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 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.