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You’d be surprised by the number of wannabe motivational speakers who don’t speak the language of motivation in their own lives. In fact, they do the exact opposite. The words they use in everday conversation are actually demotivational.

Underachievement - Not in the vocabulary of a motivational speaker

photo credit: Jimmy Quek

If you are interested in learning how to become a motivational speaker, a great place to start is with your own language. Here are 17 things you should never say to yourself or anyone else if you want to be a motivational speaker.

(NOTE: When you read the word “you” in a statement below, be sure to re-read the statement and replace “you” with “I” to see if your self-talk is demotivating.)

17 Things NOT to Say if You Want to be a Motivational Speaker

Setting goals isn’t that important.

You can’t.

Life’s not fair and there is nothing you can do about it.

Success is easy.

Success is hard and takes too much work.

You don’t need any help to be successful.

You don’t have a choice.

You will never be ____________________ enough.

Just try to fit in.

Who you spend time with doesn’t really matter.

You can’t help it.

You can’t change your attitude.

You can’t control your actions.

Fear failure.

Run away from problems.

Run away from decisions.

That’s impossible. It can’t be done!


So how are you doing? Are the words you use in everyday conversation motivating or demotivating? Speak It Forward events and programs are designed to equip you with the tools necessary to become a motivational speaker, but the first place to start is always with your own words.

Questions: What has helped you use motivating words in your everyday language?