“I’m planning an event for my company and I’ve been directed to find a ‘motivational speaker’ to open our conference. What does that mean exactly?”
I get these kind of emails all the time. It’s a great question. I get it. There’s a lot of confusion because the word “motivation” gets thrown around when it comes to speaking. No surprise, it’s one of the top words Googled when searching for a speaker. Let me make it a little easier. With more than 25 years in this business, I can tell you that there are three main types of speakers who fit under the category of Motivation.
- Content Motivators. These are the folks who present solid substance, killer strategies, innovative ideas and challenge their audiences to TAKE ACTION! These are NOT rah-rah speakers who are intent on convincing you that a change in attitude is all it takes to change your life. They are all about results. They want to motivate you certainly –to change your thoughts, perceptions, beliefs or mindsets so you can have the skills and incentive to make things happen. They motivate through empowerment. And action strategies. They are also generous with the tools and solutions necessary for audiences to sell more. Lead stronger. Communicate more effectively. And send their production SOARING.
- Attitude Motivators. These are the ones who want to stir your heart and ignite your passion. Their main goal is to touch and inspire the human spirit. A lot of rah-rah, dream your dream type stuff. Results? Your audience will be lifted up and transformed… for a while. The problem is that once the crowd-induced euphoria is gone, often the serious drive to reassess and change the behaviors getting in their way hits the road. Why? Because in these type of attitude-enhancing, inspirational messages there is often little offered in terms of high content or customized substance that teaches or empowers your team to take the often difficult steps they need to make the changes they want. No doubt a positive attitude is crucial to success. But a great attitude without the skills and knowledge to make great changes will seldom deliver the results you want or deserve.
- Personal Story Motivators. Their stories are amazing. Heroic. Unbelievable. Even heartbreaking. Worthy of the utmost respect. And admiration. Your audience will be on the edge of their seats as they listen to all the things one human being can accomplish. Endure. Create. Explore. The event planner is hoping that audiences, upon listening to these amazing tales of super feats will be able to take that energy and determination and apply it to their own life. Use it next week when their biggest customer goes to the competitor. Or layoffs are looming. Or three people are expected to do the work of four. Truthfully? I wish it were that simple. If so, then all a therapist would have to do is share one amazing story of awesomeness and voila–dysfunction is gone. Obstacles have disappeared. And ambition has replaced complacency and resistance. Unfortunately, most people cannot translate someone else’s amazing story in a way that allows them to overcome their own personal roadblocks. Or setbacks. Great story aside, too often, there is very little customized substance integrated into these presentations that gives step-by-step strategies that can guide people through the rough terrain of change. Adaptation. New technology. Difficult people. Ineffective communication. And innovation.
Bottom line for event planners? Your audience is starving for information. Real-world techniques they can use immediately. The means to navigate this crazy, rocket-paced world. Quick fixes aren’t enough. Rah-rah won’t cut it. Living your life through someone else’s heroic event is seldom translatable. So? What’s an event planner supposed to do?
Find speakers who: DO ALL THREE! (How about THAT for a concept?)
- Speakers who are adept at knowing how to touch the spirit and passion within their audiences that charges them up to believe in themselves and have a winning attitude.
- Speakers who have a story. One about real people doing real things that resemble what’s going on in your real audience’s life. So they can relate. And learn. And make better choices. And bring more to the table.
- And speakers who deliver super high substance. Dedicated to customizing. Intent on understanding your particular audiences needs and goals. They dig deep so they can understand your company. Your industry. Your unique concerns. They have the power, experience, credibility and talent to teach your audience HOW to be better. WHAT specific action steps they need to strategically take in order to accomplish major positive directional changes in their life. And, most importantly, they can successfully explain WHY these changes are necessary to their well-being. Health. Financial security. Quality relationships. And their personal and professional success.
Don’t settle when it comes to hiring speakers. Your audience deserves to be pushed. Challenged. Educated. Uplifted. Inspired. And empowered to create great change and make wise decisions. They deserve all three parts of the motivational package: Inspiration. Substance. And relatable examples and stories.
Hire THAT speaker – and you’ll hit it out of the park every time.
Want to learn more? Head over to my blog to learn why the AUDIENCE is the star of the show – not the speaker.
And if you’re a speaker trying to become the kind of presenter that can deliver the trifecta of inspiration, real-world strategies and relatable substance? You may want to consider attending our next boot camp at www.daretobedifferentspeaker.com.