*puts on a mask*
Well, it is a lot easier than it sounds.
The easiest way to be inspirational is to express how much you treasure old school values. Act like they are already forgotten, even though they are not. You don’t even have to practice what you preach. Just preach and people will listen to you fervently. Everybody can do this.
What if you want to elevate it to a higher level?
You don’t have to think anything new! All you have to do is to repackage those obsolete wisdom with a new lexicon and metaphors. Nobody will even bother to read between the lines. The surface is everything for them.
To intensify your messages, exploit your audience’s religiosity. If you involve their Gods and use a more scriptural language, they would feel more compelled to take you seriously as it has become a matter of heaven and hell!
Oh, and keep nuances out of your messages. Humans prefer to believe everything in life can be easily put into boxes. They hate to think life as an intricate and vague entity. Be a simpleton and treat your audience as simpletons as well!
Once you have a decently-sized devotees, you will have enough apprentices in your grasp. This is the time when you organise seminars…. and set the prices.
Making your devotees and potential-devotees pay for your services is good for you; it gives them the impression you are a teacher who is willing to teach! Offering free services insinuates you don’t care about quality. Keep that in mind: money equals quality!
In your paid services, there are two things you must include: anecdotes and emotional manipulations.
I initially wanted to say you must treat your anecdotes as absolute truths, more reliable than scientific data. But, subsequently, I was aware of its redundancy. Anyone who cares enough to listen the first place will devour anything you say. They will revere your words as ones of truth, more truthful than the ones of actual scientists and intellectuals.
Make them emotional. Play soppy music, show soppy imagery on the projection screen, dim the lighting, anything to enhance the manipulation. But, the most important thing is to make them see themselves as pieces of shit!
You can do so by making them recall their own past ‘sins’. What counts as sins? Disobedience against conceited authority figures, refusal to do religious rituals which you never found rewarding, having the humane desire of touching another human’s tinky-winky with your own. You know, outdated moral problems. Once the tears start gushing like water out of the poorly-maintained Situ Gintung dam, you have conquered your audience.
Does it matter if they have sincerely changed for the better after leaving your seminars? No, it doesn’t. What matters is they act like they have changed for the better. How much boasting they have made determines the level of your success. The higher, the better.
Obviously, you will get your own haters. But, worry not. Launching scathing attacks against them is unnecessary. Your followers will do the job for you.
They will condemn your haters for being too unenlightened to cherish the transcedental heart of your sermons. Too hedonistic, too materialistic, too atheistic, too selfish, any empty insults imaginable.
Oh, and even though I doubt you can use them to create your own cult, I am sure they can make great stepping stones.
*takes off the mask*