…and what’s the difference?The words ‘inspirational’ and ‘motivational’ are often used interchangeably. There are, however, important subtle differences you need to be aware of when selecting a keynote speaker.
Find out when to hire an inspirational or a motivational speaker – or both – to make your event a huge hit.
- Fine-Tuning the Choice for Event Success
- Which Comes First: The Inspiring Chicken or the Motivational Egg?
- The Flow of Inspiration and Motivation
- Which Speaker Should I Use?
- First Inspire, Then Motivate
- If Budget Doesn’t Permit, Get Creative and Do Both
- Fine-Tuning the Choice of Keynote Speakers Takes Your Event to the Next Level
Fine-Tuning the Choice for Event Success
Inspiring and motivating speakers have similar intentions. Both communicate a message to promote positive change. The change they’re seeking to instil is what differentiates them.
Understanding this fundamental difference will help you pinpoint the right choice and sequence of keynote speakers to achieve overall event objectives.
Here’s a summary of key differences between inspirational and motivational speakers:
|INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER||MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER|
|Changes thoughts & feelings||Changes behaviours & actions|
|Heightens audience emotions||Heightens audience desire to do something|
|Is somebody who has triumphed despite the odds being against them||Is an industry expert who shares their secrets for success|
|Visionary leader in many walks of life||Key thought leader in a specific field|
|The topic is often universal and not just about the audience’ specific workplace or interests||Subject matter is more specific and relevant to the audience workplace or interests|
How Different?It’s important to note that a speaker can be both inspiring and motivating, and there are no hard and fast rules about when the two cross actually over. This guide is to help you make the right decisions when looking for keynote speakers.
Which Comes First: The Inspiring Chicken or the Motivational Egg?
Good question, and I’m glad you asked.
In many cases, inspiration comes first. You can imagine a sales rep having a big, internal groundswell of positive thoughts about being successful at sales.
They’re feeling inspired to excel in a broader sense. Motivation is what drives them to specific actions – pursuing that extra 3 sales calls per day – to accomplish a defined goal arises from the inspiration to excel.
It can also happen the other way around. While it may sound like a Buddhist monk trying to wrap a riddle inside an enigma, inspiration also exists inside motivation.
In other words, motivation and action can fuel renewed inspiration, and so forth.
The Flow of Inspiration and Motivation
Another explanation is that inspiration leads to motivation which leads to action.
It can be an ebbing and flowing, circular process.Click the infographic above for an immersive experience.
The action of doing something can lead to being inspired. Let’s say you need to write a book. You don’t know where to start, but you bravely decide to dive into the deep end and start writing. Once you have the first few words down it’s possible that inspiration grips you strongly to become motivated to continue.
There are no hard and fast rules for when action or inspiration or motivation begin. When it comes to choosing event speakers, we need to assess the flow of event sessions and what each is intending to achieve.
Which Speaker Should I Use?
In reality, there’s no black and white, 100% inspirational or 100% motivational speaker.
Humans are humans with many shades of grey. Being inspirational isn’t mutually exclusive to being motivational, and vice versa.
Likewise, a keynote motivational or inspirational speaker has varying degrees of inspiration and motivation both wrapped up inside their message.There’s no black-and-white, 100% inspirational or 100% motivational speaker. When to use one or the other - or both. Click To Tweet
Moving from the theoretical to the practical, let’s explore how it applies to choosing the right speakers. You’ll need to determine the balance of inspiration and motivation each speaker needs to deliver. Your decision should take into account the overall event goals, individual session goals and audience tastes.
First Inspire, Then Motivate
The ideal scenario is one speaker to prime the audience with a good dose of inspiration, followed by another to promote specific behavioural change. A speaker to tap into the hearts, then another to tap into the minds.
First, inspire with a speaker who taps into deeper emotional states:
- Be kind to others
- Be brave
- Be courageous
- Be more resilient
- Be more persistent
Second, now that your audience is feeling inspired, the next speaker’s role is to motivate your audience to act in a specific way:
- Use a new coaching methodology to lead employees
- Harness the benefits of a new medical treatment
- Ask a new set of questions to understand the needs of sales prospects
- Refine a new approach to negotiating corporate deals
If Budget Doesn’t Permit, Get Creative and Do Both
Of course, event scope and budget doesn’t always permit for the ideal flow of inspiration through to motivation. Hello, creative event manager: you!
In this scenario, you’d look for a speaker to share their own inspiring story of pushing through challenging times, showing how they searched within to find strength and persistence. The speaker would also be one to segue to tips for staying open in the context of workplace upheaval, and staying focused on the game plan.
Hot Talent TipJustin Jones is an excellent candidate in this example. ‘Jonesy’ is known for pushing human boundaries on multiple large-scale expeditions. He has shared his inspiring story with ASX200 companies, business leaders and professional sporting teams, to become one of Australia’s leading inspirational speakers.
Fine-Tuning the Choice of Keynote Speakers Takes Your Event to the Next Level
At first glance, delving into the difference between inspirational and motivational might seem like splitting hairs. When it comes to choosing the best keynote speakers for specific event sessions and audiences, however, there are important differences. Noting what these are, and aligning your speaker’s inspirational or motivational bent with event objectives, will take your event from pretty good to absolutely brilliant.Fine-tuning the choice of keynote speakers takes your event to the next level. Click To Tweet
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