To inspire? Its showtime!
The world of public speaking is almost like an entertainment industry. At the end of the day, the audience who spent moolah to hear you, must go home satisfied. Otherwise, there will be no repeat business. Unfortunately, the barometer of an inspire centric talk has been focused on making people laugh and jump up and down.
Learning events organizers say without entertainment, there will be no business, not unless, a speaker got something, or the talk will have an effect on the crediting of units that are needed to renew professional licences, then regardless if speaker is boring, the audience have no other choice but to attend, and grab a copy of the materials.
I happen to notice in the learning events industry that they are particular with the first and last speaker. At first, I don’t understand because as an HR and Training person, I am more concerned with the order of topics to ensure maximum learning. I figured out later that the funniest, liveliest, and most entertaining speakers are placed on the 1st and last slot to leave a sweet taste to the audience. It’s not a bad strategy, but a few used this as template of an inspire centric learning event.
Likewise, I followed with interest other players on the public speaking industry specially on how they position their brand in the market. Most, if not all, have this common denominator- to entertain the audience and make them feel good about themselves. The belief is that to inspire a person, laughter can bring out the positive emotion. And this in turn will fuel change.
Is this bad? Not really..
A good speaker is an engaging speaker, he can adjust his style depending on the audience to get his message across. I believe, further, that the role of motivational speakers is to offer an alternate solution, so people can make an intelligent choice. An inspire centric speaker should understand that they are not in the business of making people laugh (alone), but to provide an alternative path, create a compelling desire to change, so the audience will pursue a new behaviour– knowledge, attitude, skills and habits (K.A.S.H.)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person – Colossians 4:6 ESV
Entertaining the audience is good, but this should lead the audience to take concrete actions to change their present line of thinking, habit or way of doing business.