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Do You Use Experts Who Speak Well? Why Not Just Use Professional Speakers or Industry Experts At Your Meetings? You'll Save Money...Or WILL You?     Who do you call when you need a speaker for your next meeting? A local college professor? Someone you once heard at Rotary? Lance Armstrong? Probably none of the above. You want a speaker who is an expert in their field, someone who can hold an audience's attention and someone you can afford. This article explains the four main classifications of speakers for hire and the strengths and weaknesses of each, so you can make an intelligent, informed decision and improve your meeting ROI.     732 words.
The Mental Game Coach, Peak Performance Playbook

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Do You Use Experts Who Speak Well?

Why Not Just Use Professional Speakers or Industry Experts
At Your Meetings? You'll Save Money...Or WILL You?

Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and CEO
William B. Cole Consultants
Silicon Valley, California

How many times have you attended a meeting, convention or retreat only to be either bored, offended, put off by the speaker? Have you heard speakers who have wasted your valuable time? Have these speakers pushed you to within one step of a deep sleep?

If so, perhaps the wrong TYPE of speaker was up in front of the audience.

This article will help you determine the four main types of speakers you can hire, and the value of hiring a paid speaker for your events.

  1. Celebrity Speakers
  2. Professional Speakers
  3. Experts Who Give Lectures
  4. Expert Practitioners Who Speak Well

Here is what each is all about, and what you receive when you hire each.


These famous folks are the Olympic stars, show-biz types, heroes and business wizards who command $20,000 and up per speech. You would hire them to draw attendees to your event and to give things more cache. If they can walk, breath and smile, they are always a big hit. If they can speak also, that's an unexpected bonus. You're not hiring them because they can speak, of course.


These people are in the business of professional speaking, full-time. What are the main complaints heard about full-time professional speakers? Here are the potential, and very real, dangers:

  1. They often give the exact same speech to many different audiences.
  2. Their customization often amounts to changing the name of the talk.
  3. They're on the road non-stop and are not seeing clients in the office.
  4. They're so busy marketing for speeches they never research new material.
  5. They're on so many planes they don't have time to write articles and books.
  6. They offer glib, superficial content that is often fluff with little meat.
  7. They tell stories and fluffy platitudes that don't translate into readily applicable action items for attendees.
  8. Because their material tends to be superficial, they do not enjoy or do well at Q and A sessions.

In short, with this type of speaker, you pay a lot and potentially get a very low ROI.


These folks might be very knowledgeable in their field, and may be researchers, writers or past or current experts. What are the main complaints heard about these experts who dabble in part-time speaking? Here are the potential, and very real, dangers:

  1. They come across as community-college "lecturers" who give "talks".
  2. They're clearly part-time speakers who dabble in the business.
  3. Some speak while working at a job that has no bearing on what they speak about.
  4. They create an academic, lecture hall atmosphere.
  5. They don't understand the meetings industry and make significant mistakes.
  6. They don't know what modern audiences want and need, or how to deliver to them.
  7. They have no knowledge of adult learning principles.
  8. They have no training in professional speaking techniques.
  9. Their entertainment value is very, very low.


These are recognized authorities in their field, who share their deep knowledge with audiences from their work as coaches, consultants, professionals or researchers. The are currently working as practitioners, are in the trenches working professionals, researcher-authors, and are identified as authorities by the media.

Your attendees will thank you for using expert practitioners who speak well at your meetings. They create huge audience and organizational benefits. Here is why using experts who speak professionally are your best meeting ROI. An expert who speaks well:

  1. Encourages increased morale.
  2. Catalyzes changed attitudes.
  3. Ignites higher motivation.
  4. Instills deeper education.
  5. Inspires people to act.
  6. Encourages dialogue among everyone.
  7. Builds bridges between people.
  8. Provides better entertainment.
  9. Brings outside perspectives, breaking through traditional mindsets.
  10. Can deliver difficult messages internal people sometimes can't.
  11. Can deliver a tough message and your people may not take it as personally as when a company executive delivers it.
  12. Can take a countering view from management and be heard.
  13. Provides the confidence to take action.
  14. Creates experiences.
  15. Dispenses the tools needed to succeed.
  16. Has experience consulting and speaking in multiple industries to solve your problems.

Increase your meeting ROI. Make your boardroom happy. Thrill audience members. Give yourself peace of mind. Use experts who speak well and all your meetings will turn into pleasant memories.

To learn about speaking programs offered by Bill Cole, MS, MA, the Mental Game Coach™, see www.mentalgamecoach.com/Services/SpeakingAndTraining.html.

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Copyright © 2011- Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.

Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps organizations and professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports. He is also the Founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching Association (www.mentalgamecoaching.com), an organization dedicated to advancing the research, development, professionalism and growth of mental game coaching worldwide. He is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.

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