Motivational speeches for students are a key aspect when students are graduating or when they need to be encouraged. In some cases, they are necessary to inspire the students to get back to their schoolwork after an adverse event. Motivational speeches are also known as inspirational speeches.
Written motivational speeches for students help the students feel better about a situation and become more determined and motivated to perform better. Sessions are periodically held in schools and colleges to motivate the students. An excellent inspirational speech will make your audience feel more confident in their abilities, feel like they can relate to what you are saying, and come out feeling better about their circumstances.
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If you are wondering how to write a motivational speech, below are some elements and tips to help you write a great inspirational speech.
Elements Of A Great Motivational Speech
Students tend to be at a stage in their lives when they have so much potential to achieve their dreams and goals, and written motivational speeches are a good way to keep them on track and not veer off and engage in behavior and activities that may bring them trouble.
When writing a speech to inspire them, it is important to structure it to fit the occasion perfectly. A motivation speech for commencement is different from one that is for a day-to-day motivational session.
- Listen To Great Motivational Speeches: The first thing to do when preparing to write a great speech is to listen to impressive speeches. Some great ones are by prolific public figures such as Steve Jobs and his famous speech ‘How To Live Before You Die’, Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation was about choosing to love over fear. He delivered it with humor but with great emotion, and he left his audience greatly impacted. ‘Intertwined’, J.K Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech in 2008 was funny and motivational used many times to inspire students. Other famous motivational speeches use humor, storytelling, and other tools to share their point with their audience. When writing a speech, ensure that these elements are covered to pass your point across.
- Memorable: The speech must be memorable to help the audience remember all the remarkable points you made, especially when things get tough. Using emotions by the words you choose and the content you write will help the students remember your speech. Emotive content always moves people to action.
- Structure Your Speech: You must structure the speech, and this refers to the way you arrange your thoughts so that there is a sequential flow that your audience can follow along easily. Share your ideas in an uncomplicated manner. It helps your audience stay with you and understand what you are trying to say. You can use simple words and simple structured sentences to express your thoughts simply. If you share quotes and excerpts from other people, relate them with what they are saying. Ensure that the quotes are relevant to the primary thoughts of your speech.
- Genuine: The best speeches are genuine, which means that when writing your address, ensure that you are writing about something you are passionate about or that you believe in. When you do this, your audience will respond better because they can sense your genuineness.
- Finish With A Call To Action: Finally, when writing your motivational speech, be sure to have a call of action for the students. You are inspiring them to be great, or to follow their dreams or to be more tolerant, or to work hard. You should emphasize the call of action at the end of the speech to inspire the students to go and do what your call of action is asking them to. Your written motivational speeches for students should have calls to action related to the topics you have chosen to write about.
These five elements are essential to have a lasting impact on your audience and ensure the students are inspired.
Outlining Your Motivational Speeches For Students
An outline will help plan and structure your speech to cover all the main points that you hope to. A good speech will have an introduction, body, and conclusion. It also acts as your guide so that your speech goes in the direction you plan to take your listeners. It also helps you to organize your information.
An introduction is your opening, and it needs to capture the students’ attention to remain with you throughout the speech. A good introduction should first acknowledge the students and other groups in the audience, greet them, and welcome them.
It should then give a premise of what your speech is about and provide them with why they should listen to the speech. You can also provide an outline of what your speech will entail so that they can follow with you what your speech is about.
The body is where you will share your message. It is the central part of the speech. In the body, you will share different points that support your main thesis statement, also known as the main message. It is in the body where you incorporate quotes, jokes, analogies, research and facts, and other forms of speech that will support your points and keep your audience interested.
The conclusion part of your speech summarizes all you have said in the body of the speech. You reiterate the thesis statement and finish with words that are incredible and leave the students with those memorable words. The conclusion is almost as important as the introduction because it will be the last thing your audience will remember. This is where you emphasize your call to action so that the students are left with those words.
Short Motivational Speeches For Students
Short speeches motivate students to deal with increasing pressure from life and discouragement from not doing well in school. It can also be evident if they have been in school for some time without any breaks in. Their motivation may wane, and they find it harder to do the expected things. Short motivational speeches for students will help them feel encouraged to do the things they are supposed to, do better in exams, and enjoy school more.
Once you have the elements of a great motivational speech and the outline of how to write it out, then below are some topics you can pick and choose from the topics below.
- How to constantly self-improve and manage stress
- Why lifelong learning is important
- You can do it, believing in yourself and what you can do
- Living healthy: better ways to take care of yourself
- Let go of fear and do it anyway
It is important to be clear about the topic you would like to speak about before writing motivational speeches for students.
To help you write an impactful inspirational speech, here are five tips that you can use.
- Define the Main point in your speech
If you are wondering how to write a motivational speech and do not know where to start, you begin by defining your main point. The main topic will explain your message, and all topics will keep pointing towards that central point. The students listening to the speech should be able to pick that point up as they go along, and they will be able to carry with them that main message when they leave.
If you are unclear about your key message, the audience will be left lost about what exactly you meant to say. They may remember the stories you shared or the memorable quotes, but they will not come away with the main point you meant to communicate.
An example of this is the topic ‘Keeping hope alive when you feel discouraged’. If this is your main point, your introduction should direct your audience to keep their hope alive even when discouraged. If you decide to use humor, or metaphors or quotes, or anything else to make your speech more interesting, all of these tools should point to telling the audience to keep hope alive even when they feel like giving up or are discouraged.
You can have other points in your speech, but it is advisable to keep this minimum so that your audience is not confused about what you are trying to say. Retaking the example of the topic, ‘Keeping hope alive when you feel discouraged’ can be the main point, and other supporting points can be ‘Encouraging yourself’ and ‘Celebrating your past wins’. You can use these sub-topics to feed into the main point of what you are writing about.
Even if you have so many great ideas and messages, pare them down to the fundamental ones that you would like to share. This will also help your listeners to keep up with your main message. Irrelevant sub-topics may confuse the students, and they will not understand what you were trying to communicate.
Another thing to note when defining your main point and writing out any sub-topics that may support this primary message, take into consideration the amount of time you have. The shorter the time, the fewer points you should include and focus on emphasizing your main message. If you try and cram too many points in a short speech, the information may be too much for the students to digest, and they may not remember much of what you shared.
- Begin With A Powerful Opening and Introduction
The introduction of your written motivational speeches is the most important part because it draws your audience’s attention. For students, the attention span tends to be shorter than adults, especially for younger children. The opening statement or question, or story will determine whether they will listen to you or their minds will wander off.
Once you know the age of the students, their grade level, the issues that may affect them, and what interests them, you can structure your opening to capture their interest. People tend to be interested in relevant things and speak to their circumstances, and the students are no different.
Use your knowledge of their interests to come up with something that will grab their attention. In your introduction, it is important to show the students that your inspirational speech will help them believe in themselves, and you want them to share the passion with which you believe in them.
When writing your introduction, think of what you wish the reaction of the audience to be. Do you want them to nod, or be attentive or to laugh, or to be shocked? When you know the kind of reaction you want from the students when you begin, you can structure your introduction with that in mind.
For instance, if you want them to be shocked, you can start with shocking statistics that capture their attention. This kind of introduction will work if the research you are sharing is relevant to them, interests them, or you are likely to introduce information they have not heard before. If the data is very scientific, break it down to become age-appropriate for your audience so that they can understand what you are trying to say.
For example, if you are writing a motivational speech for students in their teenage years, you can open with the statement ‘Research shows that adolescents’ visual creativity is highest in adolescents. It means that mid-adolescents are the most creative in their teenage years compared to adults and younger teenagers’.
This will tend to grab their attention if this is information they did not know. They are likely to be interested in what that means in their academic journey. If you are writing a speech about how the students can pursue their dreams, this will capture the students’ attention, especially if you have proven research that they can be successful at their goals even if they feel like they are failing.
You can also introduce your speech by using a personal story, a funny story, or a famous quote that speaks to your main point. Allow your personality to come through in your introduction. It helps to connect your thoughts and ideas to the audience and connect with you with the students from the beginning.
- Engage Your Audience
Once you have written an attention-grabbing introduction, you can use different methods to keep your audience engaged while outlining your points in the main body of the speech. When writing, ensure that you remain respectful to the students with the choice of words that you use and address them directly.
Do not use words that may be too complex for the students to grasp but use straightforward language to help them understand. One of the ways to keep your audience engaged is to write questions that they can respond to when you are sharing your points.
If you are writing a motivational speech, you can ask a question that will require a response from the audience. The question should be relevant to the main message you are sharing. You can also ask the students to repeat the main point. For example, if one of the topics for writing motivational speeches is ‘Never Give Up’, you can ask the students to repeat that phrase. You can ask them to repeat the phrase in the beginning, in the middle and at the end of your speech. It engages the students, and they are able to participate and remember the key messages.
Another way to engage the students is to write an inspirational speech to trigger an emotional response. For example, you can narrate a powerful story of someone who never gave up despite many odds and how they are successful. You can also paint a picture using your words of when you did not give up.
Using emotional expressions in a moving story will enable the students to get the main point you are sharing. When writing your speech, create an emotional feeling by the language you use, for example, using inclusive phrases. Some examples of these are, when we work together as a school community, being committed and helpful as you all have been in the past few months will help us achieve our goals as individuals and schools. This kind of language makes the students feel they are part of a community, and the speech will inspire them to take the action the speech is calling them to.
Try as much as you can to write positively and leave the students with a feel-good note that they can achieve the things that your speech has inspired them they can achieve or do. People respond better to positive affirmations than negative admonishments.
The students will also remember the positive aspects better than the negative words or threats in the speech. Since a motivational speech is designed to inspire, it is more effective to show positive results and outcomes of carrying out what the main point is advocating for.
- Tell Stories
Storytelling is one of the most effective ways of getting a positive response when making a speech. It is important to include stories when writing your motivational speech. The stories will endear your audience to you, keep them interested and engaged and help them remember the main points of what you want to communicate. The tricky thing about writing stories for a motivational speech, they may be absorbing on paper, but when spoken, they may not be as effective as you had imagined. Two different ways to resolve this is to read aloud the story while writing the speech and listen if it sounds the way you intended, or you can structure your storytelling on famous motivational speeches that you may have heard.
You can incorporate different stories in your speech to make it more inspirational for the students you will be speaking to.
- Personal Stories– personal stories tend to be the most effective when using storytelling as a tool in your motivational speech writing. It is because the students will believe what you are telling them. After all, you have experienced it. They will respond that you are an expert on what you tell them since you have gone through that experience.
For example, if you are writing an inspirational speech on getting over fear, you can show how you overcame fear by doing something you feared doing. Your experience and feelings while doing what you feared, and the sense of excitement and joy when you realized you could do what you were so scared of doing.
Because you have experience in what you are writing about, your audience is more likely to believe and resonate with what you are saying. It will create a better response. Only share personal stories that are relevant to what you are saying.
- Stories based on history– these can be stories of how other people overcame adversities. Still, you can share stories of how heroes overcame their fears and achieved incredible feats on the example of getting over the fear. To ensure that the story has a tremendous impact, show its relevance to the students.
If you share a story on how a business mogul overcame his fear of failing to become successful, it may resonate with the students. On the other hand, sharing a story on how a successful businessman overcame learning difficulties to succeed in his business may be a better option. The second story is better, especially if you are writing short motivational speeches for students to encourage them to perform better in school.
Stories help in emphasizing the main message that you are passing to the students. When writing the speech, only include parts of the story relevant to the motivational speech, especially if the story is long.
- Keep It simple
If you think that inspiring students is not easy and are wondering how to write a motivational speech that will significantly impact them, try and keep it as simple as you can while passing the message you intend to. While writing your speech, keep the speech simple in several ways.
The first thing is to keep the main message and do not write many other topics to ensure that your audience understands the main point. Another way to keep your speech simple is to use age-appropriate language. Based on the age of the students who you will speak to, use language that they can easily understand.
Do not use language that is too simple for the listeners as it may come off as you are looking down on their ability to understand. When writing the speech, use metaphors and examples that they can identify with and relate to the topic you are writing about. When referring to a famous persona, or a public figure, it is more effective to go with those they identify with. Using examples or quotes of people known to them will help you drive the message home. Do not use too many tools in your speech. If you opt to use humor, use humor and metaphors, for example. Your speech may seem clunky if you include humor, metaphors, quotes, stories, research facts or data, and others.
All of these tools can be overwhelming and overshadow the primary message. Use poetry-like text as opposed to prose. Poetry like writing will enable the speech to have different thoughts presented separately in their own individual paragraphs, making it easy to ensure that the speech flows naturally. You can read aloud as you write to ensure that your speech sounds as natural as it should.
Written motivational speeches for students are important to help them remember that they can achieve great things. They also inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams. It also helps them to be motivated to learn and pass their exams. They also help to instill values such as courage and determination in the students.
Words have the power to perform better and inspire the students. Great motivational speeches will be emotion-centered on driving the message they are passing. Emotions will move the students to act and make changes where necessary. Therefore, the best written motivational speeches will inspire the students to act on your main message. To write great motivational speeches, it helps to listen to great inspirational speeches.
Great Speeches Mentioned in the Article
We mention a number of examples. We included a few throughout the article, but it was too many to include without distracting us from our message. Below are various speeches that we mentioned or others that we have found. These are some great examples of motivational speeches, each of which you can learn something from.
Steve Jobs – How to Live Before You Die
Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation
J.K Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech
Matthew McConaughey – Truths from My Journey
Another cut from a commencement address in Houston. In four minutes, Matthew provides some life lessons in an approachable, friendly way.
Rick Rigsby – Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout
In this lesson, a professor gives a beautiful speech using surprise, irony and his own life journey to inspire and teach new graduates.
William Shakespeare – Henry V Band of Brothers Speech
Written by The Bard, the English army is up against tough odds and morale is low. Henry V, delivered by Kenneth Branaugh delivers a rousing speech to raise morale. While you may not want to write a speech in iambic pentameter, there are lessons to be learned from this speech. He connects with his audience, uses emotion, and rouses his army based on their pride and honor.
Good Will Hunting – Best Part of My Day
In this speech, one friend tells his best friend a hard truth. He tells him that he is wasting a gift. In the same message, he shows how much he loves him and how he really feels.
Larry Smith – Why You’re Going to Fail to Have a Great Career
In this video, Larry Smith gets us with his opening line and keeps up hooked from here. “Wait, I’m going to fail?”
Dan Pink – Dan Pink
While talking about motivation, Dan Pink opens up and keeps us curious during his message.