Inspire and Educate – That’s Why I Speak!

A couple of years ago when I attended the Speakers Academy (which is part of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Speakers Association) they asked us these key questions: “Why do you want to speak?” and “What is your message as a speaker?” I thought about these questions seriously and I finally came to my own answers: Why do I speak? Because I want to inspire and educate people. What is my own message? I bring a message of encouragement and I also teach my audience something new they can use either in their workplace or in their personal lives. These two answers are based on my life’s mission: To help working people be successful in every area of their lives.

It seems these days everyone wants to, and needs to, be inspired and encouraged because there is so much negativity going on in the world. At the same time, people are looking to learn something new and not just get “inspired” as that seems a little bit “fluffy” and not as “meaty.” In addition, companies pay for their employees to learn something they can immediately apply to their jobs and increase the bottom line. So, realizing this, I decided to make it my goal to both inspire and educate every time I speak to an audience—whether the topic is a technical banking one or a “soft skill” topic such as life/work balance or negotiation skills in the workplace.

The other thing I realized as I was thinking about why I speak is that I am using four key talents together: the gift of public speaking, the gift of teaching, the gift of encouragement, and the gift of writing. The combination of these four talents used together is what I’m striving to do. And it’s what makes it easy for me to be both a speaker and a writer. The process of finding and discovering my gifts and talents was a long one. Being in the workplace helped me discover many of those talents and that’s why I wrote my second book, The Fire Within – Connect Your Gifts with Your Calling. In this book, I encourage my readers to discover their gifts, polish them and use those gifts to help others. As I personally did that, I discovered my personal calling—my purpose in life, which I mentioned above.

So the questions I have for you today are:

  1. Do you know what your gifts/talents are?
  2. Are you using those gifts to help others?
  3. If yes, in what ways are you helping others?
  4. If not, how can you start using your talents today to help other people—both in the workplace as well as in your community?

I am thankful for the many talents I’ve been given and I’m purposed to use them all every day to help other people around me. That is part of the legacy I’m leaving behind. I encourage you to do the same.

Marci Malzahn is a banking executive and founder of Malzahn Strategic (, a community bank consultancy focused on strategic planning, enterprise risk management and talent management. Marci is also an author and motivational/ inspirational speaker. You can contact Marci for speaking engagements through her website at or email her at You can purchase Marci’s books at