by Angie Harvey
In 2007 I walked into the hotel where I had been hired to speak at a church conference. After checking in at the registration desk I was handed a name tag that said Minister Angela Harvey.
I spent the next half hour attempting to explain to anyone who would listen that I wasn’t a Minister and that I needed a new name badge. I became increasingly anxious at the thought of someone thinking I was capable or willing to lay hands on them or pray for them the way a real Minister could.
I finally found the organizer, the Bishop who hired me to speak and explained the mix up. “Bishop I’m just a Motivational Speaker,” I explained while my heart was still rapidly beating “I can’t wear this name tag.” She just smiled as I spoke and patiently waited for me to finish. “Angie,” she said while still smiling, “what do think a Minister is?” Check! Check Mate!
That weekend I walked away with a greater understanding that everyone needs motivation and I can and should meet folks wherever they are. Ever since that weekend I make it my business to GROW wherever there was a need and desire; no exceptions. Since this declaration, I’ve been was asked and have spoken at bridal showers, girls night out, family reunions, Sunday dinner, and football with the fellas. Some of the requests started as an informational conversations and evolved from there, while others knew exactly what they wanted to happen and only needed to know if I could create the vision.
You may be asking yourself how do I, an invited stranger turn a baby shower or a Sunday dinner into an environment where folks are willing to listening and more importantly open to being motivated. I’m so happy you asked. Let me be clear that everyone needs, wants, desires, craves, and is inspired by motivation. Motivation provides direction, clarity, influence, encouragement, affirmation, support, and increased self–awareness all while minimizing mental barriers. Powerful huh? Whose life couldn’t change, improve or be positively maintained with this kind of boost? So, to answer your question I use my skills of engagement to craft a conversation that invites everyone to join in on a common or familiar topic. After just a few folks accept the invitation and begin to mentally and verbally participate, I have the beginnings of a motivation movement that continues to increase as folks are encouraged to share and respond. It’s almost magical to watch it unfold. Yes, this can be done at informal gatherings, in party atmospheres and even with unsuspecting or skeptical individuals.
I would be remised if I didn’t tell you that I’m not pushing the typical or customary type of motivational speaking. No, I’m not standing or sitting and delivering a “rah–rah” speech to the fellas during the half time. What is required in small and intimate spaces is motivational conversation. The kind that is usually started by me but based on something that’s been observed, heard or something that the host has clued me in on. This way the group already has some common view although different vantage points of the topic. Yes, everything about this type of interaction is customized and tailored. I’d also like to note that never have I heard anyone complain or get upset by my presence. Initially, there’s a little awkwardness but then it becomes no different than joining a conversation of stranger because the topic is all too familiar. Then poof, we’re collectively engaged and GROWING together.
Contrary to popular belief, motivation isn’t just used to inspire folks to start their own business, be better at business, or to be able to sale something. The core concept of motivation is intended to spark change, awareness, improvement, building, and nurturing and most of those intentions are best used with self and other relationships. So, in casual informal settings the goal is the to connect folks with the responsibility they have to themselves, their family, their friends, and their passion. I know, I know you probably never thought of motivation in that way which is why until now you would have never considered securing a Motivational Speaker to sit at your dinner table with you and your family. However, you should.
Motivation is something that many folks don’t know they need until they get a dose of it. When they do and they allow themselves to be open to the experience it provides a tingle in their spirits even without their permission. That tingle usually prompts them to think, feel, dream, wonder, and create. Imagine being invited to a baby shower where some of the activities involve you telling the bride what she means to you and hearing and being motivated by what others are giving to and receiving from the bride. This type of motivation in a casual, non- judgement space is better received by individuals thus, they are motivated beyond the event.
Motivation works best in these intimate spaces because
- Individuals are more open to being mentally stimulated when they least expect it
- When we are in familiar places or with people we know we’re more open and likely to share
- Individuals remember what is out of the norm and different
- Casual conversations of inspiration are longer lasting than in large groups
- We are least likely to block what we don’t see coming (sneaky, I know)
- Things are best remembered when associated with feel good activities
- Motivation and support can be felt and performed by all
- Motivation like misery loves company
- Inspiration dispensed in intimate groups is more likely to trigger self-motivation which outlast all forms of motivation
So, the next time you gather with a group of folks for a party, celebration or a get together give some thought to inviting a stranger; a Motivational Speaker. You’ll at least be the talk of the town for giving more than parting gifts or left-over food. Folks will instead remember the unique occasion where they received great food for thought as a parting gift.