In 2013 I had a discussion with a friend whose speaking expertise bordered around the area of personal finance. He said bluntly to me, ” I’m not a motivational speaker. I’m a Personal Finance Expert”.

So I asked him in pidgin: “Abeg, wetin be the difference?”

His response was straight cut: “I mean the term motivational speaker is overused, over flocked. Every dick and harry is a motivational speaker. Besides, who pays for motivational speaking services in Nigeria?”

I could sense his sheer irritation. His point seemed valid. For more emphasis he added, ” These guys who have never made enough money for themselves talk about success. How reasonable is that? I mean it is appalling!And I  refuse to be associated with that”.

Let us call this my friend Jide. I responded in a cool manner. ” Jide, I guess then you don’t know who a motivational speaker is. YOU ARE A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER whose focus is on finance. Plain and simple. A motivational speaker is one who gives people ‘a motive’ for ‘action’. Motive simply means ‘reason’. Whoever motivates  people is usually giving people strong enough reasons to try again, to explore new angles, to learn new skills, to seize opportunities, to have hope again, to practice life changing principles. The motivational speaker uses fact, figures, stories, illustrations, models, personal examples, simulations, and even ice breaking games to achieve his goal.

“Motivational speaking is an art. The moment a teacher, lecturer, pastor,leader, or parent incorporates it in their presentations, there is a lift of spirit in the audience. The listeners are now more able to take action.”

Jide looked at me, his facial irritation turning to understanding.

“Concerning the point of whether motivational speakers make money. They do as pastors, teachers, lecturers, MCs, talk show hosts etc. Motivational speaking is the tool that makes their craft more engaging.

“I must, however, add that there are professional motivational speakers; people who live by inspiring youth organizations, churches, corporations, businesses and the likes, and are paid to do so. These kind of persons are not just motivational speakers but motivational speaking professionals.

To be continued…


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