Last week I gave the best, most effective, motivational speech I have ever given.
It wasn't for a large group. It wasn't on a fancy stage with a spotlight. I wasn't even wearing any make-up. Actually, it was for an audience of one.
A long time friend of mine had gotten himself into drugs. Every time we went out together he was high. It was making me so angry. I thought, "That's it! Why do I need people like this in my life?"
But rather than getting angry and ending our friendship, I got together with him to talk. Rather than telling him what he was doing wrong, and what he needed to do, I painted a picture of the man I used to know. I reminded him of who he was when I met him. The man who was so awake. The man who was so talented. "This isn't you," I said.
We both cried as we held each other.
He called me a month later to let me know that he is living his life sober, not for me, but for himself.
I always tell my consultation clients to get a gig. But the audience you might want to affect most could be the person sitting across from you at the dinner table.
As speakers, we can make a difference, not by telling others what to do with a powerpoint list of action steps, but by listening, caring, and reminding them of who they are. Love is an action step that each speaker needs to do themselves.