The art of motivational speaking

The details of a corporate gathering may be forgotten but delegates frequently remember a meaningful and motivational speech.

We have experiences of audiences talking about speakers and their presentations years after the event. A speech is usually less than an hour, but the impact can be tremendous because it is the essence of the speaker’s most valuable experience, life lessons and research.

We are lucky to have the chance to work with so many motivational speakers who have done extraordinary things such as Lewis Pugh, who has swam across the North Pole; Rob Lilwall, who cycled around the world for three years; and David Lim, who led the first Singapore Everest Expedition. The audience may not take part in these adventures, but the learning shared by the speakers can always inspire the audience for we all have “our own mountains to climb”. 

To ensure a speaker contributes to the success of an event, it’s crucial to engage a speaker who will “match” the theme or major objective of the event. Some events are for celebrating success, while others are focused on preparing the participants to face existing challenges, such as a drop in sales or restructuring of the company. If the speaker can address the burning questions of the group, the impact of the presentation could be huge.

Asia-Pacific audiences love talks that give them practical tips. At Speakers Connect, we always joke that you can tell an Asian audience by the way they are jotting notes furiously during a presentation. But that is usually a good sign as it means they have found the information shared by the speaker useful. A summary of the key takeaways that the audience can implement the next day when they are back at work is always welcomed.

The best speakers use stories to elaborate on their points. Emotionless slogans do not stick – but stories that touch people’s hearts and leave a lasting impression do. Many times, the audience does not necessarily need to learn something new – all they need is a reminder. Real-life stories are the best for illustrating ideas.

In the coming 12 months, Speakers Connect’s major focus is adding more Asia-based speakers, such as Peggy Liu, Andy Xie and Chandran Nair, who are knowledgeable in their subject matter and have the charisma to present well on stage. Compared to the US and Europe, Asia has a shorter history of engaging professional speakers and the pool of quality speakers is still comparatively smaller. 

We will continue to discover good speakers from our home region, and introduce them to the international audience as well. 

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