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Pros & Cons of Motivational Speakers

Five Pros and Cons of Hiring Motivational Speakers

When you look at parting with vital company money, you may ask yourself, are motivational speakers the best use of your time and resources?

When you separate the promise of speakers from the performance, you’ll find five reasons why you may… or may not… want to hire a motivational speaker.


  1. Fresh Voice. If your company has been working to change company culture or motivate employees… and are seeing reduced results, then an outside speaker may make the difference. Sometimes just someone different saying the same thing can help drill the message down.

    Try a new face, and a alternate slant to the message. This open your employees to hear with new ears and respond with greater interest and enthusiasm.

  2. Fresh Approach. Great leadership coaches and speakers offer new ways of looking at things. Their dynamic speaking approach is designed to spur creativity, nurture new ideas, and foster unique solutions. Bring in someone with new ideas and a fresh approach.
  3. Add Interest and Enjoyment. One trait of an effective speaker is to make learning fun and interesting. It’s not the same old boring day, but a chance to stretch intellectually and have fun doing it. Good training provides specific knowledge that sticks with listeners.
  4. Become the Catalyst. These types of speakers are designed to be the catalyst to the change you’ve been seeking. They not only motivate your employees and leadership, they give them specific knowledge and a skill set that makes it easy to implement the changes that will help your company excel.
  5. Boost Job Satisfaction and Productivity. Your bottom line question: what will it do for my company? Typically the goal is an increase in job satisfaction that leads to greater retention and lower costs for you. Additionally, companies seek an increase in productivity and profitability. Strong motivational speakers produce these kinds of results for your company.

But what about the negative? Along with the pros… what cons make motivational speakers not a good choice for you?


  1. Emotion Only. Some speakers just move the emotions. They get participants excited and feeling good. But without solid ideas and practical solutions… it just doesn’t last. The audience is revved up with no place to go.
  2. Not Enough Time. It’s hard for the audience to learn everything it needs to in an hour. A speaker may not be effective if he or she does not have time to really teach and instill essential skills. Be sure to discuss your objectives with a proposed speaker and make sure you agree on the length of time needed to teach and inspire.
  3. Doesn’t Understand Your Industry or Company Needs. Some speakers are generalists or geared toward a small niche. They don’t have the insider knowledge to comprehend the specific challenges and problems that face your people. When you interview potential speakers, insure they understand exactly what’s going on in YOUR company and that they can offer real-world solutions tailored to your needs along with the desire to implement them.
  4. Wasted Time. If your speaker is a dud, you’ve wasted all the time that your employees could have been using productively. A bad keynote speaker is worse than no speaker at all.
  5. Repressive Corporate Culture. If your company is unwilling to change and does not respond well to new ideas and innovation, don’t waste your money on motivational speakers. They can’t increase productivity and retention if the company atmosphere is toxic.

Think about your company’s culture, goals, and needs. Then consider the pros and cons of having a motivational speaker. Not every situation benefits from outside speakers. But the right speaker creates energy, enthusiasm, increased effectiveness and ultimately company profits.

Copyright © 2012 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved. Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Subscribe to his Fulfillment at Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, "41 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!"

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