Top 21 Motivational Speakers In The World

Often, the most inspiring motivational speakers of the world hail from impoverished, difficult or hostile backgrounds. It’s their journey and all that they have learned over the years that acts like their North star. They use the pain and hardships to motivate themselves and others, as well.

Master orators, these speakers know how to use their words, body language, eye contact, tone variations, hand gestures and other verbal techniques to engage efficiently with their audience. Their words, gestures, and stories  not only inspire the listener to take action, but reveal strategies that can help them deal with obstacles, subjugate weaknesses to improve their lives for the better!

Presenting a list of 21 of the most revered motivational speakers across the globe –

Tony Robbins

Anthony Jay Robbins, fondly called Tony Robbins, is a 6ft 7-inch-tall motivational speaker, known for his deep voice and compelling presence.  A life coach, philanthropist and author of multiple best-selling books, including “Awaken The Giant Within” – he is a man who truly needs no introduction!

He usually starts his sessions by drawing people out of their shells, with basic questions like –

“What do you want to accomplish in your life? And why do you want to achieve that goal?” 

He then proceeds to enlighten them on techniques and ideas to achieve that goal. Many of his seminars handle themes like “Self-Help” and “Positive Thinking.” The list of people who have turned their lives around thanks to his guidance include A host of A-list celebrities and thousands of people across cities and countries! The conviction of his heart-felt speeches, interactions, humility, and relentless passion to inspire are the qualities that make him stand out. With a humble beginning and a life-story that outlines the importance of being self-made, he continues to inspire people from all realms of life. 

Ariana Huffington

A Greek-American author, syndicated columnist, and businesswoman – Ariana is a woman who wears a lot of hates! She is not only the co-founder of The Huffington Post but also is Founder-CEO of Thrive Global, and the author of fifteen successful books!

A firm believer of the following words –

“But you have to do what you dream of doing even while you’re afraid.”

Huffington was placed at No. 12 in Forbes ‘first-ever’ list of the Most Influential Women In Media. She has also consistently made a place for herself in the The Guardian s Top 100 in Media List. She was also listed as the 52nd Most Powerful Woman in the World by Forbes, in 2014. She is a huge advocate of the concept of a work-life balance, and champions the importance of good health for everyone. This is the biggest driving factor behind Thrive Global’s success, worldwide. A former Californian governor candidate, she is known for giving insightful and analytic reviews of the various current affairs, happening globally.

Nick Vujicic

Born with a rare congenital disease that left him without his arms and legs, Nicholas James Vujicic has inspired millions of people with his brave heart journey! To rise above all disabilities and difficulties and emerge victorious – that’s his message to the people. A perpetually happy man  – he learned early in life not to see his disabilities as barriers. He pushed himself and believed that he could achieve anything. It was his perseverance and relentless attitude that allowed him to became a motivational speaker at the young age of 19! With an impeccable sense of humor – he makes fun of himself and reiterates the importance of never giving up – he continues to underline the power of determination and will power.

Chris Gardner 

“Chris has the extraordinary ability to motivate, inspire and engage his audience. He encourages us to see the good and beauty in the world as he guides us to use his life journey, as an insight into our own.”
– Jan Jones Blackhurst.

Christopher Paul Gardner is best known for his inspirational book-turned-movieThe Pursuit of Happyness.” The book is memoir which chronicles the time when as a low-paid trainee, he struggles with homelessness while also raising his toddler son. He finally got his break when his brokerage firm –Gardner Rich & Co became a success. He went on to became a billionaire and continues to inspire millions of people with his story. His message to his audience is simple –

‘believe in your own potential and have a career plan for success.’

He also strongly believes in the role of the father in a child’s upbringing and encourages people to have a balanced commitment to their career and family.

Jack Canfield 

The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be,  Is a best selling book by Jack Canfield that talks about 67 essential principles to achieve one’s goals in life and to be successful. Co-author of the Chicken soup for the soul series, he was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of America (TOYA) by the U.S. Jaycees in 1978.

Through his Canfield Training group, he continues to train executives and leaders, on the methods to achieve success. He is best known for his compelling and stimulative speeches that inspire people to work hard and achieve their dreams!

Gretchen Rubin

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Gretchen is a best selling author of multiple best sellers, globally! However, she is better known for her humorous talks and proficiency in topics like happiness, health, creativity, success and how to achieve them. With a knack for connecting well with her audiences and inspiring them into action, she has delivered several motivational talks across organisations. 

Better Than BeforeHappier at Homeand The Happiness Project, – are three New York Times best-sellers by Gretchen that have sold more than two million print and online copies worldwide in over thirty languages!

Les Brown

Born into poverty and abandoned as a child, Les Brown is a self-made miracle! A prostrate- cancer survivor, Brown today is one of America’s best-known and highest-paid motivational speakers. Beginning his career at a radio station, he even ran for election in the Ohio House of Representatives and won!

As a motivational speaker, he uses the catch phrase – “It’s possible!“ to entice his audience into letting go of their fears to work towards making their dreams come true. His website Les Brown Global offers all sorts of information and resources to help people grow. Among his several best-selling books are the globally acclaimed – Live Your Dreams and Laws of Success

Brendon Burchard

Named by The Oprah Magazine, as “one of the most influential leaders in the field of personal growth,Brendon Burchard is a #1 New York Times best-selling author and a leading high-performance coach.

A fatal car-accident at the age of 19 is said to have changed his perspective on life and lead him on his current path. He continues to inspire people with his writings and live talks. His aim is to help people achieve their maximum potential in life. Having trained more than 1.5 million students through his online courses, he has been named the world’s highest-paid motivation and marketing trainer by the SUCCESS magazine. 

Oprah Winfrey

Though not primarily a motivation speaker by profession, Oprah has inspired millions of viewers through “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and has delivered several key-note speeches at various events. Ranked as one of the world’s most powerful women, she has touched a million lives with her philanthropic activities.

With a troubled childhood, marred by body shaming, abuse, and racist oppression, she today stands tall as a symbol of resilience and women empowerment! Her innumerable quotes on how to live life, ways to achieve success, love, leadership, education, self-esteem, forgiveness and healing, are very thought-provoking and inspiring. She has written of 86 books so far, including the Wisdom of Sundays; a book encourages her readers to connect with themselves and the world around them. 

David Goggins

An ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete, motivational speaker, and author, David Goggins is a man who truly practises what he preaches!

He is a motivational speaker who travels across cities and countries to inspire sports teams. He uses his personal experiences to inspire teams into defying all odds and achieving success!

In his memoir, Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, he refers to his world famous 40% rule. It is his belief that most of us only tap into 40% of our capabilities. He is one of the handful people throughout history to complete Elite training as a Navy SEAL, an Army Ranger, and even an Air Force Tactical Controller.

Melanie Robbins

The most booked woman on the speaking circuit’- as per, Melanie is an American television host, author and motivational speaker. She is best known for her coverage of the George Zimmerman trial for CNNHer TEDx talk at San Francisco, about a psychological trick that she termed “the five second rule,” catapult her public speaking career. The rule says that –

If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it”.

She is the author of several best-selling books, including The 5 Second Rule and Stop Saying You’re Fine. Her books inspire readers to work for and achieve what they truly desire in life. Known for her no-nonsense, practical and high-energy approach, she is a much sought-after speaker and anchor. Her words and books have helped thousands of people break through mundane challenges across various aspects of life – work, love and life, to produce substantial results.

Shawn Achor

An American writer best known for winning over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, Shawn Achor is a man with many hats. He is a best selling author, TEDx speaker and performance coach who offers positive psychology-related services to improve work performance. He is also considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success.

Shawn has travelled to 51 countries, speaking to people from all walks of life – from farmers in Zimbabwe, CEOs in China, doctors in Dubai to even school children in South Africa. In his bestselling books, Big Potential and The Happiness Advantage, he talks about the ways in which we can take action to rewire our brains, to become more positive in our thinking and hence achieve success. 

Eckhart Tolle

Born Ulrich Leonard Tolle, Eckhart is both – a spiritual teacher and a best-selling author. Born into misery, he experienced considerable fear and anxiety growing up in post-war Germany. Having spent most of his years in depression, he claims to have had an inner-transformation at the age of 29. Following which, he moved to Canada and changed his name from Ulrich to Eckhart. He then took on the role of a spiritual teacher, drawing people eager to transform their own lives, through his teachings. He even went on to join The Oprah Winfrey Show for 10 live webinars and amassed a viewership of over 35 million!

Among his several books,The Power of Now remains a fan favourite. The book guides the reader on how to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Similarly, A New Earth, teaches one about our true purpose in lives.

Iyanla Vanzant

is an American inspirational speaker, lawyer, spiritual teacher, author, life coach, and television personality. Losing her mother at the age of two and the struggle that ensued strengthened her resilience and allowed for empathy to flow freely. She helps people embrace their emotional and spiritual lives with patience and courage. Her job as a life-coach is to help people find their way out of the darkness into light. She has helped people face pain, fear, and shame while guiding them onto the path of light and happiness.

In all her innumerable keynote speeches, her one message to people has remained the same. She firmly believes that there can be no growth – social, political, or economical, without spiritual growth. She is the best-selling author of 7 books, many of which have gone to become best sellers. She even appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and enthralled viewers with the transformational and healing power of her messages

Dr. Eric Thomas

Born to a single, teenage mother, Eric left his home early in life to live homeless on the streets of Detroit. A chance encounter with a preacher made him go back to school and complete his studies. He went on to become a preacher, minister, and internationally recognized motivational speaker. He set up his own company to offer education, consulting, executive coaching and athletic development for the underprivileged youth.

Earning the sobriquet – ‘Hip-Hop preacher’ owing to his high-energy style of speaking, he is currently working as the CEO of his firm Eric Thomas & associates, LLC. Two of his books, The Secret to Success and Greatness Is Upon You, continue to inspire people.

Zig Ziglar

Born in the famous Coffee county of Alabama, Hilary Hinton ‘Zig’ Ziggler, was the tenth of twelve children. After dropping out of college, he started a long and difficult career as a salesman. Selling everything from cookware to insurance, Zig eventually decided that he could sell his own energy and optimism better than anything else. 

His philosophy can be summed up in the following words –

you can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want”.

He has inspired thousands of people through more than two dozen books. His total sales are well into the millions! Furthermore, he continues to inspire even more people through cassette tapes, podcasts, and personal presentations! He has been travelling the world for more than 40 years, inspiring people with his wit and amiable cheerfulness. He works to motivate people and help them to see the brighter side of life. He calls it the Zig Ziglar way!

Dr Wayne W Dyer

From a childhood spent in orphanages and foster-homes, Wayne Dyer has come a long way in life! From overcoming all obstacles to getting his doctorate in counselling psychotherapy – he is a man who has worked hard to make his dreams come true.

He further uses his journey to guide others how to prevail despite obstacles. His  “Your Erroneous Zones” became a best-seller. Affectionately called “The Father of Motivation” by his fans, he has appeared on many radio and television shows, making him one of the most eminent and esteemed names in the field of self-empowerment.

Jim Rohn

An only child, Jim Rohn dropped out of college in his first year. Starting his career as a human resource manager for the department store Sears, he later went on to work under the mentorship of John Earl Shoaff, a famous entrepreneur.

It was this mentorship that catapult John ahead in his life. He went on to become the Vice-President of Nutri-Bio, the company he had been working for. After an invitation to speak at his Rotary club meeting, John became a full-time speaker, presenting seminars all over the country, telling his story and teaching his personal development philosophy to thousands of people.

Brian Tracy

A Canadian-American motivational speaker and self-development author, Brian is a man with an illustrious list of achievements. The author of over eighty books, including Earn What You’re Really Worth, Eat that frog, No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline and The Psychology of Achievement – he continues to inspire millions of people with his words! From hosting in-numerous seminars and consulting for businesses to putting in donkey’s years of service for research in Business, Economics, Psychology and Philosophy – he has done it all!His company  ‘Brian Tracy International’, seeks to help individuals and organizations develop, train and grow.He literally sells counselling – on leadership, selling, self-esteem, goals, strategy, creativity and success psychology. 

Robert Kiyosaki

A Japanese American and the eldest of four siblings, he is the Founder of Rich Global LLC and the Rich Dad Company. Private financial education companies, they serve to educate people on financial and business matters. The company uses books, videos, blogs, games, seminars, coaching and workshops to get their message across. Robert is also the author of over 26 books, the most popular of the lot being the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series which has been translated into 51 languages and sold over 41 million copies worldwide!

In his motivational speeches, he emphasized the importance of earning a passive income through investments in the real estate sector, stocks and commodities. He also talks about making oneself secure through such investments rather than relying on a salary or simply saving cash. 

Darren Hardy

Hardy left school to start his first business at the early age of 18! He also owns the world renowned ‘Success’ magazine which contains insights for self-improvement and business- improvement from entrepreneurs across the globe. His book “The Compound Effect” continues to remain a fan favourite. The book talks about the impact of everyday decisions and even contains a guide for achieving one’s dreams and goals. 

He has been awarded the ‘Master of Influence’ designation by the National Speakers Association (NSA) for his professionalism in public speaking, His other book, The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster, outlines the challenges of business ownership for entrepreneurs.

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