Radically Inept
Sunday, August 01, 2004
  Jessica Lynch joins the Great Con Game

Well first of all, I should say up front that this post is not poking fun at Jessica Lynch, but rather American society and the motivational speaker circuit. I have always found it fascinating that people, and even companies, will pay good money to people like Zig Ziglar to hear them speak. And I've never done any research on the industry (though I was once asked if I wanted to get in the industry), but I wonder if there is any real value derived from it. I'm especially curious as to what the percentage increase in production is from employees that have attended such an event, and importantly, is there a long term benefit derived. I doubt it, but as I said, I haven't done any research on it.

But do a Google Search on productivity motivational speakers and the "Results 1 - 10 of about 24,500 for productivity motivational speakers. (0.32 seconds)".

And Google Search on - analysis of productivity from motivational speakers - turns up Results 1 - 10 of about 53,900 for analysis of productivity from motivational speakers". (0.42 seconds)

However, the same search with quotation marks around "analysis of productivity from motivational speakers" turns up no hits, as does "research on the productivity increases from motivational speakers".

Has anyone done any real research to see if there is more to this crap than charlatanism?

Well, I did find this:Google Answers: Motivational theories: "What are the theories that explain the dynamics of motivation?
Is there any research on motivational speakers?
Any statistics on the (lasting) value of Tony Robins'(or others)approach
to increasing motivation?" (I'd never heard of "Google Answers" before, but it looks pretty cool). Question posed by Qpet.

The best answer in the list of attempt to answer Qpet's question is:
Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 24 Feb 2003 13:01 PST
Qpet -

It doesn't look like there are any hard numbers out there which are
accessible to the general public. I've scoured the net, as well as
having called 2 speaking associations. All I spoke to say they have
never heard of anything published. The more I think about it,
especially after having Frank Candy, an actual motivational speaker on
the subject, who is himself the president of a speaking association
[who also says there are no hard numbers, and if there were, he
wouldn't believe them; see more below], the reason there are no real
numbers on this is because it is extremely subjective and
individualized. How would one really measure whether or not he is
more motivated long term due to hearing a speaker? How could one
decipher if his motivation months and years down the road from a
speaking workshop is really the result of what he heard, or simply the
result of new circumstances in his life? New relationships? New job?
New stimulus?

Frank Candy, President of National Speakers Association and
motivational speaker:

"No one can really motivate anyone. Motivation is intrinsic, it's an
inside job. Now you can be inspired to be motivated... and that's
where the vleu of speakers, books tapes and CD's come in. Key factor:
you can choose your attitude. I believe the word 'Choice' is the most
powerful word in the english language. You can decide if you want to
be extremely motivated, or if you want to sit on the couch and watch
TV and play video games. Even that is a kind of motivation, because
you "chose to do that".

I can inspire someone to change their behavior. It depends on the
dynamics of THAT moment. Example: You can have an average meeting,
average food, average hotel with an incredible speaker, and people
coming away from that and going WOW.. same group w/ great motel,
great food, great meeting, music, etc.... bad speaker. People will
remember the closing bad speaker.

In general, there are long term effects. They are immeasurable. It's
all individualistic. There are no hard numbers. It's very

Motivation is like deoderant, everyone needs it...daily... in many
cases, some more than others.
type search for "GET MOTIVATED Seminar", the apparent name of this circus troupe gets you to: seminar marketing,seminar marketing promotion, which is all about how to make money setting up motivational seminars. How appropriate.

So, what does all this have to do with Jessica Lynch? Well it turns out she has joined, at least temporarily, the motivational speaker circuit, Jessica Lynch deals with fame one year after rescue in Iraq - The Daily Texan - State & Local:
"Lynch has made a few appearances since last year's book tour for Rick Bragg's biography, 'I Am a Soldier, Too.' The former POW won an award from Glamour magazine (where she met Spears); rode in the Gator Bowl parade; starred at Gov. Bob Wise's State of the State speech; hung out at parties after the Golden Globes (where she met DiCaprio); and took a three-day jaunt to the Bahamas after christening a cruise ship.

This month, Lynch will do the first of four events for Get Motivated, a company that hires figures such as Rudolph Giuliani and Mikhail Gorbachev to speak at business seminars. Her message will be: 'If I can do it, you can.'

'I was put in one of the worst situations there is out there. So if you're having problems with your boyfriend or whatever, you can get through it,' she said. She added with a laugh: 'I get nervous when I'm in a large group of people. I don't know how that'll work out.'"
which is just fine for what it's worth; I'm just questioning, "What is it Worth?"

What really got me started, however, was the little teaser below the Jessica's Photo in the AJC (I'd link, but the bastards want you to give them all kinds of personal info to get access, even though I subscribe to their hardcopy rag), which states:
Private Jessica Lynch astonished the world when she survived the unthinkable and was rescued from Iraqi capture. You will be amazed as she shares the key survival strategies that she used to survive and thrive in the most brutal of circumstances.
Oh man, what complete bogus bullshit. And anyone who has paid any attention knows that she was taken to an Iraqi Hospital, where Iraqi doctors did their best to help her, and even tried to return her to American authorities, and the "rescue" was a staged "wag the dog" event.

Why would I pay to see a motivational speaker who is being billed with lies?

I notice that she didn't say anything like that in any of the interviews I've found with her, so can't she at least get this company to bill her with some truth? I don't blame her, but this is one of the saddest commentaries I've seen on this industry, I mean besides Tony Robbins.

ON the otherhand, the other speakers include ex-prez Jimmy Carter and ex-mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Oh. In fairness, emphasis added through out. 
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