The Definitive Guide

In this resource I’m going to show you:

  • How motivational speakers work
  • What they can do for you
  • What to look for in a motivational speaker
  • How to create a shortlist of the best speakers
  • How to narrow that shortlist down to just 1 or 2
The impact of a motivational speaker nz


The different types of speakers – a quick guide

How a motivational speaker motivates

What makes a great motivational speech?

What a motivational speaker can do for your team

When to use a motivational speaker at your event

How to find a motivational speaker

How to get a shortlist of motivational speakers

How to take the shortlist down to 1 or 2 speakers

And now a word from your sponsor

Chapter 1:

The Different Types of Speakers:
A Quick Guide

There a few different terms used for people who speak at conferences. Before we go any further let’s get them sorted out.

Looking for the best motivational speaker in NZ

A ‘guest speaker’ is someone from outside the company who presents at a conference.

A ‘conference speaker’ is someone who presents at a conference. This is the most generic term.

‘Keynote speakers’ are people who deliver the keynote speech at a conference. A ‘keynote’ is typically the presentation right at the start of the agenda that sets the tone for the event. Often given by a motivational speaker or someone authoritative in the industry, it’s someone who breathes life into the conference theme.

The term ‘keynote’ is sometimes used in the speaking industry to refer to a presentation rather than a workshop (or break-out session or Q&A). For example your motivational speaker might ask you if you want a ‘keynote’ or a ‘workshop’.

A ‘celebrity speaker’ is someone who’s likely to be previously known to the audience because of their media exposure. At some point their face has been on a billboard or on a TV or radio show or on the news or some exciting combination of all four. Celebrity speakers can be TV hosts or movie ‘stars’, elite sports people, celebrity chefs, popular authors – or just well-known and respected in their industry.

Motivational speakers may or may not be celebrities. Perhaps the best known celebrity motivational speaker is Tony Robbins.

What about Inspirational speakers?

I’m going to make the distinction between inspiration and motivation. Most speeches that are inspirational are also motivational – but not always.

A great inspirational speaker helps expand your limits about what people are capable of. Or help provide you with an idea for your own challenge.

Hearing the story of Joe Simpson crawling with broken limbs over ice for several days back to safety is inspirational. Will it initiate me to actually do something about my goals? Maybe. But it’s one thing to think that humans are capable of amazing things and another to think that I’m capable of amazing things. You can be inspired and take no action. It’s much rarer to be highly motivated – and do nothing.

A speaker can be inspirational just by recounting their story. A motivational speaker won’t stop there, they’re going to provide inspiration with advice to create action.

Which brings us to motivational speakers.

A motivational speaker is someone who empowers the audience to succeed at their own goals.

Motivational speakers excite, and inspire and cajole, they delight, surprise, demonstrate and they argue. They take the audience on a journey that transforms them. That’s it right there – the yardstick for measuring the success of a motivational speaker is about whether or not they have created change in the audience. Because at the end of the day – when your team have floated back down off the ceiling – you want them to be talking, thinking and acting differently. You want the speaker to have left a lasting legacy of positive behavioural change.

A motivational speaker is an inspiring story PLUS the ability to extract and share the essential learnings from that story.

Through recounting their experiences, sharing their insights and providing tools, motivational speakers inspire the audience to redouble their efforts, transcend their self-imposed limitations, persevere through setbacks and above all. Take. Some. Action!

Chapter 2:

How a motivational speaker motivates

How does a motivational speaker weave their motivational magic? Below I discuss the four ways and how it can go wrong.

There are four ways a motivational speaker motivates:

  • By what they’ve DONE ie their accomplishments and achievements. Are they a credible authority?
  • WHAT they say – whether they have a powerful story. Can they engage the heart?
  • What they KNOW – do they share insights and techniques. Can they engage the brain?
  • HOW they say it – their platform skills. Can they work the stage?

Motivate by what they’ve DONE

Most motivational speakers  have accomplished something out of the ordinary. They have overcome a serious disability, achieved the highest honours in sport, started and grown a highly successful company, led a country or solved a social problem. Taken on some big challenge.

Just meeting people like this, just being in the same room as them, helps us to reset the limits we often unconsciously put on ourselves. Seeing their struggle and dedication makes us rethink our own level of effort.

Here’s what I mean. Before I met Sir Edmund Hillary I was in awe. Clearly the reason that he had achieved all those incredible feats in his life was because he had a 3rd lung and a heart the size of Phar Lap. Then when I met him in person I found he was taller then you expect, and with a better sense of humour but otherwise very … normal.

Hmmm. Wait a minute.

If he’s normal and he can achieve those things, and I’m normal … then maybe I should lift my game? If he can climb the world’s highest mountain – then maybe I can get my lazy arse out of bed and go for a run? Or deal with my in-tray?

In the years after the second world war many people argued that running a sub 4 minute mile was impossible. Then Roger Bannister did it on 6 May 1954. Within a year 37 other people had also followed him under the 4 minute ‘barrier’. Either it’s a coincidence or his achievement inspired and encouraged others.

Motivating through WHAT they say.

Stories can be extraordinarily powerful to move people emotionally and get them to take action. But just recounting the facts about how you achieved your goal, just saying what you did, is not necessarily a compelling story.

According to people who write screenplays for a living a Story has to have a relatable but flawed character who takes on a challenge, deals with a crisis, overcomes obstacles, while posing and answering a thematic question and eventually emerges transformed.

Yep there’s a bit to it.

An Olympic athlete recounting how they got their medal, the dedication and suffering that they went through, is going to be impressive. But it might not be a story that grips the heart. It might not be a story that leaves you thinking – “If they can do that then maybe I can make progress in my goals!” More on this in the next section ‘What makes a great motivational speech’.

Motivational speakers motivate through what they KNOW about achieving

For most of us the greatest source of motivation is making progress towards our goal. If a motivational speaker can help us to become unstuck, or give us a new way of looking at a problem then we are going to feel motivated. So ideally we want some insights about useful skills and the behaviours that we can transfer to our lives. We want to have some lessons that we can use.

We want to know how the speaker overcome their obstacles. If it’s Alex Honnold – then how does he deal with his fear when he’s free climbing 1000m up the side of El Capitan? If it’s William Trubridge then how does he handle stress when he’s a hundred metres under the surface? What does Richie McCaw say at half time when the All Blacks are down 10 points? How does Lisa Tamati keep running through the night? How did they cope with the doubts? How did they keep the team working under pressure? How did they lead others? How did they deal with conflict in the team? How did they keep going through setbacks? How do they deal with failure?

Unfortunately many people who have achieved amazing things couldn’t train someone else how to do it. To be able to distil out the critical factors and present them as actionable advice is a skill and takes experience.

The best motivational speakers give you tools, methods and processes that, ring in your ears, get lodged in your brain and that you can take away and apply that day.

This isn’t easy because the speaker is in the strange position of giving advice largely without giving a diagnosis of what each audience member needs. You don’t want to hear advice that doesn’t apply, nor do you want to hear advice that’s generic. More on this later.

The WAY they Say it

The message might be fabulous, but if it’s delivered in a monotone behind a lectern it’s not going to have impact. Energy on stage translates to energy in the heads of the audience.

It’s sometimes called ‘platform skills’. A motivational speaker with great platform skills is moving around,  using  variety of pacing and tone with their voice, uses gestures to emphasise their message, engages with the audience, challenges and calls out individuals and has a snappy supportive powerpoint.

That’s how the magic of motivation is made, through great a story well told, with helpful insightful advice.

Chapter 3:

What makes A Great Motivational Speech

In the last section we broke the magic of motivation down into four areas. Let’s go into that a bit deeper and see what makes a great motivational speech

What makes a great motivational speech

What they say

Motivation is inspiration plus message. It’s a feeling AND it’s information.

To get the feeling the speaker should have as many elements as possible from a Story. I’m using a capital S here because this is a special kind of story.

As every screenwriter knows a Story is when a:

  • Relatable character, often flawed in some way
  • Takes on a challenge, sets out on a journey – passes a point of no return
  • Faces multiple increasing setbacks
  • Overcomes them, and emerges transformed by the circumstances (or is overcome by them)

Think Starwars, Groundhog Day, The Godfather, Frozen, Zootopia, Braveheart and The Bourne Identity. They all follow this format because it’s compelling and it works.

When you get a motivational speaker, you’re getting a character from a story. You want to make sure that the story has as many elements from the above list as possible to maximise the impact on your team. It’s always inspiring hearing about effort and sacrifice that someone, anyone has made. But you can get even more inspiration and motivation if they have the other elements as well.

Let me put it another way. To reach their challenge, your team has to overcome their doubts, set a goal, commit to the goal, put together a plan, put lots of work in, suffer through setbacks both expected and unexpected, find ways to work as a team and come back from near failure and persevere to the end.

You want your speaker to have lived that process.

For your next event speaker if you’re choosing between two Olympic gold medalists, one who was a child prodigy and trained hard but never had a day’s doubt, and another who started swimming as a young teen, had to recover from injuries, was told they weren’t going to make it, and yet somehow found a way to win.  Everything else being equal – you should choose the second speaker.

You also want your audience to relate to the speaker.

You may have seen the 1977 documentary  ‘Pumping Iron’ about how Arnold Schwarzenegger won his umpteenth Mr Universe. You see how young cocky genetically gifted Arnold, worked very hard and became brash, arrogant confident Arnold who took pleasure in psychologically crushing his opponents. We admire his single mindedness and his work ethic, but is he likeable? Or relatable?

Actually, for some audiences he would be perfect. For others he would leave cold.

There are two ways to get relatability – one is having the speaker come from the same field, the other is through having the same emotional journey.

For example the accounting industry is going through a massive upheaval at the moment as the profession moves away from book keeping to more added value services like consultancy. For many small business accountants this is a big scary transformation. If you’re organising an accountancy conference having an accountant that has successfully made the transition is a no brainer.

Having a sports speaker could also work – as long as that speaker has been through a similar journey, as long as they have a Story.

Having an adventure speaker will also work, if they also had to take on an unreasonable challenge, learn new skills, battle their doubts and get out of their comfort zone and persevere throughs setbacks.

Having a speaker who has overcome or transcended a disability is fantastic for emphasising the importance of a positive attitude and the strength of the human spirit. That may be what your audience needs, or maybe they need that and the other elements as well.

And the message

So far we’ve talked about the inspiration, the emotional side of a great speech, then there’s the cool, rational and informative side. What advice does the speaker give?

Advice can differ a lot in quality. I find myself enraged by bad advice – so I wrote a blog post about how to detect it. You can read it here, or here’s just a couple of tests:

1. If the advice is true, the opposite advice should be false.

If the advice doesn’t pass this test then there is something missing. For example if ‘Never give up!’ is right then ‘Sometimes change direction’ can’t be right also. If ’Stay focused on the big picture is right’ then ‘Stay focused on the detail’ can’t be right also.

2. Beware laundry lists

Every motivational speaker cringed when they saw the clip of Ricky Gervais from ‘The Office’ spoof being a motivational speaker. Among many things he gets bang on is giving advice by reading out of a little book of quotes.

You don’t want the takeaways to be a list of disconnected cliched quotes in a random order. If the advice makes sense on a poster with a picture of a sun rays on an ocean then it’s probably advice you don’t need.

The best advice, the best motivational speeches, provide a handful of insightful, memorable, helpful points in a clear framework.

Chapter 4:

What a motivational Speaker can do for you and your team

A motivational speaker can help any time you’re trying to create a positive change.

How a motivational speaker nz motivates

What a motivational speaker can do for your team.

In the short term, during your event, a good motivational speaker will bring the kind of energy and enthusiasm that can lift the room, that will spill over to your other sessions, and make your conference memorable.

In the medium term, back on the job, a motivational speaker’s message can help to lift performance by:

  • Remove limiting beliefs
  • Reduce any barriers to action
  • Break people out of their routines
  • Provide new ways of thinking, new attitudes
  • Raise levels of discretionary effort
  • Leave a legacy of language and stories
  • Increase motivation!
  • Lift engagement with a company goal
  • Help prepare for change or cope with change underway
  • Create a personal commitment

A well-briefed speaker can subtly insert a message in their presentation that supports a point that you the manager have been trying to make for some time.

In the longer term a motivational speaker can also be used to provide accountability, and skills and training that can’t be readily fit into a 60 or 90 minute format.

Think of it like seeing a cooking demonstration. When it comes to cooking dinner we get used to the old favourites. Sometimes we think about trying something new, but it’s just. Too. Hard.

Then you say attend a cooking demonstration.

Oh look there’s a great idea the kids will love.

Oh look it’s not as hard as you thought. 

Oh and here’s a recipe. I just have to follow that.

That might be enough for you and your team. But maybe you want to go a step further.

What if the chef came by and made sure that you actually made the eggs benedict? Looked at how you are cooking and gave you some personal advice to help get you through any setbacks?

It doesn’t have to be one and done. A speaker can also be used in an ongoing way to provide accountability and training to make sure that that change you’re seeking actually happens.

Chapter 5:

When to use a Motivational Speaker at an event

Motivational speakers can be used at various times during an event to achieve different effects.

Looking for the best motivational speaker in NZ

At the start of the day

When you want to kick your event with a bang then you can put the motivational speaker in the traditional keynote spot. When you want to emphasise that this is not a normal office day and to get the team excited about what’s coming up. When you want the audience to realise that they aren’t in the office and to open their eyes and start thinking about what might be possible and what they might be capable of. Then get the speaker on early.

After morning tea

This is the time slot for maximum impact. Your audience are awake and fully caffeinated and highly receptive to the messages.

Energy dead spots

The audience have had an afternoon of Health and Safety and now their eyes are starting to glaze over. Or maybe it’s the morning after the Gala Dinner the night before! That’s when you want a motivational speaker to come along and light a rocket underneath them.

To close out the day

It’s been a great day of learning and camaraderie – but the risk is that all the new insights and attitudes will stay in the conference room. Send in a motivational speaker. They can help delegates to start thinking about taking what they’ve learned and using it back in the workplace. They can help them deal with their doubts about their challenges, choose a more helpful attitude and start putting together a plan. They can help prepare them for dealing with the setbacks that they are inevitably going to face as they begin to implement.

After dinner

When you want a little something special to add sparkle to your evening event and set you up for a great night.

Chapter 6:

How to find a motivational Speaker

There are two main ways – DIY or pay for someone else to. Each has pros and cons.

How to find a motivational speaker nz

So if you’re looking for a motivational speaker for your event – the first step is to find some suitable motivational speakers and create a short list of half a dozen options.

There are really two ways to find a great speaker for your event.

1. Using a bureau

2. Using the internet and going direct

In theory you can also ask around, pick up the phone, shout over the cubicle wall, or drop a request for suggestions on Facebook. ‘Phone a friend’ or using social media is certainly fast and quick, it’s also a bit haphazard. I think it’s best to have a look yourself first, put together a short list of speakers that seem to fit your needs, and then ask around to see what experience people have had with those particular speakers.

So to find those motivational speakers – let’s look at pros and cons of using a bureau vs approaching a speaker directly.


Before the internet, back in the 1980s, it wasn’t that easy to find speakers. Back then if you wanted to see a conference speaker in action you had to attend a live event or ask them to send you a VHS tape! Back then it was much easier to call a speaking bureau and ask them to come up with a short list and find out who was available.

Times have changed. Now it’s easy to find motivational speakers.  A quick google search, or doing some window shopping on bureau sites, and you will find dozens. One site has over 200.

If you call a speaking bureau something like the following will happen.

  • They will ask you what type of speaker you’re looking for, what your budget is, and what you’re trying to achieve with the event.
  • They will provide you with a short list of potential speakers and send you some information on them.
  • Then they send an email to those speakers and ask them if they are available on the event date and to hold the date.
  • Once they have a final list of potential AND available speakers they help the client make the final selection.
  • The speaker who is chosen gets notified and the others get an email to release the date.

My point is that professional speakers are very used to holding and releasing dates. To enquire about availability on a date creates no obligation.

What doesn’t work is if a client talks to a bureau, uses the bureaus expertise to help select a speaker, and then goes direct to the speaker. As soon as a potential client has contacted the bureau to get help find a speaker it triggers an obligation for that speaker to pay a commission of up to 30% to the bureau. It’s ok to window shop through their website but once you’ve made contact with a bureau you’re committed.

Similarly, if you know exactly who you want for your conference then don’t use a bureau just go direct. It will save you money and time.

You don’t ever need to use a bureau to get access to a speaker. Even those speakers that have exclusive arrangements with bureaus are very happy to receive enquiries from potential clients directly. 

The advantages of using a bureau.

I like to think of speaking bureaus as the travel agents of the corporate event world.

If you’re booking a flight to Queenstown you probably don’t need a travel agent – by the time you’ve taken to explain to the agent the dates and times you want to fly you could have booked it yourself.

On the other hand – if you have to find a 5 star hotel in Hanoi for your boss that provides a gluten free menu, or your conference for 300 people is in Fiji this year then their experience and expertise and systems become much more useful.

Agencies do vet the speakers. It’s actually not that easy to get listed as a motivational speaker in an industry. You are very unlikely to get a bad speaker if you use a bureau.

If you use a lot of speakers and are looking for something new in the market, or just need a lot of speakers for an event.

If you already have a great relationship with the bureau or if you are insensitive to cost.

Some disadvantages of using a bureau – rather than going direct.

You pay more for using a bureau. Often they will charge you the client a booking fee of 10%. They will also charge the speaker up to 30%. For example if you’re paying $5500 (+GST) for a speaker, then speaker might get $3500 and the agency $2000. Nearly 40% of your fee does NOT go to the speaker.

For you the client, the extra 10% is probably where it stops. For the speaker it keeps going – some bureaus will also take a percentage of any book sales. Most bureaus also insist on taking a percentage of all future work the speaker has with the same client. (This doesn’t affect you the client, but as we will see later when negotiating with a speaker it can be an opportunity for you.)

Lack of negotiating options. Bureaus price like a supermarket. One of the first questions they will ask you as a prospective client is ‘what is your budget?’ All speakers are sorted into price brackets. Speaker fees are generally, not negotiable. That doesn’t mean that you will get a better deal if you go directly, but more things are negotiable.

Lack of choice. When you call up Air Chatham reservations and ask them for holiday recommendations – they’re probably going to recommend the sunny island paradise of … the Chatham Islands. When you call up and ask a speaking bureau for recommendations for a keynote speaker for your event, they are naturally very likely to give you ONLY the names of speakers on their book.

It’s actually even more selective than that. Some bureaus contract a small number of speakers to be exclusive to their particular agency. To keep this relationship working the bureau is incentivised to provide jobs preferentially to those speakers.

Bureaus control the selection process tightly.  I’m not sure why but I’ve almost never met with a prospective client after being shortlisted by a bureau, when they were still trying to decide which speaker to go with.

On the other hand, I nearly always have an extended chat on the phone or in person to potential clients who approach me directly to discuss what they are looking for and what I talk about. Even if they don’t go on to use me they must be better informed.

Bureaus sell widgets. Back in the day you wanted a motivational speaker to come and give a motivational speech and … that’s it. That still happens, perhaps even that’s still the majority of cases. Increasingly though companies and organisations want a motivational speaker to help solve an issue, to kick off a process of change. They’re looking for an external consultant to give some leverage, they’re looking for a process rather than an event. So some speakers, particularly the more experienced ones will have a range of follow up products to provide ongoing accountability and training.

The problem is that bureaus don’t just deal with motivational speakers. They provide everything from MC’s to ventriloquists. They might have hundreds of contractors on their books and they won’t know the details of everyone’s offer.

Bureaus are a bureaucracy. You will be paying in advance. You will be spending time receiving, reading, signing and returning a contract. You will be sent briefing forms for the speaker that they will need you to fill out. If you have to cancel or change your event then you may forfeit your deposit. If you want to set a meeting up in advance with a speaker then you will call the bureau with who calls the speaker who gets back with some times who calls you who tells the bureau etc.

Whichever way you use bureau, or going direct, everyone is keen that you have a great experience.

If you’re going to do it yourself, let’s see how you can get those 200 or so speakers down to a manageable number. That’s what we’ll be looking at in the next section.

Chapter 7:

How to get a shortlist of the best motivational speakers in NZ

There’s two ways to find the best motivational speaker for your event – an interesting way and an easy way.

Looking for the best motivational speaker in NZ

How do you go from 200+ speakers down to a manageable shortlist of excellent speakers for your event? You can use an agency or do it yourself. The DIY approach is easier and more fun than it sounds. That’s what I’ll describe below.

I’m assuming you want someone who has lived a Story, as opposed to telling other people’s stories. So that is someone who has set themselves a big challenge, or has overcome adversity. That will take a few people out.

Then, you probably want a NZ based speaker – that will save a lot on costs and again reduce the number.

Then, you can probably make a call early about whether you want someone with a ‘business’ story, or not. (That is someone who has been a successful entrepreneur or run a large company.) Filter those out and you’re down to only about three or four dozen options. 

By running your eye down that list and eliminating the ones that you’ve already had or won’t be a good fit for  your audience, or who are completely unknown, and you’ll be at a dozen pretty quick. 

If you’re looking for the best motivational speaker in NZ you could just click here and see what a guy who has done a bit of research suggests.



Chapter 8:

How to narrow down your shortlist of Motivational Speakers

It’s all about reviews, reviews, reviews.

How to find a motivational speaker nz

So how do you select the best motivational speaker for your event? Well it’s always good to see a video of your potential presenter on stage – or talking, and if there is one available you should definitely watch it.

But it’s very likely to be only highly edited and highly favourable clips, what you want is to hear from the experience of someone who was in your shoes – what you want to know is what was the reaction of previous clients?

It makes sense to let previous clients do the work for you. There is a LOT of information buried in the number and the nature of reviews. Here’s your checklist.

Do they have lots of reviews?

There need to be a lot reviews. How many? So many that their mum can’t have written them all. Over 50 is good starting point. Every speaker’s website should have some positive note from a client. If they don’t it’s a definite red flag. But while pretty much anyone can conjure up a handful of positive reviews – it’s a different story when there are several dozen from different clients.

A lot of positive reviews from different clients, are a good sign of quality, they also indicate experience and longevity in the market – another very good sign.

Once you’ve satisfied yourself there’s a decent number of reviews. Then look to see what is going on in the reviews.

Are the reviews from the client or attendees?

There’s a big difference. Attendees are much easier to please than clients.  The audience is happy if they’ve had a entertaining time. Clients, the people whose budget the speaker fee came from, are looking for impact. TIP: You can get a fair idea if the person leaving the review is a client by looking at the seniority of their job title.

Do they reviews mention repeat business?

There is probably no sincerer sign of quality then a large, reputable corporate rebooking the same speaker on multiple occasions. Corporates have a lot of choice and options and demand a high standard from their contractors. If the presenter didn’t deliver the first time they wouldn’t be coming back.

Are the reviews from speaker savvy clients?

There are some companies and teams that see a lot of motivational speakers – I’m thinking real estate companies, banks and sales teams. These types of audiences often use inspirational speakers to lift their staff and they know a good speaker when they see one.  Give positive reviews from these organisations more weight.

Do the reviews contain superlatives (ie the ‘most’ or the ‘best’)

Finding the best speaker for your event is going to be a bit subjective. But you can definitely take comfort that you’re getting there or thereabouts when reviews (particularly from experienced clients) are prepared to rank the speaker at the top of their list.

Do they have positive reviews from an audience like yours?

I’ve banged on about this a lot. A key factor about how well a speaker will impact an audience is how relatable to the audience they are. Will their story and delivery style work for your team? The easiest way to check is to see if there is a company or industry like yours listed in the reviews. Have they spoken to a logging gang before? Have they spoken to 5,000 people at once before? Have they spoken to a senior exec team?


After reviews the next most important thing is experience, how many times have they spoken? How many times a year do they speak?

Public speaking is an apprenticeship, the more you do the better you get.

The presentation itself massively improves over time. The weak bits are made stronger, a strong point is made even better. Anecdotes get told more concisely. This is a process that never stops – even after years.

The experienced speaker is not thrown by odd things happening. They’ve learned to deal with the tipsy after-dinner crowd. They’re not thrown off when a ringing phone spoils the punchline. When they are asked at the last minute to knock 15min off the presentation to get things back on time  or add 15min on (the next speaker is running late) they can handle it with grace.

The experienced speaker has had that one in a hundred thing happen on stage a few times and has come prepared to make sure that it never happens again. They come early. They bring spare batteries and cables. They bring their own laptop. They bring a backup of the presentation. They don’t rely on wifi.

Longevity in the market is also a sign that what the speaker is doing in the market is working.

Time to have the chat.

So now you should be down to 1-3 potential speakers. It’s time to reach out and make contact. There will be a form and phone number on the speaker’s website.

Here’s a couple of things that you want to ask.

Are they available on your dates? If they aren’t available then you have someone to contact for the following year. If they are then:

What is their message? How would they talk to your event theme or how would they meet your requirements?

Remember that I said that motivation is not just inspiration – it’s inspiration PLUS message. “What are the points you make? What are the takeaways for the audience?” Are actually really reasonable questions to ask the speaker.

It’s odd that finding out the actual crunchy content of the presentation is left this late, but the thing is that this information is almost certainly not on the speaker’s website. That is because it is difficult to put together insightful, helpful, relevant tips to an audience. A motivational speaker has to thread this needle and this becomes their IP.

So have a chat to the speaker on the phone, or meet with them in person. You’ll soon find out if their points are useful, well made and memorable or if they a generic laundry list.  You’ll also get a good feeling of their personality, hear one or two of their presentation stories and generally see if they are a fit for your team.

That’s it – job done!


A Quick Word from the Sponsor

How I measure up to the standard that I’ve just been setting out!

Why you should contact motivational speakers nz Kevin Biggar

This resource came about because it occurred to me that it’s not as easy as it could be to get a shortlist of motivational speakers in NZ. If you Google ‘motivational speaker nz’ then I’m usually on the front page of the search results, but … that’s about it. No other speakers, only bureaus.

That’s a shame because there are some great speakers out there that your staff would love to hear! I hope this has been helpful.

Let’s see if I pass my own tests I’ve laid out in this resource.

Story with a capital ’S’? Check!

I was down and out, overweight and out of work, spending far too much time on my Mum’s couch watching TV when I started thinking about taking on an adventures.

I had to overcome a lot of doubts, and some very serious setbacks. There was a lot of perseverance through some dark times.

Relevant, insightful, helpful messages in a logical framework? Check!

I often get stopped in the Koru lounge by former clients telling me that they are still laughing about the ’Three Bastards Rule’.

Experienced? Check!

I did my first paid presentation back in 2004, and have spoken about 500 times since then. I’ve been full time presenting since 2010. It’s all I do, it’s all I focus on.

I still love it, I still think I’m getting better at it.

Reviews? Check!

I have lots of great reviews on this website. Nearly a hundred, or more, and still more Google reviews, about 80 of those. And yes I do pass the tests that I set in Chapter 8 of this resource.

– Lots of different clients. Yes.

– Lots of repeat clients. Oh yes. My most frequent client has booked me about 20 times, Air New Zealand has booked me about ten times. Fonterra several times.

Hey you’ve done very well to get this far down a very long page!

If you would still like to have a chat drop me a line on

Or give me a call on 027 282 4203.

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