Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Motivational Speakers at the Learning Annex

Motivational Speakers at the Learning Annex

Many speakers – many different styles of motivational speaking. It was both invigorating and grueling. I’ll talk about the grueling part in another post.

Two days of listening (and at times suffering) to motivational speakers for the Learning Annex Real Estate and Wealth Expo in Toronto, Canada.

Let’s review the keynote speakers.

George Foreman, who spoke for the shortest time - 30 minutes - was clearly the most motivational of the speakers. He delivered his story and related his lessons to us. He was professionally well-polished while still allowing his street-tough character to be present. Read more about George Foreman’s presentation…

Tony Robbins, the most famous motivational speaker, and generally considered the highest paid, claimed that he was not a motivational speaker. Robbins wanted to be known as ‘the Why Guy”.

If he was the “why guy” and not a motivational speaker – why did the audience spend more than half of his presentation on our feet jumping, clapping and shouting stupid things? Why Tony? Why guy?

As a presenter Tony Robbins is very good – no question. Tony eclipsed good. But if he wants to be known as the "Why Guy" and not a motivational speaker, why did he do all this “motivational stuff? Why did he instruct me to shake hands with people who I didn’t want to shake hands with? And why did he use the word “shit” so much? Why?

Donald Trump – clearly the highlight of the weekend, claimed that he is not an entertainer. He is simply a business speaker. Why don’t these speakers see themselves as others see them? Why? Donald is clearly a showman. He is a PT Barnum. He claimed to be paid $1.5 Million for his presentation. We can wonder about the veracity of that claim.

The “Donald” was entertaining. Trump was provocative, offensive and charming. The first two I expected. The last one surprised me.

He told some great stories, dropped many well-known names, admitted some flaws and was completely transparent. He is who he is and makes no excuses for any part of that. That was refreshing and enchanting. You gotta like a guy who says this is me – love me or hate me.

As a keynote speaker, Donald was the most wooden. He stood behind the lectern – occasionally shuffling note pages that he did not appear to use. Yet, it worked for him.

As enchanting as he was in his speech – he really shone during the Q & A period. He dealt admirably with a few good questions, the mostly dumb questions and the clearly publicity-seeking stunt questions.
Read about the Trump Brand…

Three motivational speakers: How do I rate them?
On motivational value - George Foreman was the champion.
On entertainment value - Donald Trump trumped the competition.
For disappointment – Tony Robbins left me asking “why?”

Sir Richard Branson was the other keynote speaker. Unfortunately I missed his presentation. No slight meant to Sir Richard. I wanted to see him but I had to take a business call.

My congratulations to the Learning Annex for arranging such a fascinating collection of keynote speakers.

Watch for more insights from this event on this and my other blogs.

George Torok
Motivational Speaker

Speech Coach for Executives
Host of the radio show - Business in Motion

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