A question has come up a couple of times in conversation recently, what makes a good motivational speaker? There’s two parts to my answer to the question. One is a major factor and one is minor. Let’s deal with the minor factor first.
It being the ability to speak in public. I remember seeing a survey of leaders who were asked the question, ‘are leaders born or made?’. The majority of leaders believed that leaders are made. I feel the same about public speaking. I’ve run public speaking courses where I’ve observed the apprehensive starter evolve into a competent and confident public speaker. Of course, it takes time and practice. As depicted very well in The King’s Speech, it’s a skill that we can all acquire.
The real factor for me relates to what I call your ‘light’. I believe that we are all born with a light in us that burns brightly and brilliantly. It’s kaleidoscopic in colour, it’s stronger than those found in a lighthouse. This light represents our wonderful uniqueness that we can shine in the world.
And then life happens. The ‘stuff’ of life causes our light to be dimmed. What is that ‘stuff’? It can be teachers saying what we can or can’t do. ‘Peer pressure’ making us choose certain paths or beliefs. Social media and society subliminally sending us messages. All having the capacity to throw a shadow over our ‘light’.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us”. Marianne Williamson
Motivational speakers tend to be those whose light is on. Or certainly shining significantly brighter again. They have not done this by flicking a switch. They’ve likely endured suffering. Had to work hard. Show bravery and courage. And perhaps most importantly, they have faced down fears about shining their light in the world.
The journey to shine their light on in the world becomes their story. It’s a story that the world wants to hear. Why? Because, for me, we all have an innate desire to shine our light on in the world. These stories stir that ambition in us.
Blind Boy, Panti Bliss, Greta Thurnberg, Niall Breslin, Brene Brown and Edith Eger. All people with inspiring stories of shining their light on in the world. All can be viewed as great motivational speakers.
So how do you become a motivational speaker? The first task is to shine your light in the world as brightly as you can. This will be a fulfilling and authentic journey. The world in turn is likely to want to hear the story of your journey.
My question for you this week is, what can you do this week to help shine your light?