Speech Tip: Inspiration Means Asking Someone To Do a Hard Thing
If doing whatever you are asking your audience to do was easy, your inspirational dinner speech would be a breeze. Inspiration is hard.
“Say, you know, I was thinking. You know that scholarship fund for poor international kids I mentioned in that letter last month — the one with the Christmas-themed envelope? Well, hey, we still need $10 million to get that endowment in good shape. There are 250 of you here. I need another $40,000 each beyond what you’ve given, OK? Just write a check and drop it in the manila envelope on the table. We’re good? Cool.”
Or maybe it isn’t a fundraiser. Instead, you are talking fitness, “Look in the mirror. You see it. You know you need to lose weight. Don’t wait until New Year’s Day to resolve to lose it. You are fat today. Eat less. Start exercising. Got it? Good. And skip the dessert tonight.”
There are no mic drops in real life inspirational speeches.
There are no mic drops in real life inspirational speeches. Instead, there’s humility. At least, there should be. Even if what you are talking about is easy for you to do, arrogance has no place on stage.
- Respect that you are asking someone to give money, time, or resources to your cause.
- Respect that you are challenging the audience to make big changes in their life.
- Respect that you are pushing someone in a direction that, at that moment, they aren’t already going.
- Respect that, if you are giving a TED Talk all about diversity or reaching out to the neighbor who is not like them, it isn’t easy. Not for them. That’s why they need you to respectfully challenge them in terms they can engage. The challenge of “love thy neighbor” is it involves my neighbor… And me… And love. The rest is easy.
Here’s where I drop the mic: Thank you and good night! Trendl out.
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