To speak or not

To speak or not

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I am sure you have seen all the jokes and all about motivational speakers. I find some of them are downright hilarious, leaving us with the question- To speak or not? But as an aspiring transformational speaker, I thought I should come here and talk about it. I mean we can not have the profession being disparaged like we are liars…sorry I mean lawyers. All professions have a purpose and whilst many times, many of our colleagues go haywire, it is still an honourable profession and many times, a calling for some people.

So what types of speakers are there? When I went online, I read about so many types that my head almost burst but I am going to bring it down to just a few. When I was dipping my toe in this arena, I thought there was just one kind of speaker but then I was enlightened to the fact that like doctors with different specialities, we also have different kinds of speakers.

The Speaker of Speakers

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

Transformational Speaker

Now this one, the one I am working on being is all about transformational. Oxford’s Dictionary of English defines ‘transformational’ as “relating to or involving a marked change in form, nature or appearance”. But how does that translate to a speaker?

A Transformational Speaker is one who attempts to illicit a marked change in form, nature or appearance in a human being.

A Transformational Speaker uses all dimensions of experience: the eyes, the stance, the gesture, the movement, the presence, the meaning, the conviction, the affect, the radiance, the emphasis, the pace, the tone.

A Transformational Speaker, because they are awake and plugged-in to the deeper dimensions of experience, are able to speak from and as those dimensions of experience.

From here, the Transformational Speaker is able to invite the audience into their own depths, exposing subtler and more profound aspects of existence.

A Transformational Speaker is at home in the depths of Life, always swimming in the profound realization that ‘I Am Alive AS Life’, and it is from here that you are welcomed back into your truest expression of who you are. Welcome Home.

As you know, I am in love with the butterfly, it is even in my logo. The butterfly for me symbolizes metamorphosis, transformation and that is what I am on- a journey of transformation, embracing my story and I want to help people to start their own journies into who they are.

Motivational Speaker

Inspiration: the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions.

Motivate: provide (someone) with a reason for doing something.

A motivational speaker’s talks are generally centred around a specific theme such as team building, personal strength, or activism.

Their purpose is to motivate others toward various goals. 

These speakers can easily express the value of their goal, while inspiring your audience to act.

Their speeches inspire others to think big, innovate, take risks, experiment, and fulfil their dreams.

Now I know the jokes come from here thinking that motivational speakers motivate people into unrealistic expectations but hey, I and many others have been inspired to make changes in our lives because of these.

Activist Speaker

Activist Speakers make it their full-time job to spread their ideas. Think about priests, politicians, activists, and so on.

They are at your event just for two things:

  • Spread their ideals
  • Recruit members

They are not driven by money, but by their morals and values.

The Wanna-Be Speaker

These are speakers who need attention for various reasons.

Either they are rookies aspiring to be professional speakers OR they need a stage, fame, to check speaking off their bucket list, or just to prove themselves. 

Their desire to be on stage and in front of an audience is self-serving. Their speech is driven by ego and narcissism.

We’ve all suffered through speeches like this and would rather not go through the experience again.

But in this day of social media influencers we are seeing a resurgence of the wannabe speaker. 

They’re like candy. Might taste good but there’s no real nutrition in them. 

A good proxy of this type of speaker is when you ask them to speak and they answer a very quick yes with no curiosity about their fit, the audience and goals of the speech. 

Haha! I read this and thought Damn, I was here. I wanted to tick speaking off my bucket list until I understood the potential of speaking and well, I do have something I want to say. Haha!!! But I think we grow because I have outgrown this and working on what kind of speaker I want to be. It is a journey!!

“You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself.”

Nelson Mandela

As speakers, we come in all flavours and shapes. It is up to you to choose right. Ask yourself first these questions.

  1. Who is my audience?
  2. What is my goal for the event?
  3. What do I want from a speaker?

When you answer these questions, then and only then will be able to get the right kind of speaker. And since we are here, let me shoot my shot. Haha!!


Hi, I am Patricia Opio, a transformational speaker. I am passionate about inspiring and empowering women and creatives to embrace their stories to unleash their creative potential and design authentic and purpose-driven brands.

My belief in Africa’s greatest resource being is its people- the youth and women who are blessed with gifts and talents pushes me to work in creative social projects geared towards unlocking their creative potential through the power of storytelling.
The story of Africa can be changed/rebranded when people rise up and rewrite the narrative thus I use my skills of storytelling to create compelling narratives that drive action. Africa, The Time is Now! #RebrandingAfrica.
When I am not daydreaming about Africa’s creativity and its immense potential, you will find me trying to perfect my chocolate cake recipe even if I am not a sweet tooth because what is cake, eerrmm food if you cannot share it.

Well, This is Me!

Still wanna give speaking and speakers a shot?? Haha!!! Tell me over in the comments sections.

Guest Speaker at the first Femme Innovate Talk at Design Hub, talks about the importance of authenticity and knowing your worth as a female entrepreneur.

Day 9- Advocacy Week. The Afrobloggers #WinterABC2021

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About the author

Kajambo, Hello Everyone! Let me tell you a little bit about myself..... I am a multi-passionate Creative Purposepreneur, Designer ,Storyteller, Creative Consultant and Life Coach with a mission to inspire and empower people and brands to embrace their stories to unlock their creative potential to design their authentic, purpose-driven brands. I am also the Founder and Creative Director of This is Me!, a digital platform that takes on the role of bringing my mission to life. I love color and all things creative! Well, This is me!

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