There are 2 motivating factors that get people to do ANYTHING. The desire to obtain pleasure and the desire to avoid pain.
The more powerful motivator is the desire to AVOID PAIN.
If you understand this and use this factor when you speak, you will be miles ahead of most speakers. You will often hear speakers say “Do this... to get this...” They tell their audiences to take an action or follow a piece of advice, to get a desired outcome. What you will see less often is a speaker that says, “If you don't do this....this will happen...”
What is the difference? The first statement appeals to the listener's desire to obtain pleasure. The second appeals to the listener's desire to avoid pain. Most speakers appeal to the first. If you appeal to the second as well, you will be far ahead of the game.
So how do you do that easily? Use 2 words...Most People”. Listen to the first minute of this clip from one of my favourite speakers, Les Brown.
In the first minute of this clip, Les Brown uses the words “Most People” 3 times. Why? Because it appeals to the desire to avoid pain. When people hear “Most People” then a negative action, they think “I don't want to be like Most People! I want to be different!”
Speaker Les Brown is masterful at this skill. He often uses the 2 magic words, “Most People” to instill fear into people. Most people don't take action. Most people never set goals. Most people never pursue their dreams.
Most people often think of motivating people only in the positive sense - “I must motivate them to DO something.” Remember that people will move mountains to avoid pain as well – sometimes more readily than to acquire pleasure.
So remember the power of pain, and that you need to remind people of the negative consequences of NOT doing something as well.
Kwesi Millington helps speakers, presenters and youth to connect with their audiences and master their messages using the power of storytelling in their speeches & presentations. He is a Certified Public Speaking Coach & Youth Mentor.