Nick Gold, managing director of speaker consultation and booking service Speakers Corner, offers some tips on how to create content with meaning for your live event.


There are two critical elements for a successful live event. First, that the speaker understands the aim of the event and second, that the speaker understands the audience.

In the simplest form, the aim of a motivational speaker is to inspire the audience. They should make their listener feel they can achieve their goals and offer practical tips based on their own experience.  During a business event the benefits can be twofold – the personal level and of course the professional level.

These two areas have a massive crossover; they are inextricably linked and should always be considered within this acknowledgement. It is imperative, in the context of business, that companies recognise that for a team member to achieve at a professional level, they must be achieving on a personal level. We don’t have space to explore this further now, but it is an essential foundation to lay.

A speaker needs to understand the aims of the event and the broader context in which it sits. Unfortunately, all too often, events are held with the aim of merely ‘having the event’. It is incredibly difficult for a motivational speaker to deliver where there are no clear aims – they are left to rely on subjective opinion rather than tangible objectives.

A speaker who understands the messages required from their motivational stories will tailor the flow of the speech, linking ideas back to the broader theme of the event.  This provides a seamless journey for the delegates, which could be subtle in its linking to the theme but means the speech will secure its space in the memory. A truly memorable speech will have impact beyond the immediacy of a good storyteller and the audience can implement the lessons they have learnt into their professional life.

The second essential aspect is having a full understanding of the audience. This includes the person holding the briefing call with the speaker but extends to the delegates themselves. The audience must know how the speaker fits into the rest of the day and what the energy of the room is like.

Where possible, I would always strongly advise the client to invite the speaker into the previous session, so they can get a feel for the room. This also allows the speaker to reference elements of the day from previous speakers and sessions, which helps the delegates remember the how everything ties together as one narrative. Making such connections allows the audience to make a personal attachment to the event, securing memorable content that will hold relevance for years to come.

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