I recently got a call from a company who was looking to hire a motivational speaker. The current stumbling block was deciding whether this speaker should be male or female.
Apparently the convention planning committee was split: half wanted to hire a female motivational speaker and the rest thought a male would be more appropriate.
The reason for the stalemate is that they have had both good and unfortunate experiences with both genders. The convention planning committee also happens to be 50% male and 50% female, another fly in the ointment.
However, they had hired mostly male motivational speakers in the past and they felt like they needed a feminine touch.
Below is the thought process I would go through to decide whether to hire a male or female motivational speaker. Consider:
What is the audience gender break down? There are no hard and fast rules, however if you have a primarily female audience, make sure your agenda has a good balance of female speakers. If I am speaking for a group of women I incorporate different content. Woman love to talk about relationships, family and connection so I will use more humor and examples from this perspective.
When I speak for primarily male audiences, I find they like to be a part of the motivational speech so I engage them through humorous interaction, possibly poking fun at certain "safe" people. I also layer in more audience specific content.
It is no surprise that men and women are very different. We think, feel and behave differently, and our perspectives and life experiences are very diverse. If I were to guess, I would expect female motivational speakers to have more relationship ideas and examples and male motivational speakers may be more fact and content driven.
I have also seen the opposite to be true; where a female motivational speakers message is entirely content driven and male speakers who engage through relationship stories and humor.
If anything, it is important to balance your agenda to incorporate both male and female motivational speakers, especially over the long term.
Type of Humor.
Female motivational speakers use more humor about topics like family and relationships . Studies show that in groups, women laugh more than men. Therefore, primarily female audiences may be more primed for laughter, so hire a funny motivational speaker.
When it comes to humor, men do a lot more poking fun and find humor with a touch of sarcasm funny. It all depends on what would go over better with your audience.
I once spoke for a sales conference where they usually only hire female motivational speakers. It was an all male audience who typically sold products to women. The executive believed that hiring female speakers helped these male sales professionals to better connect with women.
Apparently there are a lot more male speakers than female inspirational speakers.... Why is this? Any thoughts?