3 Easy Tips to Avoid Hiring BORING Motivational Speakers
Whether you are a professional meeting planner or your boss has put you in charge of hiring a motivational speaker for your next meeting or conference, your biggest fear is probably that of making a mistake by booking a boring motivational speaker. Maybe you weren’t even given any guidelines, topics, or budget. In many cases, the planners I talk with were simply told to hire a motivational speaker with the warning, “Make sure the whoever you hire isn’t boring!”
While professional meeting planners hire motivational speakers all the time as part of their jobs, many employees are given the task either at the last minute or because their boss doesn’t really understand how challenging it can be to find just the right speaker. Whether you hire motivational speakers for a living or once a year, there are several ways you can assure you will bring your audience to their feet.
If you want your employees and associates to talk about your event for years to come, you need to invest in speakers who will not just get your team motivated, but who will also educate them. If the desired outcome for your next annual or quarterly sales meeting is to see all arrows pointing upward, it’s safe to say you have your work cut out for you. Conference, convention, and event attendees will respond positively and deliver significant results – but only if you bring in a speaker who offers content and easy-t0-implement takeaways and who will motivate your audience.
Motivational Speakers: Delivering Content, Enthusiasm, or Both?
Tip #1: Determine the TOPIC you want your motivational speaker to address
Just knowing this specific fact will be a tremendous help in narrowing down your search. Clients typically need the motivational speaker to address a specific area, such as Sales, Marketing, Leadership, or Social Media… and other times they just want their audience to feel Inspired, Motivated, and Encouraged. Occasionally, a group will have intense, industry-specific sessions scheduled and they just want a diversion. Although I am typically engaged as a Sales & Networking Speaker, I’ve done my program on “The History of Las Vegas” for these types of groups.
If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? Having at least an IDEA of the subject matter you want covered by your motivational speaker will help you to zero in on just the right speaker.
Tip #2: Determine the BUDGET you have to spend for your motivational speaker
I am always surprised when I ask a client about their budget, and they hem and haw and eventually tell me they don’t really HAVE a budget! Booking a motivational speaker is NOT like shopping at Wal-Mart! It’s not a matter of finding the best bargain. THAT can be a quick ticket to a disastrous event
It’s no surprise: better speakers charge higher fees.
Insecure, inexperienced speakers are afraid to ask for a higher fee. If you are booking a speaker for at least $5,000, they need to deliver. I hear from newer speakers all the time that they will work for just expenses or a few hundred dollars. Even those who are willing to speak for $2500 probably don’t have the experience to ask for more.
Most motivational speakers are relatively flexible these days. If a speaker quotes their fee at $7500, you MAY be able to get them for less – especially if your event is coming up quickly. The odds of that speaker getting a FULL FEE gig just 4 to 6 weeks out are slim. They may be happy to take $5K at this point for a sure thing. But, you can’t offer them even $5K if you don’t know what your budget is, so make sure you know exactly what you have to spend.
Even if you aren’t a professional planner and your boss gives you the task of booking the motivational speaker for your meeting, simply ask him or her, “Hey, boss, two quick questions for you: What fee range are you comfortable with and what topic would you prefer most?” By having the answer to these two significant points, you will have half your work done for you.
Tip #3: Ask for references!
Even a great speaker video can be misleading. The challenge for any speaker is getting great video. Often, when they are on fire and their audience is eating out of their hands, the cameras aren’t rolling. And when the cameras ARE rolling, the audience is on their 5th day in Las Vegas and are dead on their feet! Even Elvis wouldn’t be able to get them ALL SHOOK UP!
Once you have narrowed down your search to a few motivational speakers, do your homework and call some of the speakers’ references. Most speakers have names and quotes from their clients available on their websites. Be sure to ask what the speakers’ strengths and weaknesses were, so you can share those with the speaker once you have hired them. It’s always helpful to know what resonated best with an audience.
By narrowing down your search by topic and budget, you’ll be able to find the cream of the crop for those two all-important determining factors.
BONUS TIP #1: Best selling or award-winning authors are usually better at telling stories. Plus, they may be happy to include books for your attendees as part of their speaker package.
BONUS TIP #2: Talk to the speaker on the phone. ASK THEM what they talk about. Ask for an example of one of their stories. Listen to how the craft their speech. Ask if they use PPT and if it is full of bullet points or rich, compelling photos. Ask them to tell you a funny story.
Doing your due diligence and a degree of “legwork” means you’ll never have to worry about hiring a boring motivational speaker again. If I can help you in any way, I hope you will email me with your questions. For a list of my topics, just click here. I’d love to share my messages with your audiences – in Las Vegas and across the country. I’m here to help you create an amazing program.