Maybe you’re a little league coach whose life is meaningless without a championship trophy and you’re willing to make children cry to get it. Maybe you’re a person who likes to inspire people to do things for you. Or maybe you’re a sicko who gets off by watching people try really hard, only to fail when they’re inches from their goal. Whatever the motivation, here’s a handy pep-talk guide that will get almost any group to do anything you want.
The Inspiring-a-Rag-Tag-Group-of-Misfits-to-Greatness Pep Talk
Let’s face it: this group isn’t going to set the world on fire—figuratively speaking, of course. Statistically speaking, there’s a 95-percent chance at least one of them will be convicted of arson. That’s not important right now, though. This is a pivotal moment in their lives. Make the most of it.
Remove the pressure of the situation through a display of subtle ambivalence. This might mean having a few drinks before or during the talk.
The primary characteristic of a group of rag-tag misfits is their fear of success. They know how to fail. In fact, they can’t stop. Your job is to remove that fear. Let them know they’re winners, no matter what happens. If they lose, they’re still winners because losing is just a way of describing the outcome of an event, not who you are in your heart. It’s okay to raise your voice a little to get your point across.
Give them a unifying theme, something to keep them focused when their resolve starts to wane. If you can’t think of anything, use one from a movie, like: “Nobody puts [insert team name here] in a corner!” At first, say the phrase softly and repeat it until it turns into a chant. Keep chanting until everyone in the room crescendos into a mad frenzy.
The Underdog Pep Talk
The only difference from the Rag-Tag-Group-of-Misfits pep talk is your audience. They’re motivated, but uncertain. They’ve already suffered through significant trials and tribulations. Now, they’re standing on the precipice of a true accomplishment. But they have to go head-on against an unstoppable force.
Paint a picture of overcoming impossible odds, like that time you got a date with the homecoming queen after you followed her around for several months. Or how you ejected an inoperable brain tumor through your skull due to sheer force of will. Either way, it doesn’t have to be true. It only needs to be believable. When you’re talking, don’t be afraid to show emotion. If they’re leaning in, fake some tears.
After you’ve told the story of overcoming impossible odds, relate it to your audience. Let them know they possess the same characteristics as the people who did something great. Use an ambiguous characteristic, like “spirit,” “gumption” or “foot odor.”
Finally, deliver a call to action, like, “Now, go out there and show them who you are!” Or “This is your time! Take it!” If you’ve done it correctly, everyone should run out of the room cheering.
Warning: This pep talk can lead to riots.
The You’re-Going-to-Die-But-It’s-Totally-Worth-It Pep Talk
This one’s a lot easier than it sounds. Make sure they know their death won’t be in vain, because they’re fighting for a greater purpose. But also acknowledge the possibility of survival. This will make them fight harder.
Some people like to go on about how God’s on their side and whatnot. If you simply say the word “freedom” over and over, that’s good enough. But you don’t have to take my word for it. You’re free to do whatever you want. Because you’re a free person with lots of freedom that no one can ever take from you because of your freedom.
See? You feel motivated now.
Make another brief mention of dying and how it’s for a greater purpose (i.e. “Freedom”).
Finally, you need a call to action. Again, say something about freedom here. Whatever you do, don’t tell them no one is truly free as long they’re alive. You don’t want people running onto the battlefield looking for a sword to fall on.