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The Inspirational Speaker Content Bucket

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 @ 11:54 AM

inspirational speakerAs an inspirational speaker people ask me how I come up with your motivational talks. Truth is over 80% of any inspirational speech I have repeated over 100 times. This makes it easy, because the content has been used before and I know what typical reaction it will illicit.

The other 20% of a speech is more fluid.  A concept I borrow from another inspirational speaker is the content bucket.

The Inspirational Speaker Content Bucket

What is a content bucket? It is a way to collect, organize and allow for the free flow of ideas to customize a motivational talk. The fluid, organic part of a motivational speech is the part I enjoy the most because it is the most relevant and timely to the audience. With the right research the audience will feel like I know who they are and I become a part of the group.

The inspirational speaker content bucket will include random pieces of paper (index card size or smaller) that have interesting industry facts or analogies. It must fit on the index card because it has to be short and to the point to make the cut.  Reading long sentences off an card in the middle of a motivational speech does not go over well, so keep it short and impactful.


This information placed in the bucket comes from industry newsletters, statistics, conference delegate interviews, conference themes and audience interaction pieces. The interaction is a relatively planned out way that allows me to interact with specific audience members. I chose these people in advance by finding out who is a good target. Usually it is a delegate everyone knows, has a good sense of humor and is foolish enough to sit at the front of the room.

Armed with the bucket, I randomly chose these slips of paper and incorporate them into a section of my inspirational speech. The randomness allows it to be more fluid and impromptu. I will pick on a few delegates near the front and engage in a loose, fun dialogue about industry stresses, deadlines, events, etc. Usually this conversation takes on a life of its own and I need to keep it contained if it’s a 60 -90 minute inspirational speech.

Personally this is my favorite part of a speech because it is more impromptu and relevant to the audience. It also makes the rest of my pre planned inspirational speech relevant and impactful.

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Tags: inspirational speaker, motivational talks, inspirational speech

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