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Inspirational Speech Example with Tips

The Look Up Challenge

Gripping opening (‘Imagine this’) connects with the audience.

Imagine this: You're on the way to meet your friend for a movie. You reach into your pocket for your iPhone to message her.

The reference to a common scenario makes the topic relocatable to the audience.

Shock and horror [Emotive language] hits you as it dawns on you that your phone is in your bedroom, plugged into the charger.

You feel like you've lost a limb. Like you’ve been cut off from the world.

Use of second-person narrative ‘you’ further captures the audience’s attention.

But is this really the case? [Question adds variety to the prose and engages the audience]

This brings me to my topic today: techno-obsession and missed opportunities.

Clearly states topic to let the audience know what to expect.


Smart devices are ruling our lives nowadays but at what cost? Are we losing touch with the real world? [Clearly states questions to be answered later in the speech]

We spend so much time looking down [Contrasting imagery makes the prose flow nicely] that we don’t look up and we miss what’s going on around us.[Personal observation again reminds us of the main message of the speech] 

Reference to something in popular culture. It shows that her topic is relevant to wider social trends. Her message now seems even more important and powerful.

The online poem called "Look Up" by Gary Turk which went viral on YouTube was a thought-provoking reminder of how we miss opportunities.

The main character was so busy tapping on his phone that he missed the woman who was supposed to be the love of his life, changing his whole destiny. 

Personal anecdote connects with audience.

I had a similar experience when I went to my local Sports Ground for training.

I was so engrossed in texting that I didn't bother to look at the notice board.

The main message of the speech delivered now through a personal experience (rather than a general statement).


The next day, my teammates asked whether I was going to the meet-and-greet session with the famous athlete, Usain Bolt.

Engaging variety in the structure of the speech: 1) an imaginary narrative involving ‘you’, the audience 2) a narrative in a fictional text 3) a personal narrative involving the speaker

I looked at her with a completely blank face. I had no clue what she was talking about.


"Didn't you see the poster? The deadline for signing up was yesterday!"


My heart sank. Texting cost me the chance to meet my all time hero. It was a real wake-up call. 

Emphasis on 'you' captures the audience’s attention. It also urges the audience to become personally involved in the message of the speech.

How many of you sitting out there are missing opportunities because of your obsession with your smart device?

Going back to my opening, if you feel like you've lost a limb if you forget your mobile phone, your answer has to be yes.

But next time it happens see it as a blessing, not the end of the world.

In fact, let me leave you with this: I want to challenge [A call to action] you to make time to look up instead of looking down, and see what you've been missing.

Maybe it could be just admiring a beautiful sunset or smiling at a stranger.

Maybe he could be your future husband. 

Strong ending involving thought provoking ideas and images.

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My Philosophy



"Education is not about filling a bucket, but lighting a fire!"

- William Yeats