Tonight Show Guest - Motivational Speaker with Video
TEDx Talk - - Motivational Speaker with Video
Michael Wigge – Famous Keynote Speaker
Motivational Speaker Background with Video Content
Famous Motivational Speaker with Incredible Videos
Interview with Speaker Michael Wigge on Keynote Speaking Around the Globe
Michael, where do you appear on stage—as one of my favorite motivational speakers—besides speaking in the US?
Wigge: First of all, the US is my country of residency. I reside in Denver, CO, and I often go skiing in places like Salt Lake City because I just love the western United States with its laid back atmosphere, its incredible scenery, and its unique opportunities for motivational speakers—regardless if they are famous or not famous. The United States is a corporate meeting hub with corporations from all over the world, offering so many opportunities for speakers, it’s incredible. I often speak in Las Vegas for conventions because Las Vegas, Nevada offers so much entertainment that a couple of days for conferences and workshops feels like a unique vacation. That’s why Las Vegas has so many speaking opportunities. Corporations love to combine their training with entertainment for their employees. My latest motivational speaker video on YouTube was recorded at a Las Vegas convention. Feel free to have a look at the motivational speaker video on top of this site or, as mentioned, on YouTube. I always have lots of fun before and after keynote speaking in this magical place.
But where do you speak? Worldwide?
My gigs are booked worldwide, and I feel so blessed to have developed these opportunities that enable me to regularly deliver a speech in the US, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. These countries make about 80% of my motivational keynote speaking bookings. I am a German national and a US permanent resident, which enables me to handle several North American and European markets at the same time and speak on stage in English and German.
The Germans often book me to deliver a speech or a workshop because I have published four books and seven adventure docu-series on national television there over a period of more than 10 years. Some people might consider me in Germany as a famous motivational speaker with television video content known by many people. But I don’t really like to use the term ‘famous’ motivational speaker. I’ve sometimes been titled a famous motivational speaker here in the US because of my video and book presentations on The Tonight Show, the Today show, PBS, and publications like the L.A. Times and USA Today.
That sounds interesting. But how do the European markets differ from the US motivational speaker scene?
There are several aspects of difference.
I would consider speaking in Las Vegas, for instance, as a kind of hometown feel. Conferences often even have this vacation atmosphere because staff and managers are often very excited to be here and finally have a bit of time off from work. For example, speaking in Germany is different, location-wise. Usually, corporate conferences are rarely connected to an entertainment aspect like in Las Vegas. They are often set up in major conference centers in Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, or Berlin. Staff might go for drinks in the evening, but corporations don’t usually like to promote entertainment opportunities during conference days because they tend to believe that too much entertainment may be an obstacle for some to achieve their goals during a conference.
Switzerland with its natural beauty of the Alps offers these beautiful surroundings with its high class five star hotels. It’s obviously one of my favorite places to deliver my speeches and workshops. Working there as a motivational speaker often feels like being on a luxury vacation. I just really enjoy those opportunities so much. One of my television travel shows is entitled “Switzerland for Free,” and it was running on Swiss national television as an eight-part video series. This luckily gives me credit to be considered a famous motivational speaker with video content over there, and I love every gig in that beautiful country. Interestingly, meeting planners in Zurich and other Swiss cities regularly ask me if I know Tony Robbins because I live in the States and work in the same field. They all have watched his videos before and would love to know more about him.
I love the Tony Robbins connection in Switzerland! Any other differences over there?
These markets I mentioned differ in what kind of keynote topics they require. Here in the US, I usually get booking requests for leadership, sales, or motivation keynotes. Germany is very big on my change management keynotes. Pretty interesting to look at the reasons why German companies have a higher demand for change keynotes than US companies do.
The US culture seems to be pretty good at embracing change due to a high flexibility in American society to move around the country, to accept short term work contracts, and to live in a country which can historically be considered THE immigration country. This seems to have led US companies to be good in terms of embracing change. Usually, leaders and managers don’t need that much powerful feedback on this matter here in the US.
The German culture, therefore, has its stronger aspects in being precise, reliable, and structured. This is good for corporate Germany in having high quality in their production processes. But the other side of the coin seems to be that they tend to have difficulties with change management. I know many employees and managers in German companies that are having a hard time in changing certain processes. I often think back to the United States, a country of constant change. To stay on top of the world economy industry, this country can never really sleep, and probably it doesn’t want to.
How do speaking fees differ for a famous motivational speaker with video content in all these countries?
Speaking fees are such a discrete topic that it’s something hard to speak about because it feels like sharing a secret. But I love to talk about it to help other famous or not famous motivational speakers get encouraged to speak in their home base as well as all over the world.
The US and Switzerland are usually the best paid countries for inspiring speeches. A quality gig often gets $10,000. Famous celebrity speakers usually get way more, but there is also a huge part of the speaker scene that deals with $1,000-3,000. It all depends on the quality of your motivational video, your fame, your topics, and the current demand. These fees are obviously not just paid for an hour on stage but for a very intense process that is required to become a motivational speaker on stage.
Germany pays most of its famous motivators on stage between $3,000 and $5,000. Even with my appearances on PBS, the Today show, The Tonight Show, all my docu-series on German national television, and my successful books, they wouldn’t pay me to speak for more than $10,000. Some colleagues of mine in Germany earn up to $10,000, but there seems to be a cultural limit of what is appropriate for companies to invest in speakers, similar to what I mentioned earlier on in terms of location. It doesn’t seem to be appropriate for German companies to hold their company meetings in an entertainment location. Canada seems to pay their motivational keynote speakers similar fees to what Germany does. I hope this information suits you well.