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 45 Yoga with Adriene The internet’s best friend is—finally—finding her own flow. Arts & Culture Garden Issue 45 Piet Oudolf The Dutch designer bringing life—and death—to traditional gardens. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Thomas MacDonell The conservationist transforming the Highlands. Arts & Culture Design Issue 45 The New Craftsmen From the Outer Hebrides to central London, Catherine Lock is celebrating the crafts heritage of Great Britain. Arts & Culture Music Issue 45 Gerard & Kelly On dance, domesticity and the giants of modernism. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Hang in There How to make the best of a bad job.