Choosing a Motivational Speaker Who is Right for Your Platform

If you are looking for a person who will be able to deliver not only a powerful, moving message to your group or organization, but also a ‘good old fashioned behavioral change’, then you need to find a motivational speaker who gets people activated and sets them on-fire.

How to find the right motivational speaker can be challenging, but not impossible. Think of the difference between finding a pair of shoes that fit you perfectly (made of genuine leather and looking chic and stylish, all within your price range) verses a pair of worn, too tight, scuffed up, 3 year old shoes. Which pair would you choose for your next New Years Eve bash? The same applies in finding the right match for any event speaking occasion. Never choose an old worn-out trend, find the new and run with it. Here are some simple guidelines that may help if you are the event planner for your organization’s next event:

  • Get updated with what’s currently happening in your industry

  • Have a clear list of priorities and goals

  • Learn who are the hot celeb speakers or those making news

  • Research your various speaker options and see who is available

  • Watch videos of their presentation or work and talk to them personally if you can

Being able to do these things will help you make a better, more well-informed choice, rather than randomly choosing and ending up with second-best based on the particular message that you want to convey to your audience or group.

Your job as the event planner for your group is to find the right motivational speaker, the one who will set a fire underneath your audience and stir them to take action. The kind of speaker who naturally inspires others to go beyond listening and actually implement or move on what they are learning. Perhaps you’ve even been fortunate to have listened to a few of these speakers yourself or maybe even had a life-changing break-through after attending an event speaking engagement. Listening to motivational powerhouses like Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar or Erin Brokovich are inspirational, and undoubtedly most people will walk away with a lot of value, maybe even having determined to implement and make core life changes before the speaker had even delivered the final punch. A motivational celebrity like Robbins, Ziglar or Brokovich can command anywhere from $50,000 to $100,00 and may be out of your group’s budget this year, but what about a motivational speaker who is not a celebrity but still has acquired a solid reputation in the industry. How do you find that person?

What to Consider

  1. Budget: Your first consideration will be to determine your budget. What good is it going to do your organization if you’ve found a great motivational speaker to book for your event speaking engagement, only to find out that you are over budget and can’t afford their speaker fees? Not only is that an unprofessional approach, but if you’re the event planner, it is very discouraging as well. So your first consideration is to get clear on the budget you have to work with, and then search for a speaker who charges a fee in that range. Seek and you will find!

  2. If you are looking for a celebrity speaker, their fees will vary according to how ‘hot’ they might be at that time, as well as their current newsworthy accomplishments, degree of expertise in the industry, experience, etc. Celebrity speaker’s fees can vary between $5,000-10,000, $10,000-20,000, $20,000-30,000, $30,000-50,000; with top professionals and celebrities asking anywhere upwards of $50,000, $100,000, or $200,000 plus. Know your budget before researching.

  3. Information: Know what your criteria is. Have your goals clear regarding what stakeholders expect and what your audience needs.

  4. For instance, let’s say as your organization’s event planner, you have the annual corporate sales event scheduled six months down the road. You will need to find and book a top motivational speaker many months in advance. However this year, it’s crucial that you find the exact speaker that fits the bill, especially since corporate sales have faced some serious challenges the last 2 quarters, and your team is in sore need of major incentives and a boost to foster change. As the planner, it’s your job to meet with corporate executives and shareholders to get their expectations and goals in writing if possible, so you know exactly what you’ll need to look for in a motivational speaker.

  5. What to Look For? How you can tell which motivational speaker will be the best one for your event speaking engagement.

  6. If your corporate event is hinging its success on the speaker, then finding a speaker with a proven track record will be your main priority. Many speakers may fit this bill, but not all of them will be the right one for your event speaking engagement. So what are the ways you can tell which speaker is not only a good choice, but can deliver the goods?

Key ingredients that make a motivational speaker a success with an audience are: a sense of humor, a no-nonsense and honest approach (up front, yet warm), lots of charm and diplomacy. Hire the speaker who is at ease with creating a dialogue with his or her audience and will involve and bring them ‘in’ to participate. Look for someone who has the ability to reach inside an audience, who can touch their core - heart, mind and soul, while delivering the message with honesty and clarity. Watch samples of their video presentations and their work. Phone them up and speak directly with them when possible (sometimes you will have to settle for an agent or representative) and share your requirements and goals. After speaking with a few, you’ll soon be able to tell which one will hit the mark for your event.

Photo Credit: Michael McCullough

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