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

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"People today make promises, break them blithely and then excuse
themselves by saying, “I tried”, when the truth is, they did not."
Kevin Hearne from “Hammered: Book 3 of the Iron Druid Chronicles”

Lots of people attend self-help motivational presentations every year. Some folks do this year in and year out. And yet, there they remain stuck in place. Sometimes, the only thing that actually transforms is a declining balance in their bank account. Inspirational speeches can show “What” is possible for you to achieve. Motivational speeches can clarify “Why” it is important for you to achieve a goal. Without the key “How” you can get from a truly Transformational speech, you’d be stuck without a clue how to achieve your goal.

All of the insights and wisdom in the world will not help you achieve a single thing if you do not know how to put them to work for you. That is what makes transformational speaking such a powerful communication form. Transformational speaking brings the What and the Why into the potentially attainable by engaging the listener in the How they desperately seek.

Transformation is when something experiences a thorough or dramatic change in either form or appearance.


Transformational speaking is most effective when it shares a story that provides an audience with an insight into How they can transform from where they are to where they liked to be.

I had planned to share a story about my father’s experiences as a salesman to help you understand the transformational How of achieving success. But, as I was writing this blog, I had a chance to view the Tom Hanks film, Cast Away.

While watching this profound story of a castaway’s struggles to survive, I saw in the  Castaway the same attributes I saw in my Dad. They both had a firm grasp of the most critical step in How a person can achieve success. They both understood that, to succeed, you need to make and honor promises to yourself. You must accept that these must be promises you will not break.

The castaway’s inviolable promise to return drove him to find his How through the use of his inner strength and ingenuity. He made a simple promise to return and he would not turn his back on it. Though he struggled and failed, he would not relinquish the promise he made, not only to others, but to himself. Ultimately, he succeeds in fulfilling his promise. It is a small triumph when compared to the challenges he will face when, after five years of living a solitary life, he must reintegrate himself into society. There’s a lesson in this too.

Every success brings new challenges. The promises you make and keep are the key to achieving any goal.


How often do you make a promise to someone and then go out of your way to keep it? For most of us, because we live by the phrase, “My word is my bond”, we will do handstands if that’s what it takes to keep a promise. But, what about the promises you make to yourself?

Are you less worthy of having a promise kept to you than everyone else is?

The journey to success is not easy, but it is worthwhile. There will be many obstacles, starts, stops, attempts, shortfalls and overshoots. Without a promised-based plan to achieve your success will be massively unattainable. You have to be committed to the promises that will engage the How’s of your transition to achievement.

Booker T. Washington said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” Overcoming challenges, like the castaway, requires flexibility and a deep commitment to the promise of a greater goal. Transformation is about the How. The How includes the promises you must make to yourself that you will not break during your journey to success.

Remember, Success is only a landing place, representing the journey you took to get there. It is not a destination. If you rest on your laurels, you will soon find new goals are slipping below your attainable horizon.


For speakers and leaders who desire to influence their audiences, you will achieve your greatest affect when you connect through stories. Stories that inspire the What of Possibility, the Why of Potential, and the How of Promise.

The biggest insight, within the world of Transformation speaking, I can offer is to find solace in knowing there is always a How. Start by make yourself a goal-focused promise and then do everything you can not to break it. Make your speeches conversations of value. Dig deeper within your knowledge core to find the nuggets of wisdom others will embrace and eagerly pay forward. To be an influence, you must be willing to give of yourself without reservation. When you do your influence will move from ripple to wave to tsunami.

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