Everyone needs a pep talk now and then. I know I certainly do! A good pep talk can make any lousy situation better. They are comforting and stress-relieving!

But not everyone can deliver a good pep talk. It’s tricker than it seems! It’s easy to make mistakes — like not really listening, giving too much advice, or talking about your own problems too much. Pep talking is a skill.

So are your pep-talking skills a little rusty? When you try to give people pep talks, do they look annoyed, burst into tears, or cut the conversation short? If so, don’t despair! Here are a few tips that should help you to improve your technique.

  • Start by listening – People who need a pep talk are upset. So give them a chance to talk about it! Listen while they talk about their problems and feelings. Be sympathetic. Try to see things from their perspective. And once they’ve described the problem, restate it in your own words. (“So you feel like no one appreciates you.”) This will demonstrate that you’re really listening and you understand what they’re saying.
  • Add the pep – Tell them that they are strong and resilient. List their strengths. Discuss their options. Tell them that there is hope and that things can get better! And avoid the clichés. (No one wants to hear “time heals all wounds” or other tired, old sayings.)
  • Be there for them – Tell them that you will be there to support them when they need it.
  • Know when to back down – If they start to disagree with what you’re saying, don’t argue. If they get annoyed, don’t get offended. Just tell them that you’re sorry that they’re having a hard time, and remind them that you’re there for them. Then end the conversation. You’ve probably given them something to think about.

And that’s it! If you follow these guidelines, you should be pep talking like a pro in no time. I’m sure your coworkers, friends, and family members will appreciate it!


Bernstein, E. (2015, June 15). How to give the most motivating pep talk. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-give-the-most-motivating-pep-talk-1434389035