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Why are motivational speakers unqualified


Why is it when one reads about motivaitonal speakers and coaches and how successful they are they never seem to have formal qualifications despite having been ultra-successful advised millions, written endless best sellers, cured world poverty single handedly etc etc.
Here is an entirely unrelated example.

Why are they outside the 'normal framework'?
Juliet LeFevre

7 Responses

  1. Ahh…
    This is an age old blag devised by the establishment.

    “You need x qualification” to do such and such.

    Why? People taught each other, trained each other and coached each other successfully for centuries before qualifications came along and oddly the world improved and moved along a pace.

    It is a myth that qualifications make someone better at doing a job or even certify them as competent to do their job.

    The CITP is regarded as a good training qualification – I found the sad coursework based reality nothing to be proud of achieving and certainly would not hire a trainer on the basis of this piece of paper alone.

    In the main I’ll always pick experience or the capacity to learn over qualifications. And even it is subconciously so will the public it seems.

    The CIPD have announced the essential need for coaching qualifications mainly because they’d like to sell you theirs (IMHO).

    You do not need qualifications to be a good coach, trainer or teacher and unless you are obliged to carry stupid bits of paper by law to conduct yourself professionally I’d suggest there’s no substitute for real learning and practice gained in the real world rather than the classroom.

    Sorry, I’m ranting here but I’m really passionate about this too.

  2. In my view they have charisma
    The inspirational speakers I have heard have all had one thing in common – charisma. Having a string of letters after your name or a wall full of framed certificates doesn’t give you charisma. Some of the dullest speakers I have heard have been very highly qualified. One thing that inspirational speakers teach they rest of us is the importance of being enthusiastic about what you teach, although there is much more to charisma than just being enthusiastic.

  3. Its paper versus the ability to perform and market the performan
    Where to start? As someone who has endless qualifications and believes in their relevance, I would also qualify that its their relevance to get you past stage 1 and through the door. After that you have to be able to perform.

    That is all that a qualification is really saying. Someone has assessed your ability and reckons you’ll be able to perform (not always true of course!)

    Its like going for a job interview. The qualification is part of what gets you shortlisted for interview. However, if someone was seeking a person with your talents and knew your work and capability then they would headhunt you.

    As far as the reference to Tony Robbins goes, this simply emphasises the point. If you ever go to one of his events (and I recommend it!) you’ll realise he is a performer, a stageman, an “evangelist” and a lot more than just another coach.

    If you like the football analogy it would be like asking a star footballer to show his graduation from the academy of football rather than just going to watch him play.

    Then they market themselves! In the words of one coach trainer, “a moderate coach with good marketing will make far, far more than an excellent coach”

  4. The ability to do the job
    Surely qualifications are no different to a CV. They may get you to interview but don’t prove that you can deliver.


  5. I’ll tell you why…
    Why are these unqualified people so successful?

    While others were out getting qualified (me included!!) these people were out getting successful!!

    A thought – Orville & Wilbur Wright – THE Wright Brothers of first powered heavier than air flight (allegedly!!) – were NOT QUALIFIED PILOTS!!

    That said, I’m glad airline pilots etc ARE today!

    Right, I’m off to get unqualified – I smell success here somewhere…!!!



  6. comment
    Hey Juliet
    I know an inspirational speaker and I agree with the earlier ‘charisma’ comment. This chap can light up about 95% of a room and people wake up and take action. He may have no qualifications but he can get through to people with his words and body. All the qualifications in the world won’t help some speakers connect with their audience.

    Connecting with people and being able to get the message accross in a way that makes people want to hear more and take action/ make a change is the key. Will a qualification make this key available to all – I don’t believe so.


  7. re some sales trainers
    Please note the ‘some’!

    I know of a number of presumably charismatic sales trainers who have only ever had one sales job.

    From what I can gather these are the ones who run biggish seminars rather than hold mentoring (interactive) workshops inhouse.

    (Too many) questions might highlight missing elements in their knowledge.

    That said, if it revitalises a jaded palate or informs a newbie, why not?


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