Inspired words for speakers and others by Philip Seymour Hoffman

   Something Philip Seymour Hoffman said before he died rings true to me as a motivational speaker who works with others on humor, storytelling, sales training and presentation skills.

   I shared it with another Hoffman, popular motivational speaker Michael Hoffman, CSP, (chosen to lead the 2014-15 Voices of Experience learning program for the distinguished National Speakers Association available on iTunes.).

   Mike suggested I take Hoffman's quote and switch out one word. So in the quote below from PSH, every time he says the word “act” I changed it to “speak.”

   As you know, Hoffman was an intense actor. Devoted to his craft. Lived for it (as long as he could.) I believe the same about you, the speaker. That’s why I want to share it with you.

   Here’s what Hoffman said at an awards ceremony (with my word exchange.)


   “When you first start out, you have to speak whenever you can. You can’t be picky. You really have to speak whenever you can and wherever you get a chance to speak at an audition.

   “This is something my teacher told me years ago, and he is right. Even if you are auditioning for something you know that you will never get … you might not even liked it, but you know you have to go.

   “If you get a chance to speak in a room that somebody else paid for, then you are given a free chance to practice your craft. In that moment you should speak as well as you can, because when you leave the room or theater or wherever you are and you speak as well as you can, there is no way the people that have watched you will forget it.”


   There you go. Cut those words out and remember them. Hope they inspire you.


Dave Lieber is the national-award winning Watchdog investigative columnist for The Dallas Morning News and a much sought after motivational speaker. Dave is one of America’s top storytelling experts. He uses comedy to show businesses and associations how to improve their storytelling marketing skills in sales training and presentation skills. The author of five books, Dave won the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award as the U.S. newspaper columnist whose works produced positive effects on the lives of others.
To Book Dave Lieber:
Call 1-800-557-8166

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  1. GREAT advice for motivational speakers everywhere! And, how sad I'll only see PSH in prior films. No judgement — will miss his incredible talent.

  2. Consider me inspired. Great words to model our careers after. Sometimes as a motivational speaker I forget that being given the platform is an honor not a right. Thanks for the reminder, Dave.

  3. GREAT stuff Dave.  I love Michael Hoffman too – and it doesn't surprise me that he suggested you change ACT to SPEAK.  Turns out to be brilliant advice for us speakers.  Thank you!


  4. Thanks for linking all of us motivational speakers to the incredible actor that PSH was Dave.  There's a part of all of us who have a desire to be an actor I believe. 

  5. LOVED Seymour Hoffman – and you are so right. His words apply totally to our work as motivationals speakers.  

  6. A speaker that I greatly admire once shared with me this exact advice.  I have been speaking nearly every week since.  And I know I continue to get better and better at my craft with every single talk.  By the way… that speaker was YOU, Dave Lieber!  

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