Do motivational speeches work?

This was a question recently asked by one of the members of the Hubpages fraternity and which I answered along the following lines:

Yes, motivational speakers do leave an impact upon their listeners, but often it is in ways far subtler than the words themselves.   What leaves its mark on this listener is the character of the speaker.  If he or she comes across as really sincere, a person who exemplifies what they’re talling about, who ‘walks their talk,’ to use speaker jargon, then they make a far more lasting impression than the words themselves.

Such speakers need to be willing to put their egos aside and talk from the heart.  They need to be willing to take upon themselves a sort of ‘voluntary vunerability.’   This means risk: being laughted at, criticised, even denigrated for their views.  For if they’re trying to change us they need show themselves as ‘already changed’ or, at the very least, willing to change.   All of us abhor hippocrisy, so genuineness is essential.

I then went on to tell the questioner that it has been said that the actual impact of most motivational speeches fizzles out within three or four days.   But if a lasting impression is to be made it need be made in the context of an emotional and uplifting story or stories. For it is stories that are remembered down the years, not the flowery phrases of eloquence.  Stories!  Stories stick.

So if you want to be a motivational speaker who really wants to make a difference – tell stories.

About Tom Ware

I'm into speaking to audiences. My particular forte is telling stories. Morevover, I've addressed over 750 audiences and in excess of 40,000 people during the past eighteen years - excluding those I've addressed in my Toastmasters clubs. Additionally, I've presented classes to adults on Metaphysics and Spirituality (non sectarian) and Popular Psychology between 2001 and 2008. I'm an avid writer, been at it for forty-five years. Speaking is a passion, of course, as mentioned above. I started in 1972 with Toastmasters. My speciality is Storytelling and some years ago people began to flatter me with the titles: Prince of Storytellers, and Master Storyteller. Also, Tusitala Tom (Tusitala means Storyteller in Polynesian) I am also into 'serious' meditation (Vipassana as taught by S N Goenka) Started that in 1986. Additionally, I'm an Automatic Writing practioner and have been able to 'channel' for over forty years. Bit about me. Born in London UK and migrated to Australia in 1951. Started my first job day after my fifteenth birthday in that year. I've been a postal worker, sailor, aviation air-ground man, overseas telegraph operator. I've worked for an electrical power-supply company, been a truck driver, a foundry labourer, laboratory assistant, a police radio operator, and office worker - even an Antarctic expeditioner. Worked and lived in a number of countries, but am now 'retired' and enjoying life - probably as never before. I've been married - yes to the same woman! - for fifty-three years and have three grown up children and four grandchildren.
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