Public Speaking Lab

How to Inspire Others During a Speech?

Do you want to inspire people, right? It’s a noble endeavor, but many of us often fall into one of two traps. We either try to be the embodiment of boundless energy, enthusiastically shouting inspiring statements, or we rely on grandiloquent language, attempting to motivate and engage with powerful words. But here’s the catch: both of these approaches center around us, not the people we’re trying to inspire. 

So, how do we steer clear of the self-centered approach to inspiration and lead others in a more meaningful way? Instead of making inspirational statements, ask inspirational questions that will make people think. Being able to do this well will help you become a popular leader in business or in any part of your life where you need the support of others to succeed.

Before explaining more about this technique, let’s see why being energetic and passionate is not enough to inspire people.

Inspiration That Resonates

Most of us have heard the saying, “Inspire, don’t instruct.” It’s true! True inspiration isn’t about telling people what to do; it’s about encouraging them to explore their own potential, dreams, and aspirations. It’s like lighting a spark within them, one that leads them on their own journey of self-discovery and growth.

When we focus solely on ourselves and our own passion, we risk alienating our audience. Not everyone resonates with high-energy or passionate language. Instead, we should aim to connect with the unique interests and motivations of those we’re addressing.

Not to mention, the one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work. What inspires one person might leave another feeling indifferent or overwhelmed. That’s where asking inspirational questions comes into play.

Questions that Inspire

Questions are like open doors to the mind. When you ask an insightful question, you invite your listeners to enter a realm of exploration and introspection. It’s a gentle nudge that encourages them to think about their own aspirations and potentials.

Inspiring questions are carefully crafted to engage, challenge, and provoke thought. Instead of saying, “I want to inspire you to be the future leaders of this corporation,” you might ask, “What if you were in charge five years from now?” This shift from statement to question puts the power back in the hands of your audience, allowing them to envision their own path to success.

The beauty of asking inspirational questions is that it fosters a deeper connection between you and your audience. You’re no longer the distant, impassioned speaker; you’re a fellow explorer, navigating the realm of possibilities together.

Let’s take a practical example. Imagine you’re leading a team meeting, and your goal is to inspire your colleagues to be more innovative. Instead of delivering a rousing speech about innovation, you might ask, “What groundbreaking idea have you been toying with lately?” This question sparks curiosity and encourages each team member to ponder their unique contributions to innovation.

Open-Ended Questions

When crafting inspirational questions, aim for open-endedness. These questions don’t have a right or wrong answer; instead, they invite a variety of perspectives and interpretations. They create an environment where ideas flow freely.

Remember, inspiring through questions is a two-way street. After you pose a thought-provoking question, be a keen listener. Encourage your audience to share their thoughts and ideas. This back-and-forth dialogue builds trust and strengthens the connection you’ve initiated.

In a world where true inspiration is often sought after but rarely found, be the communicator who lights the way with questions. Be the catalyst for self-discovery, the guide for personal exploration, and the enabler of dreams. Lead not by pushing but by pulling, igniting the flames of inspiration in the hearts and minds of those you interact with.

What If I Don't Have Anyone to Practice My Presentation With