Definition

Inspirational speech is a speech presented by a professional speaker or by a renowned authority/leader in front of large homogeneous audiences such as corporate staff, etc. in order to encourage them, reveal the true sense of leadership and enrich them with some approved formulae of commercial and professional success.

The inspirational speech is a powerful pragmatic tool, which serves to fulfill a number of general and particular goals:

1) Generally, an inspirational speech is a way to stir up people’s higher-order values (A. Maslow) and plant positive and valid ideals of their activity. Recipients of an inspirational speech should realize the necessity to revisit their positions and feel capable of making necessary changes. Optimistic and based on real life historical/sports/commercial/humorous situations, an inspirational speech should instill the desire to pursue major goals and reveal hidden potentials.

2) Particularly, an inspirational speech should provide the audience with sound business and managerial principles, which, say, can be fruitful for a company’s further development.

Characteristics

An inspirational speech is of complex nature as far as an inspirational speaker should transcribe his message into the ‘professional language’ of his audience and generalize their everyday experiences in the form of principles, slogans, and mottos. However, an inspirational speaker may not have the same profession as his listeners do. Therefore, a popular strategy is to find some universal imagery, which can be understandable for representatives of all professions. Leading inspirational speakers traditionally compare a body of workers with a sports team or an orchestra and reveal basic principles of human cooperation.

Preparatory research

An inspirational speech requires a careful psychological and professional research in order to achieve the goal of speaking. The research should necessarily consist of several stages:

1) Identifying the nature of the inspirational speech (an inspirational speech can be dedicated to some specific memorable event such as commencement, corporate meeting, etc.).

2) Shaping the message of an inspirational speech: encouragement, commitment, forming positive ideals, stimulating radical changes; While making a preparatory research for an inspirational speech two fruitful methods can be used:

a) A method of finding reasonable agreements: thinking the speech over a skillful speaker analyzes why his listeners should agree with his arguments pro and contra something (e.g. “this problem should objectively be eradicated – why?);

b) A method of determining obstacles and giving recommendations: before wring an inspirational speech, a speaker should not only identify the problematic issues but also pair his/her observations with recommendations how to achieve positive results.

Structure/outline

There are several approaches to structuring an inspirational speech and making a model outline. We can represent an inspirational speech in the form of inductive and deductive schemes:

An inductive scheme (from particular facts to generalization):

1) A greeting that comprises identification of the nature of an inspirational speech;

2) Making illustrative examples from real life;

3) Deriving a clearly applicable principle;

4) Referring to the initial message of the speech to establish the effect of a notional echo;

5) Rounding up with a parting wish, a general principle, a catchy slogan to inspire the audience and make them act.

A deductive scheme (from general statements to their illustrations):

1) A greeting that comprises identification of the nature of an inspirational speech;

2) Declaring a principle of successful work, personal activity, creating a “magic formula of success” (e.g. a ‘3-s’ formula of strength, serenity, stability);

3) Providing explanations based on real life situations;

4) Referring to the initial message of the speech to establish the effect of a notional echo;

5) Rounding up with a parting wish, a general principle, a catchy slogan to inspire the audience and make them act.

Topics/basic concepts

Traditional topics and basic concepts of an inspirational speech are as follows: leadership, personal and corporate growth, personal strength, etc.

Requirements

General requirements of logical structuring and emotional representation are applicable to an inspirational speech.