The Leading Edge: Striving for More than Motivation

By: Amy Modglin

Have you ever listened to a motivational speaker? What made you want to listen to them? What attracted you to go listen to them?  Were they talking about something that you were interested in?

I have had people ask me if I do motivational speaking. I am a leader who loves questions and thinks into the meanings of different words. This question had me think more into if I am a motivational speaker.

I examined what I thought a motivational speaker was. I have heard motivational speakers speak. As I reflect on how that made me feel, I can remember that, after hearing them speak, I felt good. After the speech, I was thinking about what the speaker talked about.  I was invigorated and excited, but one thing was missing from the speech.

I had no way forward. I did not leave with a belief or the confidence that I could act on what the speaker talked about. We can all benefit from a “feel-good” speech occasionally, but, if you are anything like me, you want something more.

Now, I have also heard inspirational speakers speak. This was a completely different experience. When I hear an inspirational speaker, I can hardly wait to jump out of my seat and go make things happen.

I believe that my way of thinking helped me to become a better speaker. It also helped me mold myself into being an inspirational speaker.

Today, I attempt to accomplish three things when I speak:

  1. Touch a heart – As an inspirational speaker, I want to tap into people’s emotions. I want them to hear a story that will capture their heart. This is a way to grab their attention and make them think about situations in their own lives.
  2. Present a way to shift perspective – It is easy for us to gravitate towards negativity in our own lives. When I speak, I do it in a way that offers a perspective of hope and positive thinking.
  3. Call to action – When I am speaking, I am intentional about infusing belief into the audience. I attempt to make them believe that they can do something with what they have heard. The best way to wrap up your inspirational speech to is to challenge the audience to act.

I had the incredible opportunity to use this way of speaking this summer. I had the honor and privilege to share John Maxwell’s stage in front of an audience of 3,000 people. I shared some pieces of my story about being a foster kid and how I was expected to be a failure. Then I shared about how I got sick and how my doctors told me it would be a miracle if I lived five years. Next, I talked about how I lost my ability to hear and how I am now clinically deaf. This was my attempt to touch a heart.

Next, I attempted to present a way to shift perspective. I talked about how I could not hear the words that I was speaking, yet I was up on the stage. I wanted to inspire anyone in the room who is afraid of public speaking that they could do it.

Then I told a story about how a woman in the grocery store was looking at me with sad pitiful eyes. You see, I have lost my hair from chemotherapy.  I told the crowd that I stopped her and told her that things may not look like they are going well in my life, but that I am insanely blessed.

Finally, I put out a call to action. I talked about how, because of all the challenges I have endured, I get the incredible opportunity to thank God for every day of life that I am given. I wanted the audience to take that as a challenge for themselves. Lastly, I encouraged all 3,000 people in the audience to live their lives like they only have five years left and how that would dramatically change their perspective in life.

After I left the stage, I had thousands of people come up and thank me for inspiring them. People told me about how they were going to take what I said to change their perspective and to tackle something that they were holding back on. Many told me that they were going to get on John’s stage, just like I did. The common denominator with everyone I spoke with was that they were going to act. There is no better reward for an inspirational speaker than to hear that your words inspired someone to move.

Motivation makes a person think; inspiration makes a person move. Do you want to make people think or make people move?

Amy Modglin is a certified John Maxwell Team coach, trainer and speaker. She is also the President of Modglin Leadership Solutions. Through both the John Maxwell Team and her own company, Amy invests in people and organizations through transformational leadership training and coaching, all of which are tailored to the needs of her customers. Amy is also an Executive Director with the John Maxwell Team and serves on the President’s Advisory Council and the Culture Awards Team.

Amy is a passionate, inspirational and accomplished leader. Coming from a background in healthcare, Amy has always been passionate about serving people. Amy was a Chief Hospital Corpsman in the US Navy and has led teams all over the world. After the Navy, she returned to healthcare, leading complex teams and reaching organizational pursuits. Amy holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Coaching from Regent University. With over 20 years of leadership and training experience coupled with having some of the best mentors in the world, Amy is equipped to bring value to you or your organization. Her motto is, “Unleash your inner amazing!”

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