Why I Consider Myself an “Inspirational” Speaker and not-so-much a “Motivational” Speaker.
Although motivate and inspire are thought of as synonyms, there are significant and real differences between motivating and inspiring someone.
A motivational speaker tries to motivate or compel listeners to act in a specific, certain, defined way as dictated by the presenter or the assigned topic. An inspirational speaker moves or influences thought on the part of each individual in the audience as defined by the listener’s experiences as each applies the inspirational words to their life at that particular moment in time.
The goal or objective of motivating is for you to fire the listener up. The purpose of inspiring is for the listener to be inspired to make a real effort to look deep inside themselves and choose to become a better person.
A motivational speaker pushes, drives and impels you to act. An inspirational speaker helps you to decide how to better yourself by providing examples, engaging imagery and words that, hopefully, move, stir, and arouse action.
I am more of an inspirational than motivational speaker. I am not fire and brimstone, I am thoughtful, humorous, genuine, real and insightful. I have been told by several attendees, following a keynote address, that I have a “gift” or were the “real deal” and even “the best speaker” they had ever seen, that may be, but it is not easy to obtain inspirational speech assignments.
Like an overnight success in Country music who has been in business for 20 years, the word-of-mouth process is slow, maybe too slow for me, and I may not reach the number of people that I was meant to reach. Parkinson’s disease will limit the number of appearances I can make and will lessen and lessen over time due to the progressive and debilitating nature of the disease, which makes it even more critical that I shorten the process. Let’s fill up each week of 2014, that’s just 52 dates.
I only have the where-with-all to do one keynote speech in any given week. Every week that I am unable to obtain a speaking engagement causes, sadly and unfortunately, misses opportunities to have a group of people inspired, have pain lessened replaced by hope, and maybe, just maybe, change a life or more.