Having spoken to large groups, corporations, and at meetings for over 25 years I know that many times companies and meeting coordinators are hesitant, or reluctant to hire a Motivational Leadership Speaker, or perhaps any speaker for that matter.

Some of these concerns may be well founded, so having been on both sides of the fence (having been a speaker myself, and having had to participate in corporate meetings as an employee for many years) perhaps I can offer some insight into hiring a Motivational Leadership Speaker.

  • What credentials does the speaker have? What is their experience level? How long have they been doing it? These questions may seem obvious, but so many folks out there are marketing themselves as speakers, but have actually had little to no experience speaking at all. The speaker you hire should be someone who does this for a living, not someone who has been told by his or her friends: “Hey, you’d be a great speaker”. Ask any professional comedian, and they’ll tell you that everyone is funny sometimes, but to be paid and funny on the spot, when the expectations are high, that’s a different ballgame altogether!
  • Does this speaker have any video of themselves doing what they do? In this age of digital cameras and video phones, if your speaker doesn’t at least have some ‘live’ footage of themselves delivering part of a speech, that would seem suspect. Additionally, if your speaker has appeared on TV, that’s a plus. Everyone wants to get on TV because it is free publicity, therefore TV stations and broadcast networks use “extreme vetting” before they let someone on their set. When you are ‘live’ and millions are watching, there’s no time to take a chance or roll the dice on an unknown quantity.
  • Provided you’ve found a seasoned pro, hiring a Motivational Leadership Speaker makes sense because many times companies are looking for a third party to make a specific point. The reason is because, most companies have already heard from their own executive panel, therefore an outsider provides a fresh and objective perspective that the audience finds “refreshing” or dare I say “motivating”!
  • Hiring a Motivational Leadership Speaker also allows your audience to hear something that they may never hear from someone on the inside. For example, if your hired Motivational Leadership Speaker suggests that, “You haven’t reached your potential” or “I know that you can do a better job” that could possibly be political suicide for an executive delivering the very same message, as the audience may react in the following way: “Who does she think she is, everything is fine in the Marketing Dept.-Don’t blame us”, or “He’s just blaming everyone else, he’s in charge, that’s his problem not mine-He’s the boss”.
  • Finally the best for last-PRO TIP! Please note that I actually teach people how to speak, and I can tell you that the most important aspect about speaking is not necessarily the delivery (sure that’s always important, and image is almost everything) but rather THE AUDIENCE is even more important! Let me explain. If your hired Motivational Leadership Speaker does not ask you a multitude of important questions about who’ll be in the audience, what’s important to them and the challenges of your specific industry…then you’ve just hired the wrong Motivational Leadership Speaker! In other words if your audience perceives that the SAME speech that they just heard could have been given to a group of plumbers, bankers, insurance executives, or pharmaceutical salespeople that’s the kiss of death. The message to your group must be customized and specific to that audience, so that the audience realizes, “she really understands what our competition is trying to do to us” or “he gets the nuances of our industry, he seems to know a lot about us”.

In summary, hiring a Motivational Leadership Speaker is a worthwhile investment for sure, if it is the right person. Hire a pro that knows what they’re doing who has a proven track record and does this for a living. And finally make sure your speaker asks a lot of pertinent questions ahead of time (I typically spend at the very least 1-2 hours consulting with my clients before our presentation).


Till Kahrs is has been a Business Communication Consultant for over 25 years. He is also a Keynote Speaker and has worked with over half of the Fortune 1000 and is a frequent guest on Television appearing on networks such as Fox National News and ABC TV. Kahrs is also the best-selling author of “Enhancing Your Presentations Skills”, an international business classic now also available as a Kindle or Nook E-book. Two of Kahrs’ most popular keynote topics are “Handling the Hot Seat” and “Speaking Successfully” which address in much greater detail some of the issues mentioned above.

Till Kahrs, Keynote Speaker & Business Communications Consultant