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, 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.
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.