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From questions about booking speakers, presenters and performers, to the contractual process and what you can expect on the day; with 20 years experience and standing at the forefront of our industry we've hopefully thought of, and answered, most common queries. But if not, please call us and one of our experienced agents will be very happy to help you.

What are the differences between an after dinner, keynote and motivational speaker?

With the wide variety of speakers featured on our website, sifting through all of them could become quite daunting and time-consuming; so we've grouped them into three categories: "Keynote Speakers" (also known as business speakers or conference speakers), "Motivational Speakers" (including inspirational speakers) and "After Dinner Speakers".

We've produced a guide below, explaining the meaning of each speaker type, so you'll have a better idea of where to find the most suitable speakers for your next event.

Keynote Speakers

Usually booked for conferences and seminars to deliver a serious message, impart specific knowledge or advice, and educate or inform on topics related to the event. Often referred to broadly as a conference speaker, they're usually booked to present either the opening or closing speech of a conference, symposium or meeting, summarising the 'key' notes and themes of the event.

As the main headline speaker, the keynote may be the Chairman or CEO of an organisation, but often they're a high-profile and external personality — either well known publicly or within the industry — who will be a draw or incentive for delegates to attend and hear them speak. When delivering the opening address, a keynote speaker will set the tone for the event – providing food for thought and laying the foundations of the conference. When closing a conference, their role is generally to deliver a speech that encapsulates the key messages and overarching themes that ran throughout the event, providing the delegates with take-home messages and often ideas to implement.

Motivational Speakers

Possess the ability to inspire, inform and motivate audiences to excel beyond their current performance limits. They're unique individuals who are booked to engage with your audience and leave them feeling positive, energised and often with the desire to change their mindset, behaviour or attitude for the better — usually through recounting their own life story — which is often one of triumphing over adversity and achieving great success against the odds.

Sometimes they'll hail from the business world, but motivational speakers are often sportsmen and women or adventurers and explorers and their primary speech topics often revolve around the themes of peak performance, overcoming adversitychange and team building.

To find out more about motivational speakers, read our blog post What Is A Motivational Speaker?

After Dinner Speakers

Primarily booked to entertain you, they deliver speeches that are more informal and relaxed than a serious keynote presentation. Whilst they can often be inspiring, there's less of the "you can achieve greatness" theme that you'll find with a motivational speaker.

It might be a dinner which follows the company conference, a black-tie gala ball or a fundraising event for the local football club. Whatever the reason for your event, you'll generally be looking for a light-hearted and fun speech allowing your audience to sit back, relax and enjoy the evening.

Contrary to popular misconception, a good after dinner speaker does not have to be a 'comedian' per-se. Although they will usually inject some humour into their speech, it's often in the form of funny anecdotes and stories of encounters during their fascinating lives and careers rather than jokes or gags.

After dinner speakers are rarely from the same industry or background as your guests and will bring fascinating insight and comparisons from their world into yours.