My Purpose – Inspire as many as possible while I still can

November 18, 2013

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.


“After two years of not being able to hear speakers in person , I was thrilled to have John Bauman as a speaker at our “ Living Well With Parkinson’s’ Gala!. Not only was John engaging and inspiring to get to know off stage , on stage he truly drove home the theme of empowerment to our audience and left our growing community of attendees with several “ aha “ moments and desire to hear more. He spoke from personal experience as a Parkinson’s patient ,inspiring the audiences motivation to truly wish to make a difference and uniting us all in our humanity. Attendees after listening to John , felt inspired to make a difference in the world and do their part to create change for those living with Parkinson’s. My only regret was not being able to spend more time with John and I look forward to having him speak again to our audience.”

Naomi Wong WPP Program Manager

John’s message of hope, inspiration and laughter was ideal for anyone living with PD. He was extremely flexible and a delight to work with.

Leisha Phipps, MSW Program Director - Dallas Area Parkinson Society

We all felt inspired and enjoyed listening to your presentation. Even though we are not living with Parkinson’s, we felt boost of motivation to continue helping those who are living with this disease. I am motivated to make more personal phone calls to people living with PD and asking how they are doing. Sometimes that “extra” bit of kindness truly makes a difference to someone. I am also motivated to research program ideas and partner with other organizations that may have similar values.

I learned that life is unexpected and that you cannot control it. What matters is your attitude!

-Great way to end the day, brave man, thank you very much!

-Good, excellent, great, outstanding speaker, very moving!

-Inspirational who just “gets it”

-Positive thinker and very funny!

-Honest speaker but also humorous!

Parkinson’s Society of Southwest Ontario, Canada, Symposium Keynote Presentation

“whatever hand life deals you, whatever life changing adversity you have to endure, you still have some control over it.” “You don’t have to just to live well,” he advises,” but live an Amazing Life.” The formula he proposes: Faith in yourself, discipline, determination, desire, intensity, and inner strength.


Yes, you touched every person at our conference, who will in turn change and impact so many others. The feedback from our participants was overwhelmingly positive. You are the only speaker to ever receive a standing ovation. Thank you for taking time to share, motivate and inspire. We are blessed to know you.


I will be honest. During the first 10 minutes of your presentation, I started reading work related material on my laptop. For surely, I had watched your You-Tube and seen your videos and knew what to expect. Surely, as a therapist I had studied this disease, the pathological components, the psychological components, the treatment alternatives……..Surely, I understand it.

Not so much. You caught my attention and I was enthralled. You were able to couple the impairments you experience with the emotions felt. You walked us through your life with the disease through “your eyes”. A perspective that a therapist/nurse rarely has the chance to hear. We get so busy telling patients how to deal with x, y and z, but our eyes are blurred by the science of it all most of the time.

You did it through truth, Through your humor, humility and determination to tell your story. One that most deservedly needs to be shared.

I will advocate to have you share your story. I appreciate your determination, diligence and dedication.