What a Motivational Speaker Really Does

When you think of the best motivational speakers, do you think they just tell a story and get paid? What they really do might surprise you.

Many of us have probably thought, at one point or another, about the benefits of becoming a motivational speaker. You get to make your own hours, be your own boss, and fly all over, just to talk, right? In reality, there is much more to speaking professionally than simply telling a story (though a good speaker is usually a great storyteller, too). Being the best leadership or motivational speaker means reaching and engaging every member of an audience, while inspiring and educating them. Such dynamism requires a great deal of skill, patience, and practice.

Time for a Change

We all have a generally accurate idea of what motivational speakers do: they deliver an exciting speech that inspires listeners to make changes in their respective lives. On a basic level, this is true. At the heart of every motivational speaker is the desire to incite change on both small and large scales, be it through a new perspective or providing an example to follow. This is true for all types of motivational speakers, whether they are a personal development speaker, a business-focused leader, or a community figure.

However, to say that all they do is deliver speeches is reductive and inaccurate. Beyond telling their stories, motivational speakers educate their audience and provide a proven system to fuel change. In other words, he or she delivers an actionable “how” — not just an entertaining story. This lesson is not only clear and easy to follow, it is accessible to every single audience member (or it should be). If the audience members cannot relate in some way or do not feel impacted, the message is lost. This is why finding the right motivational speaker is so important, and why a speakers bureau is such a valuable tool.

Inspire and Educate

One of the greatest challenges a motivational speaker faces is leaving a lasting impression; one that lasts days, weeks, and months longer than the event itself — a kind of sustainable inspiration. By fostering self-motivation, speakers make an indelible mark on all levels of a company’s culture. This serves to align individuals with their goals, employees with a business’s vision, or a community with a cause. It is these systemic changes that make great speakers indispensable.

In order to ensure such changes continue to grow organically, motivational speakers must develop and implement an educational system. This may often mean hosting workshops and consultation services, in addition to further training and follow-up appointments. Without these resources, the changes may not be as durable or long-lasting.

Finding the Right Speaker

Commissioning a leadership speaker who tackles these issues in an engaging and meaningful way can also be a challenge, but is well worth the work to find the right one. Turning to a speakers bureau like BigSpeak will make it a stress-free process, helping you to book the perfect keynote speaker who can work with you hands-on, from workshops to coaching. At BigSpeak, we know what makes a motivational speaker truly great.

Ken Sterling is the Chief Marketing Officer at BigSpeak Speakers’ bureau – the leading keynote and business speakers bureau in the world. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California and an MBA from Babson College. Ken teaches Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Strategy at UC Santa Barbara. He is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker, business consultant and sales & marketing expert. For press interviews, contact marketing@bigspeak.com.