What’s Changing for Event Planners and Audiences?
by Keynote Speaker Connie Podesta
When people ask me if I am a Motivational Speaker I always answer that I definitely motivate audiences to stand up and be accountable. Be proactive. Deal with change. Increase their sales. Rev up performance. Attract more customers. Lead with integrity. Collaborate more. And be a role model. But I am definitely NOT a “rah-rah, dream your dream, you can have whatever you want with the right attitude” kind of speaker. Why?
One, because that type of motivation is not long-lasting. It’s a quick fix in a world that needs long-term answers. People are crying out for more understanding. More depth. More connection. And much more relevancy. They want more than old-fashioned cheer-leading now. They want solutions. Ideas. Strategies. They want solid take-aways that apply to their life TODAY. Ideas they can use TODAY.
And two, because my audiences trust me to tell it like it is. Help them face the reality of the situation they are in and learn to handle whatever life throws their way. That’s empowerment at its best. Rah-rah motivation suggests to an audience they can handle anything. But yet doesn’t teach them WHAT to do in a crisis. HOW to handle a difficult situation. Or WHY what they are doing isn’t working and what they need to do instead.
Bottom line: Time is everything these days. It’s limited. In demand. A precious commodity. That’s a big part of why you see such a major shift now in what audiences expect and demand to learn (and ACHIEVE) from the events they attend and speakers they hear.
Back in ‘the day’ there was more time for the old school type motivational speaker to come in and simply pump up an audience. They would tell their own personal story of adversity or success with the hopes that the audience would be motivated enough by someone else’s story that they would change their own attitudes, actions, or behaviors. But as an expert in the psychology of human behavior, I can tell you that is NOT how the average person learns to do better. Yes, some audiences are momentarily pumped up, but it doesn’t last any longer than the minute they hit their desk with all the extra work piled up because they were at a conference. Knowing that someone else climbed a mountain doesn’t relate to an angry customer. Recognizing someone survived a plane crash doesn’t necessarily translate to surviving their yearly evaluation.
Audiences today want MORE than someone else’s story. They want the speaker to relate to THEIR STORY. What are THEY feeling. Thinking. Worrying about. Needing. Afraid of. Overwhelmed by. Stressed out over. Does that mean that audiences don’t need to be motivated? Not at all. But they want to be motivated in a different way than in the past. They want to be given and taught the tools and skills necessary for them to feel EMPOWERED TO TAKE THE ACTION NECESSARY to achieve higher levels of success. I believe, because I see it in my own audiences that they want to learn how to become SELF-MOTIVATED. So they don’t need to rely on outside speakers to do it for them. That’s their one and only key to success.
Successful organizations and event planners are now looking for speakers who can go way beyond rah-rah motivation. They want speakers who can do two things: Motivate the audience to become accountable and self-empowered and have the credentials and experience necessary to teach them HOW to do that. Motivation shouldn’t be a fleeting emotion that goes away when the speaker leaves the stage. Great speakers have motivational messages that INSPIRE your audience to TAKE ACTION so they achieve the RESULTS both the organization and the audience want and deserve.
Check out this quick clip on why organizations and event planners are looking for a totally different kind of MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER — and why:
I’d love to hear from you! Post a comment below or head over to my Facebook page and share your thoughts! Ready to move your team beyond the rah-rah and into results? Call or message me today!