Tag Archives: hiring professional motivational speakers


Two Motivational Speaker Styles – Be Sure You Know Which Style Is Right For Your Audience

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

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Humorist, Seminar Leader

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

Hey, it’s coffee time with Brad Montgomery and today we’re going to talk about product sales and motivational speakers and what that has to do with you. Well, I think it’s important for you to know when you’re hiring a speaker or a motivational speaker, business speaker, whatever, is what’s their position on selling product because there are two really distinct business models for speakers and you need to know what sort of business your speaker is in before you book them. And then even within that, there’s lots of variations, but let me walk through it.

There’s one type of speaker who’s main goal is not to sell to you, to be in front of your organization. Their main goal is to get in front of your audience to sell to them, which mean for those speakers, working for free is totally normal or a reduced fee or a ridiculously low fee, no problemo because they’re going to sell back of room, it’s called. They’re going to sell back of room stuff to your audience, coaching programs, books, DVD programs, whatever and sometimes the prices are exorbitant and so they can make a huge profit even if they don’t sell to you.

Now, the most common and famous take on this is when professional speakers rent out an arena. So I live in Denver, Colorado and they’ll rent out the Pepsi Center and they’ll bring in astronauts and former star athletes and former presidents and then a few killer ringer speakers and the goal really is to get the audience in there for, I mean they charge them $49 or $29 or $19 or $9 or nothing to get them in there because they know they want to sell that stuff and that’s how they make their money.

Alright, so that’s the most common model, but don’t be fooled. There’s plenty of speakers like this who are very happy to come to your association because they’re going to pitch their product to you guys. So that’s a really good question when you’re hiring a speaker is to say, tell me about product sales. Is that something you’re interested in and how does it work? Ask them what they’re selling. Ask them how much they cost. Alright, that’s going to be a hint.

Then there’s the other model of speaker. The other model of speaker is, by the way, this is my model of being a motivational speaker, my job is to come and deliver value to your audience on stage. That’s it. My job is to make sure that event totally rocks period and then in addition to that, I’ve got some books and I’ve got some CDs and I’ve got some other stuff that I’d love to sell your folks for two reasons.

Follow up Resources (books, for instance) Contribute to Lasting Change in Your Organization

One, of course, my kids need new shoes, but equally as important to that, I’m not really Wal-Mart. That’s not really where I make my income. My income comes from my clients. But I think it’s important that people leave with some sort of resource because in my case, it’s just really hard to make lasting change in 45 minutes or 90 minutes or a half day or even with a full day, it’s really hard to make lasting change without some sort of follow-up resource.

So I’m thrilled if I can get a book in their hands that they’ll refer to later or a CD in their hands that they’ll listen to in the car to reaffirm the deal. It’s not free, but that’s not where my money comes. My money comes because I charge up front for my services.

Alright, here’s another thing that I wanted to mention to you. Many meeting planners have been burned where they book a speaker that they think is that second category, somebody who they pay money to to deliver a program, but then that speaker really pushes hard and does kind of a hard sale from the stage, like you need to buy my stuff.

Well, it’s off-putting for the audience, isn’t it? It’s no good and it’s not what you want. So I think it’s really worth the conversation with your potential speaker to find out first, which business model are they in. They’re probably not going to tell you if they’re in that first category but you’ll be able to figure it out and if they’re in that second category, I would advise you not to say no immediately to product sales because I’ve done it so much, I can tell you, audiences sometimes crave it. They just really want those resources. Some of them want it as a souvenir, to be honest, to remember that event. Some of them want it to follow-up, but they’re really happy to buy it and at my live events, they’re priced really cheaply or at least affordably.

But if that bothers you, what you need to do is have that conversation with your speaker and say, well tell me about how you have mentioned your products on the stage, is there a time limit, how hard do you push and then here’s going to be the hard part. Follow-up, check references.

So then check their references and say, I’d really like to book this speaker, I’d like to honestly make sure the reference or the stuff is available for my people, his books and his CDs, but how is this selling from the stage? Was it pleasant and fun? Was it funny? Was it on target? Was it overdone? Was it heavy-handed? Was it brutal? Or what was it and then check with their folks and you can go forward. Was that helpful? I hope so.

My name is Brad Montgomery. I’m a motivational speaker. I’d love to be booked at your event. I promise, I won’t push hard for selling from the platform, but I think it is a good idea to sell because I think it helps you, it helps your audience and it helps you get that group from point A to point B.

Alright, you want to learn more? Come visit us at bradmontgomery.com.

EXACTLY WHAT IS A CSP? And Why Is That Title So Important?

What is a Certified Speaking Professional and why should you care?

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

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Humorist, Seminar Leader, Certified Speaking Professional (CSP)

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

Alright so check that out. It’s my CSP medal. So what is a CSP? What is a Certified Speaking Professional and why do you care?

Alright, so here’s the short story. A CSP, again Certified Speaking Professional, comes from the organization of professional speakers called the National Speakers Association. I’m a member, I’m a proud member, I’ve been a member for years and they’re the ones who gave me, kapow, that thing, it’s a CSP.

So what it means, the short story is to get the CSP you have to have had a whole bunch of clients and the National Speakers Association checks up on that. You have to have earned a certain amount of money and not that money is the Holy Grail, but it proves that you’ve been working over a certain amount of time.

And by the way, this is over a long time. It’s over five or six years, so it’s not, you can’t have a short flash. They want to know you have a ton of speakers over five years and they want to know you made a significant amount of money over five years, proving that you’re in the game and then also, the coolest thing is they check up on your clients and make sure that your clients are happy with you.

So, and again, not the last month, not the last two clients, not the last clients over a year, we’re talking over a long period of time. And I don’t mind telling you, I think the standards are pretty low. You really don’t need that many jobs and you don’t really need to have made that much money as a speaker in order to be eligible for your CSP. And if you can’t round up a few clients who aren’t willing to vouch for you when the National Speakers Association calls you, you’re just not doing that well, which brings up the point, if it’s so easy to get a CSP, why don’t more speakers have them? Seriously, it’s just not that hard.

So you just have to do some paperwork and get it done. What’s that got to do with you?

Looking for a speaker? Ask if they have their CSP Medal.

When you’re looking to book a speaker, one of the things you ought to ask is, are you a Certified Speaking Professional and if not, why not? And then listen. And if the answer is a lot of excuses, well, because of this or it’s just not important or, you might ask them, I heard it was pretty easy to do, why can’t you just do the paperwork and do it if it’s so easy?

But what I think you’ll find is that there are tons of speakers who say they have the experience that don’t. There’s tons of speakers who say they have the expertise that don’t and most importantly, there’s tons of speakers who say they have the continual track record which for you, is your level of guarantee. That’s what’s going to guarantee that your speaker kills for you. If they don’t have that, you ought to really ask them why.

Alright, that’s my CSP. I’m pretty proud of it. Didn’t really change my life, but it was kind of fun and when we just set up the office, I hung it up because I thought it was kind of fun.

So check it out. Are you hiring a CSP? Good. If not, find out why not.

My name is Brad Montgomery. If you are looking for a motivational speaker who has earned their CSP, this is the highest earned designation from the National Speakers Association, if you want one of those, I’d love to be your guy.

Check out the preview video. It’s here somewhere. Click the link. Is it there? I don’t know. You’ll find it. Check out the preview video and if you have any questions, give us a call at bradmontgomery.com or funnymotivationalspeakers.com. Make it a great day!

Professional Speaker or Celebrity Speaker?

Here is number five in our series of articles about “Top Mistakes People Make When Hiring a Speaker”

Don’t Hire a Celebrity Speaker Unless You’re Ready to Take a Risk.

Very commonly, especially with my association clients, meeting planners love to hire celebrity speakers.  And I admit, there are a couple of very attractive reasons to hire celebrity speakers.  The main reason is to get people to attend the conference.  If you have a big celebrity headlining your keynote, people might be more inclined to attend the conference, which admittedly, is important.

But having said that, my experience, not ever having hired a speaker, but with working with hundreds or thousands of meeting planners who have worked with speakers both professional and celebrity, is that celebrity speakers tend not to deliver.  And if you think about it, this makes sense.  Celebrities are famous for doing something besides speaking.  They are football coaches, they are actors, they are movie stars, they are Olympic gold medalists.  They are not speakers.  And because their business does not depend on them delivering an outstanding keynote, experience tells me that more times than not, they don’t deliver an outstanding speech.

One meeting planner confided to a professional speaker pal of mine, that he hires a celebrity speaker to bring people to the conference and then he hires professional motivational speakers to actually deliver the goods.  Well, this is all fine and good, if you have the budget for both:  an overpriced celebrity speaker, and a top shelf professional speaker.

Hire a Professional Speaker to get your message across

But I suspect at the end of the day, if you think long term, even if you have that extra budget, you’re better off investing in professional speakers.  Why?  Two reasons; first, professional speakers deliver.  If you hire the right person, if you hire the person with experience who has a message that you feel will resonate with your organization or your audience, your professional speaker is paid to deliver.  And that means, not just deliver a speech, but to deliver excellence, to deliver lasting behavior change, and to deliver an experience that your people will remember and talk about long after that conference is over.

The second reason is,  if you think long term,  professional speakers are a better investment than celebrity speakers.  Professional speakers, if they’re any good, will make a huge impact on your audience and that audience, when they are considering whether or not to attend the following year’s conference or convention, will remember the power of that professional speaker much more favorably than they will remember the fact that there was a mediocre, disappointing, but famous speaker, at the conference.

In other words, if you hire a pro speaker, you’re thinking long term and you’re thinking wisely.  You’re realizing that a professional speaker will make a greater impact on your conference than your celebrity speaker.  Hire a professional speaker and you won’t be sorry.  The celebrities are great, but all you need is the autograph and then you can move on.

Are you looking for a professional speaker and don’t need a celebrity?  Hire me! I’d love to be your guy.

Brad Montgomery
Professional Speaker, Fan of Celebrities, Not a Celebrity Speaker

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