What is the difference between a motivational, inspirational or keynote speaker?

Multiple Guinness World Record holder, serial Adventurer & Fundraiser Jamie McDonald is renowned for being one of the most talented motivational speakers in the world.

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Ive often been asked whats the difference between a motivational, inspirational or keynote speaker. It’s confusing right?

When I dipped my toe into this speaking world I thought the answer was obvious (more of that later) but as I have come to learn, theres subtle differences between each speaking hatand I think its really important that I share them with you.

When youre looking at booking a speaker for your event, you want to make sure youve got the right hatstood up on the stage, for the right audience fit and most importantly for the right message to be conveyed.


A motivational speaker is one that will motivate change

Its as simple as that in true Mr Motivatorstyle; think better = work better = be better!

A good motivational speaker will (with any luck), create a trigger in the audience to open their minds and reflect on their own futures.

They encourage self-development and empower the audience to seek better results in their own personal and/or professional lives and leads them to an actionable goal.

Sounds good eh?! Well, everyone loves Mr Motivator!

Though, when it comes to speaking on stage, just being a motivational speaker isnt the only type of speaker for your event or conference. Let me explain more……


An inspirational speaker leads their audience to focus on the larger picture

If youre looking for new ideas or innovations from your team or just in need of a lift in spirits during difficult times, inspirational speakers are able to highlight from their own back stories and real-life examples of excellence and overcoming adversity, to show how this can be achieved. The inspirational speaker should inspire the audience to not only want to set themselves goals but go all outto achieve them.

Now were getting somewhere arent we? As you can tell, inspirational speakers are most definitely where the party is at. Though again, that still might not be the right fit for your conference. Which leads me to the next speaker category……


A keynote speaker is more usually the backbone of an event

They will typically be responsible for leading the proceedings and often be the experton a specific theme.  However, a keynote speaker who is only an expertin their field but unable to combine that with the ability to influence and engage with their audience, can make for a very dry presentation…… and sadly I think weve all probably sat through one or two of those!

Nevertheless, a good keynote speaker will provide the mission statementof an event, forming an essential part of its success. You will also usually see them at the end of the event, which is terrible timing if you have to leave early and miss out of the main attraction. Boohoo!


The overall speaker conclusion

Please tell me I’ve explained well enough, that youre starting to know exactly what speakers do what? Okay, if youre still slightly unsure lets conclude…

A motivational speaker creates action in people – the audience will leave the room feeling as if they should start creating bigger and better goals within their life. And some of the best motivational speakers have the whole Mr Motivator’ vibe, which can bring in some top notch energy to any event.

An inspirational speaker will share their own personal story and simply lift the spirits of the audience. The best inspirational speakers will leave the audience feeling like theyve just drunk a whole pint of love juice and will be floating on air!

Lastly, a keynote speaker will be your expert and be the person who ties the theme of the event together. Of course though, the best keynote speakers are the ones that have a solid sprinkle of  motivation and inspiration in their talks as well.

Whichever hatthe event speaker is wearing, it goes without saying you want them all to have a natural ease on stage. They also need to be engaging, personable, enthusiastic, authentic and have the ability to build a rapport with their audiences……… a dash of humour, some goose-bump generating music and pizazz goes a long way too!

If youre still unsure, then you can head over and read a whole page on each speaker role…

* Motivational speaker

* Inspirational speaker

* Keynote speaker

Now do you get it? Well, if you dont Im going to head off, stare in the mirror and give myself a good talking to on how to explain what speaker, does what!

Seriously though, I hope this blog helps you out a little and if it does, feel free to share it.


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