We associate inspirational speeches with great inspirational people such as President Obama or Nelson Mandela. That's understandable because they have the opportunity to address the world. Radio and television crews, not to mention journalists will eagerly listen to what they have to say.
Yet any speaker has the opportunity to make his speech inspirational. A father speaking at his daughter's wedding may speak inspirationally about the real meaning of marriage and the hopes he has for his daughter's future. A speaker at a commencement or graduation ceremony can inspire the students to become givers to society. A fire-fighter speaking in a school can inspire students to join the force and save lives.
We usually motivate people to do something. We motivate them to give blood, join a sports club or plant a tree. We inspire people to be something different, something great. Inspirational speeches can inspire people to become successful or to inspire them to have passion in their work. Inspirational speeches are about inspiring people to be better people in some way. Such a speech can helps them develop their self confidence or to enrich their lives.
Naturally much the same can be said for motivational speeches. If you motivate someone to carry a donor card they will certainly feel better but mainly on a practical and individual level. Inspirational speakers have, throughout history, changed the fate of nations. When Christ told us to love our neighbours it was an inspirational speech that changed world thinking.
Most of us will never be asked to address whole nations. We may, though, inspire an audience to raise the funds for a new hospice or a swimming pool for disabled children. We may inspire local people to express their creativity in some way that would benefit the community. We may inspire an individual to write a play about world hunger, a play that would inspire others to help.
Like every other speech inspirational speeches need a catchy opening. You won't inspire people if you bore them with your opening lines. Your speech has to be practical too. You have to give the whys and wherefore's essential to any speech. Any facts you give must be checked and correct. Above all you must have a very inspirational ending. Your listeners must go home on a high.
When we think of inspirational people we think of people like Mother Theresa of Calcutta. Her secret, though, was that she believed in feeding just one person if you couldn't feed them all. If we can inspire just one person at a time then our speech will indeed, have been inspirational.