Motivational Speakers: Tailor verses Customize?

Why Does Brad Tailor a Speaking Presentation?

Audiences get more out of a program where they are involved and engaged than from a program that bores them to tears. Duh. We all know this to be true…. If people are into it…they’ll learn and leave with value.

There are several ways to engage an audience. I use two huge techniques: Humor and Audience Participation. I know through experience from thousands of presentations that when groups are laughing, and laughing hard… they will sit and listen. And when they – and their friends and workmates – are directly involved in the presentation, they are on the edge of their seats.


Read more about this motivational speaker who customizes.

But the last technique I use – as do most pro speakers – is to tailor my presentation to your group. By learning about the specifics of your group’s needs, successes, failures, stresses, job titles and functions, acronyms, problems, etc…. I can drop in specific references to your group.

Why? There are two reasons why tailoring a program is important to you. First, because it makes it more relevant and meaningful. Instead of, for example, talking about the “things that stress you out on the job,” we talk about, “constantly filling out Trouble Reports For Cams” and the “Y3 Audits.” (Specific things that stress out people from THAT office.) When we talk specifically, people learn better. The second – and perhaps more important reason– that I tailor my programs is because referencing specific needs, people and events in a company make the program FUNNIER. Much funnier. Big time.

Tailor verses Customize.

The last thing you want is to hire a professional speaker to come in and present a totally new, never-been-done-before-a –live audience program. This fact is doubly true for funny motivational speakers, motivators, or even corporate comedians.

Why? Because you can’t guarantee success. Take Jay Leno and Dave Letterman. They – with the help of some of the best comedy writers in the world – present just a 10 minute monologue each night. Of that ten minutes, only 3 or 4 jokes are worth repeating the next day. This says nothing about Jay or Dave… what it does illustrate that writing stuff that you KNOW will work is very, Very, VERY difficult.

If you want a speaker who can promise a killer show –and you should – you want a speaker who is not writing from scratch. That is why I tailor a program.

By tailoring a program, I mean that I adapt my material –material that has been honed and tested before dozens (if not hundreds) of audiences. I do material I KNOW will work. But by tailoring the stories, messages, jokes, and humor to your group, the audience thinks that this tailored program is customized. In other words, I tailor a program creating the illusion that we are doing a once-in-a –lifetime program. A one-shot deal. And the audience loves it.

But the meeting planner loves the fact that they are working with a sure bet.

What’s the bottom line?

It is very important for the success of the program that the audience is involved and engaged, and one of the best ways for this to happen is if the audiences witnesses (what they believe to be) a totally customized program.

However, in order to guarantee success, we are all better off to tailor a program. By adding audience-specific information to a honed, proven and professional presentation the audience believes they are seeing something created just for them. While at the same time the meeting planner is deservedly confident of the success of that speaker.


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