Josh Sundquist

Josh Sundquist is a Paralympian and bestselling author who has shared his story at events across the world. His high-energy blend of humor and inspiration motivates audiences to adopt his ski...

How to Become A Motivational Speaker | Stop Trying to Sound "Inspirational"

joshsundquist


Don’t try to be incredibly inspiring. Instead, try to be incredibly honest.

In other words, don’t say things merely because you think they sound inspirational. Say things because you believe they are true.

If your primary goal is to sound inspirational—which is what most motivational speakers, including myself, try to do at some point early on—you will instead sound cliché. Because if your only goal is to sound like what you think motivational speakers are supposed to sound like you are, by definition, imitating. And an imitation can’t be as good as the original because it’s just a copy, a replica, a forgery.

At best, the audience will think your speech is the same old stuff they’ve heard a hundred times. At worst, they’ll find your presentation phony and disingenuous.

The authentic version of you is a much more effective speaker than the best version of you imitating what you think a motivational speaker is supposed to sound like.

Seriously. There is nothing more inspirational as far as speeches go than a human being standing in front of a group of other human beings articulating in their own words the unique guiding principles they’ve learned from life. Not principles they read in a book. Not principles they heard another speaker say. Principles that have grown spontaneously through the pursuit of a challenging objective or in the midst of difficult circumstances. That is the stuff of truly motivational speeches, by which I literally mean speeches that are motivating.

Many people roll their eyes when they hear a “motivational speaker” is presenting at their meeting. Why? Because they’ve sat through too many speeches that are instead built on the shallow foundation of tired clichés.

Nothing will turn off an audience faster than reciting a list of cute phrases you read on an embroidered pillow.

Unless the phrase on that pillow changed your life. If so, then yes by all means put it in your speech. But don’t just recite the phrase for us. Tell us the story about whatever dark hour you were facing, about the moment you saw that pillow lying there on the couch, and about what you learned as a result of applying it’s cross-stitched advice to your situation.

Get it?

Don’t repeat what you’ve heard. Share what you’ve learned.

Which is not easy. But if you can clearly communicate the most profound lessons that life has engraved on your soul, honestly baring your past struggles and dilemmas, that is the most inspirational sort of speech you can give. In fact, it is the only kind of inspirational speech you can give, because anything less simply isn’t inspiring.


Source: Josh Sundquist

Want to bring Josh to your next event? Let us know here. We'd love to help make it happen! 

U.S. National Amputee Soccer Team...
Posted August 1st 2016
Congratulations to Josh Sundquist and the U.S. National Amputee Soccer Team on bringing home the third place trophy from the Co...

Josh Sundquist Training for Costa...
Posted July 19th 2016
Josh Sundquist is heading to Costa Rica with the rest of the U.S. National Amputee Soccer team to compete for the Costa Rica ...

Every Body Has the Power To Change
Posted July 6th 2016
So Mark Wahlberg posted my before-and-after photos. I'm really proud of the pics but I have a mixed relationship with this...

How to Become A Motivational Speaker...
Posted March 28th 2016
Don't try to be incredibly inspiring. Instead, try to be incredibly honest. In other words, don't say things merely becaus...

Josh Sundquist Halloween
Posted November 2nd 2015
We've all seen the slew of viral Halloween costumes that make their way onto the internet each year. We'd like you to meet some...

Josh Sundquist featured in Disability...
Posted January 17th 2013
Josh Sundquist featured in the "I Can" PSA. The Campaign for Disability Employment is a collaborative effort to ...

Motivational Speaker Word Art: One...
Posted September 20th 2011
Josh Sundquist is a bestselling author and Paralympian who gives speeches that inspire organizations and indivi...

Just Don't Fall: 50% Chance to Live
Posted August 15th 2011
In Episode 3 ofJosh Sundquist's animated series based on his bestselling memoir, nine-year-old Josh's parents reveal his grim p...

Just Don't Fall: I. Have. Cancer.
Posted August 5th 2011
In Episode 2 ofJosh Sundquist's animated series based on his bestselling memoir, he wakes up from surgery to hear devastating n...

Josh Sundquist Launches New Web...
Posted July 26th 2011
Inspirational speaker Josh Sundquist is producing an animated web-series based on his bestselling memoir,Just Don't Fall:A Hila...