There are tons of techniques to get the audience to bond with you as a funny motivational speaker. But nothing is as powerful as customized, on-the-spot humor created about what’s happening right then. In that room. At the convention. At the hotel. And happily for me, this is something I’m both very good at…and I love to do.
Engaging in positivity and encouragement is proven to enhance both personal and business relationships. And happier people are more productive, more focused and ultimately more successful in all aspects of life.
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.
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.
Inspirational Speaker, Very Popular Breakout Session Leader
Fan of the Wyoming Department of Transportation
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Inspirational Speaker, Motivational Expert
“The kind of guy who makes a positive effect on my team.”
Laugh or Cry? Your Choice.
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.
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.
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.
Motivational Speaker, Certified Speaking Professional, and proud of it!
Looking for a motivational speaker for your event? Contact me here.
Motivational Speaker, Humorist, Seminar Leader, Squeaky Clean Comedy
For you folks who prefer to read, here’s the transcript to the video:
Hey, it’s Brad Montgomery in the house with a little note for you about comedy, clean comedy, comedian speakers and how not to get in trouble when you’re booking one. Alright, so here’s the number one concern. I hear this all the time from both my clients and from my meeting planners and that is, when you’re booking somebody who’s advertising themselves as funny or you know is going to use humor on stage, you want to know they’re going to be clean, you want to know they’re going to be crystal clean and you want to know that you’re not going to be embarrassed and having to deal with that after the meeting is over.
Well, there’s a couple huge mistakes that are going on. First, let me speak to the speakers out there and then I’m going to speak to the meeting planners and the people who are booking speakers. If you’re a speaker or a comedian, you know this. It is brutally hard to come up with material that’s original and funny. It’s brutal. It’s just really hard. It’s a lot of work, but here’s the obvious point. It’s just as hard to come up with stuff that’s dirty as it is to come up with stuff that’s clean.
So that being said, why would you invest a single calorie working on material that you can’t use in the corporate world, in the association world, on the TV world? Why wouldn’t you just make it clean, for crying out loud? I think you’re an idiot, basically, if you’re writing stuff that’s not so clean that your grandma can see it, that your nine year old daughter can see it without any embarrassing questions. Well, I think you’re foolish just because you’re shooting yourself in the foot and you’re pretty much screwing up your career.
So why bother? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, there’s a bunch of comedians out there that work dirty who are fabulously popular. But I just heard Chris Rock being interviewed, he was interviewed on the WTF podcast and one of the things he told us on the podcast was that when he’s talking to young comedians, he says, work clean, don’t cuss. This is Chris Rock. This guy is known, he’s edgy, especially earlier in his career, he was working really dirty and he’s funny as heck right? But he’s telling people to work clean.
What is the lesson in that? The lesson is that he’s looking back on his career from his perspective now. So if he’s telling you, somebody who’s done it the hard way, why wouldn’t you listen to him? I’m telling you I’m clean, but he’s telling you, he’s huge, and he works blue, work clean. It’s easier, it’s more profitable, it’s good for you.
Alright, the second thing I wanted to tell you is targeted towards my clients. If you’re looking for a speaker, if you’re looking to book a comedian, check them out. Alright, so I cannot imagine this but I’ve heard it from, oh, I’ve heard the same story at least 10 or 15 times. I hear it at least once a year, how some corporation booked a comedian, the comedian got up there, embarrassed the president or the audience or the whatever by not working clean, by being racist or bringing up uncomfortable sex jokes or cussing and they ended up pulling the plug on them.
The president, in all these cases, it’s always the president or the director of HR or somebody in authority has to go up and take the mike from them and say, thanks, you’re dismissed, thank you so much. And then have to explain the apology to the audience. Can you imagine?
Well here’s what kills me, for crying out loud, in this day and age, search Youtube and see what they’re all about. So yeah, you ought to check out their preview video. You ought to check out their video, but look at all their videos. In this one most recent case, they’re explaining that the preview video showed a very clean presentation, but I’m telling you because I was curious, I looked on Youtube, there’s a zillion videos up there of this particular comedian and this comedian doesn’t work clean most of the time. So most of the videos were filmed in a comedy club with a brick wall behind this person, all kinds of stuff that would never fly in the corporate world and so my takeaway was this, I thought the buyers were idiots too because they didn’t check.
Check, do a little search on Google. Do a little search on Youtube and then finally, talk to your comedian. Talk to your speaker. Are you funny? Do you work clean? Give me some of your references. Why wouldn’t you do that?
Hire A Motivational Speaker That Can Deliver Clean Comedy
One final note really comes in the form of a story. I was working this corporate date with another comedian. So in this case, they had two comedians. I was headlining and they had this guy open and you could see that this guy was, he had it in his mind, oh, I’ve got to work clean. I’ve got to be clean, but because he was so out of practice of working clean, he had a tough time doing it. So you’d see him, he’d start down his little path on a little bit of material, like, hey, I just broke up with my girlfriend and, and then you’d see him kind of panic because he could see a minute and a half forward that this is going to lead to a joke that I can’t do. So he’d back up and say, yeah, but enough about the girlfriend. Hey, just, boy don’t you hate flying? Then he’s going into some airplane jokes and he starts talking about airplane jokes and then he realizes he couldn’t do it, so I’m on the side.
I am busting a gut because I know exactly what’s going on. I know that this guy is self-editing his stuff on the fly. And I know also, that the reason he’s doing that is he’s not used to working clean. And the final thing is I knew also is the meeting planner was unhappy, the meeting planner was pretty aware that something was going wrong with this comic because it wasn’t funny and the flow as bad and it just was choppy, obviously.
And what the meeting planner didn’t understand was that the comedian was up there panicked, trying to stay clean but unable to do it without any effort. In my case, everything I write is clean so I don’t have to worry about it. Any material that I want to go to, pull it up, no problem. I’m not going to get to a dead end and say, I can’t say the punch line because I’m in trouble. Will never happen.
Alright, if you’re looking for a motivational speaker who is funny, if you’re looking for a comedian speaker who can work clean, I hope you’ll consider booking me.
My name’s Brad Montgomery. You can learn more about all my keynotes and my funny, motivational speeches and my corporate comedy at bradmontgomery.com. Hope to see you there. Have a great day.