HomeMotivation, Learner Management, & PsychologyMotivational Speaker Techniques To Encourage Students’ English Speaking Skills

Motivational Speaker Techniques To Encourage Students’ English Speaking Skills

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As teachers, we’re always looking for ways to improve our students’ English speaking skills and build their confidence in speaking English. An effective way to do this is to integrate motivational speaking techniques into our teaching methods and teach our students some engaging speaking strategies to use. 

It is important to point out to students that speakers in public talks such as TED talks or other significant speeches sound confident because of the key components that make up a successful talk. By adopting some of these, students can begin their journey to confidence and enjoyment in speaking English.

Great motivational speaker techniques 

Knowledge and clarity

Great motivational speakers possess a deep knowledge of their subject, which helps their audience trust in the speaker. 

  • For students, this emphasises the importance of understanding the content they are speaking about. 
  • Encourage students to research and fully understand the topics they discuss. This will ensure they can present information clearly and confidently. 
  • This can be practised through classroom presentations or group discussions where the focus is on explaining concepts in simplified terms.

Confidence and purpose

Confidence often comes from speakers feeling well-prepared and passionate about their subject. 

  • Teach students to define the purpose of their speeches and talks – whether to inform, persuade or entertain. This clarity helps them deliver their message with conviction and engage their audience more effectively. 
  • Role-playing different scenarios in class can help students build confidence and define their speaking goals.

Storytelling

Whether it’s a personal anecdote or something else, stories can captivate an audience and make the speech memorable. 

  • Remind students that by telling a story, the audience is instantly more engaged and likely to follow along throughout the talk. 
  • Help students develop their storytelling skills by integrating stories into language lessons. They could start with narrating simple personal experiences and gradually move to more complex narratives as their skills improve.

Audience awareness

Understanding the audience is crucial for effective communication. 

  • Have students think of a talk or presentation they’ve recently seen. Then, have them think about who the audience for the talk was. 
  • Tell students that speakers tailor their content and delivery to match the audience’s knowledge level and background. This involves using appropriate language, examples and explanations that the audience understands and can relate to. 
  • In class, students can practise audience awareness by presenting the same information in different ways to different groups and tailoring the language they are using and the way they are presenting the information. 

A strong conclusion

A strong finish is essential in great motivational speaking. It reinforces the message and often includes a call to action that leaves the audience inspired. 

  • Teach students to summarise their key points effectively and end with a compelling conclusion that prompts further thought or action. 
  • This could be practised through debates or persuasive speeches in class, where students are encouraged to conclude with strong statements and a call to action.

Practical exercises to enhance English speaking skills

  • Focus on activities that enhance clarity in communication. For example, paraphrasing or connecting complex ideas with simpler concepts.
  • Have students do exercises that improve non-verbal communication, such as maintaining eye contact, using gestures and controlling hesitations.
  • Help students reflect on the purpose of their talk or presentation, and choose language that aligns with their goals, for example, to convince, inform, teach or entertain.
  • Have students discuss how best to explain complex ideas. Remind them that any information should be appropriate and understandable to the audience without requiring much prior knowledge.
  • Explore the use of extreme adjectives and the connotations of words with your students, emphasising how language choice can inspire and motivate an audience.

Incorporating motivational speaking techniques into your lessons can have a significant impact on students’ engagement and confidence in communicating their ideas. By having these skills, students will not only improve their English proficiency but also gain valuable life skills in speaking and presenting to audiences. 

You can read more about teaching your students presentation skills here. Or read our paper for in-depth advice on teaching English pronunciation.

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