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Bob Pritchard, Marketing Guru explains the value of external speakers


Corporations need an outside look at what they are doing.  People working for companies who hire consultants often say, “Why would they use you when we have got an army of our own excellent marketing people?” The reason is that an outside marketer can look at the company in a different light, and it’s amazing the things you see that they mightn’t see.  You also have the advantage of working in other industries and therefore being able to take some of the expertise these industries have developed and apply it to their industry. I also get to consistently work on platforms with some of the best experts in the world and some of this expertise also rubs off.  So a business speaker who researches the industry, knows what the current situation is, knows the challenges they’re facing, knows what their competitors are doing, looks at the opportunities and looks at the threats to the industry, will give them a different perspective.

When I speak to a group I want to challenge them in an entertaining way, and I want to get them to think differently about their business and their issues.  Often, company personnel get jaded hearing a message from their own people and a powerful speaker can reinforce the message in a fresh new way.  I deliver the message with a bunch of really poignant stories that are funny, entertaining, get people to laugh, but have a real message to them so people relate and remember.  I have people come up to me who I worked for 10 years ago, and they will say, “You know I’m still telling my sales team that story because it’s funny and it really gets the message across.”

Certainly, researching and custom writing every presentation is a lot more work, and companies pay a bit more for the speaker, but they get a far more effective speaker and much better results.  We all get testimonials immediately after our presentations saying we were wonderful and funny and made the earth move.  But the real testimonials are the ones you get six months later which say you really make a difference.  They’re the ones that count.  The good speakers can make a real difference to a corporation.   A speaker needs not only great content, but has to be able to motivate people to change. I need to get the audience to say, “I’ going into the office tomorrow, and I’m going to re-look at that issue, and I’m going to re-look at the way I do business, and I’m going to change.” And if you can do that, you’re worth the money.

A good speaker doesn’t have to change the corporation very much, or change the attitude of the sales team very much, or change the attitude of the marketing people very much but that change magnified through the whole sales force pays for the speaker in the first five minutes of the next day.  So I think we’re very important.

Reproduced from Bob Pritchard's book "Marketing Magic: Innovative Tips on Marketing, Media & Public Relations"