Some great insights into hiring a ‘motivational’ speaker by Steve Gilliland – although from my perspective I’m more comfortable with the word ‘inspirational’ speaker – at the end of the day our challenge was about failure and not success – the key was turning that failure into a success. It is not always about ‘The Win’.
It’s common knowledge that motivational speakers have to be engaging, educating and entertaining. Your conferences, workshops and corporate events need keynote speakers who can get your point across, all the while ensuring the audience has a good time. Speakers should have the ability to lighten the mood, make a crowd laugh and pay attention to all the messaging of an event.
And that’s not all you should be looking for in a motivational speaker for your company event. Here’s a checklist of 5 things to look for when hiring a professional motivational and keynote speaker:
1. They should have ability to fine-tune their presentations to your organization’s goals.
Entertaining and inspiring a crowd is just the start of the responsibilities of a motivational speaker. They must know the exact intention for the retreat. Is it for corporate entertainment? Is it to educate attendees on effective communication skills? Is it about the new policy changes implemented at the workplace? Each of these situations comes with a unique set of challenges, as the audiences are in entirely different mindsets when attending them. The speaker should be able to mold their materials to suit their needs.
2. They should be able the meet the company’s needs.
And companies have some extensive requirements from their keynote speakers. The right ones will have a reputation for researching the corporate culture before they show up. An expert speaker analyzes employee, investigates the causes of their strengths and weaknesses, and modifies the solutions as per the organization’s needs. All in all, the right speaker should know exactly how to enforce a healthier, more dynamic and cohesive workplace.
3. They are action-oriented.
The right motivational speaker leaves a lasting impact on the listeners’ minds. Their speech not only makes the audience understand what to do, but leaves them inspired to do it — NOW. The speaker gives them a clear strategy, an actionable program that the listeners can take away with them.
4. Their sample videos & presentations should help.
Even if the content of the videos isn’t exactly what you are looking for, these materials should be able to tell you about the expertise and style of a particular motivational speaker. Whether you are conducting a workshop in DC or prepping for a Las Vegas event, it is important that your keynote speaker’s style is compatible with your event. In any case, stay away if you find them to be preachy or agenda-like. Your staff deserves better than to sit through hours of that!
5. They should show a passion for the craft.
You want your audience to connect with the speaker within minutes, listen to them and respect everything they are hearing. The perfect motivational speakers command the audience’s attention. And they do it with a passion and zeal. They are not afraid to show their own passion for life, success and their work.
If you’re looking to hire a speaker for a corporate event, keynote or convention, the first step is to make your goals for the event crystal clear, to yourself and to the speaker you hire.
For me, what are you looking for more than anything from the audience that will be attending – inspiration or motivation? The latter can be positive or negative, carrot or stick yet I believe the former can only be positive. Inspiring us ‘ordinary’ people to do ‘extraordinary’ things – makes sense to me!
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