It was a beautiful way to wrap up an eventful first Sunday in the month of December. At about 10pm, I decided to comb the net for the last time in the day, with the hope that I will find something my subconscious mind could feed on, while I rest my conscious mind. One of such sites I habitually comb is deoluakinyemi.com, and I was not disappointed as I stumbled on a piece I refused rating for the fear of being disrespectful of his previous works. Trust me; the piece surely achieved the intended. I however have an issue with Deolu’s sentiments.
With no apologies, no matter whose ox is gored
, Deolu opined motivational speaking is at best a modern day fraud. Unlike the likes of Brian Tracy, Robert Kiyosaki, Zig Ziglar, Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, Jim Rohn, and Mary Kay Ash, who preaches not conjectures, but speaks their experiences, he alleges the scores of motivational speakers who throng seminars and workshops are nothing but emotional massagers. In his words, “there are many motivational speakers and motivational speakers wannabe out there that cannot point at anything they have done. Please tell me what are they really teaching people?” While commenting on his piece, Yinka Babalola said, “…I have met people that download what they read and I feel empty after their well polished yet empty yearns…” Matthew Abolurin also said, “Many speakers today, just read up things from books and download in speaking engagement…”
As much as Deolu would want the horde of people who will stumble on this piece to get immune against this fraud, I put it to him and you as well that the “scam” will yet thrive luxuriously in a nation like Nigeria! Moreover, I also believe we will be greatly unfair to run a critique under the fanciful word “motivational speaking” as many of the people Deolu refers to are just infopreneur, whose basic endeavor is information marketing. This may well justify the much-criticized read and download syndrome, which I chose to term marketing of digested and interpreted information. If you opine otherwise, how then do you suggest we reward the studious in a generation of the blithe?
Sometimes in June 2009, I had privilege to deliver a speech titled “You as a Product” to a set of graduating corps members in Akwa Ibom State. Two of the sub themes I dealt with was branding and re-branding during which I employed SWOT analysis concept as one of my speaking aid. I was shocked to the marrows when I discovered none of my audience knows about SWOT analysis! This audience comprising of Business Administration, Economics, and Accounting graduates flashes second-class upper. Needless say, I felt like and became a superstar immediately. I mean, this is a historian using SWOT analysis concept to teach.
Without scribbling an epistle, you would discover my issue with Deolu’s piece is naked enough to see. We are in a country where millions of people lack basic knowledge, information, and motivations to break forth and break lose. Therefore, the perceived-as-scam endeavor of this infopreneur/motivational speakers is sine qua non! I bet even Deolu cannot deny benefiting from these people while a student at Ilorin and O.A.U, even though as at the time of speaking they yet do not have track records littered with failure, and garnished with success.
I did not write to attack Deolu’s line of reasoning, but to reveal why it will, or may thrive continually. As at the time of writing this, the piece has attracted 21 comments and 3166 views since it was published on November 23, 2011. What fraction of the people that should read the piece is that? We obviously should be expecting another motivational speaker to cash in on the piece!
As I leave you to ponder on this and Deolu’s piece, I sign out with A. Ngozi’s comment, “it takes a leader and a role model, among others, to be a motivational speaker.”