Competent Communication #10 - Inspire Your Audience

(See sample speech here)


In Project 9 you learned about the three types of persuasive speeches: those that inspire, those that convince and those that call listeners to action. This project focuses on the first type, speeches that inspire.

Executive Summary

An inspirational speech motivates an audience to improve personally, emotionally, professionally or spiritually and relies heavily on emotional appeal. It brings the audience together in a mood of fellowship and shared desire, builds the audience’s enthusiasm, then proposes a change or plan and appeals to the audience to adopt this change or plan. This speech will last longer than your previous talks, so make arrangements in advance with your Vice President Education for extra time.


  • To inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives and challenging the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement.

  • Appeal to the audience’s needs and emotions, using stories, anecdotes and quotes to add drama.

  • Avoid using notes.

Time: Eight to ten minutes

Your Assignment

This project emphasizes speaking to inspire. You are to:

  • Select an occasion for which an inspirational speech would be necessary or appropriate. It could be something suitable for your club members, such as a speech about the importance of doing your best when preparing for meeting assignments. Or your talk could be for an imaginary occasion, such as a team pep talk or a commencement address. If you plan to present a talk that would fit a hypothetical special occasion, tell the Toastmaster of the meeting what occasion you are assuming, so it can be announced to the audience.

  • Appeal to noble motives and challenge the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement.

  • Appeal to the audience’s needs and emotions, and use stories, anecdotes and quotes to add drama.

  • Avoid using notes, since they may cause the audience to doubt your sincerity and conviction.

Your speech also should include what you learned in previous projects about purpose, organization, word usage, body language, vocal variety, research, visual aids (if appropriate) and persuasive techniques. Incorporate appropriate suggestions from the evaluations you received in previous speeches. Review the Speaker’s Checklist in Project 1 as you prepare your speech.

This information is provided as a service to members. For full details on this speech project, refer to the Competent Communication manual. All materials in the Toastmasters Educational Program are copyright Toastmasters International. All rights reserved.

The Competent Communication Manual

You may be more comfortable communicating by electronic mail or telephone than in person. Speaking to large or small groups, or even one-to-one, may intimidate or frighten you. Yet good communication skills are vital if you want to be successful. Corporate leaders say that the ability to communicate well orally is one of the most important skills their recruiters look for in job candidates. Businesses want people who express themselves clearly and confidently, and are persuasive and comfortable communicating with a wide range of people, from top executives to assembly-line workers.

(See sample speech here)