What to Look for In a Motivational Speaker

Whether you are a motivational speaker OR you are actually looking to hire a speaker for your next event, then you want to know this – what sets a great speaker apart from others?

Besides stage presence, level of confidence, entertainment value and level of engagement with audience, it has to do a lot with the speaker’s message. What is the speaker delivering?

There are different styles of speakers and it can depend on what the organizer and audience is looking for.  Do they want:

a) Entertainment?
b) Motivation/Inspiration?
c) Information/Education?
d) All of the above?

The entertaining speaker is often humorous and can be a great ‘break’ to get away from all the serious talks/papers that are a mainstay of conventions.  They may have an overall message, but the value of the speaker comes from the experience they provide.

The motivational speaker will have a message that is often a general approach to life (be bold; follow your dreams; take a leap; get back up after a fall; etc)  and is told via stories, invariably their own.  The audience will feel inspired and motivated to do things differently…..and then less than 24 hours later, all that is forgotten, and nothing changes.

The problem I see with some motivational speakers, is that without substance and specifics, people leave without the tools to do anything differently.  It’s one thing having an idea, it’s another thing knowing how to act upon it and make it happen.

A quote that sums this up is by renowned speaker, Jim Rohn:

“Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.”

The purely educational speaker is often giving longer talks, workshops and seminars to provide the information and tools that the audience can use to get better results – in business, finances, relationships, health…

To be effective, an educational speaker needs to have the ability and the content to keep the audience engaged.  This is done through having structure, avoiding overload of information and being aware of different styles of listening and learning.

An educational speaker with too much information and no structure in their message can be likened to being presented with a shoe-box full of receipts.  How does the listener sort through this information?

The Entertaining Educational Motivational Speaker

Speaker Training by one of Hawaii's premier motivational speakers

With my background and experience as both a motivational speaker and a seminar lead trainer, I personally am a big fan of answer (d) All of the above.  I believe in combining all three to provide entertainment and motivation along with ONE or THREE key points or tools that someone can take-away and put into use immediately to make positive change in their life.

As a motivational speaker, it means breaking down your material and being specific with at least ONE point that people can take action on.  Information without action is not very effective.

As an educational speaker, you may need to look at your skill in engaging the audience and keeping them entertained at the same time as teaching them.  It’s generally accepted that learning is easier when it’s fun.

Be Clear

Speakers: Be clear on what you are best at and how you want to position yourself as a speaker.  How will you stand out so that you are memorable and provide value to your audience?

Looking for a motivational speaker? Be clear on the value and outcome you are looking for.  Do you want to be entertained, to be uplifted or do you want your audience to leave with tangible information that can help them change and get better results?