In 2001 pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly lost its patent on Prozac. At that time Prozac accounted for a quarter of all Lilly’s domestic sales. To say they faced serious economic issues would be an understatement.
But amid the cutbacks and elimination of bonuses, Chairman Sidney Taurel delivered a speech meant to motivate employees through difficult times.
“He stood up and held up a single dollar bill and he said, ‘As the management, and most of all me, should be the ones bearing most of the burden during this time, I will be working next year for this symbolic dollar,’” said Rob Friedman, director of executive communications at Eli Lilly. “It’s something people still remember to this day.”
Friedman's five steps to crafting an effective motivational speech:
Step 1: Empathize with employees.
Step 2: Identify the challenges.
Step 3: Determine what ‘levers’ you can pull.
Step 4: Use anecdotes and examples of ‘heroes.’
Step 4-a: Show examples of failure.
Step 5: Walk the walk.