The prospect of "having to inspire people" can be an intimidating prospect for many professionals and leaders. Over the years, I've met countless people who shy away from the idea, feeling that inspiration is something best done by 'other people'.
Usually, that means famous people - the big names, the celebrities, the heroes and heroines.
Yet one of the most profound lessons I've learnt over the years on my public speaking journey is this:
Inspiration is not about heroic achievements and fireworks - though it can, of course, be both those things. It's about change.
That change may be seemingly trivial or profound - but it relates to inspiration nonetheless. Because if you think about it, when you feel 'inspired', you feel prompted to do, think or feel something. That's change, in my book!
I always remember Darren LaCroix, the 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking posing a question at an event I attended in Phoenix, Arizona in August 2007:
How do you want to change the way your audience thinks, feels or acts?
His inspiration for that quote may have come from Alan Weiss (though I forget) - but the point is, effective spoken communication is all about change. The same is true for so-called 'inspirational speakers'. They stand or fall on their ability to trigger and sustain that change in the hearts and minds of others.
What I've appreciated most has been the increased thought the team has been putting into how they come across and what they say. Colleagues in other teams have already commented on the improvement in both skills and confidence.
Emma Truswell | Deputy Head of Services, Open Data Institute (ODI)