Should I Hire a Motivational Speaker or an Inspirational Speaker?

Motivation and Inspiration, is there a difference?

Motivational Speaker or an Inspirational Speaker? Let’s pretend, you (yes, you) are at a stoplight and the it switches to green and the driver in front of you doesn’t respond. “OMG, are you kidding me? C’mon go! What are you waiting for, an invitation?” Does this sound familiar? Could it be you?

Now let’s imagine the same scenario; the light changes to green, the driver still doesn’t respond, however you react differently. “I wonder if the driver is ok? Maybe they are coming from working third shift and are fatigued, maybe they’ve gotten bad news, or maybe I’m too much in a rush.”

How do you switch from irritation and annoyance to exhibiting acceptance and patience? Is it possible? Would you want to?

If you think you need a motivational speaker, you can cue up a podcast, read a blog, or listen to a live keynote. Nice! Now you are ready to conquer the world. You’re full of energy and your attitude is on steroids, right? Now you’re back at that same stoplight that damn driver doesn’t respond again. UGH…same old stinkin thinkin. “C’mon, move!”

Would you like to try an inspirational speaker? That’s where I come in.

When I started speaking, I explored the differences between being a motivational speaker and an inspirational speaker. I was lost!

Motivational speakers influence organizations, leaders, and individuals to become more productive and enthusiastic about what they’re already doing. (That can’t possibly be me.) Another reason to hire a motivational speaker is when productivity suffers due to employee’s decrease in his or her desire for work.

Motivational quotes are often seen in professional offices, classrooms, and athletic centers everywhere. They ignite an energy and are results-oriented. If your company, significant other, or YOU need an immediate caffeine jolt, read motivational quotes. (My gym has one directly over the water fountain, BAM!)

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”—Lou Holtz

But an inspirational speaker takes motivational speaking to another level.

Inspirational speakers are the heroes, visionaries, and dreamers. Their personal experiences are shared to encourage or strengthen others.

As for my personal story, it serves as cautionary tale to the human spirit.

Inspirational speakers tell captivating stories crafted in a way to encourage others to tell theirs.  An inspirational speaker can influence audiences to look beyond the big picture. (What big picture?) Inspirational speakers empower listeners to be the best version of themselves, no matter the circumstances!

Furthermore, success is not measured by production and company dollars but on living with a new way of thinking. It is a mindset that becomes ignited from the inside out and as a result is revealed through different behaviors.

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”—Stephen Covey

The finest inspirational speakers share with passion and vulnerability. Certainly their message will never be identical to the audience, rather it will be relatable and resonate with human life. The listener will move towards personal development and emotional freedom.

A motivational speaker will spark productivity, lift company morale, and challenge listeners to master skills necessary for great success. Exceptional inspirational speakers will move beyond the workplace, encouraging and reminding listeners about their inner character.

We live in a society that teaches us self-promotion and to advertise ourselves. In contrast this gives little encouragement for things like humility, sympathy, and honest self-reflection. Sharing my story—and the critical-thinking errors that landed me in prison—inspire others to see through a different colored lens and change not only behavior but the character that fuels every part of their lives.

In closing, what do you do when your attitude needs adjusting?

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