How to Inspire People


Whether you’re trying to inspire someone to quit drinking, trying to inspire people to donate to a homeless shelter, or trying to inspire your workers to give it their all, a few simple techniques can apply. If you want to bring inspiration to someone, let wikiHow help you get started. Begin with Step 1 below!

Method 1 of 4: General Techniques

  1. Be real. If you seem fake or insincere, no one will be inspired. They have to think that you believe what you’re saying. If you don’t believe, if you’re just peddling snake oil as it were, then why should they believe you? The best way to be real, and show that this matters to you to is to make it actually matter to you. Be enthusiastic and throw yourself into what you do.
  2. Ditch personal glory. Try not to use yourself as an example when inspiring people. This tends to make it seem like you’re making things all about how cool you are. Instead, leave it at a simple “I know where you’re coming from” or “I’ve done this before” and then turn it immediately back around to them. Only share your experiences if they ask.
  3. Stay emotionally strong. Never let the people you’re trying to inspire see you get really angry or really upset. Stay strong. People get nervous when undertaking difficult tasks, and they need to know that someone is in control of the situation. If you can’t handle the pressure then how can they?
  4. Expect their best performance. Don’t set the bar low. Don’t disrespect them by acting like you think they can’t accomplish anything. Expect and show them that you expect that they can do great (but not impossible) things.
    • It is important to only ask for things that they can achieve, and the bar is usually best set right above goals they have previously accomplished.
  5. Acknowledge problems. If there are hurdles, acknowledge them. Identify what they are. But you should also identify how those hurdles can be handled. Emphasize that they are surmountable. This will give your audience confidence that you are prepared.
  6. Make those problems seem smaller. Once you’ve acknowledged the problems that you may face, make those problems seem not only insurmountable but small. Compare them to other problems that have been faced or talk about why they may not even be problems at all.
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    Draw on cultural examples. Examples from popular culture or history are a great way to inspire people for all sorts of purposes. You can use inspirational movies, historical figures, quotes, or even hurdles that they themselves have overcome in the past.

  8. Give them hope. Hope is the most important thing for inspiring people. You have to give them hope. They need to think that there is a goal, a light at the end of the tunnel, a reward for the struggles that they’ll face. How you do this will depend on your situation, just make sure not to end on a down note.

Method 2 of 4: To Work Harder

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    Lead by example. The best way to inspire your staff to work harder or push through a rough period is to lead by example. Take on more work than you have to and help them with their own work when you can. An active manager who works right alongside them is more inspiring than one who just sits behind a desk.

  2. Be their advocate. Make sure that their needs are met. Show them that you care about their personal well-being. When they do something that’s worthy of recognizing, recognize it. Promote them when they deserve it. All of this makes them want to do more for you because they know that you’re going to fight for them.
  3. Make them proud. Get them invested in the work that they do. Make them proud of the product they make or the service they offer. If they take pride in what they do, they’ll be much more likely to work hard and strive for perfection.
  4. Deliver on your promises. When you promise them something or give them an incentive, you have to make good on that promise. Failing to meet expectations will only make them wary of your future promises and they’ll be unlikely to take incentives seriously any more.

Method 3 of 4: To Help Others

  1. Create a story. Give them a legend, a fairy tale, where the problem that needs to be overcome (homelessness, hunger, poverty, etc) is a dragon to be slain. Create an epic feel around the task that needs to be completed.
  2. Appeal to their ego. Next, make them the hero of the story you’ve created. Tell them that they are the only ones who can overcome this terrible obstacle. Make them feel not just necessary but vital. And, here’s the key, make them feel like they’re the only one/s who can help. People frequently won’t help if they think that someone else will step in to be the hero.
  3. Feed their empathy. Use their emotions to show them why their help is so necessary. Put them in the emotional place of the person that needs help. Be as descriptive as possible: the easier it is for them to imagine, the more likely they are to want to help.
  4. Show the rewards. Let them feel like helping results in good things for them as well. Outline for them not only the good feeling they’ll have but also the physical rewards they’ll see (good resume content, business incentives, marketing opportunities, etc).

Method 4 of 4: To Help Themselves

  1. Listen to them. If someone is having serious problems, whether they show it or not they’re probably already judging themselves really harshly. Everything you could say to them they’ve probably already thought about. This means that one of the most productive ways to help them is to just listen to them. Be their sounding board. They may just talk themselves into whatever you were trying to get them to do!
  2. Sympathize with them. Show them that you care. Don’t judge or shame them. Sympathize and let them know that you understand that the mistakes they made were only human. They need to see that you are on their side, even if that side turns out to be doing the opposite of what they want to do.
  3. Build their sense of worth. People who make continuously bad decisions tend to think very little of themselves. Generally, if you’ve made some really poor decisions, you know it, right? Sometimes their poor opinion of themselves even causes them to do bad things to begin with. Build their sense of self-worth by showing them all the incredible things they can do and you’ll find that they may start fixing their own problems.
  4. Help them embrace faults. Some people think that they can’t overcome obstacles because they have too many faults. Help them to understand that everyone has faults and that we all have to work around them or overcome them. Show them that perfection isn’t necessary but that effort counts for everything.



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