motivational speaker

 

How to Choose the Best Motivational Speaker

I just finished working for the State of Wyoming Department of Transportation or WYDOT, and I was struck with an epiphany when my meeting planner told me how he judges success for his professional speakers – the people that he hires.  And here’s the deal, it was a surprise to me.  What they hired me to do is the same thing that they hired every professional speaker that they work with to do which is first, to start with a motivational, inspirational keynote speech to open the convention.  So, I did that on Tuesday’s afternoon and then on Wednesday, they asked me to return to do two different breakout sessions twice which was pretty cool.

Selected Posts from Brad’s Past

We found a few posts, videos and stories from Brad’s past, and thought it would be fun to re-publish them here.  So pour yourself a cup of coffee, put on some classic rock, and check out this classic blog post from a decade (ish) ago.  

 

How do you judge success for your professional speakers?

I did Breakout Session A, two times and then I did, after lunch, Breakout Session B, two times.  And by the way, as an aside, I really love it when my clients work hard to get more value and more return on their investment when they hire me and having me do multiple programs is a great idea.  So, anyway, back to how you can tell if your motivational or inspirational speaker is any good.

The client told me that they judge success based on the attendance at the following day’s breakout sessions.  So, that means they look in the room and the chairs are full, they know the speaker was well-received, and if the chairs are empty, they know that the speaker was horrible.

So, happily, today it was great.  We had lines and the room was packed and, again, lines was a great sign.  The client told me when he saw people lined up waiting for the breakout session to begin, he knew that he had chosen the right speaker which, of course, was very flattering.  But, I had never thought about that as a barometer for success.

One of the things that I ask of my clients before the event is how do you judge success?  And I think that’s a good question because sometimes they want me to make sure the audience is happy.  Other meeting planners don’t care if the audience is happy, they want to make sure that their boss is happy, and if you think about it, that’s a pretty big difference.

Sometimes, I’m called in to deliver a message the audience doesn’t necessarily want to hear.  So, theoretically, it’s quite possible that you could do a great job for the boss and the audience wouldn’t like you.  Well, you know, and conversely, it’s important to know that if your job is to get the audience going and the audience happy and not the boss, well, that’s important to know.  But, I had never once thought that my primary mission was to make sure that the room is full the next day for my returning breakout sessions.  Pretty cool, huh?

So, if you’re looking for a motivational, inspirational speaker, I’d love to be your guy.  If you’re looking for a speaker who can do a keynote and then come back and do some breakout sessions, I’d love to be your guy.  And most of all, if you’d like to hire an inspirational speaker who can guarantee that the next day, people will choose to come to my breakout sessions as opposed to going to other ones, well, I’d love to be your guy too.

Wyoming Department of Transportation, thank you for hiring me.  We had a great time in Cheyenne, Wyoming; loved being part of it.  Thanks so much.

Looking for a motivational speaker for your event? Contact me here.

Brad Montgomery
Inspirational Speaker, Very Popular Breakout Session Leader
Fan of the Wyoming Department of Transportation

Related articles:

Choosing the Best Motivational Speaker
How to Pick a Keynote Speaker

motivational speaker

We now present number 4 in our series of articles about:

Top Mistakes People Make When Hiring a Motivational Speaker

Hire a motivational speaker who knows what they’re doing.  And by that, I mean somebody who has done it so much that every conceivable combination of disasters has already happened before they hit your event.

The reason you want an experienced speaker is in case something goes wrong.  In case your audience is tired.  In case your audience is difficult.  In case something happens before, during or after your meeting.  In case the weather is bad.  In case the speaker doesn’t feel well.  These are all things that could completely throw off an entry level speaker.  In other words, make sure your person has done this a thousand times before.  The main reason for hiring a speaker who does not have sufficient experience is to save money.

Selected Posts from Brad’s Past

We found a few posts, videos and stories from Brad’s past, and thought it would be fun to re-publish them here.  So pour yourself a cup of coffee, put on some classic rock, and check out this classic blog post from a decade (ish) ago.  

 

Make Sure Your Speaker Has a LOT of Experience

Not Hiring Somebody With Sufficient Experience?

But as I’ve discussed in other articles in this series, the savings made by hiring an inexperienced speaker is not worth the increased risk of failure.  Now granted, inexperienced speakers often will do great.  They can hit a home run even.  They could do fabulous.  But in my experience, having been an inexperienced speaker, is that it is hit and miss.  If you are a client who is planning an event and are willing to take a chance on a miss, well then by all means, save those few bucks and book an entry level speaker.  But if your organization, your meeting, the changes you’re trying to create for your group require a hit, then you need experience.

 

I’ve got tons of experience.  Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.  I’ve had important people die hours before my keynote speech.  I’ve had the electricity go off three times during my speech.  I’ve had microphone failures.  I’ve had the CEO literally crying into the microphone as he introduced me because of an upsetting bit of news.  I spoke to an audience during the 9/11 disaster as the news was being unfolded.

 

Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong and the result is that now, no matter what happens, I’m ready because it’s happened before.  There’s nothing that can surprise me and that means that my level of comfort with having anything happen is very high, which translates to the comfort level of my clients being equally high that no matter what happens, we’re going to be fine.

 

Are you looking for a motivational speaker and want somebody who has sufficient experience?  I’d love to be your guy.  Contact us at www.bradmontgomery.com.

Brad Montgomery, Experienced (i.e., nothing can surprise me) Motivational Speaker

 

Related articles:

Second in the series about tips for hiring motivational speakers
Third in the series about tips for hiring motivational speakers
Meeting Planners Have a Lot at Risk

motivational speaker

 

No! You Want to be Positive….You Want to be Upbeat!

The science is clear that individuals can influence the dynamic of a group, or a team, or an organization. Scientists have created the following study: They add an individual to a team and then they measure the effect, and no surprise here, a positive upbeat person affects the team in a positive way. And a negative person influences the organization or team in a negative way. Again, not a shock. But here’s the interesting, and I think, sad part.

Selected Posts from Brad’s Past

We found a few posts, videos and stories from Brad’s past, and thought it would be fun to re-publish them here.  So pour yourself a cup of coffee, put on some classic rock, and check out this classic blog post from a decade (ish) ago.  

 

A negative person has a much greater impact on that team than a positive person. Well, this is interesting because it begs us to ask the following question of ourselves: What impact would we like to have on our organization or our team? I think it’s a cool question because even though it’s partly rhetorical, the process of answering that question helps us to live our life in a way that leads us to more happiness and more productivity.

So what do you want your impact on your team to be? If you want it to be negative and you are the person who goes in and is miserable and makes everybody around you miserable, well then, you’re an idiot and I can’t imagine anybody would really select that as their future, as their legacy.

I guess the other choice, besides being positive, the third choice, is to be neutral. In other words, you would select to go into your team and have absolutely no impact and again, who would choose that? Who would say to themselves, “Today I hope to make absolutely no difference to the people I work with and the people I work for.” Who would choose that? Seriously, who would choose that?

So that leaves the final choice, which is, “I would like to make a positive impact on the people I’m working with on my team, on my supervisors, on the people who report to me, on my clients, on my family; whatever the organization, I’d like to make a positive impact.” Kind of cool.

So what’s my suggestion to you? My suggestion to you is you ask that question. What do you want your legacy to be? What impact do you want to have on any given organization, be that your family, your soccer team, or your work team. My guess is you don’t want to be the negative loser who tries to bring everyone down. My guess is that having sort of a net neutral effect and that you make absolutely no difference to this team is not your choice either, and of course, that leaves the obvious solution, which is you want to be positive, you want to be upbeat, and you want to move the team forward. If that’s the case, that should help dictate the way you act. It should help dictate your mood, it should dictate your style of leadership and it should dictate your attitude, which of course ought to be positive.

Choose to be a positive influence in your life!

If you’re looking for a motivational, inspirational speaker to come in to talk to your group about how to make sure people are making the right choices about being a positive influence on your team, I’d love to be your guy and I hope you’ll contact me.

Brad Montgomery
Inspirational Speaker, Motivational Expert

“The kind of guy who makes a positive effect on my team.”

Related articles:
Laugh or Cry? Your Choice.

motivational speaker

 

What’s the Process for Hiring a Speaker?

 

Selected Posts from Brad’s Past

We found a few posts, videos and stories from Brad’s past, and thought it would be fun to re-publish them here.  So pour yourself a cup of coffee, put on some classic rock, and check out this classic blog post from a decade (ish) ago.  

Easy Peasy! Just contact us with what you need, what you’re trying to accomplish, when and where you’re event is and we’ll check Brad’s availability. Our job is to make it easy for you to hire Brad — and we’re good at it.

Once you’ve decided, we’ll send a super-easy one-page contract. Seriously. One page. (We’re proud of it.) We’ll also send you introductions, audio visual needs (which are ridiculously simple) and a quick pre-program-questionairre to start the process of educating Brad on the ins and outs of your organization. For most clients we require a 50% deposit to secure the date. Our office will arrange all of the travel and logistics.

We know that planning a meeting or convention is a big job, and our goal is to make booking your motivational speaker the easiest part of the whole shabang.

And of course if there is anything special you need (paperwork, info, articles, etc.) just let us know and we’ll get it to you pronto.

motivational speaker

 

Hire a Certified Speaking Professional to Guarantee Your Success

Okay, maybe not guarantee but definitely improve the likelihood of your meeting being awesome.

What is a CSP?  Certified Speaking Professionals have earned the highest designation awarded by the National Speakers Association.

To be a CSP is a big deal.  You’ve got to do way more than just fill out a form.  They pretty much examine your career, they look at the number of jobs you do per year to make sure that you’ve done a lot, they look at the amount of income that you have earned through speaking to make sure that you are working professional events, and then, here’s the killer, they call an alarming number of your clients to make sure that you were delivering excellence.  When I earned my CSP I was told that fewer than 7% of professional speakers worldwide have earned their CSP.

Selected Posts from Brad’s Past

We found a few posts, videos and stories from Brad’s past, and thought it would be fun to re-publish them here.  So pour yourself a cup of coffee, put on some classic rock, and check out this classic blog post from a decade (ish) ago.  

 

What is the point?  The point is is that when you’re hiring a motivational speaker you want the very best.  And one easy litmus test that you could put up is to see if your prospective speaker has met the qualifications for this very straightforward designation.  If they have, you know a lot about them.  You know they’ve done a lot of work, you know they have a lot of experience, you know they’ve worked at a certain fee level which guarantees that they are not just working at the Optimist Club and the Lion’s Club, which by the way is important.

Just because somebody says that they’ve given a lot of speeches doesn’t mean they’ve given a lot of speeches in front of business audiences or audiences like yours.  What else do you know?  You know that somebody, at least one person, has checked up on the speaker to make sure that they’re not complete fluff – that it’s not just marketing.  You know that this speaker has met a certain level of professional success.

Make sure your speaker has the title, CSP after their name!

Happily, I’ve earned my CSP.  I’m proud of this!  It took hours and hours of paperwork.  My office went nuts for about six months trying to get this done.  Plus, of course, it meant an absolute headache with arranging a database.  But it was worth it to me because it is worth it to my clients.

Next time you’re considering hiring a speaker make sure your speaker has the initials CSP after their name.

Are you looking for a professional motivational speaker who also is a CSP, Certified Speaking Professional?  I hope you will contact me here.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Certified Speaking Professional, and proud of it!

Related Articles:

Can You Guarantee Success?

How Do You Know If Your Speaker Is Any Good?

Check Out Brad On YouTube

motivational speaker

We now present the first in a series of articles about:

How to work with your motivational keynote speaker to get the most from your conference investment

 

Selected Posts from Brad’s Past

We found a few posts, videos and stories from Brad’s past, and thought it would be fun to re-publish them here.  So pour yourself a cup of coffee, put on some classic rock, and check out this classic blog post from a decade (ish) ago.  

 

 

Looking for a motivational speaker for your event? Contact me here.

Brad Montgomery,
Motivational Speaker, Keynote Speaker, Well Worth Your Conference Dollars

 

Related Articles:
Keynote speaker Brad Montgomery – rested and at his very best!
Brad’s client shares his take on investing in a motivational speaker

==

 

For you folks who prefer to read rather than watch, here’s a transcript of the video:

Hey, it’s Brad Montgomery from Bradmontgomery.com with another idea or tip about working with your motivational keynote speaker. The main idea here is treat your speaker well so that they can deliver their very best when it counts.

So what do I mean? Your speaker is human. They have the same stress and the same problems as everyone else attending your convention or meeting. The difference between your speaker and everyone else though is that you are counting on, you are banking on your speaker being at their absolute pinnacle peak performance best for that time slot that you’ve booked them for, right? You want them to be at their absolute best. So my question is what can you do to make sure you’re speaker is at their physical and mental best at that time slot? At, you know, 10 AM or whatever you got.

Want to get the most out of your keynote speaker? It’s the little things that count!

So here’s some ideas for you. One of them is to make sure their travel’s easier. Don’t skimp on some of the little stuff. It’s not crucial, but it makes a difference. Little things like not worrying about the car services for example are great. Taxis are great. And asking your speaker to take the Super Shuttle is not worth it.

It gives your speaker a little bit of extra energy, putting your speaker in a little bit nicer room, making sure your speaker is well fed. These are tiny little things that when you add them together put your speaker at ease and at their physical best and put them in a great mood, and it kind of sounds like a prima donna thing doesn’t it? “Put them in a great mood.”

Well we’re not prima donna’s, I’d like to think I’m not a prima donna. But I’m like everybody else and I perform at my best when I’m well rested and I’m happy and I haven’t gone through a whole bunch of lousy travel.

So if you can help with little small things like that, it’s an easy way to get the most from your speaker. Just treat them really well. Let me give you another example of something you might want to do. That dinner that you invite us to is often terrific.

So for example, if I get into the convention venue the night before a morning event I like having dinner with you and the board. I like having dinner at the big awards thing. I’m very glad to be invited, and I often go, because it gives me some good jokes I can use at the next morning’s keynote.

But sometimes if we’re exhausted, the best answer we could possibly give you is, “No, I’m tired and I don’t want to go to the dinner,” and maybe a quiet night in the room with room service and a trip to the health club in the hotel would be a better way for me to be at my physical best, rather than going out and eating heavy food or whatever, you know what I mean?

Why is that important? Because you want the very best. So your speakers are not princes and princesses, but at the same time we all of course enjoy being treated well, but in this case I think it’s worth your investment. That tiny little marginal increase in your investment to make sure your speaker gets everything they need to be at their very best for that very focused amount of time where you want them to rock your audience.

All right, it’s Brad Montgomery, funnymotivationalspeakers.com and Bradmontgomery.com. I would love to be your speaker. I love to be at my very best for your audience to get you guys where you need to be. I hope you give us a call and tell us how we can get there together. Have a great day.