Great Speakers Make an Impact

Mark Arnold
Great Speakers Make an Impact

It’s a historical fact – great speakers change people’s hearts and minds. Just look at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Even watching the speech today causes a sense of purpose to swell up deep inside of you.

Imagine if your credit union or community bank’s staff felt this way about their jobs. Well, they can!

Speeches aren’t only for the history books. Using great speakers at this year’s trainings will elevate the message you want to send and leave a strong impression. What does a great speaker do?

A great speaker educates your employees, engages them and yes, entertains them. Let’s dive into this a little more.

1. Educate Your Staff

At the most basic level, you want your employees to get something out of what they’re hearing. You want them to learn how to approach different generations’ financial needs, improve the member experience or become better leaders.

But you don’t want them to tune out the moment they hear a statistic.

A great speaker uses data to drive certain points home, but they don’t flood the presentation with data. They’re also not “the sage on the stage.” What I mean is they’re not a know-it-all bestowing information from on high.

This philosophy leads to education in the truest sense of the word – empowering your employees with the knowledge to excel in our industry.

2. Engage Your Staff

You might think, “All this education stuff is awesome, but I know people are still going to zone out within five minutes.” Don’t worry – a great speaker knows that’s a possibility and keeps listeners on their toes.


A great speaker asks questions about the presentation. They poll the audience. They find the personal stories your employees are waiting to tell.

For example, On The Mark Strategies speakers regularly ask the audience: what three words would you use to describe your institution? Employees love answering, and it alerts them to the possibility of answering future questions.

Overall, engaging your staff throughout the presentation helps clarify key points and ensures the education hits home.

3. Entertain Your Staff

People expect certain things from a financial industry speaker. People expect them to talk all about the numbers. Or they expect the speaker to refrain from jokes because money is a serious topic.

But if you really want to make an impact, you get a speaker who isn’t afraid to flip the script and entertain your employees. In fact, some psychologists say defying an audience’s expectations more quickly grabs their attention.

That’s why we use videos and jokes throughout our presentations. For instance, I recently presented this video to kick off a presentation about generational differences at CU Conferences in Las Vegas.

So, find a speaker who delivers content the right way. Make your 2023 employee events the best ones you’ve ever had. Your staff may not hear an “I Have a Dream” speech, but they’ll still walk away with something that will impact your community.

And if you want a sample of some of my speaking content, check out my recent appearance on the Banking on Digital Growth podcast with James Robert Lay.

Mark Arnold
Founder and CEO