Where would we be without inventors? Practically everything we touch in the course of a day is thanks to an inventor who saw an opportunity most people overlooked. Inventors are problem solvers who are never satisfied with the status quo and believe there is always a better way. That comes at a heavy price as inventors are truly outliers and have to go against the grain if they want to be successful.
When I tell people I’m an inventor they are curious to know more. It’s not a typical job on a resume, but the skills you need to be a successful inventor make a great employee. Motivational speaker is also not a job you typically find on a resume either. But then again, most jobs I’ve had wouldn’t be. Like actor and spokesperson. When I decided to go into speaking as a profession I used my background as an actor and my skills as an inventor to teach others everything I know about creativity and innovation that you can’t learn in a book.
When it comes to creativity and innovation, experience trumps book sense any day. To be a creator you simply have to get down in the trenches and learn by doing. You can talk about innovation theory all you want, but innovation is “the action or process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value for which customers will pay”. Inventing is an action verb. An idea in your head is not an innovation until you turn it into something useful. In fact, The Patent and Trademark Office defines a patent as being “new, useful, and non-obvious”.
If you want to learn about innovation theory, hire a professor. If you want to learn how to generate ideas on a consistent basis to create new revenue streams, outwit the competition, design unique marketing campaigns, cut costs, improve sales, create new products, services, business models, and unique promotions, then hire a working inventor and learn step by step exactly how to become an innovator and turn your employees into innovative problem solvers.
Here are 5 reasons why you should hire an inventor as your innovation keynote speaker:
- High energy – Inventing is not a 9 to 5 job. It’s more like a 9 to 9 job or even more. Inventors like Leonardo Da Vinci had a sleep schedule called the Uberman sleep cycle, which consisted of 20-minute naps every four hours. Telsa only slept two hours a day and would work in his lab for several days straight without any sleep. “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success. Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything,” said Tesla. (He was also a virgin when he died, so I guess that makes sense) Keynote speakers are meant to rev up the crowd and inspire them in some way. There’s nothing like a focused inventor to draw people in. Which brings me to my next point…
- Passion – Inventing isn’t an overnight process. It’s a grueling and lonely journey with a staggering amount of ups and downs, mostly downs. Sometimes the only thing you have to sustain you is your single-minded passion. When everyone tells you to give up, you have to hold on to the passion you have for your idea. It’s the same trait you want in your innovation keynote speaker. Passion for your profession will show through. A passionate speaker lives to be on stage and genuinely wants to transform the audience so that they leave with their own passion for innovation.
- Curiosity – There is one trait that I always hire by and it doesn’t require a college degree – curiosity. Curious employees will elevate your organization to be more innovative. Curiosity is the number one most important trait of all innovators. This is something inventors have in spades. We are constantly asking questions and delving deeper into topics than most people. This is what you want in your keynote speaker. All of my keynotes are customized because every industry and company is different. A big part of what I enjoy about speaking is getting to know industries I don’t know anything about. Yes, it’s a lot more work to do weeks of research into a new topic as opposed to a canned speech, but the curious inventor part of me enjoys that. I’m the geek that thinks a great evening is back to back episodes of the Science Channel and the explorer who wants to experience new things. Our brains are hard-wired for novelty, but most people never even use a fraction of that ability. A good innovation keynote speaker will spark that curiosity in the audience so that they are excited and intrigued by the world around them. Curious employees are happy employees!
- Big Picture Thinkers – A successful inventor doesn’t just think of an idea, but sees the big picture on how to sell and market an idea. Inventors are very goal oriented and realize the need to get their ideas on the market. After all, an idea needs to be turned into something useful that customers will pay money for. You want your innovation keynote speaker to be someone who sees the big picture for your organization. This involves knowing what your organization’s pain points are and what you want to accomplish instead of just spouting off some talking points and stories. Which leads me to the final reason…
- Problem Solvers – Most of all, inventors are problem solvers. And the world will never run out of problems to solve! Inventors know that there is always more than one way to solve a problem. Human beings tend to get stuck in a rut. We all do. And the more we think in one way, the deeper the rut gets and the harder it is to get out of it. But inventors know the techniques you need to use to get out of that rut and where you need to search for the answers. Inventors believe there is a solution out there somewhere and never give up until a problem is solved.
Inventors simply think differently and that’s a good thing. That’s exactly what you want in your innovation keynote speaker. Someone who is able to see the world in a different way and inspire your audience to do the same.