Toastmasters are high performers and extraordinary people. They strive to improve themselves and, within the Toastmasters program, they also guide others towards improvement, through speech evaluations, mentoring, and taking on leadership opportunities. Knowing how to motivate yourself and others to achieve, and how to properly recognize those achievements, are valuable life skills that can be honed in Toastmasters.


How do you sharpen your motivational skills? Whether you are evaluating, mentoring, or leading others in a project, your feedback should be given as a positively framed challenge that will motivate them to excel. As with any communication strategy, it is important to be mindful of your intent and tone. If your intentions are clearly to help someone grow and become better, and you speak with respect and honor, then your challenges will inspire better action.

Think about a person you would like to influence positively. While considering what you might say, complete the following sentences:

  • The person I am trying to influence has the following character strengths:
  • If I could tell her how to improve who she is, I would tell her:
  • The greatest contribution this person is making is:

Taking the time to consider these three factors helps build perspective.  To genuinely influence another person, you must first be able to relate to them.  Once you have established a connection, you are better able to help raise their ambition and challenge them to improve.


How do you prefer to be recognized?  How do you recognize others?  While motivation is a drive to improve, recognition is an external acknowledgement of accomplishments. People differ in their preference for recognition. Some desire a certificate or trophy to display on their wall or desktop.  For others, an honest expression of gratitude is reward enough.  Evaluate these personal preferences when you prepare to extend recognition to others. Consider acknowledging what made them remarkable, and realize that when you extend recognition effectively, you have an extraordinary opportunity to influence how those being recognized think about themselves, about others, and about the world at large.

Learn More About Different Styles of Motivation and Recognition, Mitigation and Pitfalls.

There are many different styles of motivation and many forms of recognition. Using the wrong one of either can break your connection with those you seek to influence.  It can negate the effectiveness of an evaluation or break down team collaboration.

How can you improve your skills?  At the October 15th Sound Advice Toastmasters meeting, we will delve into the differences between motivation and recognition. Mary Morrison, the first speaker, will discuss motivational styles. This information is useful toward building connections, establishing trust in relationships, and interacting within your network community. Jaymes O’Pheron, the second speaker, will address recognition pitfalls ― how using the wrong form of recognition or motivation style can break down team cohesion ― and mitigation strategies. Breakout room discussions will delve more deeply into both topics. 

If you are interested in learning more, please join us at the October 15th Sound Advice meeting, 6:00 – 7:30PM Pacific Time. You can register to attend the meeting on Eventbrite.