My Favorite Compliment

My Favorite Compliment Might Surprise You

I was recently in Tacoma working for folks in the ambulatory surgery field.  After my keynote address, I had some time to reflect on the audience.  There was one person in particular who reached out of his comfort zone to give me my favorite compliment.

It was a typical scenario following my presentation. I found myself with a group of audience members who wanted to chat and out of the corner of my eye, I see someone on the perimeter waiting to talk.

Brad on stage
brad montgomery live
Brad on stage with audience member

When people clear out, this man approaches me and tells me this: 

“I don’t typically like these types of programs, I’m not a fan of motivational speakers, but that was pretty good.  You got me.”  Here’s why I love that compliment: because it came from one of my skeptics.

My skeptics are typically guys, and usually quiet types who find it hard to approach the motivational speaker.  They are hard to impress, and it’s difficult to convince them of anything.   They are pushing themselves out of their comfort zone to talk to a speaker much less offer up compliments.  So, for me, a kind word from one of my skeptics is the ultimate compliment.

To oversimplify, there are three types of people in my audience.  There is always a small portion of folks who love me before I walk on stage; they are fired up to hear my message.  These people have been won over before I even start.  Then there is the second group, those that have their doubts about whether or not their speaker will be any good, but they are open to being convinced.  And finally, there are the skeptics.  The skeptics are CERTAIN my program won’t appeal. They are ridiculously hard to win over. 

Let me be clear—these skeptics are not bad people;  I understand them.  They are not touchy-feely.  They have seen a lot of bad speakers and have felt that their time has been wasted with information that has no impact on them.  These are busy, bottom-line professionals who have been to countless trainings and conferences, who are used to walking away without new ideas or tools for improvement. 

Early in my career I used to be afraid of those skeptics in the audience, (who wouldn’t be?) but now I love them.  When I win over the skeptics, I have won over everyone.   I’m thankful for each of my audience members every time I speak.  I love having those diehards that are eager to appreciate as well as those who start out doubtful but are open to hearing me out.  But those skeptics in the audience keep me on my toes.  And compliments from the skeptics are my favorite. 

Biography of a Motivational Speaker

Brad Montgomery has been winning over skeptics for decades. His dynamic performance, combined with his down to earth and authentic outlook, make him a perfect fit for a myriad of groups. His current topic, Embrace Your Awesomeness, has been his most well received to date. Visit to find out how to book Brad for your next meeting or convention.

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