Does a Motivational Speaker Really Make a Difference?


motivational speakers

I  know when you're planning an event and choosing a keynote speaker, there are a lot of unknowns and questions you may be facing. 

The biggest ones being, of course:
Will they be any good? And will the audience like them? What kind of a real impact will a keynote speaker make?​ Do we really need to bother with a motivational speaker?​

A Forbes article discusses in a very real way that a motivational speaker is a​ not​ job; it's an activity or a hobby for most people. To get paid to speak and bring a message that people want to hear, you have to slug it out for many years to craft your message and fine-tune your delivery.​ To become a funny motivational speaker, I spend years doing stand- up comedy to use humor to impact my deliver and the audience experience.

A motivational speaker needs to deliver the most memorable experience for the audience. They are not just delivering information, they are transforming people's perspective.

When you are a keynote speaker, you put out a lot of energy, and in reality, you are still an everyday person. I would add you have to be someone who believes in the power of words and motivation to shape lives.​

I think the best way to understand the impact of a top motivational speaker is to share my experience with you.

Over twenty-five years ago, I was feeling lost in my career, unmotivated and very unhappy. I was young, and my motivation was dwindling quickly. My counselor told me that I needed to get my act together because as I get older, I will be even less motivated! Luckily, a friend of mine gave me a ticket to see Top Motivational Speaker, Zig Ziglar. They were prize tickets because they were in the front row.

The experience blew me away. Through uncommon passion and energy, I felt the motivational speaker was speaking directly to me! I bought his audio tapes ( Yes, we listened to cassette tapes back then) and listened to them in my car every day.

This kind of motivation changed my perspective. It lifted me out of the temptation to feel sorry for myself and gave me new optimism. I felt alive and engaged, and I had tools that made me a better professional.

I wasn't in love with my job at the time, but I used this new enthusiasm to stay more engaged. At the time, I wouldn't say I liked public speaking, so I had no idea in the future this experience would shape my destiny, and I would become a keynote speaker.

Fast forward 30 years ( yikes), and I've been a keynote speaker for a long time and have fortunately seen many audiences benefit from a funny, motivational, and interactive message. Here are just a couple of examples:

Let me introduce you to Virginia.

Virginia was struggling at work. She was unmotivated, uninspired, and, as a result, showed up late for work regularly, feeling grumpy and unfocused ( I could relate).

She considered quitting, thinking the job was probably not the right fit, but she relied heavily on a steady paycheck. After all, the bills don't pay themselves!

So for years, she slugged it out. She was meandering through her days, completing her work with mediocre results. She felt discouraged and stuck.

Fortunately for Virginia, the company she worked for valued their employees and dedicated a large portion of their budget to team building events. Knowing their staff - not just Virginia - needed a fresh dose of motivational inspiration, they hired me to come and deliver the keynote.

What happened next for Virginia was one of the main reasons I love being a motivational speaker.

Virginia sent me an email shortly after telling me this:

Thank you so much for telling me exactly what I needed to hear! I've been feeling so stuck in a rut at my job with no idea how to get myself out. But now I do! I finally have the right tools to get myself back on track. It's been a month since you gave your keynote, and I feel a lot more engaged at work. I never wanted to go to work, so I would wait until the very last minute to leave the house, but now I show up 10 minutes early! The change I'm experiencing at work has affected almost every aspect of my life. Thank you so much again.

I know there are a lot of other Virginia's out there. Some of them may be right where you work. I also know not everybody responds like Virginia did to a motivational speech. In the end, you get out of it what you put in. Audience members need to be open to learning and they need to follow up and use the inspiration to promote results. A psychology today article reminds us that motivation is an inside job, what an inspirational speaker does is light the fire, but it's up to individuals to keep it lit. 

Some people think optimism and inspiration is useless, and they are least likely to benefit from a motivational speaker! 

The skills Virginia is talking about are soft skills, and they are transferable and benefit all areas of your life. They make you a better person.

Many motivational keynote speakers teach soft skills like communication, negotiation, conflict management, and more.

Because of my experience of slugging it out at a dead-end job, I spent years researching how to achieve more joy and meaning in your work.
In a keynote speech, I love using comedy and research to help audiences find joy and meaning in their job so they can be successful and productive again. 

Together we can help your people like Virginia back on track.


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