A commercial currently airing in the US declares that Pinocchio was a bad motivational speaker because of his nose growing when he tells a lie.
The premise of the ad is that when Pinocchio tells someone in the audience that ‘you can do it’ that he is lying for certain stereotypes in the audience. This one of a long series of commercials by GEICO Insurance that put a funny spin on various characters or sayings.
The real reason that this Pinocchio would not make a great motivational speaker, is not because of his inability to lie…. it’s because he doesn’t have a belief in his audience or in his message that everyone, yes EVERYONE, is capable of changing.
Now, I actually don’t like referring to myself as a motivational speaker – I do it in my copy and title because that is often what organizations are searching for. I don’t like it because it is often associated with a speaker that stirs up emotion and gets everyone motivated for the duration of their talk and then people leave and everything remains the same. They don’t make any changes and they don’t get different results.
Here are my key ingredients for an effective ‘motivational speaker’.
1. They believe in their message and they believe in their audience 100%. I see a speaker as being a “coach to many at one time” and a good coach empowers their client(s) with belief that they can do anything they set their mind to. It’s real and authentic.
You may have to set certain criteria about what it takes to ‘do it’. For example, if you want to become in-demand speaker, you are not going to get there if you don’t do the preparation, practicing to improve your skill or build the connections to create the demand.
The “you can do it” phrase becomes a “you can do it if you …..
- ………Want it bad enough”
- ………Do the work.”
- ………Take action.”
- ………Believe in yourself.” etc.
2. They educate to motivate. I always think of this quote by Jim Rohn:
“Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.” .
You want to leave your audience with tangible information that they can act upon. You might give them specific actions to take to achieve a certain result, or you might be teaching them how to get results so they will be guided to take the right actions for themselves.
Inspire your audience to take action by giving them a good reason why they should. Let them decide what actions they will take. I like my audience to leave with something written down of at least ONE action they will take as a result of my presentation.
So before you next speak to an audience do a personal check.
- Do you believe in your audience. As Dale Carnegie said in How to Win Friends and Influence People – give people “a grand reputation to live up to.”
- Are you teaching something of value and what action are you motivating or inspiring your audience to take?
You can be more than motivational when you take in these two keys. You can be inspirational and memorable. Keep it REAL – something for Pinocchio to learn.