The World of Edu-tainment

By: Heather Crawford

Have you ever attended an event where the speaker dazzled the crowd? That’s “edu-tainment” at its best – a term that refers to entertainment that also educates. TED Talks are a well-known example, as are demonstrations by chefs or biologists on luxury cruises that share unique knowledge of interest to the cruise participants.

Lori Dalton, President of the Lori Dalton Agency for Speakers and Coaches and an experienced speaker herself, says, “Conferences highly value speakers who can motivate attendees while they are laughing and enjoying themselves. It’s an excellent sign if the audience still wants to hear more when the speech is complete!”

In order to stimulate meaningful change, a speaker must genuinely connect with the attendees. Without a solid link, it is impossible for transformative action to occur. As in any situation, such connections are made by sharing and exploring common ground. If the speaker gets to know the audience ahead of time and incorporates appropriate references into the speech, a higher impact is assured. The result? Individuals and teams that move forward with renewed enthusiasm.

A keynote speech is a motivational speech that sets the overall tone and context for an event.  Keynote speakers commonly inspire people with their stories of how they overcame challenges.  For example, climbing Mount Everest, running a marathon after a heart and double-lung transplant, or crossing the ocean on a stand-up paddle board. Speakers can also present a changing paradigm, perhaps using magic to challenge assumptions or to demonstrate that there is more than one way to reach a goal.

Ms. Dalton adds, “On a more individual scale, personal coaches also provide ‘edu-tainment’ that is tailored to your own needs. Coaching can focus on helping you with any aspect of life.”

Career-oriented coaching might focus on building your career, starting a business, selling, marketing and using social media, or even accounting tips, business etiquette, how to be a better speaker or how to run a trade show. Personal coaching might be geared towards communication, relationships, mental performance, nutrition, building trust, or any number of other areas of well-being that might include how to think for results, how to accomplish tasks differently, how to reduce stress or handwriting analysis that highlights personal characteristics. Other types of coaching options can involve any number of interests, including travel, astronomy or the history of music.

Whether you hire speakers for business events or want to try personal coaching, there are so many talented speakers and coaches available to suit every budget. There’s nothing like that feeling of a meaningful experience that inspires, helping you move forward with new energy and motivation.