Finding Inspiration For Your Speech
Date: December 18, 2015
So, you have to write a speech for an upcoming event and you have no idea where you start. It probably feels like everything that needs to be said has already been said and you’re stuck for ways to find rich content.
You want to write a memorable speech, so people remember you after you’ve walked out of the room, and that’s all part of taking your passion to the stage and being insightful.
Creating an inspirational speech comes from you being inspired by something. Have you ever noticed that famous authors and successful actors have had a tough upbringing or faced many difficult situations in their life?
They’ve used those experiences to make them realise that they want more from their life and don’t want anyone else to feel stuck in their own life. You should do that too.
Use Personal Experiences To Write Your Speech
Needless to say, a moving speech is one that is about a personal experience you’ve been through – good or bad. Perhaps you’ve made some mistakes in your life that you’ve learned by or suffered from as a consequence. Either way, what you’ve been through has probably influenced how you continued with your life.
Did you go through a bad breakup? Lose a loved love? Or get sacked from a job you loved? We are all where we are in our lives as a result of the past choices we’ve made or the things that have been unexpectedly thrown at us.
Look back at a time in your life that had a huge impact on your personality, attitude, career… whatever. There’s your starting point to a speech.
Now you have to use that example and put it into some kind of context. What do you want people to know about it? You can’t just stand on stage and talk about something that happened to you if you have no definitive message to go with it.
Did it make you become a different person? Poorer? Richer? Happier? What extreme change did it have on your life? Talk about that change in your speech. Explain what you went through, how it made you feel and react, and how it impacted where you are today.
You can also talk about something that happened to someone else, and as long as you don’t mention their name, nobody will know.
Write a list of two or three things you want your audience to take away from your message. If it’s that you want them to learn from your mistake, then explain how unhappy it made you and everyone you knew, and how when you accepted your wrongs your life started to get back on track.
If it’s that you want people to dare to pursue their dreams, then you should address the process you took and how taking a chance on your passion made you more successful in your eyes.
Don’t use pointless details and try to avoid coming across as though you’ve been through hell and back when some people may have been through worse. Woe is me isn’t a flattering approach.
It’s more important to pay close attention to how it changed your life afterwards, than the actual experience itself.
Write About What’s Happening In The World
If you’ve looked back through your life and can’t find anything that would be exciting and interesting enough to talk about, then don’t talk about that just for the sake of this article.
There is always something happening in the world that you can use as inspiration for your speech. Depending on who your target audience is it’s likely that it will have some impact on them too. If you’re talking to students, look at the news to see what changes have been made in the working world.
Have certain careers plunged, or have graduate programs developed to helped aspiring workers? Reflect on these examples – as long as they’re specific to your audience – then explain in simple terms what this news means to them, and give them some constructive advice on working through some of the potential problems.
Alternatively, you can use ‘world news’ as an introduction to provide a link to a matter that is close to your heart.
Never get so focused on the meat of your content that you spend less time on the opening, because the beginning is the main focus point that will either draw people in or send them away.
Nobody likes to hear someone talk about themselves for a long time, because it’s boring and has real no impact on their life.
There’s a fine line between talking about personal triumphs and failures and using this an inspiration to help your audience, and just talking about your personal experiences. Make everything for your audience.
Have it set in your mind what you want to achieve by your speech, because no matter what it’s about, it has to reach out to each and every person listening.
Don’t over complicate things for your yourself by trying to say too much; it’ll be confusing and your more important messages will get lost somewhere in the middle. You’re talking to people, not MPs, so humarise everything and have fun!
If you’re struggling with a starting point and literally have no idea of where to start, then go out in your area and experience the world for a day. You’ll be surprised at how just one thing can change your mindset to positive or negative.
Now use that same example to change someone else’s mindset.