Sticky on head 
Every organization can benefit from bringing an outsider into their corporation to speak to their team. The problem is most organizations that engage speakers only experience a temporary benefit. What can you do to ensure that an external speaker has a lasting impact?
Here are three ideas:
Higher performance depends on a higher attitude
Change in results comes from a change in behaviour
For behaviour change to be sustainable, the system must change
1. Higher performance depends on a higher attitude
Everyone can produce more with a shift in attitude. We’ve all heard the stories of seemingly frail individuals perform feats of extreme courage and strength upon the realization that a loved one was in danger. A shift in attitude resulted in a shift in performance.
Most people, even your top performers, operate within their comfort zone. The value of a great speaker is the ability to interrupt the natural thought patterns of your team and get them to realize that wherever they are and whatever they are doing, they can be better and they can do more.
A great speaker communicates not just at the conscious level, but more importantly, at the subconscious level. Your people should experience, not just hear, a great speaker. The speaker must have substance in his or her talk in order for the audience to really experience impact. The experience should shift their attitude and empower them to want to do more.
2. Change in results comes from a change in behaviour
A shift in attitude means a willingness to do more. It does not necessarily mean one has the ability to do more. The difference between a keynote speaker and a trainer is the difference between answering the questions what and why, and answering the question how. A great trainer has the ability to understand the specific changes in behaviour that you require in order to drive new results. Further, they will have the ability to make the complex simple and actionable and deliver the training in a way that is enjoyable. Increasingly, organizations are asking speakers to provide workshops in addition to an opening or closing keynote in order to optimize the time everyone is together.
3. For behaviour change to be sustainable, the contextual system must change.
All performance happens within a system. A speaker inspires and a trainer instructs, however, in order to sustain the desired changes, what’s needed is a consultant.
Without making changes to the system that people operate within, unknowingly, people revert back to old behaviours that conform with the systemic patterns in your organization. These systemic patterns often go undetected by you and your team because you live in them every day. An external party that works with various organizations will immediately spot the company dynamics that will interfere with enhanced performance.
Many times the leader looking for change is, in fact, one of the obstacles to the very change they are looking for. The ideal external partner will have the ability to speak truth to power and convey authenticity to everyone he/she engages with.
Driving Change
To really drive change in your organization, an external speaker should possess all three of these aforementioned attributes. They should be able to ignite and inspire in order to shift attitudes. They should be able to teach with clarity how to perform new behaviours and they should understand how to work at a systems level to ensure the change you have invested in is sustainable.


Thank to my Canadian Associations Professional Speakers colleague Adrian Davis for sharing his insights. His insight regarding when to hire who is advantageous. As a Keynote speaker, trainer and Advisor myself, I agree there is always three elements to consider when looking for someone to assist your organization in making a transformation. I would add, having an internal coach and advocate is very important to the success of any change to stick. Without it, you will a fire the will fissile.

Adrian Davis is a business strategist and Trusted Advisor for chief executives and business owners. He is a thought-provoking speaker and is frequently called upon to address senior management teams and sales groups on the subjects of corporate strategy, competitive advantage and sales excellence.

Suzanne F Stevens Cultivates conscious contributions™ and influential communications. She International Speaker, Trainer, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Host & Co-producer. She is a recipient of the The International Women Alliance World of Difference Award in 2013.  To find out more visit

Suzanne, speaks on how to influence in Sales, presentation, leadership, Internal communications and beyond.

Suzanne F. Stevens - YouMeWe
Suzanne F. Stevens - YouMeWe

Conscious-Contributions™ Cultivator: Author, Professional Speaker, Moderator, and Social Entrepreneur. Founder of YouMeWe Social Impact Group — igniting a culture where your contribution counts for you • your company • your community. |