[Creating Connections] To Inspire or to Motivate, That is the Question

[Creating Connections] To Inspire or to Motivate, That is the Question

Creating Connections Ezine, ©Felicia J. Slattery // ISSN 1939-8646 // Volume 10 – Issue 1

Inside this Edition:

  • Note from Felicia
  • Speakers Spotlight
  • Feature Article
  • Upcoming Events
  • Marketplace


Personal Note

Hello Dear Reader!

Survey results for how subscribers want to consume content

This is my first official ezine since I’ve been back!

It’s also my first ezine in its new blog post format. Based on last month’s survey I conducted of my readers and community of subscribers, blog posts came out #1 for how people like to consume content. Beyond that, the responses showed that my community members prefer shorter email messages with a link to something longer.

While I seriously considered saying goodbye to my 6-year old ezine, because so many people said they read it regularly – a full 82% said most of the time or always – I just couldn’t let it go. Add that to the fact that at one point I went through the process of registering this ezine in the Library of Congress, it felt “official” and it kind of hurt to let it go entirely. So here it is, in it’s new format and delivery system. I hope you like it!



In personal news, of course I’ve been focused A LOT on my health. You may know I’ve been into cooking for quite some time

Vitamix green smoothie

if we’re connected on any social media. One of my “secret crushes” of food tools has been the Vitamix “blender.” I have to put that into quotation marks because it’s far more than a blender. In fact, I’m so excited about it, I decided to check another item off my bucket list and become a food blogger. I popped it up and added my first post today right here. I’m calling it Speaking of Food: Felicia’s Delicias (so it sort of rhymes). Woo-hoo!

21 Ways to Make Money Speaking Action Group

Yesterday I’m pleased to announce I started my first program after returning back to work. In previous years it’s sold out, but for this group there is ONE SEAT LEFT! If you want to make money with your speaking, over the next 6 weeks, I’ll get you doing exactly that. Grab that last spot today and get caught up listening to the recording right away.

Back to Speaking

Last week I appeared live on local stages twice and my calendar is filling up quickly. I feel so lucky to be able to jump right back in where I left off last fall. Next week I’m being interviewed on Valentine’s Day by the lovely and talented Ms. Sheila Galliagn for her free membership series. I’m also lining up a number of folks I’ll be interviewing for you, as well. Stay tuned to your email for details!

Article: Are You Inspiring or Motivating? Know the Difference to Get Booked on Stage!

In this edition’s fresh new article I address a common mistake I see emerging professional speakers make when they describe their speeches and how they impact their audiences while on stage.

Enjoy and until next time, happy speaking!


Speakers Spotlight: Too Sexy for this Title? [Free Webinar Replay]

Speaker Spotlight

Photo Credit: Nighthawk101Stock

Remember that 1992 song, “Too Sexy For My Shirt?” Right before last week’s free webinar where I hosted Jeff Herring about writing titles, I started thinking, is your content too sexy for your titles?

You know that people do judge books by their covers and how important it is to have what I call a “sexy title” for your speeches, books, articles, blog posts, classes, and even emails. And no, we’re not talking about something lewd that belongs in the “adults only” category. This is about being appealing to your market in a way they are excited by what’s behind that sexy title and can’t wait to rip into your content!

Think about it… What makes you open an email? Pick up a book? Attend a speech?

Is it the great content you anticipate?

What was it that grabbed your attention the first time?

Think about your favorite book, song or movie.

Chances are all 3 of these have titles that grabbed your attention and you almost immediately fell in love with it.

And that’s exactly what a great title does, it immediately draws the attention of any audience you want, no matter the market!

If you missed out on this fabulous webinar, it’s not too late. You can watch and listen (and CREATE!) Jeff Herring’s presentation:

Content Title Terror – The 3 Biggest & Scariest Content Title Mistakes & What to Do Instead (Follow the Formula)

If you haven’t heard of Jeff before he’s been featured on the CBS Morning News, The Miami Herald and Dan Kennedy’s No B.S. Ezine.

Suffice it to say the guy knows a thing or two about coming up with great titles and content.

Here is some of what you’ll discover in this replay…

– How to Create Profit Pulling Titles – you’ll do this right on the webinar

– His Winning Title Formula

– 3 Major Profit Killing Title Mistakes

– The Mindset you Must Have to Create These Titles Every Time

Because if your content is way “hotter” than you title, folks will never get to experience the brilliance that is you.

Go Here for the Webinar Replay ==> http://ProfitableContentSpecial.com/felicia

And you, too will be quickly see how it’s easy to come up with titles better than “Dude, Where’s My Car?”


Feature Article: Speaking to Inspire or Speaking to Motivate: Know the Difference When Marketing Your Speaking Services


While I was recovering from open lung surgery to remove a lung cancer last fall, something made me even more uncomfortable than all the wires, tubes, and healing scars. Because so many friends and colleagues wanted to know the details of what was going on with me, I started a Facebook group to update people. In that group, and even now, since coming back to work and beginning to speak again, I’ve heard the words over and over: “You’re such an inspiration.”


I’ll tell you, I don’t feel very inspiring. I just did what I had to do to get past a terrifying and painful experience. Like I do with most things, I laughed my way through a lot, because really, if you’re not laughing, you’re left with crying, fear, or being angry, none of which is very fun or appealing. Then THAT humor also made people tell me more how much I inspired them.

It felt like a lot of pressure to keep “being inspiring.”

Since I don’t know how to do that, I’ll just keep on dealing with the punches that life throws at all of us with humor and decisiveness. I might even write a speech about it. And if I do, I’ll be moving into the world of “inspirational speakers.”

One of the most frequent mistakes I see being made by emerging professional speakers is that because they seek to inspire people with their words and presentations, they begin using the term “inspirational speaker” to define what they do. If that’s you, you might require a slight change in your language usage when describing what kind of speeches you give. Here’s why.

You see, an “inspirational” speech is one of overcoming life’s difficulties and is typically given by a person who has overcome great odds – think about the hiker who cut off his own arm, the wheelchair para-Olympic athlete, the beautiful model who had both legs amputated, a blind musician — and maybe a professional speaker who overcame lung cancer ;-). Less obvious forms of life’s difficulties can be inspirational speeches too, such as a war veteran who overcame post-traumatic stress disorder (I had that too), or a young adult who overcame ADD or a learning disability, or even the Mom of a pair of autistic twins. These people have all had to deal with some of the biggest curve balls life threw their way and as a speaker, may inspire their audiences to do get past their life’s difficulties and challenges.

Right now you might be thinking, but as a speaker I want to inspire people to get past life’s difficulties and challenges. And you can! But unless you’ve got a personal story that goes beyond “I have stress in my life,” you’re not an inspirational speaker. In the world of professional speaking, you’re a motivational speaker. Yay you!

When you’re selling your speaking services, you need to know the difference between inspiration and motivation, because meeting planners are looking for something specific when they see “inspirational.” If you want to help people change their lives for the better, then you’d probably be a better fit in the “motivational speaking” category.

Here’s the difference in a nutshell:

Inspirational Speakers:

  • Have overcome a major physical or other out-of-the-ordinary personal hurdle in their lives.
  • Tell their story in great detail of what happened, making up the bulk of the speech.
  • Don’t usually share any actionable “content” beyond their inspiring message, “you can be a survivor too!”
  • Entertain from a dramatic point of view (humor and wit can be present).

Motivational Speakers:

  • Share various stories from personal experience that many or most audience members can relate to (having kids, being married, being divorced, losing a job, etc.).
  • Keep stories short with the main emphasis of the speech being that they…
  • …Share actionable content of some kind, motivating people to do something differently or new in their lives.
  • Entertain from a humorous point of view (drama can be present).

When you market your speaking services, be sure to know which type of speech you give so you don’t confuse a meeting planner or waste anyone’s time (including yours) in a conversation about a type of speech you don’t do.


Upcoming Events:

February 14, 2013: Sheila Galligan’s interview series. Featured interviewee.

March 8 & 9, 2013, Signature Speech for Authors. Intensive Virtual All-Day Workshop.

April 9 & 11, 2013: Sponsorship for Speakers with Shannon Cherry. Mini Course.



This post could not have been possible today without the personal help of Word Press Genius Paul Taubman of I Need Help With WordPress.com saving my techno-challenged self from total blog destruction. Also special thanks to Marcy Coate, Daniel Brenton, and Dan Nickerson who all jumped in to save my behind and provided personal help when I put out the 911 call on Facebook.

Now accepting sponsors to be featured in this place (a juicy spot just above the comments!) every other Wednesday. Email me for details Felicia {at} FeliciaSlattery {dot} com.




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  1. Felicia Slattery February 7, 2013 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Thanks Julie!
    I’m constantly inspired by my clients who need this info; and I know if they need it, others do too! I’m happy to be back, even if I don’t feel very inspirational 😉

    You’re awesome- thanks for commenting!

  2. Elana February 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Felicia–

    I had just started reading your ezine when you became ill. I am so happy to have you back in my inbox. Even your new approach is helpful for me, as I am at this very moment wrestling with decisions about my own ezine.

    I never considered promoting myself as either a motivational or an inspiration speaker. But reading your work has me thinking of doing just that. As I mull this over, I will continue to read–and be motivated and inspired by–your words. Thanks for all you share and may good health be yours–


    • Felicia Slattery February 7, 2013 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      Hi Elana!
      I’m happy that you’re happy to have me back in your in box 🙂

      Keep on thinking about sharing your story with the world. Your message may be just what someone needs to hear. And then stop thinking and get doing!

  3. Ryan Eidson February 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Felicia, for that brilliant distinction between inspiration and motivation when speaking. Before reading your article I was not clear on the difference between the two. In fact, I was using the words incorrectly in my marketing! Now I can more accurately describe what I do. Thanks!

    • Felicia Slattery February 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      Hi Ryan,
      The distinction isn’t so obvious in the words themselves, and I think that’s why so many speakers aren’t quite using the right words. Of course we want to inspire our audiences. But the language you use in marketing your speaking services does make a big difference! Glad you got some clarity.

  4. Karen J February 7, 2013 at 7:12 am - Reply

    Hey Felicia! I’m so happy to see “up on your horse” again, and so quickly, too ~ Hurray!

    Bright Blessings!

    • Felicia Slattery February 7, 2013 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      Thanks Karen!
      I’m happy to be riding the horse again 🙂 Thanks for continuing to read. You’re awesome!

  5. Julie Bestry February 7, 2013 at 6:49 am - Reply

    As always, albeit in a new venue, you’re brilliant, Felicia. I’m so glad you pointed out the very real difference between inspirational and motivational speakers. That said, you are inspiring, because your never-give-in, never-give-up approach and laughing-through-the-pain-and-fear skill set are as uncommon as your warmth and wit. We’re all so happy to have you back. You go, girl!

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