It’s not easy to become a motivational speaker as all the attention is on you. However, you can still make your job easier by implementing some techniques. Here are four of them.
1.Use index cards when listing your pointers.
Index cards are more traditional since a lot of motivational speakers already use teleprompters, screen projectors, or tablets for their speech. However, for rookie speakers, using things that are harder to control may not be a good idea since nervousness and humiliation can rob them of their concentration. Sometimes, looking at a complete list is also confusing, especially when the motivational speaker does a lot of ad lib. He may get lost and when that happens, the audience will surely take notice of it.
Index cards are easy to use as they can be flipped or dropped easily when already used. They are ideal for listing pointers or for listing reminders, such as when to tell an anecdote, give a joke, or introduce a visual presentation. They can also be easily hidden on the podium or when carried on stage won’t appear as awkward as when you carry a tablet.
2.Have a bottle of water close by.
Half of a motivational speaker’s power is in his voice—how he projects it, applies dynamics, and emphasizes words and phrases. Hence, obvious changes in the voice will also affect the delivery of a speech.
Talking for several minutes straight is tiring for your vocal cords. In five to 10 minutes, you may already feel dryness in your throat. After 15 minutes, you may already feel itchiness. In 20 minutes, you may already feel the need to cough and rest your voice. There is no way experienced motivational speakers can avoid that, but they can do something to manage their throat very well.
The most practical and effective way to do that is to sip small amounts of lukewarm water every few minutes. This will relieve your tiring vocal cords without having to consume a lot of time off. In addition, you can learn different techniques to modulate your voice or different ways to phase your delivery in a not-so-tiring way.
3.Choose a microphone that is most comfortable for you.
Did you know that holding a microphone is one thing that makes a motivational speaker nervous? As you know, a nervous speaker is rarely effective in delivering his speech.
Holding a microphone is not a natural part of having a conversation. It is a constant reminder that the speaker is indeed in front of an audience and has to be in the limelight for several minutes, which makes the whole speech even more distressing.
He wouldn’t be able to speak normal and pretend that the event is no different from having everyday conversation with the mic in his hand. Many nervous motivational speakers hold the mic shaking while some point the mic all over the place as a part of their natural hand gestures. Either way, a microphone sometimes reveals more about how a motivational speaker really feels on stage.
Instead of distressing yourself over a simple microphone, better request something that will make you feel more comfortable, something that will make you forget that the mic is there. You can choose a headset type or a lavalier/lapel microphone. You’ll be able to speak more naturally when you are not holding anything.
4.Divide your speech and allot a certain time limit for each part.
Most motivational speakers are given time limit on their speech, especially if several others have to take the stage before or after them. That limit makes many speakers even more nervous, wondering if they can really finish the speech in time or if they can deliver in a natural voice if they have to hurry. Since time is usually non-negotiable, might as well do the time allotment yourself so you know when to rush and when to slow down. This will also give you the opportunity to skip less important parts if you are already running out of time.