The challenge of producing a list of the best motivational speakers
There is no objective measure by which to determine how good a motivational speaker is.
You cannot rank motivational speakers by their online popularity. How many Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers or Facebook fans does not tell you how good they are at motivating an audience to act.
Instead, if we use this criteria, celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, speakers like Tony Robbins and best-selling authors such as Jordan Belfort would always be at the top of the list.
And although Oprah has amassed more than 5 million YouTube subscribers, they are not all following her channel to listen to her motivational speeches.
Similarly, Tony Robbins offers a lot more than motivational content.
A master NLP practitioner and a world-class life coach who has worked with some of the world’s top athletes, politicians and business people, Tony has developed his own strategies and techniques for helping people to master their emotions, health, relationships, finances and life and is recognised as the pre-eminent peak-performance specialist in the world.
Bookings and appearances
The number of bookings or enquiries that a motivational speaker receives would be a good measure but this data is impossible to compile because not every potential source (such as speaker bureaus) would freely share such information.
Also, many speakers including Tony Robbins and Jordan Belfort do not use speaker bureaus, instead choosing to handle any bookings in-house and organise their own events.
Striving for objectivity
The true measure of success for any motivational speaker has to be the impact that she or he has had; the number of lives touched and changed.
This is impossible to work out so our list of the best motivational speakers in the world list is subjective.
It is based on the experiences and opinions of agents from the Speakers Associates team and some of our clients who have booked an inspirational speaker from us in the past.
We have also used other published lists and metrics to influence our ranking such as Google’s own listings of motivational speakers and the excellent GlobalGuru’s Top 30 Motivational Speakers for 2021.
How to choose a motivational speaker
Motivational speaker rankings only matter so much. If you are looking for an inspiring individual to follow, any list should only be used as a starting point. Your personal circumstances and what you’re trying to achieve are the true deciding factors. You should select someone who resonates with you and whose material and style suits you and your goals.
On the other hand, if you are planning to book a motivational speaker for an event, the right choice is the one who can directly address the needs of your audience, convey the right message and motivate your people to take action.
So, with all of that said, here is our list of the world’s best motivational speakers.
We hope you like it.
The Top 10 Motivational Speakers in the world today
Oprah Winfrey is the world’s #1 motivational speaker.
She has been a TV host, actress, producer and philanthropist for over 30 years. Her show The Oprah Winfrey Show was the highest-rated program of its kind in history and she has received more than 50 Emmy Awards.
Oprah inspires people to live their best lives by sharing her personal struggles as well as her successes with others. You can learn from her mistakes and find inspiration in your own life through this woman who has overcome so much adversity to get where she is today.
Bear Grylls is the world’s #2 motivational speaker.
Bear Grylls is an adventurer, writer and TV presenter who has been to the North Pole, climbed Mount Everest and crossed the Pacific Ocean in a rowboat. He’s also one of only two people to have ever completed the world’s longest underground river passage, The Great Rift.
His adventures have taken him to some of the most remote corners of the world, where he’s spent weeks at a time living with indigenous tribes or on his own in vast wilderness areas.
If you want your event attendees fired up about your company or product then Bear Grylls is just what you need! As one of the world’s most famous inspirational speakers, he will motivate them with stories from his own life that are sure to inspire everyone in attendance.
Bear is flexible and has given keynote speeches as well as being a motivational speaker for any type of corporate event including conferences, team building events or even fundraisers.
Nick Vujicic is the world’s #3 motivational speaker.
Nick Vujicic is an Australian motivational speaker, author and evangelist. He was born without arms or legs, but that didn’t stop him from living a life full of adventure!
Nick’s story has been featured on Oprah, CNN, The Ellen Show and more. As a motivational keynote speaker, his message is one of hope for all who have disabilities or disadvantages in their lives. He believes that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
Booking Nick for your event will give you the opportunity to hear about his journey firsthand as well as learn some valuable lessons on how to live a fulfilling life despite any setbacks they may face. Your team members will leave feeling inspired and ready to take on their next challenge head-on!
Tony Robbins is the world’s #4 motivational speaker.
Tony Robbins is a world famous motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur. He has been an advisor to presidents, CEOs and Olympic athletes.
His seminars are known for their energy, humor and interactive nature. They have helped people from all walks of life break through their fears, improve their relationships, achieve success in business and become more confident in themselves. His books are bestsellers that have been translated into over 20 languages around the world.
In his latest book “Unshakeable”, he reveals how you can take control of your financial destiny with just one decision – by investing in yourself! You’ll learn about the new science behind why some people thrive under pressure while others crumble; how to develop a clear mind for making better decisions; and what it takes to build true security during volatile times. This book will teach you everything you need to know about building wealth without fear of volatility or recession so that money never stands between you and your goals again!
Magic Johnson is the world’s #5 motivational speaker.
Magic Johnson is a retired professional basketball player, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He played for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1979 to 1991.
As an athlete, he won five NBA championships with the Lakers and three NCAA Championships while at Michigan State University. His career achievements include three MVP awards, 12 All-Star games, ten All-NBA First Team designations, eight NBA Finals appearances as well as being voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.
If you want your employees to be more productive or just have some fun at your next corporate event, then booking Magic Johnson is a no-brainer! His speeches are full of energy and laughter that will make everyone feel like they can do anything when it comes to their career goals. Plus, his personal life story about overcoming obstacles will inspire anyone who needs help getting back on track after experiencing setbacks in life.
Robert Kiyosaki is the world’s #6 motivational speaker.
Robert Kiyosaki is the author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, one of the most influential books on building personal wealth in recent history.
He has been a successful entrepreneur and investor for over 40 years. His insights on money management have helped millions of people around the world achieve financial freedom.
Robert is an entertaining speaker who’s talks are always filled with humor and fun stories from his own life experiences. It’s not just about learning what it takes financially; it’s also about having fun while doing so!
Deepak Chopra is the world’s #7 motivational speaker.
Deepak Chopra is a world-renowned speaker and bestselling author. He has been named one of the most influential thinkers in the world by Time Magazine and he’s also a pioneer in bridging Eastern wisdom with Western science.
Deepak Chopra is an internationally respected leader and visionary thinker who brings clarity to our complex times. His insights on how we can live more fulfilling lives are inspiring, empowering and transformational for all those who hear him speak or read his books.
This powerful motivational speaker will teach you how to take control of your mind so you can achieve anything you want out of life with ease. You’ll be able to find happiness no matter what happens because it’s all about attitude!
Dave Ramsey is the world’s #8 motivational speaker.
Dave Ramsey is a personal finance expert, radio show host and best-selling author. He’s also the founder of Ramsey Solutions, which offers financial education to help people get out of debt and save more money.
His advice has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek and Time Magazine. He’s written six books that have sold over 10 million copies worldwide. And he speaks at conferences all around the world on topics like “How to Get Out of Debt” or “The 7 Baby Steps.”
If you’re looking for an entertaining speaker who can provide some great tips on how to make your finances work better for you then Dave is your guy! You’ll walk away with practical information about budgeting, saving money and getting out of debt – not just ‘feel-good’ inspiration but real life strategies that will help you succeed financially. Plus his humor makes him a fun person to listen to!
Robin Sharma is the world’s #9 motivational speaker.
Robin Sharma is a professional motivational speaker and the author of “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”.
He has spoken to over one million people in 50 countries, including Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair. He’s been featured on CNN, Fox News Channel and ABC News. And he’s helped more than 100 Fortune 500 companies become high performance organizations with his keynote presentations.
If you want your team to be inspired by someone who has achieved what they are striving for, then booking Robin Sharma as your keynote speaker will do just that! He knows firsthand what it takes to succeed because he did it himself – and now he wants to help others achieve their goals too!
Simon Sinek is the world’s #10 motivational speaker.
Simon Sinek is a world-renowned author, speaker and consultant. He has been named one of the most influential leaders in the world by Fortune Magazine and his TED talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” has over 31 million views.
His books include “Start With Why”, “Leaders Eat Last”, and “Together Is Better”. He also founded The Sinek Company to help organizations find their voice so they can inspire action.
Simon’s talks are motivational but also educational. He will teach your team how to make better decisions that result in more success for your company while inspiring them to do what they love every day!
20 influential motivational speakers to watch
Honourable motivational speaker mentions
Famous motivational speakers of the past
The past is full of influential motivational speakers who have helped shape our world. We could not leave this article without mentioning some of the greats from the past who were the pioneers of motivational speaking today. These influential speakers and authors still have a huge impact and following today.
Popular motivational speaker themes
Top 5 motivational speakers on Overcoming Adversity
Popular motivational speeches
Your questions answered about the world’s best motivational speakers
Who is the No. 1 motivational speaker in the world?
As we mentioned above, this is very difficult to answer as it is subjective and depends on what area of the speaker’s life you look at. The following are often listed in the number 1 spot:
Who are the best female motivational speakers?
There are many wonderful female motivational speakers! Consider the following for your event:
Can you suggest some great motivational speeches on YouTube?
There are so many! Take a look at our Popular Motivational Speeches above for just a tiny selection of what you might find.
Which black motivational speakers can I book for my event?
Here’s a great selection to get you started: