Tag Archives: how to hire a motivational speaker


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

Brad Montgomery
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.

When Should You Choose an Experienced Motivational Speaker Over a Celebrity Speaker?

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

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. Bradmontgomery.com or you can find us at funnymotivationalspeakers.com. Have a great day.

The Importance of Coaching your Motivational Keynote Speaker

We now present the eleventh in a series of video articles about:

How to Work With Your Motivational Keynote Speaker to get the Most From Your Conference Investment

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

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Humorist, Team Player for YOU

Related Articles and/or Videos:
Brad’s actual coaching tool – the Pre-Engagement Questionnaire

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

Hey, it’s Brad Montgomery from funnymotivationalspeakers.com, and bradmontgomery.com, with a continuing series of videos about how to hire a motivational speaker. What do you need to know to choose your motivational speaker? Well one of the mistakes I see people making when hiring a motivational speaker is not coaching your speaker with enough information to really deliver the presentation that you paid for.

So what do I mean by that? A few times, not many, but a few times I’ve had clients who’ve gone through the trouble to choose me partly because I customize my programs. And then what they do is because they’re busy, because they have a life and because organizing this meeting is one of the many things in their life on their list and organizing their keynote speaker is one of the many things on that list, they never get around to really coaching. Don’t let that happen.

Make Sure You Coach Your Motivational Speaker for Great Results

The reason why coaching your speaker about what you need, what you want, what you don’t want, what you don’t need, and a little bit about what your people are going through, what they’re stressing about, what they love, what they hate, some of the inside jokes, the reason some of those things are important because they really help me, or whoever your speaker is, to prepare a customized program that’s meaningful and relevant. And I know that’s what you want.

You don’t want just a presentation, kind of a cardboard cutout of the speaker talking to you and your audience. No. You want somebody who can really reach through and grab them and let them know that he’s speaking to them, about them and for them, and that way they’ll really internalize and be prepared to accept and make lasting behavioral change based on that event.

So that’s pretty good, right? But all of it really in the end comes down to you. Yes, you’re going to hire the right speaker, yes you’re going to hire a speaker who can customize, but then don’t forget you need to go through and help your speaker know. You got to do a little bit of coaching, a little bit of talking.

Now in my case my job is to make it easier for you to do that. We don’t want to make it like a homework project where it’s just a horrible to-do to get me ready to go. We’ve got a really streamlined process, it’s very easy and it’s surprisingly quick, like shockingly quick. But at the same time it’s important.

So next time you’re hiring a motivational speaker or a keynote speaker, I want you to ask: What are you going to do to customize, and then I want you to follow up and say, What do I need to do to make sure you get all the information you need about us. My needs, my desires, my wants, my team, my organization, whatever.

All right, that’s easy, right? You can do that. I’d love to be your guy. I’d love to be the one answering that question. You can reach us at bradmontgomery.com or funnymotivationalspeakers.com. Make it a rock on day. Thanks.

Motivational Speakers Can Create Lasting Change in your Organization

We now present the tenth in a series of video articles about:

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

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

Brad Montgomery,
Motivational Speaker, Keynote Speaker, Follow-Up Fanatic

Related Articles:
Brad’s books and other products for creating change

For those folks who would rather read than watch, here is the video transcript:

Hey, it’s Brad Montgomery. I’ve got another idea for you, another tip on how to work with your motivational speaker. One of the mistakes I see a lot of clients do is they don’t really fully invest in their speaker and in lasting change, and by that I mean they fail to invest in resources or some type of follow up from their motivational speech.

So here’s the deal; I’m a motivational speaker. I love it when clients come in and say, “You got 45 minutes or 75 minutes or 90 minutes with my hour, go nuts.” I love it. And we can whip them up into a frenzy, we can give them specific ideas for creating change in their lives, and we can send them home with a ton of energy.

But having said that, I’ve never been to a course or any type of learning event where there was lasting change without some sort of follow up resource, without a book, without a packet, with some sort of accountability. Have you? I’m guessing you haven’t.

So what does that mean? I’m thinking it means you ought to be thinking about what can we do to follow up.

So here’s your homework: when you’re talking to your potential keynote speaker, motivational speaker, I want you to ask this question, “What could we do for follow up to make sure that your message, the one that we’re investing heavily in for you to come in and deliver to my audience, what can we do to make sure that there’s some follow up and stickiness with your message?”

Give your conference attendees something they can bring with them to re-inforce the motivational message

That’s a great question, isn’t it? What are you going to do to follow up? What can your people leave with or what can you reach back and touch them with that message? I get a lot of ideas for all my clients, and we’ve had some really cool success with lots of different types of follow up. Not just product, but call us and we’ll tell you.

So I think follow up is important and I think additional resources are important, and I think to really get the most out of your speaker is up to you to say, “You’re the motivational speaker. You’ve done this before. What can we do to make sure this is not just a flash in the pan? What can we do to work as a team to create lasting change?”

All right, I’d love to be your guy. Give us a call. You can find us at funnymotivationalspeakers.com>/a> or bradmontgomery.com. Hope to see you soon. Give us a call. Lets make them laugh, lets make it meaningful, lets make it last.

The Importance of Producing Your Motivational Speaker Correctly

We now present the ninth in a series of video articles about:

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

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

Brad Montgomery,
Motivational Speaker, Keynote Speaker, Fan of production details

Related Articles:
See for yourself – Brad Montgomery interacting with his audience

For those folks who would rather read than watch, here is the video transcript:

Hey, it’s Brad Montgomery with another video, a short video in getting the maximum return on investment for your motivational speaker or professional speaker. Here’s a tip of the day: produce the speaker. And by production we mean setting up all the little details to make sure that the speaker’s able to deliver up to the speakers potential.

Make Sure All the Little Details Are Taken Care Of

So this means that the little stuff like the microphones and the audio visual stuff like the computer or whatever your speaker needs, but also the set up the of the room, the lights in the room, the temperature of the room. These are very easy to forget. But yet those are the kinds of things that completely will sabotage a speaker and sabotage your event. And they’re so cheap, aren’t they? It’s so easy to make sure that those things are right.

corporate event success depends on attention to detail

So work ahead with your speaker and say, “What do you need from me as far as production goes,” and generally speaking, in my case I’ll send you a list via email. It’s a one page list of very simple audio visual things and room set up things. So it’s a snap. It’s easy.

But then also work with your venue, work with your hotel or convention center to say, “Here’s what my speaker needs. I can see here that nothing is crazy, nothing is expensive. Make sure that this happens.” If you take the time and this very small marginal investment to produce your speaker correctly, you’ll get way bigger bang for your buck than if you just hope that all of those things work out.

My name’s Brad Montgomery. I’d love to be a part of your team. I’d love to be produced and to help you make sure that that production goes smoothly and easily. Give us a call. You could reach us through funnymotivationalspeakers.com  and bradmontgomery.com.

Give us a call, we’ll talk to you about anything you want to talk about. Love to be helpful. Thanks.

Can Your Motivational Speaker Customize?

We now present the eighth in a series of video articles about:

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

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

Brad Montgomery,
Motivational Speaker, Keynote Speaker, Customized Presentation Expert

Related Articles:
More from Brad about the art of Customizing and Tailoring a Keynote Presentation
Laugh-out-loud funny video of Brad interacting with his audience

For those folks who would rather read than watch, here is the video transcript:

Hey, it’s Brad Montgomery from bradmontgomery.com with another idea on maximizing your return on investment with your motivational or inspirational speaker.

So this tip is easy.  Pick somebody who customizes their program for you.  So why?  Well audiences are hip right now and audiences can see through it if the speaker just kind of walks in and delivers a really canned over-prepared program.  I don’t think today people want to see a presentation.  They want a speaker who’s talking to them about their needs, their desires, their stresses, their problems and what solutions they can implement to get to where they want to go.

So that means for you, you got to make sure you hire a speaker that can connect with that audience and delivering a non-customized speech does not connect to your audience.  And of course that connection is crucial.  That’s why you’ve hired your speaker to come in.

A customized keynote presentation is more valuable to your group

You can just hand them a photocopied packet of information if you just want to deliver “Here’s the information we want you to have.”  But that’s not what you want.  You want someone to come in and create an experience that’s meaningful and valuable and has impact and is fun and will turn them into a team, right?  I think you do.  So if you’re going to do that, I think with today’s media savvy audiences, you need to make sure you get somebody to connect and that’s going to mean customize.

So a bigger speaker who’s going to customize, it makes a huge, huge difference.  It’s worth it to you to make sure that happens.

How do you make sure you’re hiring a motivational speaker that will customize and not just tailor?  Ask them.

Your motivational speaker should customize his program to YOUR group's specific needs

It’s a great question when you’re thinking about hiring a speaker or you’ve just hired a speaker, “What are you going to do to customize your program to my audience and their problems?  What are you going to do to help me deliver the message I have for my people?  If you’re talking to somebody and, after you ask that question, if they start to squirm and wiggle and hem and haw, you got the wrong person.

All right, my name is Brad Montgomery.  I’d love to be part of your team.  I’d love to help you take your meeting or your conference and make it a rocking success.  So give us a call, we’ll talk about how we can do just that.  One of the things we’ll talk about of course is customization.

Talk to you soon.  See you at bradmontgomery.com.  Have a great day.

Ask What Else Your Motivational Speaker Can Do

We now present the seventh in a series of video articles about:

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

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

Brad Montgomery,
Motivational Speaker, Keynote Speaker, Breakout Session Aficionado

Related Articles:
Wyoming Speaker Has Them Lined Up At The Door
More Ideas from Brad to make your event a success
How to get more from Brad

For those folks who would rather read than watch, here is the video transcript:

Hey, it’s Brad Montgomery. Today we’re going to talk about getting the most from your motivational speaker, tips about how to work with a motivational keynote speaker. We’re going to talk about getting the most value from your speaker by asking them what else can they do.

So here’s the deal. I get calls all the time saying, “Tell me about your services as a motivational speaker.” I love that. Give us a call. But then when I ask, “Well what else can I do while I’m there to help you achieve the goals of your organization and your convention or meeting,” often on the other side of the phone all I hear is this, “Uh, I don’t know,” ‘cause they’ve never thought about it.

Think about how your motivational speaker can add more value to your meeting

So here’s my tip: think about it. If you’re bringing in a professional speaker that you think is good enough to bring all the way across the country and put them in front of your audience, what else could they do to add value for your and your meeting? It’s a great question. I’d love for you to ask your speaker about that, but since you get me I’ll tell you a little bit about some of the stuff that I do.

Yes, I love doing motivational or keynote speeches; but then in addition, I love following up with a breakout session or seminar. ‘Cause the speech is great for winding them up and making them feel great and giving them some of the stuff that you do to create change in their life, but then often what’s missing is the details about how do they do that. So following up with a breakout session with more details and more about how to implement the steps is a really cool idea.

Another thing I do for a lot of my clients is I MC and I like to the be the Master of Ceremonies, and they like it because it keeps the energy and humor on high throughout the entire convention, which keeps the learning on high throughout the entire meeting.

Get the most out of your motivational speaker with additional sessions

What else can we do? Some of you know that my background is in comedy and in magic, so some of my clients say, “You know what, we’re having Brad in to do keynote. We’re having a different timeslot where we’re bringing in some sort of entertainer,” – maybe for example after the banquet – “I wonder if Brad could do both.” Yeah, love doing that.

And the cool thing, there’s two really cool things. First of all, it saves a lot of money ‘cause we’re already there, it’s just a small incrementable – I don’t think that’s the word. It’s a small increase in fee to get both for one, right, and the advantage is two-fold.

Well my name’s Brad Montgomery. I would love to be your speaker. I know just how to make your conference investment one that will provide maximum value. Give us a call. You can find us at funnymotivationalspeakers.com or bradmontgomery.com. Thanks so much. Lets talk.

The Importance of Planning Ahead With Your Speaker

We now present the sixth in a series of video articles about:

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

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

Brad Montgomery,
Motivational Speaker, Keynote Speaker, Loves Planning Ahead


For those folks who would rather read than watch, here is the video transcript:

Hey, it’s Brad Montgomery from bradmontgomery.com and funnymotivationalspeakers.com with another video on maximizing your return on investment with your motivational speaker, your keynote speaker, inspirational speaker, whatever.

Here’s one of the things you want to do: you want to have a plan about how you’re going to use your speaker. And don’t worry, it’s not hard because your speaker should be doing most of the work.

But the question should be led by you, and the first question is really, “What should I have you talk about and what should we do?” And really the conversation I think should go around this, what are the problems your organization is going through, what are the stresses, what are the difficulties? What are the joys? What are the successes? And then based on that how can your speaker help tailor and customize a message that’s just for them?

That’s a really important deal, right? Because you don’t want your speaker just to come in and shoot from the hip; you want them to be providing a motivational speech that’s the kind of speech you’re paying for, that you want, right?

What I like to tell my clients is that if I were hiring a motivational speaker and I was sitting in the back room, I would much rather say instead of, “Oh wow, how lucky that my speaker touched on that, ‘cause that’s really important to my organization,” no. Instead I would prefer to be thinking, “Well of course my speaker just said that because that was part of our plan that we talked about ahead of time.” Get it?

Work with your motivational speaker to provide a relevant message

Plan ahead with your motivational speaker for maximum return on your conference investment

All right, so here’s the deal, you really need to have a plan with your speaker.

Sometimes it can be a very complex or sometimes it can be a pretty short game plan, but you want to talk ahead of time about, “How can you, Mr. Prospective Motivational Speaker, help me with my specific needs and my goals and the changes I’m trying to create within my organization? How can you help me get there? What’s your plan?” And then you’ll work on the plan together, deliver a speech and you’ll rock. All right, hope that’s helpful.

My name’s Brad Montgomery, and I’d love to be part of your team and I’d love to make a plan for how we can make your conference or your meeting or your whatever a big rocking success.

So give us a call. Reach us at bradmontgomery.com or funnymotivationalspeakers.com. Thanks so much for your time. Give us a call, we’ll talk. We’ll make it good. We’ll make it funny. We’ll make it relevant. We’ll make it funny. Did I mention funny? I think I did. We’ll make it funny.

Let Your Motivational Speaker Know You Trust Them

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

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

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

Brad Montgomery,
Motivational Speaker, Keynote Speaker, Totally Trustworthy Guy


For those folks who would rather read than watch, here is the video transcript:

Hey, it’s Brad Montgomery from funnymotivationalspeakers.com, and bradmontgomery.com, here with another idea on working with top motivational keynote speakers.

All right, here’s the advice of the day: the advice is be very, very picky when choosing or selecting your keynote speaker, but then once you hire them I want you to trust them implicitly to do their job.

So what do I mean? What I mean is that so often I see this mistake: meeting planners or the CEO or whomever is worried about the motivational speaker hires them, which is good, and runs them through a complete gauntlet of a litmus test to make sure that they have the right person. That’s really good.

But then once they hire them, they continue the micro managing. That’s not really good. Hire a really good speaker and then once you hire them ask them what they need to deliver the best program for you. Get them what they need, and then – this is the point – let them do it. Let them do it. So let me give you a story, this really happened to me. I was working for a huge corporation in California. Not telling you who ‘cause I really like my job, and they really ran me through the gauntlet to make sure I was the right guy. I was very flattered to be chosen.

They spent a lot of time on conference calls with me. That was really great. They did more conference calls with me; that was great too. Whatever it takes.

And then once I got there I thought we were ready to go. We were literally ten minutes from the time that they were about to say, “And now please welcome our motivational speaker Brad Montgomery,” when the CEO, the very person who had spent all this time on the phone with me, came to me and said, “so you’re talking about this, that and this? Uh, I don’t, I don’t think so.” What? You’re kidding me.

So it did a couple of things. First it shook me up. I admit it, it shook me up. I’m thinking, “Wait, this is my client. He knows what I’m talking about, and before there’s time to make a lot of significant changes he’s telling me he thinks this is a bad idea.” This is not the way to get the most out of your keynote speaker.

Hire your speaker, then trust them to do their job

This is not a good idea. The way I handled it happily worked out. I just said, “Well here’s what I’m prepared to offer. You know, I’m going to do this and this. These are the things we talked about. I’m prepared to do it right now. You have a choice; you can either send me out in front of your audience and I will deliver that as we had planned, or if you like you can not send me out. But that’s what I’m prepared to deliver today, and you hired me either way so you can choose.”

You know, I sounded pretty confident when I said that, but I don’t mind telling you, I wasn’t that confident. I was really shaken up, and then when I went out on stage I was connecting with the audience, but in my mind I’m still thinking about the CEO, my client, wondering, you know… It was just not a good idea. So it works out fine in the end, but not as good as it could have if he would’ve sent me out there ready to rock.

Let Your Speaker Know You Trust Them

That’s my question for you, what are you doing to let your speaker know that you trust them, and they’re ready to go, and you want them to deliver their very best. Are you micro managing them? Are you talking a lot about what they’re wearing to the keynote speech? Yes, I’ve had that question. Are you asking them for a script about what they’re going to say? Yes, I’ve had that happen. Are you trying to approve the music that they’re going to use or whatever? Yes, I’ve had that happen. Don’t do that.

Of course I want to work for you. I hope you know that. I want you to pick me. I’d love it if you picked me. But once you go through the rigorous process of deciding who to choose, what I really would ask you to do is say, “What do you need to succeed with this?” help them get those things, and then sit back and let them do it. They’ll make you look good, I promise.

Love to be your guy. It’s Brad Montgomery, bradmontgomery.com or funnymotivationalspeakers.com. Make it a great day. Hope I get to talk to you soon. Call me. We’ll talk about it.

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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