The Speech Wiz shares an insight on being a motivational speaker.

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“Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do
because they want to do it.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

There is a phenomenon in the small business start-up world called “The Wall”. It is a moment someplace between the second and fifth year of a new business when the founder begins to lose enthusiasm for the business. The money, the fulfilling work, and the independent spirit that attracted the founder begins to fade behind a myriad of stuff like paperwork, staffing, and the grind of doing the same thing day in and day out. In short, the founder has lost hold of their “Why”. They do not see the importance of the opportunity that once motivated them to step out, take a leap of faith and seize control of their future.

Motivational speaking is the art of helping people see and concentrate on why something is important for them to achieve. Motivation is about translating the importance of opportunity into a Why they will believe in. If, as a speaker or leader, you cannot help your audience connect to their underlying motivation for doing something, you will have little if any influence on them.

In this blog post I will share some insights on being a Motivational Speaker and the essence of helping your audience discover the importance of opportunity inside the “Why they should be motivated toward achievement.”


A Motivational Speaker shares stories and perspectives with their audience about understanding the importance of opportunity in connecting to their “Why”. The story will help them discover how important their Why is for them when seeking to achieve a desired goal. Motivational speaking extolls why achievement is essential to humans. When you motivate people, you provide an injection of positive energy that fuels their thinking and propels them into a world of achievable expectation.

A well-chosen motivational story will not only motivate your audience and support your message it will enhance your credibility and your effective influence too.

When you speak, true motivation comes from telling a story about a person who achieved a goal because they incorporated the importance of opportunity into their vision and its mission. Just like an inspirational story, a motivational story need not be about some fantastic accomplishment. In fact, the more common and relatable the story is to your audience’s own life, the more effective it will be.

The secret to motivating people is to share with them a story of an everyday achievement by an everyday person like them that illustrates “Why importance of opportunity” is critical toward reaching a desired goal.


In the motivational portion of my keynote presentation, Won’t Power: How to become a Hope Less Success, I share an importance of opportunity Why story about my grandfather and the Great Depression. It is a story of a common man using the importance of opportunity to answer his Why. Through his journey, he discovers that his innate ingenuity is the key to survival for himself and his family. The story clearly answers the question of “Why the importance of opportunity” is a motivating force in energizing a person’s drive toward achieving a goal.

When telling a motivating story, your audience should be able to relate to your main character and also imagine themselves in your main character’s place. Will they feel the urgency? Would they be able to determine the importance of opportunity in their Why? Would they, like your main character, feel motivated by the importance of the opportunity?

I will briefly share the story I tell about my grandfather and the Great Depression so that you can see how the story motivates people to embrace the importance of opportunity in discovering their Why.


When the Great Depression began in 1929, my grandfather operated a small gas station. Overnight, his business disappeared. People barely had enough money to eat. Putting gas in a car was beyond frivolous. On the night he closed his gas station for the last time he went home and thought to himself, “As long as I have two hands and a brain, my family will not starve. But, I need an opportunity to provide for them.”

He assessed his resources. Sitting in his driveway was a station wagon with a full tank of gas. He thought to himself, “How can I use this car to make a living?” The son of  blacksmith, my grandfather was very familiar with how to work with metals. Grabbing an acetylene torch from his workshop he spent the night converting his station wagon into a pick-up truck. You might say he built the first El Camino.

Armed with his new vehicle, my grandfather looked for a market to serve. After driving through town, he noticed that some stores had cast aside the baskets and other containers their produce came packed in. He gathered these discards and then spent the rest of the day using his blacksmith skills to recondition these containers.

The next day he got up before dawn, took his “new” goods,  and drove to a nearby farmers market. He observed many of the farmers selling their produce and then casting the empty baskets aside. At the end of the market, he approached many of the farmers and offered to sell them his “new” baskets at a bargain price. They bought. He gathered whatever discards he could find, took them home and spent the rest of the day reconditioning them.

The next day he repeated the same process as the day before, with much the same result. He continued this practice for some time. Eventually he built up a reputation and a dependency on the part of the farmers for his “new” baskets.

My grandfather found his new motivating Why in the importance of an opportunity. The result was the eventual founding of the Smith Bag & Box Company, a business that would provide and sustain him for the next five decades.


My grandfather’s story is a common motivational tale. There is nothing within the story, like a patent or incredible discovery, that aided his success. His success came from a profound revelation of the importance of an opportunity in finding his Why for a success. His story serves to make this motivational point; if you want to succeed in life do not look for intervention beyond your own ingenuity and invention because the importance of opportunity in finding your Why is all you will need.

When you speak or lead, if you want to motivate your audience, use stories with the importance of opportunity as a Why of motivation. Let these stories be about common people achieving in the course of their everyday lives. What motivates an audience is knowing they can do it too. That they can do it without any special tools, programs, or miracles because they will have found the importance of opportunity in discovering their Why.

Thanks for your support as a reader of my blog and I eagerly welcome any comments on how you’re thinking about achieving the possibility of your promise.  Also, I would appreciate any suggestions you might have for future posts in this blog on a topic near and dear to you in the comments section below. As always, please feel free to share this post with a friend or colleague.

To Your Speaking Success.
The Speech Wiz