Motivation is the difference between a productive employee and a disengaged employee. For years, this concept has been tossed from expert to expert, each trying to find the right balance of incentives and practices to keep employees motivated. According to a study conducted by Nohria, Groysberg and Eling Lee, motivation in a workplace are indicated by - engagement (effort and initiative shown by the employee), satisfaction (the extent to which the company meets their expectations.
Corporations often use bonuses and increased take-home pay to incentivise their employees. In contradiction to this technique, a McKinsey Quarterly report found that employees with adequate salaries consider non-monetary rewards such as recognition from leadership, opportunity to lead projects and praise to be equal to or more effective than monetary rewards. (McKinsey Quarterly)
For a disengaged employee, a change in the perception of his professional life needs to occur. Motivational speakers are trained to help employees get out of a rut. Their methods are often founded in psychological theory and they use a combination of technology, analogies, humour and often their own lives like Mark Inglis, the only double amputee to scale Mt. Everest and Alain Robert the French Spiderman to instil drive and motivate employees.
A good motivational speaker can compel the audience to make a change, they encourage employees to achieve their goals. With this, motivational speakers aim to make a change in the productivity and morale of the employees.
Motivational speaking is a craft, it's not easy and can take years to build not only the experience but the ability to intuitively read a crowd and deliver a presentation that will not only wow the audience but have a lasting impression and invoke many a conversation in the workplace long after the speaker has bordered a plane back to his or her home country. This is where the speakers that have been born out of life experience rather than the gift of the gab have the edge. Speakers such as Mark Inglis who, left to his own devices would be happily going about his own business in the solitude of the New Zealand mountains but now, due to a freak accident that most of us would not have been able to survive is the motivation that you can see. Mark travels the world now on unique prosthetic legs talking about his experiences, his fulfilled dreams and his visions, relating them back to similar hard decisions and experiences in the corporate world.
This is what corporate companies are seeking these days, the balance between a story, the insights and someone who can earn the respect of the audience. It equally important for the audience long after the conference is over.