Storytelling allows listeners to identify with the characters in the story, yet feel safe enough about not being personally confronted and becoming defensive. Storytelling has the power to break down defenses and open the listeners’ willingness to become part of the events that play off in the story. It does not matter what type of speaker you get. If he or she is able to tell a captivating story, you have an audience that are willing to listen. But let us have a look at some key characteristics of each of the above mentioned.
Just like the word ‘transformational’, can it be concluded that Transformational Speakers intend to initiate or bring forth some form of transformation in human beings. Transformational Speakers help motivate and transform behavior. They provide strategies to help people develop more meaningful and successful lives. They help raise questions around perceptions, help awaken new beliefs, new awareness, and elicit new behavior. Transformational Speakers have experience and in-depth insight into human behavior and the challenges we typically face. They are knowledgeable, empathetic, and intuitive. They just know how to make a personal connection with their audience, even though a room full of people is addressed. Through their exceptional insight and understanding of human behavior, they are able to help audience members with personal growth and leadership development. They can move listeners deeply. Transformational Speakers are sincere, humble, genuine, and are able to make a listener feel that the message that is being delivered is meant for him or her in person. Messages delivered by Transformational Speakers are usually so clear and powerful that listeners will be able to clearly recall strategies given to them several months after they have heard it and still be able to implement what they have heard into practice. If put in hierarchy, this is the highest hierarchy that you will get amongst Transformational Speakers, Motivational Speakers, Keynote Speakers, and Inspirational Speakers. Lorne Sulcas is really a Transformational Speaker. But in general, most people do not really understand these differences. As a result you will find that most speakers will introduce themselves as Motivational Speakers or as Inspirational Speakers.
Motivational Speakers aim to motivate and inspire people into action. Motivational Speakers help create an emotional desire and mental drive that will allow people to invest more energy and purpose into their goals. Organizations will often hire a Motivational Speaker to raise expectations or excitement before implementing changes in a company, or when being challenged with low employee morale. Or simply to assist in reaching a competitive edge, as is also often required by Sports Teams. Motivational Speakers will typically have a conversation some time before the event to gain a greater insight into the challenges that the organization face. A Motivational Speaker will then prepare accordingly and address these challenges specifically. A message delivered by a Motivational Speaker is less likely to endure if it is not acted upon immediately. It also depends on how personally a listener was affected by the message and how relevant it was to him. Precision and clarity of the message plays a key role. A motivational message will have its maximum effect if the message is clear, precise and the listener can personally identify with the message; and then act upon it in immediately. Notice the contrast here when you compare Transformational Speakers with Motivational Speakers. Messages delivered by Transformational Speakers have a long lasting impact. They are easy to recall and implement long after the messages have been delivered. Messages delivered by Motivational Speakers carries most of their weight in the short term. You will find that an audience member will have difficulty to recall any strategy that can be implemented into practice. A listener will be able to tell you that he enjoyed the speaker and that the Motivational Speaker was very good. But this is probably where it will end. There is one thing that all Motivational Speakers agree upon, though. A motivated employee is a more productive employee. One that is driven to succeed and find solutions.
One key difference between Motivational Speakers and Inspirational Speakers is the purpose of the message. An Inspirational Speaker will typically tell his own personal story. It is typically one of overcoming difficulties in severely adverse circumstances. Contrary to the task at hand for Motivational Speakers, you cannot have the same expectations from Inspirational Speakers. They do not address specific challenges that a company face, but rather just speak to inspire with their own personal story. It is not the purpose of Inspirational Speakers to change behavior, give strategies to increase sales, or to help an organization to develop a competitive edge. Inspirational Speakers will rather focus on their own history and retell it to the audience. They will tell, for example, how they overcame or survived a huge challenge, climbed a mountain, ride a long distance with a bicycle, or build a company up to a huge success. These are the type of stories we hear that inspire us to believe that if we try, we can do the same.
Keynote Speakers are Public Speakers who deliver the primary speeches, or as we refer to it, the Keynote Address. A Keynote Speaker will deliver a speech that addresses the objectives of a meeting. Keynote Speakers will deliver their speeches at the end of an event, such as Award Functions, Conferences, Summits, Annual Meetings or Training Programs. The speech that is delivered by a Keynote Speaker is often viewed as the highlight of the event and most of the time the main reason why people will attend an event. Their speeches are very specific and relevant towards the outcome that the organizers wish to obtain. It can also be industry specific with the objective to educate. The general purpose of a keynote can be to educate, motivate or to inspire. It all depends on the objectives that needs to be met.