Motivational Speakers Glossary of Terms

Common terms used in the professional speakers and professional conference organiser (PCO) industry. This list is by no means exhaustive. If you have any other terms that we can add to this list, please send your terms via the contact form below.

  • Biography: This is a speakers curriculum vitae or résumé. This is sent to the client or the professional conference organiser.
  • Bosberaad: A South African term for a meeting in an isolated venue to break a political deadlock. In today’s world, you’ll probably find the top management on a bosberaad, sorting out deep issues.
  • Certified Speaking Professional (CSP): This designation is the speaking profession’s highest earned international measure of professional platform competence.
  • Coaching: These are normally one-to-one sessions where a coach helps his/her clients achieve their goals or come to grips with a problem. Coaches choose their field of speciality. So, you’ll hear the following terms to describe coaching: life coach, executive coach, business coach, social media coach, writing coach and the like.
  • Gig: A slang term for a professional speaking engagement.
  • Global Speakers Federation: The GSF currently consists of 14 independent speaker associations including South Africa, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Holland, Germany, Singapore, Sweden, Namibia, United Kingdom, Belgium and Malaysia.
  • Humorists (humourists): These are folks who write and present humorous material. In the speaking world, they are “cleaner” than many stand up comics as foul language, religion, sex and politics doesn’t sit well in the corporate environment.
  • Masters of Ceremony: Also known as MC or emcee. They’re the official host of the event. They make sure the event runs smoothly, they introduce speakers, they bridge from one speaker to the next and essentially, make sure the programme is followed and that speakers are kept to their allotted time. They’re a vital asset to the professional conference organiser.
  • Motivational Speaker: Someone that inspires and motivates audiences. This word is interchanged with conference speaker, business speaker, keynote speaker, professional speaker, inspirational speaker and the like.
  • One Page: This is a summary of the speakers skills and experience. It is typically sent to a prospective client as part of a proposal.
  • Professional Conference Organiser: An external or internal resource that organises conferences for their clients. This is a logistic heavy exercise and entails, amongst others, sourcing venues, sourcing keynote speakers, trainers and entertainment, room reservation for guests, gifts, programme, sound and audiovisual equipment.
  • Professional Speakers Bureau: These bureaus represent speakers throughout the world.
  • Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa: This is the official association for professional speakers, trainers, coaches and consultants in the speaking industry.
  • Speakers Agent: See speakers bureau.
  • Speakers Hall of Fame: Is a lifetime award for speaking excellence and professionalism. Inductees are evaluated by their peers through a rigorous and demanding process
  • Training: This is a catch-all phrase that describes workshops, seminars and keynote addresses. Training is typically longer than an hour. You’d normally look at anywhere from half a day to three days. Training is their for the transference of skills.