Professional speakers who preach text book theory are a waste of time and money

The greatest professional speakers speak from experience
jeff noel has an extreme dislike for people who preach theory


Professional speakers who preach text book theory are a waste of time and money, in my humble opinion. They can motivate exceptionally well in many cases, yet deep down, they do not have a clean conscious.

When I’m listening to a presenter, I ask…

How often has this instructor been on the front line? A lifetime? How many days in a row have they lived what they preach? A decade, two, or three?

Are they the same person at home, as they preach on the stage?

Perhaps I should apologize for the high expectations.

When we hear that Walt Disney had secretly wished he never dreamt so big, then I’ll concede.

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.


  1. Jeff,

    Spot on! I am with you.

    I liken your topic to how Christian music has changed over the past 3 decades. Prior to that time, most of the radio-released Christian music coming out mirrored the notion of “Life is great – just follow God” mindset or something to that degree. People finally started going, “Life is tough – where is the real application? I can’t live by sweet platitudes – how do I apply this to my life?” With that, music started becoming introspective – application-of-life oriented. The biggest change hit (in my mind) when Pam Thum released a song in the early 1990s, called, “Life is Hard (but God is Good).” People so embraced it, saying, “She gets it – and I needed to know I wasn’t by myself in thinking that.” Christian music was changed at that point, and Christian songwriters turned their words into their day-to-day struggles of life and how God is there for us through it all.

    Textbook motivational speakers are the same – the platitudes are great, but people are asking, “How does that apply in my day-to-day functions? How does that work for me?”

    Spot on, Jeff!


  2. Bob, humbled by your generously positive comments about the tough love I dished out to my (our) profession.

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