Huw Devonald’s Advice on How to Deliver an Inspirational Talk to Your Team at Work

public speaking

When you lead a business or manage a team within a business, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your staff remain motivated, inspired and with their eyes on the same goals that you have. But how do you do it?

Talk to your team; it’s that simple.

Glasgow-based entrepreneur, Huw Devonald, has been managing teams for over a decade and has seen great success as his business has grown and changed as a result of this.

Huw says that “as a leader in my organisation, I’ve come to understand the power of inspiration in driving motivation, boosting morale, and achieving outstanding results. Giving an inspirational talk to your team can be a transformative experience, not only for your colleagues but also for yourself as a leader”.

In this article, we’ll share some valuable insights on how to deliver an inspirational talk that leaves a lasting impact on your team at work, including first-hand advice from Huw Devonald himself.

1. Know Your Audience

The first step in delivering an inspirational talk is to know your audience intimately. Understanding your team’s values, aspirations, and challenges is essential. Tailor your message to resonate with their experiences and aspirations.

Huw Devonald suggests that you should “take time to listen to your team members, gather their feedback, and learn about their goals and concerns. This will help you connect on a deeper level during your talk”.

2. Start with a Powerful Hook

A memorable inspirational talk begins with a powerful hook that captures your audience’s attention. This could be a compelling story, a thought-provoking quote, or a bold statement. The goal is to pique their interest and draw them into your message from the very beginning.

Consider sharing a personal anecdote or a story of overcoming adversity that relates to the theme of your talk. Personal stories are often relatable and resonate deeply with listeners.

3. Define a Clear Purpose and Message

Every inspirational talk should have a clear purpose and message. Ask yourself: What do I want my team to take away from this talk? What is the key message I want to convey?

Your purpose might be to inspire innovation, foster teamwork, or instil a sense of purpose.

Huw Devonald recommends that “once you’ve defined your purpose, structure your talk around it and keep it central to your message”.

4. Be Passionate and Authentic

Passion is contagious. When you speak with genuine enthusiasm and authenticity, it inspires those around you. Share your own passion for the subject matter and the vision you have for your team and organisation.

Your authenticity will resonate with your team, and they’ll be more likely to connect with your message on a personal level.

5. Use Powerful Visuals and Stories

Inspirational talks are often enhanced by the use of visuals and stories. Visual aids, such as images or slides, can help reinforce your message and create a more engaging experience for your audience.

Likewise, stories have the power to evoke emotions and make your message memorable. Share success stories, examples of perseverance, or anecdotes that illustrate the key points of your talk.

Huw Devonald says that when you “make it personal, you make it powerful, so don’t be afraid to reflect on experiences that have directly involved you so that your team can empathise and engage with reality”.

6. Incorporate Interactive Elements

To keep your audience engaged and participative, consider incorporating interactive elements into your talk. This could include asking open-ended questions, encouraging team discussions, or conducting small group activities related to the topic.

Interactive elements create a dynamic and collaborative atmosphere that can deepen the impact of your message.

7. Emphasise the “Why”

When delivering an inspirational talk, it’s essential to address the “why” behind your message. Explain not only what needs to be done but also why it matters. Help your team connect their individual roles to the larger purpose and vision of the organisation.

Huw Devonald notes that “when people understand the “why,” they are more motivated to take action and contribute to a shared goal”.

8. Offer Practical Takeaways

While inspiration is vital, practical takeaways are equally important. Provide your team with actionable steps they can implement in their daily work to align with the message of your talk.

These takeaways can serve as a roadmap for turning inspiration into tangible results.

9. Use the Power of Repetition

Repetition is a key tool for making your message stick. Reiterate your main points throughout your talk to reinforce the key takeaways. Use memorable phrases or anecdotes that your team can easily recall.

Huw Devonald says that “the more your team hears and internalises your message, the more likely they are to act upon it”.

10. End with a Call to Action

Every inspirational talk should end with a clear and compelling call to action. What do you want your team to do as a result of your talk? Whether it’s setting specific goals, embracing a new mindset, or taking on a particular project, make the call to action concrete and actionable.

11. Follow Up and Support

The impact of an inspirational talk shouldn’t end when the applause fades. Follow up with your team to provide support, resources, and guidance as they work toward the goals set during the talk.

Huw Devonald says it’s important to “show your commitment to their success and offer ongoing encouragement and recognition for their efforts”.

12. Seek Feedback

Finally, don’t forget to seek feedback from your team after the talk. Ask them about the key takeaways, what resonated with them, and how they plan to apply the message in their work.

Feedback can help you refine your future inspirational talks and ensure they continue to resonate with your team.


Delivering an inspirational talk to your team at work is a powerful leadership tool that can ignite motivation and drive exceptional results.

By knowing your audience, starting with a powerful hook, defining a clear purpose and message, being passionate and authentic, using powerful visuals and stories, incorporating interactive elements, emphasising the “why,” offering practical takeaways, using repetition, ending with a call to action, following up and supporting, and seeking feedback, you can deliver a talk that inspires and empowers your team to achieve greatness.

Ignite inspiration through talk, and let the results speak for themselves.

About Huw Devonald

Huw Devonald is an ex-professional rugby player turned entrepreneur based in Glasgow, United Kingdom. As well as having an innate passion for his growing sales organisation, he is an avid health and fitness fanatic. Huw Devonald enjoys sharing his experiences related to both business and fitness, and often demonstrates how the two are inextricably linked.

Find out more about Huw Devonald here: