Ultimate Guide: Working with a Filipino Motivational Speaker

As a Business Technology Coach, I’ve had the pleasure of both working beside and listening to motivational speakers. They are a delight to listen to especially when you find yourself in the doldrums and you need some serious uplifting or advice. An excellent motivational speaker may spark that eureka moment that you need. They speak in different venues – from high schools to universities, from large auditoriums to management boardrooms. As their job title implies, a motivational speaker’s purpose is to motivate others towards specific goals or objectives. The goals can be as diverse as self-improvement to priming a basketball team to win the championship. Just name the topic and a speaker worth his salt is sure to deliver an unforgettable speech.


The Philippines does not lack motivational speakers. In my experience, a Filipino motivational speaker can hold their own vis-à-vis their foreign counterparts. Being Filipinos, they, of course, have the advantage of knowing the language, culture, and norms. They understand the Filipino psyche and know what button to push to engage and connect with their audience. Let me share with you ten qualities that top Filipino motivational speakers are known for:


1. Inspirational. Motivational speakers ignite and rouse their listeners. They help audiences find their purpose in life or that “Aha! Moment.” Whatever the topic, speakers know what to say at the right moment. Audiences are able to gather their own insights from the talk. This inspires them to take action and look at the world from a different paradigm.


2. Engaging storyteller. Stories are memorable and provide inspiration to listeners. We love to hear a good story and Filipino inspirational speakers are somewhat considered master storytellers. Speakers use stories to convey facts and real-life insights. They believe in the ancient proverb, “Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” By giving real-life inspirational stories, speakers allow the listeners to connect with them and inspire them to do great things in life.


3. Subject-matter expert. Motivational speakers have different areas of expertise. Depending on the audience, they can give a talk on the following topics:


a. Personal Development. The speaker may touch on subjects like enhancing self-esteem, health, emotional intelligence, and time management. Young adults significantly benefit from this kind of talks, as well as graduating students who will soon face the real world once they’re done with school.


b. Business. Just like a Business Coach, motivational speakers can provide practical and timely advice from staff members all the way to senior managers. Most of the time, business motivational speakers have the experience and educational background in a particular line of business to provide such critical advises, e.g. operation, sales, HR, and investment among others. Speakers usually share stories or principles that can drive the business team to success. They can also encourage the workforce to achieve their goals through teamwork and collaboration. Sometimes, an outsider might be the most effective person in helping the organization to realize that they should work with one another in order for them to reach their common goal.


c. Youth or Teenage. Speakers aim to guide and motivate teenagers towards choosing a vocation and helping them make the right choices. They provide positive guidance and advising the young to avoid the pitfalls of vice and bad decisions. They give tips on developing good study habits, healthy interaction, and developing the right moral code. Most of the time, this is the individual’s first encounter with a motivational speaker.


4. Funny bone. Wit and humor are great ways to build rapport and loosen up an audience. Content is, of course, important but if audiences get only content, they get bored and lose interest. Using a funny story to make a point or answer a difficult question will help make the conference more memorable. Author, Brandy Reece, explains, “humor eases the process of persuasion and motivation by facilitating trust and easing tension.”


“A funny speaker can turn an otherwise dull conference to an exciting one. On the flip side, avoid hiring speakers who only know how to make people laugh but cannot deliver any substance to their talk. Remember, Stand-up comedy is an entirely different industry.” – Joey Gurango

5. Think on their feet. An impressive motivational speaker should think and react quickly. There are instances when audiences ask difficult or sensitive questions. In situations like these, the speaker should have a good answer ready. Thinking on your feet also means being able to adapt and improvise. Also, the speaker should be able to smoothly add good ideas to his presentation as they speak. As a Business Technology Coach in the Philippines, I have to be open to suggestions and fresh ideas.


6. Empathy. Psychology today defines empathy as the action of understanding another person’s thoughts, feelings, and condition from his point of view, rather than from one’s own. A good speaker lays the groundwork of his presentation by meeting with the organizers of a conference beforehand. The speaker aligns his talk with the objectives and expectations of the conference. He should be sensitive to his audience’s reaction and needs during the talk. He may need to use group activities to set the tone or relax the audience.


7. Influencer. As a speaker, I always end my talk with a call to action. I call it a friendly challenge to my audience to level up. I want my audience to apply what they’ve learned from my presentation the moment they leave the venue. Knowledge is good, but using what you've learned is the best.


8. Role model. The truly great speakers walk-the-talk. They’ve built their credibility and reputation through study, hard work, and real-world experience. A good role model is positive, calm and confident. He is content with his accomplishments and is more than glad to share his advice to others.


9. Avid learner. I personally believe that continuous learning and improvement are a must. This is especially true in tech where change happens in a dizzying pace. I keep myself sharp and current by attending conferences to stay abreast of development or improvements in my field. Like myself, most of the speakers I know are active members or officers of professional organizations.


10. Organized. Behind every successful talk are hours, even days, of research, preparation, and practice. We all know the tagline of a popular sports brand, “Just do it.” My spin to that is, “Don’t just do it, do it right!”


I have observed that companies and organizations are increasingly tapping leadership speakers in the Philippines to motivate and encourage their people or members. I guess people like to take a break from the hard stuff to take in uplifting messages and stories they can re-tell to their friends and love ones. On their part, motivational speakers love to share and impart their experiences, knowledge, and insights. The marvelous thing about motivational talks is that in the end, both speaker and audience benefit from the experience.


This is Joey Gurango, your Business Technology Coach!

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