What Should A Motivational Speaker Demo Video Look Like?

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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who teaches you how to harness the power of your story to connect, engage, and get results. In this blog, Kelly focuses on the business of professional speaking. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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What should a motivational speaker demo look like?

What should a motivational speaker demo look like?

The Importance of a Demo Video for a Motivational Speaker

There is no question about it – video is critical to the success of a motivational speaker.  The speech is your product. The video is how they test drive your product. Buyers don’t often believe what you say you will do. They believe what you SHOW them you will do. Videos don’t often lie.  So, yes, you must have video if you want to be a successful motivational keynote speaker.

One Video?

Most speakers invest in one good video, often referred to as a sizzle reel. My business model doesn’t allow for just one demo video. There are too many sides to what I do, too many different areas of story, comedy, and content, too many different types of audiences, and too many different reasons that people bring me in to solve different issues. Focusing on one will exclude the others.  Instead of one demo, I’m a fan of a gallery.  Give them many clips to choose from, and have the clips titled in a way that is easy for them to hop around and find the clip that pertains to the subject that they are interested in. It allows me to showcase many different sides of my personality and my content.  End users love it, for they often have the time to sit down and watch videos. Bureaus will often find it cumbersome and less workable in the format that they pitch speakers.  Bureaus will often ask me what videos are best to show this client, and I can pick my favorites.

What Do You Put In The Video?

Your website has already told them what you do, and (hopefully) how you will help their people on Monday. So telling them again in front of a camera might not be the best use of your video footage. What they really want is to see if you’re any good, see how the audience reacts, and to see what the experience is that you create, and whether you are a good fit for their group.   As much as we like to think we fit everybody – we don’t.  So here are some things you want in your video…

  • Clips of you ENGAGING and ENTERTAINING the audience – playing with them, interacting, getting them involved, making them laugh, you looking silly and having fun. Show them the fun part of your program. These live clips are the most important part of a demo, and they should be seen as quickly into the video as possible.  Pictures are good too.
  • Clips of your most thought-provoking content nuggets. Choose the tweet-ables – the power phrases – as opposed to long drawn out content. Shorter is better. Show them what kind of message or content you will be delivering from the stage.
  • Include some pictures of you in your most impressive venues, and other types of pictures (headshot, selling product, interacting with crowd) that set a mental picture of a successful, fun, engaging, credible, professional speaker.
  • Testimonial video is GREAT. They believe what others say about you, more than what you say about you. A short testimonial quote will work too.
  • Include some your impressive happy clients. Show them the places you have been.
  • Include your phone number, email and website – easy to read – at beginning and end. Make it easy for them to reach out to you right away.

Remember that live clips of you at your best, is the most important thing for them to see. Everything else is gravy. And lump gravy at that.

Video Can’t Out Shine a Poor Product

There are plenty of flashy videos out there with great bells and whistles – flashy music, graphics, theatrical voice-overs, canned audiences, animation, and other tricks that speakers use to make themselves look better than they really are.  But buyers are usually more savvy than that. They’ve been burned with speakers who showed up quite different from their video.  I’ve spoken with many bureaus and clients who say that all that flash is really just annoying clutter, and doesn’t impress them. What impresses them is a good speaker with a good message. So if you’re having trouble finding the right video, it might mean that the speech needs a little more work.

If you want to take your speech to a new level – connect and engage on a deeper level – add more power and humor to your stories – then come find me. Join me at Story Crafting Camp (www.StoryCraftingCamp.com) or check out my online training at Kelly’s Story Impact Academy.