Tactics for Motivating Your Audience
It’s no simple task to motivate an audience using only your words—but it’s entirely possible. When the point of your presentation is to inspire action, it’s important to consider not only the information you’re presenting, but how you’re doing so. You want people to leave feeling affected enough to remember your message and perhaps even modify their behavior as a result. So, it’s not surprising that you’ll need to do everything you can to establish a powerful bond with your audience and deliver your message in a compelling manner.
Offer a Unique Point of View
Put the specifics of your message aside for a moment. No matter what you’re advocating, rallying against or sharing with your audience, you need to have an angle. What’s your unique point of view? Why are you qualified to deliver such a message? Do you have first- or second-hand knowledge to share with your audience? The point is: You should be adding something new to the conversation surrounding your chosen topic.
As one expert writes for Forbes, effective motivational speakers are able to bring their speeches to life by incorporating these elements:
- How their topic relates to the world at large.
- Their own values that support the core ideas of their presentation.
- Methods of “motivating, supporting and energizing” people using information.
- How their ideas build upon previous lines of thought.
Craft your presentation with your unique point of view in mind. This will help it resonate deeply with your audience and confer the value of your experience onto listeners.
Tailor Your Message to Your Audience
You should also consider the makeup and experiences of your audience when you’re designing your presentation. As Chron notes, “Listeners who are already knowledgeable on a particular subject matter may quickly become bored if too much background information is provided, while others with little prior knowledge will be lost without it.”
Understanding your audience will help you decide which rhetoric will be most impactful. If you’re giving your speech to a variety of audiences, you may need to make changes to achieve maximum effectiveness with each.
Create a Visual Representation
Ideally, you want audience members to feel individually changed after digesting your presentation. But it’s important not to forget how powerful building a sense of community can be. Using a tool like a word cloud generator, speakers can crowdsource reactions, feelings and takeaways from participants. As people use their mobile devices to answer, the communal word cloud updates in real time—providing a visual focal point and outlet.
The final product ends up being a community-created representation of many different points of view. A word cloud can even serve as a starting point for a discussion. Or, it can act as a way for people to truly process their thoughts and emotions in the moment, anonymously but simultaneously with every other attendee.
Use Body Language to Support Your Content
Your audience takes cues from you the moment you step onto the stage or to the front of the room. Everything from your voice to your body language has bearing on how people receive the points you’re making. Make sure your energy level matches your messaging for maximum impact.
For example, midway through a heartfelt story, speaking slowly and softly—though still audibly— will pull people into the narrative. If you’re discussing something you’re passionate about, convey enthusiasm with a strong voice and assertive body language. Incorporate plenty of movement and changes of pace. This will keep people interested and instill a sense of empathy.
These tactics will help you truly motivate your audience during your next presentation.