Adolf Hitler preached in his book “Mein Kampf” against the “mating of weaker and stronger individuals” which if done will lead to the extinction of the latter. He was strongly opposing the mixing of “higher and lower races”. The suggestions for the extermination of all but the “chosen” race were quite straightforward.

Thankfully we have left all this in the past.

Or have we?

Extreme cases like the above are rare or maybe even nonexistent. Although, surely, we cannot even fathom the “extermination” of the different peoples, what seems to be the case is that we “overlook” them. 

Just consider that all of us have cheered each and every one of the 46 medals won by Australian athletes in the summer Olympic games of 2021, where Australia ranked 6th in the world. However, only a few of us will know even how many gold medals our team has won in the Paralympic Games which were held within a few months (Australia ranked 8th in the world with more gold than from the standard games – 21).    

Or learning from a seasoned psychiatrist what it means to “feel different”.

Or reading about our indigenous peoples’ history and traditions from a university professor who is not indigenous (the indigenous professors are a single-digit number – just saying).

Or consider how many times have you seen a motivational speech by a handicapped person? Even if you YouTube the search you are unlikely to receive many results.

The truth is that we have not yet moved on completely from the past. OK, we are far from killing Aussies and thankfully we are moving slowly away from this grim past of humanity.

It is exactly the latter, where both indigenous, diversity and inclusive speakers are making a breakthrough currently. They have so much to share, and it only pays to listen. Simply talking about diversity and inclusion will open our minds to motivation, which few can inspire in us.

What Can Go Wrong In A Motivation Speech?

It is quite standard to hire a celebrity, motivational speaker. They will go on about “how much work they have put in their success”. They will brag about their first million. Or they will let us into the secrets of their rehab program. Surely they are great keynote speakers in their line of business.

Sure, sometimes this will work and touch the audience. However, more often than not, there occur some issues. 

  • The most common of problems is the price tag for hiring a celeb to speak at your event. OK, their time is precious, but …
  • Another common problem that occurs when you hire a celebrity to speak at your event is over-expectations. Not that the over-expectations are a bad thing. Just that when they exist and the speaker falls short … well, the audience is demotivated. 
  • Another issue which we may encounter when hiring a celebrity speaker is that although he is famous, he may not be a good talker. Let alone a decent motivational speaker. A case in point – try hiring Mike Tyson for an onstage chat. He is a great boxer, but he is no talker.
  • Last, but not least, year on year it gets more difficult to find a decent event speaker. Let alone one on budget.

Why Do We Even Try?

If so many things can go wrong with hiring a celeb speaker for our event, why are we even trying? 

Weeeeeelllllll, there are certain upsides:

  1. Celebrity speakers can hit the ground running. As they are well known, and their accomplishments are more or less public, the bridge between speaker and audience is quickly overcome;
  1. Celeb speakers can boost interest in your event. After all, how often do you get a chance to hear Kylie Minogue speak about overcoming the difficulties in her life?
  1. Celebrities can attract sponsors more easily to your event. Most corporations would love to have their company names associated with, says Angus Young. The guy is a symbol of success, bonds, loyalty, sustainability. 

How To Make The Right Choice For Your Event?

We already know the pros and cons of calling in some celebrity speakers. Now, let us compare these with hiring some maybe not so popular speakers. 

  • You may invite Ian Thorpe – probably the best swimmer Australia has ever had. Being a writer currently, he will be able to recollect what it takes to win five Olympic gold medals and tell a compelling story. Surely this will be inspiring … well, you may have to reschedule your event for 2025, when Ian is free, but … what an event it will be! Right? Think again. If it is important to hire a swimmer, and you want an inspirational speaker, consider inviting an alternative. 

This one is not so famous, and actually may trigger an initial shock, before he starts speaking. Invite Nick Vujicic – the “no arms, no legs, no worries” inspiring Australian hero. You may host your event tomorrow, and have your audience breathtakingly motivated by Nick;

  • Need female motivational speakers? Although we all are fans of Kylie Minogue and will be intrigued to hear about her motivation to push through the troubles in her life, another lady may be more ground-breaking. Try inviting Turia Pitt as your next female motivational speaker – the burned alive ultramarathon runner teaching us how to unmask our potential and find happiness. 

When we speak of having troubles in life, we really have no idea what troubles are. Turia can teach us about strength and perseverance, and yes – the way to true happiness. Who needs smooth compaction to be really happy, right? 

  • You may invite Clementine Ford to teach your audience how to “Fight Like A Girl”. Surely this will be intriguing. But consider what you know about the place of women in Muslim countries (think about today’s Afghanistan). 

Now consider what a Muslim woman can teach your audience about overcoming stereotypes. Invite just such a speaker. Invite Amna Karra-Hassan – she can also talk about football and can tell you how to score goals;

  • Are you in search of female keynote speakers on fashion? Supermodels like Elle Macpherson have put Australia on the fashion map and have more to show than just good looks. 

However, if you want to really explore what a motivated beauty can achieve, consider inviting the no so popular, but just as beautiful “model with a Mission”: Anyier Yuol – the migrant, gender, refugee and diversity advocate, who turned her Mission into a prospering model management business. Yes, you guessed it – a diverse model management business. Sadly the competition is slim there;

  • Consider inviting Dr. Liz Wilson – on a mission to create a world where everyone is included;
  • Invite to your event Dylan Alcott for a talk – the Australian Paralympic Gold Medalist and wheelchair tennis champ.

It all boils down to this: should Angus Young propose to visit your event and be a keynote speaker on rock music – do not miss the chance. However do not underestimate some less shiny, but just as touching human souls. 

The above list is long and will continue to grow. 

These people have struggled through so much more than we can sometimes imagine. They have found the motivation to perceive and win on a consistent basis. Surely they have a compelling story to tell.

Choosing correctly is sometimes an intricate affair.