Motivational video

Engineering Area
Analysis & problem definition, Assessment & evaluation, Design & Prototyping, Ideation & Conceptual design
Group or Individual
Amount of People
Up to 15, 15-25, 25+
Type of Class
Duration of Activity
Half an hour or less
Type of Activity
Collaborative team setting, On-line Classroom activity, Self-work by students


What is this technique about

The Motivational video method is an icebreaker that uses publicly available videos to motivate the students to complete more complex tasks throughout the day, simply by completing small but meaningful tasks that are often taken for granted. One example could be to motivate the students to make their bed.

Where does it come from 

Motivational videos are known as powerful means to inspire viewers. Organizations often use them to develop a sense of loyalty amongst their employees and commitment to excellence (Cinimage, 2014., online). In teaching, showing students a motivational video allows them to free their minds and get inspired.

For which purposes it is used (why in your engineering teaching)

When facilitating a workshop where students are deeply concentrated on solving a problem or developing a future scenario, it is ideal to have an ice breaker or “mind freer” midway or after long periods of focussing on one task. The purpose of the ice breaker is to get the students to stop thinking about the workshop for a moment and do a completely different activity so that the brain can process all the information obtained so far. Here, drawing the students’ attention by showing them a motivational video can positively affect their self-confidence and boost their motivation to solve the problem or scenario even better. Ice breakers are often underrated sessions but can positively affect the outcome of the workshop. 

How to use it

Go to and click in the search field. Here, type the following: “motivational speech about making your bed”. The first video to show is a motivational speech from Admiral McRaven, which is ideal for this part as an icebreaker. Copy the link to the video and insert it into the sheet where the workshop is hosted or keep it as an open window in the browser, most important is that it is easy to access for the teacher. When reaching the icebreaker, share the screen so every student can see the video and play it for them. A link to the video is also provided under “Resources”.

How to implement this techniques online

Preparation, what do before the session

    1. Find a motivational video clip on e.g., (see example above) 
    2. Keep it in the browser or save the link where the workshop is hosted.

During application, i.e., while giving the session

    1. Explain the purpose of showing the video.
    2. Share the screen so every participant can see the video.
    3. Make sure to turn up the sound and volume on the computer.
    4. Tell the students to turn up the volume on their computer.
    5. Ask if the students can hear and see the screen.
    6. Press play.

Follow-up, about what to do after the session

    1. Give the students a break of approx. 15 minutes before proceeding with the workshop.

Tools needed

You will need a platform to share screens and communicate with the participants, such as: MS Teams, Zoom or similar. As well as access to a shared document (Google doc, Word etc.)

Furthermore, you will need access to a public platform with the selected video (e.g.,



Cinimage (n.d.). Benefits of motivational videos. Online at


Nate Wylie Studios (2020, November 18). Speech To Change Your Life Today! Admiral McRaven “Make Your Bed” Motivational Words Of Wisdom. [Video]. YouTube.


Chlup, D. T., & Collins, T. E. (2010). Breaking the ice: using ice-breakers and re-energizers with adult learners. Adult Learning, 21(3-4), 34-39.