In any interaction, people need to know what you want. Most conversation involves some kind of objective - there are very few neutral interactions - and the thrust of the interaction is typically understood by those involved, even though it is not stated.
In the same light, the most critical part of any motivational speech is to establish the objective, yet many professional speakers seem to dismiss this step, put their speeches in jeopardy and risk wasting the audience's time.
The Motivational Speech Objective is Not a Speech Outline
The speech objective is not telling the audience the direction of your speech ("First I'll talk about xyz, than bct" etc); the objective is where you will end up. Telling people what you will tell them is still important but this is an outline not an objective. A clear definition of your destination, or what you want to compel the audience to do differently is critical to a motivational speakers' success. A speech objective is usually an action you want the audience to take at the end of a speech.
Some examples of a motivational speech objective are:
- To sign a contract or close a deal. A contract usually includes a specific date, agreement and understanding. Here, the objective is to get a signature and the rest of the agreement will unfold based on the contract. A clear contract will be needed, of course, before any motivational speech is delivered to achieve this objective.
- To get the audience in agreement. I recently was a motivational speaker for a group of municipal administrators where one of the members gave a motivational speech with the clear objective of banning the development of a shopping center in the neighborhood. She developed all the pro's and con's of the proposed shopping development and got the audience solidly in agreement - but only because she was really clear on her objective.
- To to elicit laughter, tears or some other emotion. Some motivational speeches are designed strictly to entertain or elicit high and/or low emotions. At a conference or corporate event, this is often the objective of a motivational keynote speaker.
A speech objective anchors you and your audience to your message. It will help a speaker stay on track with the message and guide the audience toward your goal.
Once you have developed your speech objective than you will design your content around the objective.
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