Once more unto the breach! A pep talk, if done well, can inspire an army into battle. Go get ’em also works in less dramatic circumstances. Research by Professor Tiffanye Vargas at California State University shows that, across sports, coaches’ pre-game speeches matter: 90% of players enjoy listening, and 65% say pep talks affect the way they play. Business leaders, too, have focused on how to best motivate their employees. According to research by husband-and-wife team Jacqueline and Milton Mayfield, a good pep talk includes clear directions, empathetic language and an explanation of why a task is important to you and the wider community. Depending on the audience, the weighting of each element can vary. For example, if you’re encouraging a friend, you might not need to establish empathy as much as you would if you were rallying strangers. And when you’re the person who needs some motivation, writer This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 42 Anna Wiener Anna Wiener was on the path to Silicon Valley success. Then she pivoted. Allyssia Alleyne charts the making of a tech-skeptic. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Influencers Anonymous Instagram content creators answer a short survey about the influencer industry. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Crazy Busy There’s no rest for the aspirational. Arts & Culture Issue 42 The Goal Keepers Not your therapist, not your friend: What accounts for the remarkable rise of the life coach? Arts & Culture Issue 42 Torrey Peters The Detransition, Baby author is living her best life. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Trash Talk On wish-cycling and wishful thinking.