Are you ready to sparkle with inspir-tainment?

Being a subject matter expert is often why you are called upon to deliver a speech. However, your content is not enough. You need the secret sauce of inspirtainment; an ability to both inspire and entertain your audience while delivering great content. This requires a deep source of inspirational stories and anecdotes that relate to your big idea or speech topic.

Moving people to action requires inspiration

One way to find inspiring examples is through other people. While visiting Holland, I was inspired by Richard Bottram. To raise awareness for cancer charities after he lost his wife to cancer, Richard conceived the idea of the Wheel of Energy situated next to Schipol Airport in Amsterdam. This huge wheel turned 24 hours a day for one year with people running in it at all times. Richard committed to run a marathon every single day for a year – 365 marathons. This amazing effort kept his worthy cause in the public’s mind and also engaged people around the world to come and run in the Wheel of Energy. As I listened to Richard’s story, I thought “Wow. This is amazing.” I now call this the “wow” test. Whenever I find something inspiring that makes me go “wow”, I write it down as a story for a future talk.

Use your own experience to inspire

Another way to make even deeper connections is to share your own inspirational stories. This helps you become a more authentic speaker. Your story could come from your hobby. In 2010, I completed an Ironman triathlon in 36C (97F) heat which included a 3.8km swim (2.4miles), 180km bike ride (112 miles) and finished with a marathon. It was by far the hardest physical challenge I ever faced. When I told a friend about the race, he said, “So what does triathlon mean? Tri-not-to-die?!” Although the Ironman is a tough race, I learned from the experience of training consistently for over a year and pushing through the heat and physical discomfort during the race.

Such an experience could reinforce a point in a talk. For example, I could use my 12-month training regime to illustrate the message that small consistent steps can overcome seemingly huge obstacles. Or I could use the heat as a metaphor for the challenges we all face along the way to achieving something worthwhile. Look for ways to connect your inspirational story to your big idea. Practice delivering your story in under five minutes clearly stating how it links to your big idea.

Find your “wows”. What are you doing that you take for granted but other people think is amazing? A single mother bringing up four children has a wealth of insights, experiences and wisdom that could benefit many people. Your work, family, hobbies, achievements, failures, where you spend most of your time, where you would like to spend most of your time are all sources for inspirational insights.

Be open to finding your stories.If you carry around a phone with a camera, take pictures of newspaper clippings that inspire you or capture scenes from your life that you can use in your next presentation. Use your phone’s recorder to capture ideas and re-listen to them so that you remember to work them into a talk or develop them into five minute modules.

0 Responses to “Are you ready to sparkle with inspir-tainment?”

Comments are currently closed.