How to Write a Motivational Speech

Learning to write a motivational speech takes time and focus. But anyone who feels they have a message to deliver is capable of doing this. The following steps will help take you through the process of creating that speech, and get you one step closer to standing in front of an audience and making a difference in people's lives.

Attend several events that feature a motivational speaker. This is not to suggest that you try and imitate what you see. Just listen to how the speakers incorporate their own stories and pieces of history into their presentation. Pay attention to the flow, the timing and the use of humor. Also, watch how the audience reacts to certain things. You can learn a lot from these experiences.

Begin writing your speech by putting together an outline. This is just for you, so do it in your own style. List some bullet points that you want to hit during the speech. Remember, it has to have a basic beginning, middle and an end. For the beginning, it is a good idea to introduce yourself and give some background so you can establish credibility. Then think about what your message is going to be. Do you want to motivate people who are trying to change careers? Help keep a stay-at-home mom inspired? Talk about how to get through normal stresses of everyday life? You must find this focus as you create your outline before you can move on. Use words of wisdom and stories you remember from the past to help get you going in the right direction. It may take a few days of making notes, re-reading them several times and thinking things through.

Commit to your subject of choice, and begin using your outline to write the speech. The introduction part is easy. Tell people a little about yourself and why you chose to speak on this topic. Keep this fairly brief, but make it strong. It has to come from the heart. Then move on to writing the body of the speech using stories from your own life and quotes and stories from others. If you use quotes from others, remember to cite the source of your quote. Successful speakers do this regularly. It broadens the scope of their expertise, and also keeps the speech from sounding like it is "all about them."

Find ways to use humor in your speech. Even if it is a very serious subject, every speech needs those light moments so people can take a deep breath and giggle or laugh. It opens the relationship between you and your audience, and makes everyone in the room feel more comfortable. Just be sure, of course, that you choose to use humor appropriately and not offend anyone.

Engage your audience. Incorporate questions into your speech. Statements like "Have you ever wanted to do..." or "Remember when you felt like..."--fill in the blanks accordingly. You are looking to relate to your audience, get their heads nodding and their minds moving. And always leave time at the end of your speech for questions or comments, or for people to just have a minute to walk up and shake your hand.


Note cards are recommended when you are just beginning. It is perfectly OK to use these during presentations. Prepare to adjust your speech as you write it. Your focus may actually change several times before you really find your niche.

Always research to make sure you are not duplicating the ideas of other speakers.