood

5 Biggest Mistakes Motivational Speakers Commit

One of the best ways to learn how to become an effective motivational speaker is by avoiding the biggest mistakes that others commit. Here are the five biggest mistakes that you should avoid.

1.Assuming that the members of the audience already know what you are talking about

This is a big mistake because: first, you risk talking about something that no one understands but you, rendering you an ineffective motivational speaker; and second, you risk offending people by telling them that they surely know something they actually don’t.

Even if some people in the audience know what you are talking about, care to explain briefly or give an introduction for those who are not aware of it. Do this even if you are just talking about a particular term, process, or incident. Most importantly, don’t say something like “Do you remember this when you were in fifth grade…” or “I’m sure everybody knows this…” because it will come across to some people as “You are an idiot if you don’t know what this is.”

Just go explain something and leave the assumptions to yourself. They’ll ask if they need further clarifications.

2.Starting the speech without argument or proposition

Motivational speakerSome people in the audience don’t know what your speech is for while some are not even genuinely interested. Hence, you have to make them realize that they have to listen by raising an argument that will challenge their beliefs or by raising a proposition that will serve as the center of discussion. They may get lost halfway through your speech, but they can still get back on track if they know exactly what you are trying to prove or disprove.

An effective motivational speaker starts his speech with a question, a statement that represents his entire speech, or an anecdote that can show the audience the entire picture even before he starts.

3.Overuse of PowerPoint and other visual presentations

Visual presentations only serve two purposes: to prevent boredom and to clarify key pointers. They are strategically used in between long segments or parts of a speech to maintain the attention of the audience, and also serve as a reinforcement to make the key pointers easy to remember. A motivational speaker should never rely on visual presentations because these are just support. Otherwise, the speaker will look like a moderator who introduces the presentations and reads the texts for clarification instead.

4.No bottom line

Many motivational speakers get lost in their own pointers and arguments that they end up not knowing what to prove anymore. You can talk about the success behind online business for an hour, but it won’t mean anything if you can’t even tell the audience how it is significant to their lives. You can talk about the latest treatments in dreaded diseases that helped you overcome your own battle, but the audience won’t care if they won’t have an idea how to avail of them. You can talk about yourself the whole day, but it won’t inspire anyone if you can’t make a point in telling your life story.

Start with the bottom line when writing your speech. Build the body and collect the data from there.

5.Not injecting human interest

Non-scientists think that scientific paper presentations are boring because the speakers only talk of hard facts and data that are not readily usable for average people. That’s understandable though since the audience all belong to the scientific community.

However, imagine how a group of housewives or teenagers will react if you present them charts full of statistics and data that are hard to interpret. You can elaborate on the facts but it still won’t be enough because they need to have something that they can relate to. This is where human interest enters the picture.

Mention examples that apply the facts that you will present. Give anecdotes. Make them more human and less numbers. They can’t be motivated if they can’t understand a thing you are saying.