Can a UK based motivational speaker succeed in an international arena?
What exactly is a motivational speaker and is there any difference between a UK based motivational speaker and, say, an inspirational speaker from the USA? Cultural differences do play a part in motivational speaking. It’s not just the language, although that can create some amusing faux pas and is something any speaker needs to be aware of. A UK based motivational speaker would most likely be talking about Marks and Spencer’s when referring to pants or knickers; who doesn’t own some underwear from good old M and S? A US speaker is more likely to be referring to Macey’s.
Cultural differences run deeper than language. In the UK we are traditionally more reticent about sharing our personal trials and tribulations and have to be dragged kicking and screaming to see a psychiatrist or a therapist. All that motivational talk stuff is regarded with suspicion, until we experience it. A great UK based motivational speaker will be aware of this and tailor their talk to connect with the more reticent British listener.
So how do British motivational speakers fare when taking to an international audience? Very well as a matter of fact, but they do have to be careful about using ironic British humour. US corporate audiences are far more accepting of motivational speaking. An American HR department will see a motivational talk as another tool in their arsenal of good people management techniques. The notion of reward is high in the USA so a motivational talk that encourages and thanks the employees of a company is very common, especially among sales departments. A UK based motivational speaker has a curiosity factor, and an interesting accent as a bonus.
There are professional organisations that a speaker can join, and they offer advice and support for those involved in presenting and speaking, whether as an individual or within a company. If you are serious about becoming a recognised UK based motivational speaker joining the PSA (Professional Speakers Association) is a must as they are recognised worldwide. Many UK based motivational speakers come to professional speaking as a result of other careers or significant events in their lives. You can take online courses as a public speaker and many degrees in communication have professional speaking as an element. In my case I began speaking as a result of the train crash; my desire to have something good come out of tragedy led me to campaign for rail safety and accountability. When you campaign, you have to speak and often in front of large audiences. At first it is nerve wracking but your passion gets you through when you truly believe in the topic of your speech. The best UK motivational speakers have a story to tell. They bring their life experience to the audience and connect with the emotions. Much of the material is of triumph over adversity; a topic most can relate to who have struggles in their own lives.
Being a UK based motivational speaker is a very rewarding profession as your talk can make a difference to someone; lifting them up, giving them courage to continue, motivating them to do better. Once you are established as a UK motivational speaker you will find yourself being asked to talk on an increasing variety of topics such as leadership and change management and the job just gets more interesting with each speaking engagement.