Choosing a motivational speaker is essentially hiring a salesperson. Motivational speaking is about crafting a message with such resonance that the instinct to take action is impossible to ignore. The qualities to look for in a motivational speaker are less about “proper” speaking techniques than they are the qualities that allow the speaker to forge a connection with their audience.
These are the three qualities to look for in a motivational speaker.
A speech to a fortune 500 company is going to need a different delivery than one given to a junior high school student government convention. A good motivational speaker knows how to tailor the story, message, and delivery to the audience. If the talk is stiff or doesn’t resonate with the audience in the room, there is no way it is going to motivate anyone to do anything other than pull out their cell phone for a round of candy crush. Once the audience is hooked, it’s time to make sure the message hits home.
The most compelling story in the world will be engaging, but will it be motivational? The end goal of hiring a motivational speaker is not only to inspire but to inspire to action. Quality motivational speakers have an engaging story, yes, but the primary question they ask themselves isn’t “what do I want to say?” The real question is “what does my audience need to hear?” It’s not all about the speaker. It’s about the speaker’s ability to connect with the audience.
Often connection includes being vulnerable. Motivating people to take action beyond their comfort zone is no easy feat. A great motivational speaker isn’t infallible. They are authentic and relatable. They are normal. They are slightly further down the path than the audience. In that way, a great motivational speaker is a guide that compels the audience out of their chairs and down that path with them.