Pitfalls with the Motivational Speaker Demo Video

motivational speaker video

Hiring a motivational speaker? Watch their Video

 The most important tool to assess a keynote speaker for your event is hands- down their speaker demo video.

To evaluate a motivational speaker, you need to see them in action. Unless you can see them live, the best way to do that is through their video.

A demo video should show you a keynote speakers style so you can assess whether they will be a good fit for your group. A great speaker demo video should excite you and make you think; this is the kind of speaker our group needs to hear. This is the kind of speaker who will elevate our audience to the next level.

Unfortunately, many speakers video reels show fancy graphics, testimonials, and even media interviews with very little footage of the speaker in front of an audience. If you or your committee are assessing motivational speaker videos, insist they show at least a few minutes of them speaking in front of a live audience. I have met many meeting planners who are disappointed because their video did not accurately represent the speaker they hired.


A great keynote is as much about speech content as it is the experience the speaker creates with your audience. What type of experience do you want to create, and will this speaker fit the bill? Do you want your audience to laugh together, feel inspired, hear a memorable, impactful story, hear from a celebrity, or hear specific industry content?

Most meeting planners ask for a motivational speaker video before hiring a professional speaker.

A video is supposed to be a representation of a speaker's style, substance, and content. It is only a preview and sometimes doesn't do a speaker justice. 

Alternately, the 5 to 10-minute speech snippets may display just the speaker's best stuff. Once hired, the reviewers find out that's all there is. It's like a movie trailer; sometimes you watch the preview, decide to see the movie and realize you shouldn't have bothered. The free preview contained the only good parts of the movie.

My biggest pet peeve with a motivational speaker video is all the music, flash, testimonials, tv interviews that can be padded into the video. We preview a video to see the speaker speak, to see if the style, substance, and content are relevant to the group. If half of the video is testimonial and photos, the video is a waste of time.

Some motivational speakers spend tens of thousands of dollars creating a professional demo video while others just post motivational speeches of themselves on YouTube. 

A motivational speaker should never be hired based on how beautiful the demo video is, although sometimes it's hard not to because the range in quality is so drastic.  

Logistically, some videos are slow and painful to download, that the speakers may be discounted altogether.  Some videos have a lot of testimonial etc. at the beginning, and they lose the interest of the convention planning committee before they ever get to the motivational speaker part.  

Some meeting planners hire a motivational speaker because the video is short and keeps their interest and then the speaker is not the right choice for their convention.

Many speakers call themselves the best motivational speaker ever and yet their video is awful. 

Your choice of guest speakers can set the stage for the whole convention, and if they fail, it can have an adverse impact on the entire event. 

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