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The 67 top motivational speakers in the world for 2021

Posted by Esther Nelson

Table of Contents

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.

Popularity

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, celebrity motivational speakers 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.

View our roster of Motivational Speakers

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 - the world's #1 motivational speaker

Oprah Winfrey is the world’s #1 motivational speaker and one of the leading celebrity keynote speakers.

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 - the world's #2 motivational speaker

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 is available for celebrity speaking engagements as well as motivational keynote speeches for any type of corporate event including conferences, team building events or even fundraisers.

Nick Vujicic - the world's #3 motivational speaker

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 OprahCNNThe 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 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 - the world's #5 motivational speaker

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 Magic Johnson is one of the celebrity public speakers who should be on your shortlist! 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 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 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 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 TimesUSA TodayNewsweek 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 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 CNNFox News Channel and ABC News. As one of the world’s leading business public speakers, 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 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

Cesar Millan

Cesar Millan

Brian Tracy

Paula White

Eckhart Tolle

Eric Thomas

Iyanla Vanzant

Jordan Belfort

Jack Canfield

Grant Cardone

Les Brown

Mel Robbins

David Goggins

Ryan Serhant

Kevin O’Leary

Daymond John

Lisa Nichols

Suze Orman

Barbara Corcoran

Darren Hardy

T. Harv Eker



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.

Norman Vincent Peale Motivational Speaker

Norman Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent Peale was a minister and author who became one of the fathers of motivational speakers. He is best known for his 1952 book, “The Power Of Positive Thinking” in which he outlines how to think positively about life’s challenges in order to overcome them. This book has helped many people find the power within themselves to turn their lives around, even during times of great adversity. Read more..

David J. Schwartz Motivational Speaker

David Schwartz

David J. Schwartz was a motivational writer and coach who has helped people all over the world to overcome their fears, find success and live happier lives. He wrote several bestselling books that have been translated into more than 30 languages worldwide including “The Magic of Thinking Big” which has sold over 5 million copies since it was first published in 1959. His philosophy was simple but powerful – if you think big enough, anything is possible! Read more..

Stephen Covey Motivational Speaker

Stephen Covey

Stephen R. Covey was an American author, businessman and motivational speaker. He wrote the best-selling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, published in 1989. His work has been translated into 30 languages and sold over 25 million copies worldwide. Covey’s philosophy is summarized by his statement “The most important thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” If you want to be more effective at what you do, then you need to read this book! Read more..

Napoleon Hill Motivational Speaker

Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill was a motivational guru who has helped countless people reach their goals. He was the author of “Think and Grow Rich” which is one of the best-selling books in history with over 100 million copies sold worldwide. His book was written during the Great Depression to help people find success in life through his 13 principles. He is considered to be one of the most influential thinkers in history, with his work having an impact on many people’s lives. Read more..

Wayne Dyer Motivational Speaker

Wayne Dyer

Wayne Dyer was a motivational guru who has helped millions of people find peace and happiness. He was the author of over 30 books, including “Your Erroneous Zones,” “Wishes Fulfilled” and “Excuses Begone!” In his words, “The only way to change your life is to change what you do every day.” He has been an inspiration to many people for decades. His teachings have helped thousands of people find peace with themselves and their lives. Read more..

Og Mandino Motivational Speaker

Og Mandino

Og Mandino was a motivational speaker who wrote over 40 self development books. His most famous work is “The Greatest Salesman in the World” which has sold over 10 million copies worldwide which discusses how to be successful by following certain principles. This book will show you that with hard work, dedication, faith, hope, love and service to others you can achieve anything! Read more..

Robert H. Schuller Motivational Speaker

Robert H. Schuller

Robert H. Schuller was a motivational guru who has been inspiring people for over 50 years with his messages of hope, faith and love. He was the founder of Crystal Cathedral Ministries in Garden Grove, California and he was also the host of The Hour of Power television program that aired on Sundays for more than 30 years. If you want to be inspired by someone who always had a positive outlook on life then his book, “Live Your Best Life Now”, will show you how to live your best life now! Read more..

Dale Carnegie Motivational Speaker

Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie’s books and seminars have helped millions of people become more confident, assertive, and successful. His teachings are as relevant today as they were when he first published them in the 1930s. He has been called “the father of modern-day self-improvement.” Dale Carnegie is still considered the world’s leading expert on human relations. He has helped millions of people learn to get along better with others, overcome personal fears and worries and find success in their lives. Read more..

Jim Rohn Motivational Speaker

Jim Rohn

Jim Rohn was a motivational guru who helped people all over the world live more fulfilling lives. He’s been called “The Father of Personal Development” and his teachings have impacted millions of people around the globe. His books and motivational seminars and programs are designed to help you take control of your life, so that you can achieve success. His most famous quote is “Success leaves clues”. Read more..

Zig Ziglar Motivational Speaker

Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar is one of the most influential motivational speakers in history. He has been a top-selling author for over 30 years. His philosophy on life was to “acquire wisdom, acquire wealth, acquire power.” This led him to become an expert salesman and trainer of salespeople. His lessons are timeless because they focus on principles rather than quick fixes or temporary solutions. And he didn’t just talk about professional success – he shared how to achieve it as well! Read more..


Popular motivational speaker themes

View our roster of Motivational Speakers

Top 5 motivational speakers on Overcoming Adversity
Top 5 motivational speakers on Personal Development
Top 5 motivational speakers on Peak Performance
Top 5 motivational speakers on Resilience

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:

Oprah Winfrey motivational speaker
Oprah Winfrey
Bear Grylls motivational speaker
Bear Grylls
Tony Robbins
Nick Vujicic motivational speaker
Nick Vujicic

Who are the best female motivational speakers?

There are many wonderful female motivational speakers! Consider the following for your event:

Mel Robbins
Iyanla Vanzant Motivational Speaker
Iyanla Vanzant
Debra Searle Motivational Speaker
Debra Searle
Cathy O'Dowd Motivational Speaker
Cathy O’Dowd

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:

Les Brown
Chris Gardner Motivational Speaker
Chris Gardner
David Goggins Motivational Speaker
David Goggins
Iyanla Vanzant Motivational Speaker
Iyanla Vanzant