Motivational Speakers: How to Tell the Good from the Bad

Motivational Speakers: How to Tell the Good from the Bad

When faced with the decision of whether to spend company money on an outside speaker, you’ll probably ask yourself, is this motivational speaker 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 particular motivational speaker. Review these pros and cons so you can make the right decision.

Qualities of Great Motivational Speakers

Look for these attributes when you watch your prospective speakers in action.

  1. Fresh Voice.

    If your company has been working to change its culture or motivate employees, but you aren’t seeing the results you want, an outside speaker might make all the difference. Sometimes a new person who says things in a different way brings needed perspective. Try a new face, and an alternate slant to the message. Your employees will hear it with new ears and respond with greater interest and enthusiasm.

  2. New 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—look for a speaker with strategies you haven’t tried yet.

  3. The Entertainment Factor.

    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. Catalyst of Change.

    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. Ability to Boost Job Satisfaction and Productivity.

    Your bottom-line question is this: What will the speaker 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 attributes? How can you quickly weed out ineffective speakers?

Qualities of Bad Motivational Speakers:

  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. Lack of Time.

    It’s hard for audience members to learn everything they need 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. Lack of Understanding of Your Industry or 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 your people are confronting. When you interview potential speakers, ensure 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.

Think about your company’s culture, goals, and needs. Then consider the pros and cons of having a motivational speaker. The right speaker generates energy, enthusiasm, enhanced effectiveness, and ultimately, increased company profits..

Copyright © 2024 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved. Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S. He is a Master Certified Coach with 25 years of executive coaching, corporate training, and speaking experience. He is the author of 11 books, including Executive Presence: Step Into Your Power, Convey Confidence and Lead With Conviction. He has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Amazon, Deloitte, Eli Lilly, Starbucks, Ritz-Carlton, Oracle, and Microsoft. Subscribe to his Fulfillment at Work Newsletter which is delivered to over 10,000 people. You can view his video library of over 200+ easily actionable 2-minute inspirational video clips by subscribing to his YouTube Channel.

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