What makes the best motivational speakers stand out from the rest?
Are they even relevant anymore?
Thousands of professional speakers describe themselves as “motivational”.
That means the term is still highly pertinent, both in business and in life.
Not to mention, conference organizers still seek out speakers who can stimulate thought and provide attendees with actionable, practical takeaways.
A Google search reveals almost 4,000,000,000 keyword results for “motivational speakers”.
But here’s the thing: not all motivational speakers are created equally.
Whether you’re an event planner or someone searching the internet for daily inspiration (and you may be both), you don’t want to hear from just any motivational speaker.
You want to hear from the best.
So, how do you know if a motivational speaker is the real deal?
To help you learn to separate the best from the rest, let’s break down six myths and truths about motivational speakers.
1. Myth: All motivational speakers are “cheesy”.
To categorize all motivational speakers as “cheesy” is a gross generalization.
Unfortunately, and as you undoubtedly find in almost every profession under the sun, some individuals aren’t genuine and have the power to give their whole industry a bad name.
2. Truth: Great motivational speakers have a proven track record.
Speaker bureaus, associations, and corporate event planners who book speakers for a living would attest to the fact that their clients prefer to hire seasoned professionals.
Experienced speakers have demonstrated exceptional platform skills, can deliver relevant content pertaining to pressing business or work challenges, and are renowned for their expertise on a particular topic.
3. Myth: Speakers are “sharks” who take advantage of people.
Many speakers succeed because of their talent, brand, and the demand for their specific message.
Regrettably, there are also individuals in many walks of life who exploit those who are vulnerable or looking for a “quick fix”.
To say that all motivational speakers are motivated by greed is an inaccurate depiction of the majority.
4. Truth: There are thousands of motivational speakers, but many lack business acumen.
It’s wonderful when you discover your passion and work doesn’t feel like work.
But passion alone won’t sustain you.
It’s no different for motivational speakers. Many aspire to achieve success and possess the essential attributes to connect with an audience.
However, the business of speaking necessitates honing the fundamentals, such as accounting, marketing, branding, selling, and acquiring clients—in other words: maintaining a profitable enterprise.
5. Myth: Motivational speakers are all “hype”.
For naysayers and “haters” (yes, they do exist!), the word “motivational” connotes images of “rah-rah” speakers, delivering meaningless platitudes to the masses.
The truth is, the profession has evolved considerably as audiences are more discerning, and clients expect an impactful, engaging experience.
A speaker who is all “hype” and lacks substance is unlikely to succeed.
6. Truth: The ability to inspire and motivate an audience is a sought-after skill.
A professional motivational speaker is hired for a multitude of reasons.
Many organizations recognize the importance of investing in a speaker’s expertise in order to stay ahead of the curve.
There is high demand for speakers who can address today’s specific business challenges such as leadership, technology and workforce well-being.
A motivational speaker who can energize, inform, and keep an audience engaged in the age of distraction will remain in demand for the foreseeable future.
By keeping these common myths and real truths in mind, you can not only help ensure you’re booking the right speakers for your events but use the same information to become a better speaker yourself.
If you’d like to learn more about my motivational speaking services, let’s get in touch!
You can also learn more about my consulting and coaching services here.
This article was originally published on July 19, 2017, and has been updated.
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