I sometimes cringe when I get a call from an event organiser asking for my services as a “Motivational Speaker”. The reason for this is the trope that every speaker falls into – The same ask for a “louder good morning”, the strident tone, show of hands etc.
I prefer the term “Professional Speaker” – Someone who speaks for a living and will have an impact on the audience.
We all know that the world can change with the power of ideas. Ideas well expressed become great talks and Speakers who are aware and skilful with the idea and the best way to express it have the audience glued to their story. Event organisers thrive on providing great content to the audience, otherwise, brands would not trust them to acquire audiences on their behalf.
“Well, all he did was get up on stage and tell us a few stories”
If it was only that simple! The speaker has to connect with the audience at an emotional level and influence them to change with a “how” as well. This has to be clear and easy to follow by most members of the Audience. If the members are unable to connect or relate to the content or the Speaker, then Impact is lost.
While the efforts of the Speaker is to remain memorable to the audience for weeks after the talk, it is also important for the speaker to have a host of offerings as a coaching/ consulting package so the hiring organisation can rely on those workshops to cement learnings from the motivational talk.
I have spoken at varied conferences and organisations. If it is a tribe (Associations for instance) or a set of professionals who work with a team, those are the only two boxes I need to tick. If you are a leader and you need to arrive at your business results by working with a team- I have a set of messages that will change your world, as simple as that.
Many event organisers have reduced their events to “unimaginative sponsor-driven agendas” and they provide a “sales platform” for brands. Yes, selling to your audience is extremely important but curating the ecosystem for that message to be received better is way more important. When you have Speakers from other industries and learning, the entire ecosystem learns more, leans in more.
As the title suggests, you may think it is to “motivate people” – that is true, but that is only half the story. The true value of a Motivational Speaker is when he is able to shift perspectives, enable people to think for themselves, to feel possibility and most importantly shows them the path.
The Speaker has to follow a Mindset, Skill Set and Tool Set approach. He has to educate them, Gove them a set of tools along with setting the stage on Fire (metaphorically speaking)