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What To Look For In A Motivational Speaker For Your Corporate Retreat

Corporate events can be a successful way to motivate your company and help bring the teams closer. Having an inspirational, organized, and entertaining keynote speaker can help with that. Whenever you are interested in hiring a public speaker for your leadership or sales teams, it can be difficult navigating the potential candidates. What do you look for when hiring for a corporate retreat? Beyond the obvious availability and price, there are a few things to consider when hiring a motivational speaker for your corporate retreat.

Understand what the purpose of hiring a keynote speaker at your corporate event is.

Is it to entertain, inspire? Is your goal centered around team building, improving trust or boosting sales? Will the speaker be assigned a topic to speak on or will they come prepared? When choosing a motivational speaker, think first of your audience, namely the employees that are coming, and how they would feel listening to the speaker. Think about what you want your guests to feel after coming to the event, overall. Then find a motivational speaker that helps your company reach that goal.

Reach out to the speaker first and understand his strengths, before hiring. Keep in mind that not every motivational speaker will be the right fit for your organization and company retreat. Have a clear goal in mind for what you want them to talk about and how it will benefit your attendees.

Look for a motivational speaker that is organized and able to structure their speech to fit the company’s needs.

It isn’t just about giving the attendees a good laugh, there must be a purpose to what the speaker is doing for your brand. Every situation in which hiring a motivational speaker would be beneficial is different. The right motivational speaker for your corporate event will have the ability to adjust their content for your audience and speak in a way that helps your employees. Always watch their videos and samples to understand what they speak on and how their materials can fit with your corporate retreat.

It isn’t always about the name, either. A top-dollar motivational speaker can cost upwards of $10-$20K for an event, but without a synergistic relationship and the right content, it could be a waste of money for your company. The candidates you pick should be willing to partner with you, ask questions about your audience, and create an outline that coincides with the company’s needs. They will work with you to ensure a successful corporate retreat

Passion, passion, passion.

As you listen to samples of their work or see their videos, watch for them to have a passion and a desire to help your company and brand. If a speaker is not passionate in his speeches, he will be unable to call your audience to action. Look for a motivational speaker that is driven, dedicated, and relatable. They should connect with the audience immediately, allowing your attendees to be inspired or educated. Excitement, passion, and vigor of a motivational speaker will add to your event’s goals.

Part of having passion for motivational speakers is also having a passion for the topic or field that the speaker will be delivering on. The best fit for your company would be to find an inspirational speaker with a related background or industry, so they can best address your audience. If they don't have the background you are looking for, are they willing to put in the research and time needed to be successful? Passion and zeal in a motivational speaker can be seen in the way they speak, carry themselves, and how the audience is reacting.

The audience is engaged, reactive, and, afterward, gives good feedback.

​While watching the videos of your potential motivational speakers, watch how the audience is sitting, reacting, listening, or engaging. Chances are, that’s how your audience will react, listen, and engage with the person. Look for nonverbal signs that the speaker is connecting with the audience. Nodding heads, notes being taken, laughter are all signs that the speaker is getting his point across and into the minds and hearts of the audience. Evaluate how you’d like your audience to react to the speaker and then look for audiences that have similar reactions when listening to the candidates.

Observe non-verbals and how that plays into the speaker. If the audience isn’t engaging, can the speaker bring them around in a way that motivates them? How does the speaker work with the audience to create a connection and inspire them?

Look for a speaker with active, engaging social media.

Read the reviews on the speaker’s Facebook page and website (of course see if they even have those first!) What kind of things are they being complimented on the most? How active is their social media presence? With an active social media presence, your speaker will show their brand, style, and flow better than a simple blog post.

Does their brand and personality match your company’s or compliment it in a way that can inspire the guests at your corporate event? If they show passion, productivity, organization, and careful thought on their social media, imagine how they can benefit your corporate event. Having an active website and social media also helps you get to know their topics and background easier, as well.


Finding a motivational speaker for your corporate retreat can be a daunting task. But, with the right understanding of your event and the audience, the motivational speaker at the corporate retreat will inspire your audience to be better, do better, and overall work better. They will walk away feeling rejuvenated and educated. Begin with the end in mind, and you’ll have a successful corporate retreat.

Pandit Dasa is a mindful leadership expert, motivational keynote speaker and author who has spoken at Fortune 500 companies and helps organizations improve employee engagement, retention and workplace happiness. He helps individuals develop positive leadership qualities, lower stress and anxiety, increase focus and productivity and boost emotional intelligence.


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