Why hire an Inspired Speaker?

An inspired life, is an easy life.

Recently I was speaking at an event for a Business Journal in the North Eastern United States. The CEO of a $4 billion company with 22,000 employees was sitting in the audience. While at my talk, he sent an e-mail to his team and told them to book me for their annual kick-off meeting which was 30 days later. Thirty days later I found myself back in the same city, and about to go on stage in a ballroom of 600 executives. The CEO introduced me and explained that he had heard me speak the prior month, and my talk had put two questions on his heart: 1. What is possible? and 2. What am I really capable of doing? The CEO explained that hearing my story made him re-examine these two very important questions, and he wanted his executives to have the opportunity of hearing me speak so they too could have a growth experience. In the next 45 minutes I told my life story, and we laughed together, cried together, hoped together, hurt together and cheered together. I struggled to say the final words of my talk as I was crying and overcome with all of the emotions I had experienced in 45 minutes. I left  the stage in silence as I struggled to find the stairs and exit the stage. As I was being helped down the stairs, the audience began to clap, and the volume and intensity slowly grew. The person who was helping me said, "you are receiving a standing ovation." It couldn't see the audience, and I bowed several times as the audience continued to clap for what seemed like a couple minutes. I left the ballroom, and had to regain my composure.


We all need to hear inspiring stories, as often as possible. All people love to hear a hero's story. They need to hear how a person struggles, fights to succeed and probably fails a few times along the way, but the hero refuses to quit, and eventually the hero comes out on top. It's the classic theme of most Hollywood movies. Why is this so attractive to people? It is very, very relatable. We all have our struggles and we all overcome them, with differing levels of grace. We draw strength from knowing that other people have struggled and succeeded. We draw strength from knowing we are not alone in this experience.

After I speak, people often come up to me afterward and share struggles about their lives - death, divorce, cancer, struggles to be authentic. Many are crying as we talk and embrace. They have been liberated and encouraged to "truly feel" in a professional setting. It is a powerful experience to cry alongside your boss because of empathy, authenticity, compassion and connection. It is also powerful to be brought back to journey and fight alongside the speaker to accomplish a goal. When you are lucky enough to hire a "SPEAKER WHO IS INSPIRED", this is the experience your team will go through together.

When we feel inspired everything is easier.

How often do we feel truly inspired in the workplace? When was the last time you gave your boss a standing ovation? When was the last time your team gave you a standing ovation? When was the last time you were truly emotionally vulnerable at work? When was the last time you cried with a person in the workplace? When was the last time somebody told you something they are terrified of? When is the last time you really felt "connected" to another person at work? When was the last time you felt comfortable enough to let your defenses down, and share something very scary that you are struggling with?

It is not the norm, but the above should be the norm.

We tell stories as a way of retaining our history and teaching. As humans we have done this for thousands of years. An INSPIRED SPEAKER is a person who can do this for your team. Not every speaker is capable of this; however, there are a few of us out there that make it our mission to change lives during our time on stage. 

If you are in the market for a speaker, follow these simple guidelines to choose an INSPIRED SPEAKER:
1. Their story must be compelling.
2. Their story must be told with authenticity and emotions.
3. The speaker should commit to taking your audience on an emotional journey (if they can't do this, you audience will never remember them)
4. The speaker must be able to translate their story into relatable themes that are consistent with your event's theme
5. An Inspired Speaker who is a good storyteller will have plenty of recommendations from reputable people - ask to see some.

When I was in my corporate career, I heard plenty of speakers and none stand-out in my mind. There is a reason for this, and Maya Angelou encapsulated it in one simple quote:

I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how  you made them feel.

When you hire a speaker, they must be an Inspired Speaker. If they are not inspired, they will never inspire the audience. They must also be vulnerable, charismatic, intelligent and entertaining. This is a rare breed so shop carefully.

My mission is to make this world a better place though speaking. I have 45 minutes to tell my story, connect with my audience, share my shame and fear, reveal my pain, teach how to overcome, entertain, and remind the audience how miraculous the gift of living an authentic life can be. The overarching them of my message is that any Dream can be transformed into Reality. This is a tremendously difficult task, and I take my time on stage very seriously. If I have a room of 600 executives and they give me 45 minutes of their time, I estimate that the company has committed about $30,000 of company payroll to have these employees hear me speak. That dollar amount does not include my fees to speak. 

If you are going to devote this amount of resource to grow your team, hire the right speaker - An Inspired Speaker. Speakers can be a commodity, and sometimes are viewed as such. However, when you hear an Inspired Speaker, you will forever be moved and shaken to the core. This is the experience you want. This is the experience I give my audiences.

After the talk, the CEO came up to me and told me "I've heard you speak two times now, and I am a huge fan of yours, and so are 600 people in this room." He said he would do anything to help me. I asked him to help get me in front of more people, because that is how I am going to change the world for the better. It is my mission.



Jason is an expert at teaching people to transform Dreams into Reality. He has amassed a lifetime of expertise in the field as a General Manager for General Electric leading large teams, where he ran a $400 million dollar business, he was a former leader of Global Operations for a Fortune 100 company, an attorney and CEO of a non-profit that helps children with Autism. In addition to his professional experience, he is a US Paralympian, holds 15 world records in ultra-running and mountain biking, is an author, a highly sought after motivational and business speaker and is the 1st and only blind person to run across America - 3,063 miles where he averaged 51.5 miles/day for 59.5 days. For speaking and media inquiries visit www.jasonromero.net 


Popular posts from this blog

TREADMILL TRAINING for Visually Impaired Runners


How to recover from an Ultramarathon