Last year I stated that “there is no business for motivational speakers”. As the CEO and founder of a speaker agency this is quite a statement to make. However, I went on to suggest that there certainly is a business for inspirational speakers – which is what Inspiring Women provides. We are in the business of inspiring, to provide the spark which lights individual internal motivation.
When I was captain of the England Women’s rugby team, I was very aware that it was not my job to motivate my team. If I needed to do that then they should not be there. Motivation is a very personal thing and only works with great effectiveness achieving the best outcome if it comes from within.
It is becoming widely accepted by behavior experts that internal motivation is the most effective. Bestselling author and behavioral economist Dan Ariely has recently devoted a whole book “Payoff” to this very topic. “Ariely says that intrinsic motivation — i.e. doing a good job for the sake of doing a good job — can be even more powerful than cash.” (Business Insider UK, 7th August 2017)
An externally motivated workforce will achieve to some level as they head towards their monthly pay check or a promotion but this is not the most impactful form of motivation and if the external motivator changes the employee output is at risk.
The key it seems is developing internal motivation but how exactly do we turn inspiration into motivation? How do we become internally motivated like the high performers who inspire us?
Individuals, I believe, will become internally motivated when they are confident that they have the skills or understand that they can obtain the skills to achieve their desired goal. Every step on my England career I caught sight of the next step up, whether that was moving from mini rugby to club rugby, from county to regional or up to England level. I was inspired by the examples of others but more fundamentally also internally motivated because I believed I had the ability and skill to get to the next level, I could see that I could do what the people on the next step up from me were doing. Most importantly and key to Inspiring Women as a speaker agency, I would not have been internally motivated to step up if I did not have the desire, if I had not been inspired.
The inspiration that someone like you can achieve great things provides the belief and consequently the powerful internal motivation to perform effectively and sustainably. That a gold medal winner, world champion, pioneering adventurer is someone like you is key. That recognition of you in someone else, that you can identify your own ability to achieve. The key then for effective and justified business outcome is for the audience member to transition from receiving an externally inspirational experience (the talk) to developing their own internal motivation. The speaker must allow the audience to recognise themselves, to have their eyes opened to their own ability following the talk. This is where the long-term value is realised having paid out for an external speaker.
At Inspiring Women our speakers our achievers, but they are also like you, like me, like our colleagues, our friends, mothers, daughters. At Inspiring Women we are one of you, we have achieved but only because we were inspired. Bonita Norris stood at the top of Mt Everest in 2010 aged 23 because she was inspired by a talk she heard at university. Despite hearing otherwise from friends and family, she recognised in herself that she had the ability and could gain the skills to get there. After being inspired by an external source she saw something in herself. She became internally motivated – key when taking on the arduous task of finding sponsorship for such an expedition let alone the trek itself.
If you are in the business of increasing performance then you are in the business of providing inspiration to contribute to the development of employee internal motivation. To enquire about an inspirational speaker for a conference or internal event please go to www.inspiringwomen.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and a quote.