Party Ideas, Using GigSalad (Event Planners)

5 Things to Look for in a Motivational Speaker

Plus 10 handy questions to ask when booking!

By Megan Price

If you’re trying to inspire a big group of people, you might be nervous about booking a motivational speaker. After all, you don’t want to look out into the crowd and see people drifting off or playing on their phones. So let us help guide you to finding the best person for your event!

5 Qualities of a Great Motivational Speaker:

1. Flexibility

While this trait is helpful in almost any kind of performance, it’s especially key in a motivational speaker. They should be able to tailor their presentation to match your industry or audience. Their overall message will likely have a similar theme for all audiences, but they should be willing to tweak it to connect with your specific group. Be sure to tell them what you’re looking for upfront so you can gauge if they’ll be a good fit or not. To help you nail this down, GigSalad Motivational Speaker, Dr. Ronald Shapiro, suggests asking yourself, “What is my objective for bringing in a motivational speaker?” He adds, “The better they know their requirements, the more successful the match will be. If you don’t know what your objectives are, ask the speaker to help you determine those before booking someone.”

2. Charisma

Of course, you’ll want to make sure the speaker you hire is, well, a good speaker! This means someone who can captivate an audience and keep their attention throughout the presentation. Some use presentation tools; others use charismatic storytelling skills. Be sure to watch videos of your potential speaker to get an idea of their speaking style. You may want to schedule a phone call with them to get a sense of how they speak and communicate.

3. Direction

Motivating your group is an awesome way to kick off a new year, but motivation is nothing without some action behind it. Your motivational speaker should have some action steps or tools/resources ready to provide your audience after the presentation. In fact, GigSalad Motivational Speaker, Bob Prentice, says, “Make sure to ask about your potential speaker’s aftercare plan for your audience. What will they do to support your attendees once the speech is over?”

4. Credibility

A Health and Wellness Speaker who promotes a healthy lifestyle seems like a great idea, right? What happens if you see the speaker later lighting up a cigarette? All of their credibility just went down the drain! Do your due diligence when booking a motivational speaker and make sure they practice what they preach. Check out their website, social media pages, reviews on GigSalad, and even ask for additional references if needed. Dr. Shapiro, adds, “Make sure the speaker is an expert on what they are talking about. For example, are they recognized as a ‘fellow’ in a relevant professional society? If they are claiming their published book as a credential, what subject matter expert has reviewed the book in its entirety? What did (the expert) have to say?”

5. Style

Before you book a Motivational Speaker, think about your audience and the style of speaker you’d like to have. If your event is for a group of millennials, they’ll likely connect better with someone who has an informal, humorous style of speaking. A group of CEOs may want someone who has lots of experience and can educate them clearly and confidently. On the other hand, a great storyteller may be the best speaker choice for a school assembly about bullying. No one knows your audience better than you do, so think about what they’d relate to the most.


booking a motivational speaker

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10 Questions to Ask When Booking a Motivational Speaker

Thanks to feedback provided by our dedicated and experienced GigSalad Speakers, Dr. Shapiro and Bob Prentice, we’ve gathered 10 handy questions to ask when booking a motivational speaker:

  1. How did you come to be a motivational speaker?
  2. What is your favorite topic to speak on?
  3. Have you published a book?
  4. What is your experience with my type of audience?
  5. Do you use humor in your presentations?
  6. How can you help me reach my objectives for hiring you?
  7. If your audiences could describe you in one word or phrase, what would the top 5 be?
  8. How will you be promoting your own products (books, consulting work, etc.) during the presentation?
  9. Will you be available to the audience after the event? If so, how long?
  10. Do you keep in touch with audiences via email/newsletter?


booking a motivational speaker


Thinking about a motivational speaker for your next event? Book the best at GigSalad.


1 Comment
  1. Henry Killingsworth June 15, 2022

    I was recently put in charge of finding a motivational speaker for a youth conference that my church is going to be hosting later this summer. I thought it was helpful when you talked about it could be a good idea to find a speaker that is informal and humorous if the audience is a group of millennials. I will have to find a motivational speaker that includes a lot of humor so that the youth in my church aren’t bored at the conference.


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