motivational speaker


Three Questions To Ask Your Motivational Speaker (Before You Book One!)


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.  


When our office phone rings, plenty of times it’s a seasoned meeting planner inquiring about the possibility of engaging me.  But often it’s somebody very new to the convention and meeting planning world who got tasked to hire the motivational speaker.  If you’re in that second category, here are three questions you should cover to help you have a better gauge as to whether this person is THE person.*

1.   Tell me about your track record.

You want your speaker to be a guaranteed success, and the best way to do that is to make sure your speaker has worked out the details several hundred audiences ago.     Ask about when they got started, how many clients they work for a year.   Where can you see a complete list of their clients?  And how much have they worked for audiences in YOUR industry?

Clearly, you want a motivational speaker with TONS of experience.  Make sure you get one.

2.  How Do You Keep the Audience Engaged?

Not just listening.  Engaged.     Not checking their smart phones while they listen.  Not reading the newspaper or the convention program.   I’m talking ENGAGED.

I use humor — laugh-out-loud comedy — to ensure my audiences are listening to my business messages.  I use audience participation, game-show segments, and mini-aciivites to change the pace and keep the learning on “fast.”

I could spend a few hours talking about this concept.   Because I know that if we create an “experience” for your people and not just deliver a keynote they will be more engaged.

If we make it fun, they’ll learn more.  If they laugh, they’ll learn even more.  But most of all, if we do those things WHILE making it relevant the message will stick —   making it engaging helps with retention.

If the speaker you are interviewing doesn’t have a long, detailed action plan for this question that makes sense and appeals to you, send up the red flag.

3.   Will your message be relevant, valuable and helpful for my audience?

Oh, that’s a good one!  Answer:   customization.

My programs are pretty general.  But your audience is VERY specific.  How can we make sure that they fit?   Easy…. ask.

Because I’ve done this job so long I have a big bag of tricks to make sure that what what I deliver is on target to my audience.  And because my audiences change with each client, that means that I have to customize both my message and my delivery with every client.

I’ve turned down jobs before because I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to “fit” a given audience.   I know if I can do it.   And the speakers you are interviewing know it too.

Ask them.  Listen to their level of confidence.  Listen to their experience.  And ask them about what “customizing” means to them.   (Some speakers will drop in the name of the organization 4 times during an hour speech and call that customization.  If you want more than that — and you should — you need to ask some very pointed questions about how your motivational speaker will customize their program to fit your needs, your goals,  your desired outcomes and especially your audience.

I’d love to be on your team and would love to be of service for your meeting or convention.  Are you ready to ask ME these questions (and a few of your own?)  Contact me here.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Funny Keynote Speaker, Astronaut**

*  The secret fourth question should be, “What else should I ask you to help me decide on which motivational speaker to book?”   If your speaker can’t go on….and on and on and on….with this question, you’ve found another hint.

**  Ok, I’m not an astronaut.  You caught me.


Professional motivational speaker Brad Montgomery now presents the twelfth in a series of his video articles about:


We talked about this before: you need to check the testimonials and references. But in addition, we’re convinced that you need to chat with your potential motivational speaker. On the phone. No secretaries. No speakers bureaus. You need to talk direct. Does he seem pleasant? Does he seem to understand your needs? Is he willing to shape his program around your needs, desired outcomes and goals? Does he feel more like a partner or more like a contractor?

Smiley face

How To Hire a Motivational Speaker

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


Brad Montgomery

Motivational Speaker, Humorist, Not a Celebrity (but a really, really good speaker)

Related Posts:

Why Book Brad?

For you folks who prefer to read, here’s the transcript to the video:

Hey, it’s Brad Montgomery with a tip about how to get the most return on your professional speaker or motivational speaker investment. Here’s the tip: consider experience over celebrity. So here’s, the deal, there’s two types of speakers. Okay, there’s more than two types of speakers, but if you kind of blur your eyes there’s two types of speakers. One of them are professional speakers, people who do this all the time. And the other one are celebrity speakers, people who have done something that’s amazing and now are talking about it. Well I’m going to confess to you there is one huge advantage to celebrity speakers. If you’re trying to build your audience, celebrity can help.

So for example, if you’re an association and you’re not sure about how many people you can get to your event, sometimes hiring a celebrity will be enough of an add to get people to come to your event. So that’s a good point, I can’t say anything about that. But I’d really like you to think long-term. Don’t think about this years conference; I want you to think about next years conference and the year after that. One of the best ways to get people to next years conference is to make sure that this years conference rocks.

And my suggestion to you is a killer speaker, period, is going to be better than a mediocre speaker, and generally speaking I think we can agree that experienced speakers are better than inexperienced speakers. So I want you to consider that. Listen to this quote of a real good pal of mine, another professional speaker told me that he was having a chat with the meeting planner, and the meeting planner told him, “Well you know what, we use the celebrities to bring the audience in, but we use people like you to make sure that the conference is good.” That’s a pretty good thought, isn’t it? I mean that’s a pretty deep thought, the meeting planner is confessing that in their experience celebrity speakers generally are not as good as full-time professional speakers, you know.

Look For Experience When Hiring Motivational Speaker

So look for experience. How are you going to know about experience? Ask. When you’re considering hiring a motivational speaker I want you to ask this question, “Tell me about your experience.” And if they say, “Well, you know what, I’ve done some really, really amazing things in my lifetime up to this point. Now, you know, I’ve done it four times,” that’s a hint. I want you to ask another follow up question, “And what experience do you have in my niche, in my industry for audiences like mine?” And if they say, “None, I’ve never done it,” I want you to follow up with that, because your audience not only deserves, but really as time goes on and our audiences become more media savvy, they require a professional speaker who completely gets them and they will see a fraud, somebody who doesn’t understand them or their audience, them or their distresses, their problems, their joys, their job. They will understand, they hate that and they’ll turn on you. Trust me, I’ve seen it.

So I’d love to be your guy. I’m not a celebrity. I’m not famous. But I’m good, and I’d love to be part of your team. Give us a call and we’ll talk about how we can help you and your association, your meeting, your conference get to where you want them to be. or you can find us at Have a great day.