The real essence of motivational speaking is making people feel good about themselves. It is about telling them that they can improve for the better. It is reminding them that they have a chance to act on something good for the betterment of the human race, the environment, or the society.
However, motivational speakers commit mistakes from time to time. Here are a few mistakes a speaker may commit while giving a speech:
Facing the audience without any preparation
Some seasoned speakers become so confident that they forget the value of preparing for a speech. Unless when asked to do an impromptu speech, no motivational speaker is exempted from the golden rule of public speaking. Prepare your speech weeks before the event. It does not matter if it’s your hundredth event. Always treat every speaking opportunity as if it were your first. Keep that attitude and you will succeed in every speech.
Knowing your audience and the event is part of the preparation. You have to know whom you are addressing with your speech. You need to know what kind of event you are attending.
Start preparing once the event organizer gives you the details as to when, where, and what the event is – or even before that. If it is just two days before the event, it is best to decline, unless of course you could construct your speech in that limited time and could pull it off like a pro. Otherwise, do yourself a favor by declining an invitation if you only have limited time to prepare, especially if it is your first speaking endeavor.
Most speakers tend to blabber, especially those who do not prepare for their speech. Ums, ahs, or any mannerisms are evident during a speech. These mannerisms are a nuisance to listeners and could potentially ruin the entire presentation. In addition, these mannerisms are a sign of unpreparedness on the part of the speaker.
To avoid blabbering, compose your speech beforehand. If you have to write it down, do it. Writing your speech makes you stick to the theme of the event. You could organize what to say and what not to say. If you need to memorize your speech, do it. Then, practice to make your way of talking natural.
Forgetting the time
A motivational speaker is always given a limited duration to speak in an event. The time limit depends on what kind of event is taking place and how many speakers are going to talk. It is usually 15 to 30 minutes or an hour. Write down your speech to help you estimate the time and limit your key points to discuss.
For you to know if your speech is within the time limit, read your speech or talk as if you are in front of your audience; record the time and your speech. If it exceeds the time limit, trim down your speech. Listen to your recordings so that you know which part you are removing or revising. Do this routine until you fit everything necessary in the given time limit.
Another way of doing it is to prepare your speech with at least 5 to 10 minutes allowance from the limit you were given. It is easier to add than to trim your speech to fit the limited time.
Making too many jokes
Two to three jokes, strategically incorporated in the entire speech, is okay. When your audience is laughing hysterically, all throughout your speech, you are forgetting your purpose. It may seem okay but try asking them what they have learned. The only thing they remember is that you are a funny person and you should apply as a stand up comedian. It is a compliment if the event is about the funniest experiences, but your event is about motivation. Consider this comment a wake up call when you are doing a motivational talk. It means you can pass as a comedian but not as a motivational speaker.
Do not commit this same mistake. Limit your humorous anecdotes and stick to the real purpose of the speech. As a motivational speaker, you should stick to making people motivated to do something good for themselves or for other people.
Avoiding eye contact
Many speakers commit this mistake. They are so engrossed in speaking that they forget they have an audience. Eye contact establishes connection with your audience. If you want to leave an impression with the people listening to you, it’s necessary to make eye contact. It takes practice but if you make conscious effort to catch the attention of an audience every time you speak in public, you are creating a lifelong impression.
Before the actual speech, practice eye contact with a mock audience like a friend or a colleague. It helps calm nervousness. During the event, before you speak, observe your audience. Take time to study them even for a few minutes before you talk. If you have the opportunity, mingle with them while you are waiting for your turn.
On top of everything, arrive early. You can never inspire people, much less motivate them, if they see you running late for your speech.