Last week, The Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) honored Mr. Francis Kong’s column “Business Matters” (Beyond the Bottom Line) the Best Business Column for 2010. I looked into the exact significance of the award and according to the CMMA, the Best Business Column is “A well-researched and honest analysis of economic developments, challenging the readers to develop a progressive and balance way of life”.
Sounds very fancy.
To simplify it though, it’s best to focus on the nature of any CMMA award which is to give distinction to the best values-oriented work; something that Mr. Kong has personified through his passion as a motivational speaker, leadership trainer and as a business and entrepreneurship coach in radio and TV.
The Secret of His Success
Whenever people find out about my affiliation with Inspire Leadership Consultancy, they immediately ask how Francis Kong is like. Is he charming in person? Is he funny? Does he ever run out of inspiring words? Is he Piolo Pascual’s twin?
After their questions about him they usually follow it by this inquiry, “If I want to become a motivational speaker just like him, how do I go about it?”
I honestly don’t know the exact answer to this. There’s no real formula to becoming a motivational speaker – certainly none to become “just like” Francis Kong. Besides, if you really want to be a successful speaker you’d really want to be YOURSELF and not a replica of someone else right?
There are though some commonalities that I noticed great speakers have – whether they are in the field of leadership, philanthropy, business, politics, etc. I’d like to share them with you but please note that what I’m about to disclose is based on my PERSONAL opinion and observation ONLY. It does not represent that of Inspire as a company. So don’t go asking Francis Kong if these constitutes his idea of what it takes to become his protégé, okay?
Is this a deal? Great!
The Top Three “MS” (Motivational Speaker) Factors
1. They found their “Sweet Spot”
I believe that God gives us all different gifts. And these gifts are what we need to cultivate and use to achieve our dreams. Max Lucado, author of “A Cure for the Common Life” defines our sweet spot as the place where our passion and skills intersect…
I noticed that most speakers I’ve listened to – may it be Francis Kong, Anthony Pangilinan, John Maxwell, Rick Warren (author of a Purpose Driven Life), Ravi Zacharias (Christian Apologist) and many other charismatic speakers – they all had the immense passion to be excellent communicators and articulate their message to their audience in as simple as possible for everyone to be able to understand and connect with.
2. Create a Niche or Expertise
When I get a barrage of questions on what people need to do to become speakers, I noticed that there’s a misconception that acquiring the position works similar to that of corporations. The fact of the matter is that you need to start by just having that passion to speak on a subject closest to your heart and where you are good at whenever and wherever. It doesn’t matter whether you have an audience of one thousand or one. As long as you have that opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas is reason enough for you to get all pumped-up to speak and pretty soon you may have carved for yourself a niche wherein people would actually be willing to pay you to speak to them.
To prove my point, let’s look at some of the known speakers in the country and what field they are associated to:
- Francis Kong – leadership and motivation
- Anton Diaz – blogging (ourawesomeplanet.com)
- Donald Lim – Internet Marketing
- Dr. Ned Roberto – Market Research and Brand Segmentation
- Josiah Go – Marketing
- Bo Sanchez – Spiritual growth and personal effectiveness
And the list goes on…
3. Give a Positive Contribution or Impact to Society
Lastly, I noticed that many of the speakers have been moved by a cause or are fueled by an aspect of society that they are driven to change and improve.
One of the best examples I can think of is Professor Josette Biyo, who spoke in our last event, Success Through Excellence. Coming from a humble background, she gave an inspiring story of how a low profile Filipino can be the first Asian teacher to win the Intel Excellence in Teaching Award. Professor Biyo was further recognized for her achievement when a planet was named after her by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Lincoln Laboratory in the United States.
What is truly moving in her story is that even though she holds a doctorate degree in Biology and has received several awards both locally and abroad, Professor Biyo chose to continue to teach in the rural campus of the Philippine Science High School in Iloilo.
Now that’s the heart of a true motivational speaker. Her choices are made not for her own benefit but for the purpose of her cause.
It’s Still About the Heart
I like how Rick Warren puts it; “You’re not given money and fame for your own ego”. It’s all about STEWARDSHIP of affluence and STEWARDSHIP of influence.
Some people desire to speak and to move crowds because they thirst for attention, fame and money. The fact though is this will not sustain a person because sooner or later your real motives will be revealed.
The best motivational speakers for me would be the ones who have their hearts in the right place. Those who seek to influence and to be known not for themselves – but to provide a voice for those who don’t have any and to encourage those who have lost all hope.