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
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Motivational Speaker, Keynote Speaker, Totally Trustworthy Guy
For those folks who would rather read than watch, here is the video transcript:
All right, hereâ€™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. Thatâ€™s really good.
But then once they hire them, they continue the micro managing. Thatâ€™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 â€“ this is the point â€“ 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 â€˜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, â€œAnd now please welcome our motivational speaker Brad Montgomery,â€ when the CEO, the very person who had spent all this time on the phone with me, came to me and said, â€œso youâ€™re talking about this, that and this? Uh, I donâ€™t, I donâ€™t think so.â€ What? Youâ€™re kidding me.
So it did a couple of things. First it shook me up. I admit it, it shook me up. Iâ€™m thinking, â€œWait, this is my client. He knows what Iâ€™m talking about, and before thereâ€™s time to make a lot of significant changes heâ€™s telling me he thinks this is a bad idea.â€ This is not the way to get the most out of your keynote speaker.
This is not a good idea. The way I handled it happily worked out. I just said, â€œWell hereâ€™s what Iâ€™m prepared to offer. You know, Iâ€™m going to do this and this. These are the things we talked about. Iâ€™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 thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m prepared to deliver today, and you hired me either way so you can choose.â€
You know, I sounded pretty confident when I said that, but I donâ€™t mind telling you, I wasnâ€™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 Iâ€™m still thinking about the CEO, my client, wondering, you knowâ€¦ 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 wouldâ€™ve sent me out there ready to rock.
Let Your Speaker Know You Trust Them
Thatâ€™s my question for you, what are you doing to let your speaker know that you trust them, and theyâ€™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 theyâ€™re wearing to the keynote speech? Yes, Iâ€™ve had that question. Are you asking them for a script about what theyâ€™re going to say? Yes, Iâ€™ve had that happen. Are you trying to approve the music that theyâ€™re going to use or whatever? Yes, Iâ€™ve had that happen. Donâ€™t do that.
Of course I want to work for you. I hope you know that. I want you to pick me. Iâ€™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, â€œWhat do you need to succeed with this?â€ help them get those things, and then sit back and let them do it. Theyâ€™ll make you look good, I promise.