Definition

A motivational speech is a highly emotional speech that serves to urge and stimulate a group to pursue significant personal and corporate goals, choose right corporate strategy, correct mistakes, etc. Additionally, a motivational speech arms the audience with tools and awareness they should possess to succeed in their personal lives and in the modern globally competitive marketplace.

Characteristics

As far as motivational speeches serve to inspire different kinds of people including professionals, a motivational speech can combine components as diverse as valid business principles, real life situations and memorable stories. A motivational speech is a variety of a persuasive speech and it is pragmatically oriented: a recipient of a motivational speech should experience a certain impact, i.e. change his/her behavior, act in this or that way, agree with something. To this end, an imperative mood should be used in motivational speeches. Energetic phrases starting with “do”, “donate”, “join”, “create”, “buy” are most likely to reinforce the effect of a motivational speech

Preparatory research

A motivational speaker should very well realize what are positions, or actions he/she is going to popularize. Besides, a thorough preparatory research is required to take into account numerous factors that can influence the process of listening and further decision-making. These are as follows:

1) Social factors: status, education, values of the audience;

2) Pragmatic factors: requirements, needs and interests of the audience.

Structure/outline

A standard motivational speech can be based upon several patterns, depending upon the situation of speaking and a goal a speaker is going to achieve. These are:

1) Monroe’s motivational sequence;

2) Comparative advantages pattern.

Monroe’s motivational sequence is a five-stage scheme of proving the necessity of some changes, actions, etc. The scheme comprises:

a) Attracting attention of the audience to some problem that needs solution (with the help of a startling opening, visual aids, statistics, etc.)

b) Proving the need for improvements and changes of a situation: different kinds of testimonies should be provided to demonstrate inefficiency of existing methods of solving the problem. The audience should be ready to absorb the new one as revolutionary, promising, positive.

c) Giving ‘satisfaction’ to the need: displaying a new workable solution to the problem and making sure the audience has understood your explanations. Bright details often facilitate learning of the new information.

d) Making the visualization of practical benefits, which a new solution brings. The visualization can be realized with the help visual aids, language imagery, and emotional presentation.

e) Motivating the audience to act according to your plan. In the final part of the motivational speech, it is expedient that the speaker recalls the initial problem and systematizes the benefits of his/her innovative solution.

A comparative advantage pattern is closely related to the Monroe’s motivational sequence but it is mainly used when there are several alternatives to choose of. The major difference is in structuring the stages of satisfying the need and visualizing practical benefits because several plans and approaches should be compared and contrasted to find out the best one.

Topics/basic concepts

A motivational speech can incorporate several types of topics, specific and general. General themes to appeal to are such as leadership, personal growth, teambuilding, breakthroughs, career development, etc.

Requirements

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