Do motivational speakers really motivate?


Do you really think that motivational speakers can motivate you or your team?

It’s just a question, so if you are someone who classifies as a motivational speaker – please don’t feel offended. You can very well offer your explanation to some of the points raised by me.

I am not a motivational speaker. As a part of some of my workshops, I have facilitated sessions for business managers on the concept of motivation. Whenever I get invites to conduct a session to motivate employees – I respond that I can tell the participants what motivation is and how they can work to motivate their teams. However, it is not possible for me to motivate people. At best, I could give people an insight into motivation and success. I cannot energize teams, and I cannot give them a pep talk that allows them to do wonders.

May be, I am too restricted in my understanding of the concept of motivation.

How does the cycle of motivation work?

One talk and you win the world. If it was so simple to motivate people through a one day or a two- day session life would be so easy. Business would thrive, and we would have more and more motivational speakers.

I have never attended a session that would motivate me; however, I have participated in workshops by some motivational speakers. Of course, I enjoyed these workshops and felt good during these workshops. But did they motivate me? I am not sure. May be for a day – I felt like doing great things, I felt like exceeding my targets or achieving breakthrough results.

However, life was normal from the next day or the day after.

  • Have you or your team attended a session by a motivational speaker?
  • How long did the euphoria last?
  • How successful was the session in getting your business some desired results?

It is not about motivation. May be we are just looking for a pep talk.

It could be that the whole concept of motivational sessions is to create euphoria and pep up the audience for once, which allows them to be alive and kicked off for taking over the next big target.

May be it gives the team leaders and managers something to talk about while they keep on pushing the team to run on their sales targets for the quarter. The managers can remind the team – “As that guy said during the sales conference ……”

Most of these sessions are tagged along with a nice party at a fancy location as a part of some cool business or sales conference. I guess all that is a good enough reason to feel good and stay motivated and in spirits for at least for a day or two.

Image Credit: I have picked these from Google Images. If the usage of these pictures violates some IPR or if you want to claim credit or attribution or request a take down please write to me.

Also Published as a LinkedIn post.

© Praveen Mishra

Praveen Mishra

Praveen is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Khedge Business Consulting Pvt Ltd. He works with organisations in areas of business strategy and human-resource management. Over the last 15 years he has helped various organisations with their HR processes, structure, alignment and effectiveness; and talent strategy and processes. You can connect with him at 

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