Ken Fontaine feels as if he's won a lottery when he lands a coveted job with a thriving ad agency. But when he fills in for a motivational speaker who has been injured on his way to a seminar, the young ad writer's life becomes infinitely more exciting. The ad agency owner, Sarah Gould, is so impressed with his performance that she offers to finance a motivational speaking tour.
Crisscrossing the country and speaking to packed auditoriums, Fontaine unfailingly establishes an instant rapport with every audience. His charisma and reputation combine to cause audience members to divulge their innermost problems and seek his insight. Only his closest friends know that his gregarious public persona serves to hide the fact that he struggles on a daily basis to deal with the emotional scars of having been abandoned by his mother at the age of seven. The most serious of these problems is a fear of entering into a steady relationship with a woman. But that changes after he meets Pam Clayton, an audience member who is also trying to overcome her own traumatic childhood. Andrea Simms, whom Pam thinks of as her best friend but wants only to dominate and control her, comes up with a bizarre scheme to terminate Pam's involvement with Ken Fontaine.