How to Give an Inspirational Speech at Work (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 1, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Giving an inspirational speech at work can be an effective way of motivating coworkers. While successful speeches can be unique and personal, professionals in a work setting usually include similar talking points and common speech practices. If you're hoping to deliver a speech that motivates coworkers to succeed at work, you can benefit from learning more about crafting and presenting an inspirational speech. In this article, we explain what an inspirational speech is, discuss how to give an inspirational speech at work, share tips, and provide a template and an example you can use as a reference when writing your own.

What is an inspirational speech in a work setting?

An inspirational speech in a work setting is an oral presentation that managers, executives, and other professionals in leadership positions give to their coworkers. Typically, managers deliver inspirational speeches to inspire and encourage coworkers to put forth their best efforts to achieve their goals. For example, a principal may give a speech to teachers nearing the end of a school year, inspiring them to provide an impactful education experience for their students.

Inspirational speeches can vary in length. For example, a retail team leader may give their team members a brief motivational speech each morning to make the daily sales goal. They can also give a lengthy, 30-minute speech on the last day of each month, celebrating successes and discussing areas for improvement.

Related: How to Motivate Employees

How to give an inspirational speech at work

Learn how to give an inspirational speech at work by following these four steps:

1. Acknowledge your coworkers' work efforts

When you start your inspirational speech, acknowledge the hard work that your coworkers have already performed and how they've contributed to the team's success. It's also beneficial to list any conflicts or challenges they've had to overcome and the actions they took to find practical solutions. For example, during their team motivation speech, a manager might say:

"I know in the past few weeks you've had a lot of obstacles, such as personnel changes and client demands. Regardless of these challenges, you've done an outstanding job of booking new clients and supporting your team members."

Related: 53 Famous Motivational Quotes for Career Inspiration

2. Remind coworkers of their goals

Reminding coworkers of goals, whether for a project or the overall company, can help them better understand why they're working hard. This reminder allows them to focus on the long-term benefits of their productivity. If the team has completed smaller milestones, mention them and how they contribute to the larger goal. For example, a manager might say:

"Since we started the project four months ago, we've followed a precise action plan and fulfilled four of our eight smaller objectives. Because of those completed objectives, our projected completion date has decreased by two weeks."

3. Discuss successes

Discussing the successes of the team and how they've affected the company can help show the team's value and how their work contributes to the company's achievements. When discussing successes, highlight specific individuals and the actions or choices that have benefitted the company or a significant project. Publicly praising coworkers can help encourage them to keep working hard and motivate other coworkers to earn public praise. For example, a manager might say:

"Jessica has done a terrific job of getting customers to sign up to our rewards program. She surpassed last month's goal of 10 sign-ups by signing up 16 people. I hope that you're proud of this achievement, Jessica. Well done!"

Related: How to Be an Inspiring Leader in Six Steps (With Traits)

4. Discuss plans

When concluding the speech, it's important to list any significant tasks or assignments that you expect coworkers to complete so that the team can meet their goals. After listing what's left to accomplish, encourage coworkers and make them feel confident in their ability to accomplish the remaining tasks. For example, when a manager is finishing their speech, they might say:

"I know we have some work left ahead of us. With our combined efforts and the strengths you've already demonstrated, we'll be able to accomplish our goals quickly and efficiently."

Tips for giving an effective inspirational speech

Some tips for giving an inspirational speech at work include:

Acknowledging strengths

When delivering an inspirational speech at work, remind your coworkers that they can reach their goals by acknowledging their strengths. Highlight individuals excelling in their roles and celebrate when team members develop their skills and expertise. Often, when you show coworkers that you notice their development and growth, it encourages them to continue working hard and refine their skills.

Telling it like a story

Although the topic of your speech at work may not always be exciting, you can make your speech entertaining by telling it like a story. Ensure your speech has a sensible progression that's easy to follow. You can achieve this by including a beginning, a middle, and an end.

For example, at the beginning of your speech, you might discuss how your team was unable to reach a goal in the past. Then, in the middle, you could discuss what this setback has taught your team members and share the improvements they've made. Finally, you can finish your speech by describing how you expect the team to reach next month's goal if they work diligently and stay motivated.

Practising and refining

Before you deliver your speech, practise, refine, and review it to ensure it's as effective as possible. Consider asking a friend or family member to listen to it and provide feedback. Ask them if you can improve any specific parts of the speech or your delivery. Practise delivering your speech in a mirror or film it and watch it back. This process can show you your strengths and weaknesses so that you know what to practise or change to deliver the best speech possible.

Related: 14 Strategies for Developing Your Oratory Skills

Incorporating pauses

When delivering your speech, incorporate brief pauses, allowing your listeners to comprehend the information. Use pauses to emphasize important parts of the presentation. For example, take a brief pause before and after sharing numbers or statistics, giving your audience a chance to make sense of the information. Pausing also gives you a moment to consider what you're going to say and choose the proper delivery. If you practise your speech in front of a friend or family member, try pausing at different parts and asking for feedback about your pausing.

Inspirational workplace speech template

Here's a template to help you write an inspirational speech for motivating coworkers:

[Address the team or group of coworkers],

Over the past [increment of time], you've accomplished a lot for this [company/department/team/project]. [Discuss and acknowledge the team's hard work and any significant challenges and obstacles they've overcome].

As we get closer to finishing the project, remember why its completion is so important. [Mention the project's objectives and how the company can benefit from their completion.]

Now, we've already had some significant success with the project. We've met some of its smaller objectives, such as [list the team's achievements and highlight specific individuals and their value toward the project's completion].

There's still a little more to finish before the project is complete, including [list the primary tasks or assignments that coworkers are yet to complete]. I know that together, we can complete this project quickly and deliver exceptional results to our [company/client/department].

Example of an inspirational speech at work

Here's an example of an inspirational speech using the above template:

"Team,

Over the past few months, you've accomplished a lot for this project. You've finished conducting our competitor analysis, developed impressive marketing strategies, and pitched innovative ideas to the client. When the client rejected some of our proposals, and we were behind on our deadline, you put in the extra hours and communicated with each other to find solutions.

As we get closer to finishing the project, remember why its completion is so important. Our client, Rainbow Construction, hired us to improve its marketing and increase its customer outreach. With our hard work, we can help this family-run business develop and flourish. When it succeeds, our company can succeed too, as it gives us our last payment and signals to other companies about our quality services.

Now, we've already had some significant successes with the project. We've met some of its smaller objectives, such as receiving positive feedback from our client concerning our marketing strategies and developing a sound action plan for the campaign. Though many contributed to those achievements, I'd like to acknowledge both Peter's and Samantha's leadership, which helped us achieve those objectives quickly and efficiently.

There's still a little more to finish before the project is complete, including starting the campaign and analyzing consumer response. I know that, together, we can complete this project quickly and deliver exceptional results to our client."

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