On September 27, 2016, I was in New York with my fiancé, Kim, as the Keynote Motivational Speaker for a Fortune 500 Company’s Annual Conference. There were over 1,200 Global Finance Associates and CFOs in attendance. Afterwards, many of the attendees were sending me LinkedIn requests and, as I was accepting them, a blog by Todd Zint,CMP, CMM, founder and creative force behind Ignite Event Solutions, caught me off guard. Todd listed me as 1 of 6 speakers whose messages resonate. It was such a humbling experience that I wanted to share it because in life, if you work hard, Expect the Unexpected!
Researching and deciding on a session or keynote speaker who can deliver on an intended objective and truly resonate with an audience can be exhausting, if only because of the seemingly endless talent available in the marketplace today. Fortunately, the Internet and speaker bureaus have made it easier to decipher the vast ocean of speaker options and to narrow down choices based on search requirements.
Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to observe several speakers — some left me confused about their intended message, some who hit the mark, and some who inspired me to take positive action. The speaker experiences that didn’t hit the mark usually happened because of a lack of due diligence and management of the three key planning pillars. If the pillars are not managed correctly, you could get a less than stellar outcome.
Pillar 1: Know Your Message: The first pillar is the determination of a theme and message that aligns with your conference theme. Normally, you should do this before you select a speaker, though on occasion, decision-makers will have a specific speaker in mind and then build a theme around the speaker’s existing outline.
Pillar 2: Engage Your Audience: The second pillar embraces the thoughtful consideration of the audience interaction. What does your organization want the audience to “know, feel and do” during and after the session based on the speaker’s message.
Pillar 3: Engage the Speaker: The last pillar is the procurement process, which includes researching, calling speaker references, and contracting based on mutual understanding of the message and final concessions.
These three pillars combined will ensure the best opportunity to select the right speaker who will deliver the greatest return on investment and leave audiences engaged.
Todd then includes me in his list of “extraordinary speakers” who he says “epitomize the art of public speaking. They are experts at engaging audiences, and their messages resonate long after the event is over.” Here are the details:
Speaker Category: Author, Communications, Motivational, Personal Growth, Sales, Storyteller
“Scott has an amazing story of not letting anyone alter his life’s journey. Scott had his whole life in front of him, including playing college football for Florida State under Bobby Bowden and being a top ranked kick-boxer champion. But his world and dreams were shattered when he was in a critical car accident which left him paralyzed from the chest down. That is when he heard he would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Through his inner perseverance and inspiration from those closest to him, Scott defied the odds and has risen to new heights personally and professionally. Scott has a best-selling book, Vision Mindset Grit, which has inspired audiences to rise up to any challenge in life, work, and the marketplace.”