motivational speaker or inspirational speaker is a speaker who makes speeches intended to motivate or inspire an audience. And there are a lot of good motivational speakers around the world, but there are few that just stand out. Somehow they don’t fit into the good category. They are way above that category, they are at the top. And I really owe a lot to those people, because they are the reason I keep grinding everyday. So who are the best motivational speakers, that have inspired me the most through the years?

Featured image source: Jenny Blake

The Top 10 Motivational Speakers

eric thomas, motivational speaker, photo, etEric Thomas – Website

A high school dropout. A homeless man. And now? Probably the most passionate motivational speaker ever. If we all had as much passion as him we would be on another level. He can motivate you to another level, his speeches are intense. I would suggest to every person that’s alive at this very moment and can still breathe to check out some of his speeches – You won’t be dissapointed!

Thomas does not sugarcoat anything. He is nicknamed the hip hop preacher and he is as blunt as a rapper. Thomas also talks about how it may take years to accomplish your definition of success. But, if you are truly committed to your goals and willing to make the necessary sacrifices you will be successful.

My favorite quote from ET –  When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.
My favorite ET speechHow Bad Do You Want It?
His best book – The Secret to Success

Les brown, motivational speaker, photo, LeslieLes Brown – Website

Les Brown was born with his twin brother Wesley on February 17, 1945 in a low-income section of Miami, Florida in an abandoned building. He was subsequently given up for adoption and adopted by Mamie Brown, a then 38-year-old single woman who worked as a cafeteria attendant and domestic assistant. He was declared “educably mentally retarded” while in grade school. Despite the obvious self-esteem issues this created, with the encouragement of his mother and assistance by a helpful teacher in high school, he learned how to reach his full potential, a key point in many motivational speeches he gives now.

Brown speeches focus on the importance of having a strong belief in yourself. And he teaches that you need to be bold and have supreme self-confidence. Brown also believes many people that set goals are setting their bar too low. ” Most people fail in life not because they aim to high and miss. But, because they aim to low and hit,” said Brown.  –

Source: Wiki

My favorite quote – Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality.
My favorite speech –  It’s Possible
His best bookLive Your Dreams

Motivational speaker, tony robbins, anthony, photoTony Robbins – Website

The 6-foot 7-inch tall Tony Robbins has a commanding presence and deep booming voice. And he is very passionate speaker that loves helping people achieve their goals and to get more fulfillment out of their lives.

Many motivational speakers are mainly fluff and not much substance. However, Robbins truly understands the psychology of success. “Long ago, I realized that success leaves clues, and that people who produce outstanding results do specific things to create those results,” said Robbins.

He begins his speeches by starting with basics such as what to you want to accomplish in your life and why do you want to achieve that goal. Then, Robbins goes into more detail about techniques and concepts that can help you accomplish your goals.

My favorite quote – If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.
My favorite speechTony Robbins’ Ted Talk
His Best BookAwaken The Giant Within

Nick Vujicic, motivational speaker, inspirational speaker, no legs, no armsNick Vujicic – Website

I don’t know if there is a person who wouldn’t get inspired while listening to Nick. Nick Vujicic was born with no arms and no legs. Yet, he is a very happy man and he lives life with joy. He is also a funny guy with a good sense of humor. And Vujicic tells jokes in his speeches and pokes fun at himself.

He teaches the importance of determination and never giving up. And quitting is not in his vocabulary. He believes nothing is impossible. And Vujicic stresses the value of not focusing on what you cannot do instead focus in life on what you can control and what you can do.

My favorite quote – The challenges in our lives are there to STRENGTHEN our CONVICTIONS. They are NOT there to run us over.
My favorite speechNo legs, No hands, No worries.
His best book –  Life without limits: Inspiration for a ridiculously good life

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Motivational SpeakerArnold Schwarzenegger – Website

Arnold Schwarzenegger envisions the goals that he wants to achieve then he does whatever it takes to achieve that goal. He does not care about critics or naysayers. Schwarzenegger focuses on believing in himself and using his immense work-ethic, strong self-discipline and determination to accomplish his goals.

Schwarzenegger speeches talk about how success can be difficult to obtain. But, you have to be stubborn and willing to conquer any obstacles you may encounter. And it is important to follow your heart to pursue what you want to accomplish in your life. Schwarzenegger talks about how you need to ask yourself who do you want to be?

My favorite quote – Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.
My favorite speech –  6 Rules Of Success
His best bookTotal Recall: My unbelievably true life story

Zig Ziglar, Motivational Speaker, Photo Zig Ziglar – Website

A talented author and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar has an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture and occupation. Since 1970, he has traveled over five million miles across the world delivering powerful life improvement messages, cultivating the energy of change.

My favorite quote – What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
My favorite speechI really hate my job
His best bookSecrets of closing the sale

Dr Wayne Dyer, W.Dyer, Motivational Speaker, photoDr. Wayne W.Dyer – Website

Dr. Wayne Dyer has written many books and featured many programs on PBS. Although born into poverty Dr. Dyer overcame this to live his dreams. Some of Dr. Dyer’s motivational speaking programs include The Power of Intention; Change your Thoughts, Change your Life; Your Ultimate Calling and Excuses begone, among others. Dyer proceeded to build on his success with lecture tours, a series of audiotapes, and regular publication of new books. He often recounted anecdotes from his family life, and repeatedly used his own life experience as an example. His self-made man success story was a part of his appeal.

My favorite quote – Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.
My favorite speechYour reality is created by your thoughts
His best bookWishes Fulfilled: Mastering the art of manifesting

Jim rohn, motivational speaker, photoJim Rohn – Website

Jim Rohn has helped many people achieve success, including fellow motivational speaker Anthony Robbins. Rohn is known for his powerful speeches that hit the mind and the soul so you are more than ready to get out there and make your dreams come true.

My favorite quote –  If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.
My favorite speechUse Your Own Mind
His best bookMy philosophy for successful living

Your turn now..

Which motivational speakers would you add to the list?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below and I will update the article according to the comments.

P.S. As the article was getting a lot of comments and the list was rather incomplete, I decided to do another article. You can read Top 10 Motivational Speakers – Parth Two by clicking here.

Sources:
http://voices.yahoo.com/top-5-best-motivational-speakers-12095778.html
http://makingmotivation.com/find-motivation-with-the-30-best-motivational-speakers
http://youtube.com
http://wikipedia.org

Author

About The Author:  Hey guys, I am the founder of MotivationGrid.com. My goal is to inspire people and help them become better. You can support me by subscribing to my YouTube channel - more than half a million people have already done it!

105 Comments

  1. Awesome! All are heroes of mine, but Ahhhnold tops the list. I idolized him during my bodybuilding days, learning much about his million dollar construction business and other successes outside of bodybuilding.

    What he touches turns to gold because he has vision, drive and cares little about critics.

    Thanks!

  2. Brilliant post and I love this quote:

    Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

    xxx

    • FAYAZ KHATTIReply

      yes struggle gives us a beautifull result in the form of happiness and relaxation either we get success or not in generally but we get happiness indirectly

  3. Some of my all time favorites on this list! Tony Robbins was my first self-help guru, followed by Jim Rohn. Great list. Glad you added Brian Tracy to the list too, he’s awesome.

    • all motivator are wording super ,excellnce,amazing i like to all motivator nd i will follow rules .

  4. Two things I love about this article is that we must set the bar high because the big goals get us excited and as we are taking massive action people can see that passion in our eyes. When they see that then they will ask what are we doing that makes us so happy?

    And the next one is that we must plan our daily activities because if we do not other people will take over who do not have any plans for us!!

    Lawrence Bergfeld

  5. Two of these speakers are no longer “in” this world. I think their should be mention of that as the title and context leads readers to believe these are all active subjects.

  6. Thanks a lot for sharing this excellent content to audience like me who were searching this for a long time. I would like to add Robin Sharma to this list.

  7. Be on the look out for a young gentlemen named “Coach Champ” His dream is to become the world’s greatest motivational speaker, coach, and teacher. He created his own show called “Morning Motivation” where he wakes up in the morning and delivers a high-energy, motivational speech which gives you the energy to have a good morning, which leads to a good day. Look out for the Coach!

  8. Les Brown is my mentor and favorite speaker.
    I wish to be world motivational speaker for over 30 years before stepping down. Just watch me coming.

  9. My favourite quote from a Motivational Speaker is:

    “Real Learning comes from failures and mistakes…rarely from success.”

    Thank you.

  10. David LawranceReply

    This a partial list. India’s best motivational speaker Naseer Khan must be included in any such list. He is one of the top motivational speakers in the world today. Each word of Naseer is a gem. I just love him.

    • I promise to check Naseer Khan! This is the first time I hear about him. If he is as good as you say, I will include him!

    • Amin LokhandwalaReply

      Yes, Lawrence I agree. Mr. Naseer Khan is world class. He is the best motivational speaker in India. He just rocks the audience. You feel ecstatic listening to him. He has wonderful creativity and wisdom.

      • This article is great. And I just love Naseer Khan. I think he is the best motivational speaker in India.

  11. Did anybody notice that all of these men are white or male Americans. No women? No motivation and positive psychology in other parts of the world? Maybe success comes a little bit easier to male Americans than the rest of the world.

    • lol, don’t feel too bad. There are lots of female speakers in America changing lives. Google Chimamanda Adichie. She’s one of the greatest female motivational speaker and writer alive. She should be on that list.

  12. Great article, even greater if you included some woment. ;-)Here are some great women speakers: Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Edna Adan and Suze Orman. Two great of the greatest that have now passed on Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill. Don’t forget Stephen Covey.

  13. Micheal preciousReply

    @Michelle, am coming up soon as one of the Great Female Motivational Speaker. Thats my Dream…. I pray God help me.
    I love the above listed Motivational speaker… I was marvelled when i had the opportunity to listen to one of pst. Nicks teaching.. #wonderful..

  14. Deidra SimonReply

    I was so excited to see Eric Thomas as the first listed! He’s on fire right now! I love Brian Tracy, Zig Z. and Tony Robbins! Great post!

  15. This is a great list. For me Robin Sharma should be in this list. Also I like Shiv Khera and his book “YOU CAN WIN” .

    • To me Robin Sharma is a top 5 motivational author, but not a top 10 Motivational speaker. The monk who sold his Ferrari is one of my favourite books!

  16. nice post….

    One of the great list of the motivational speakers.. i like each and every spear’s favorite quote listed by you, these are really too motivating.

  17. It has been mentioned that women are a small percentage of the motivational speaker ranks. Couple this with the fact that women are far and away the biggest consumers of motivational material and you have a real mystery. As far as being consumers of motivational material, it has been my experience that women are much more open to change and learning than men. Not asking for directions applies to more than traffic for many men. OK, thanks, Edward Smith.

  18. I’m glad there were other people who noticed that there were no women on this list. What about Malala (girl who was shot by the Taliban), Kristina Rapatti (check her out!), Iyanla, Mildred Muhammad (widow of the DC sniper) , Melissa Dohme…

  19. Thank for your list, but you forget to add to the list the following:
    1. Brian Tracy
    2. Tim Sales
    3. T. Harv Eker

    Thank you.

  20. S. N. Tiwary, DirectorReply

    Dedication, devotion, determination and discipline make a man successful.

  21. J Clement SelvarajReply

    Dr Wayne Dyer is my all time favorite. To me, absence of Louise L Hay makes the list rather incomplete.

  22. The one that touched me was Don La Foucade! He can relate to anyone. From students to the elderly. He is from the Caribbean.

  23. im poor and and unemployable because of a criminal background, i cant afford to travel to places to hear none of these speakers. im requesting free c.ds of some of these great speakers.

    • U can find each and every one of theirs audiobooks and speech in YouTube. Also most of their pages are in Facebook and other social media.

  24. samatha smithReply

    Daniel Ally is my all-time favorite motivational speaker!

  25. Mohammed ShaReply

    Thank you so much for bringing world class motivators to those who did not know them.
    Some are known to some and some are not known to some.
    This post gives an opportunity to research on these amazing men.
    Thank you.

  26. Arnold is never a motivational speaker. I can’t imagine anyone getting motivated by Arnold whatsoever!!

    • Why not? His success story is a great one, he overcame many difficulties. Also his speeches are really powerful and right on the spot? He is really a great source of inspiration for me.

  27. I have seen this guy speaking. He is amazing. You must read his content on his website. His url is Akash Gautam . He has following of more than 1150,000 on fb. He is a really cool guy.

  28. Cynthia RowlandReply

    i like the list, but i will like to see more women included. i love Zig Ziglar he is my most favorite speaker. i wish to be a world well know successful speaker some day. i will love to see Joel Osteen included as well in the list.

  29. Great List! I think you really did a great job at highlighting the top motivational speakers, especially some of the individuals on your list who may not be as known to most. I would have liked to have seen Jeff Adams (Olympian, world champion, overcame significant obstacles) and Eric Bailey (expert on vision and motivation) on your list, but we will all have our personal preferences.

    Feel free to check out this list (click on my name), which is a personal favorite of mine. Fair warning, it is considerably longer, but does a good job at providing a video with each speaker to give you a brief introduction into the speaker.

    Always remember as Les Brown says: “Do not let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality.”

  30. Google Chimamanda Adichie. She’s one of the greatest female motivational speaker and writer alive. She should be on that list.

  31. Arnold Schwarzenenger and Les Brown tops my favorite lists of favorite motivational speakers. Les Brown was my depression therapy. His videos brings me back to life each time i watch or listen to him.

    The list is not bias at all.

    • I don’t think Paulo Coelho is a motivational speaker, he is an inspirational author according to me, correct me if I am wrong.

  32. Great List! I think you really did a great job at highlighting the top motivational speakers, especially some of the individuals on your list who may not be as known to most. I would have liked to have seen India’s best motivational speaker Naseer Khan on this list.

    Thanks.

  33. Juliana ChikaReply

    I totally in disagreement with d notion about women. What about Joyce an author of many motivational books & that of speeches. Not withstanding,I am on d road 2 making a great one. Remember,your reality is created by your thoughts. Ur power of making it is also in your gender ,use it. Tnks

  34. Great list! Some of my favorites. I think I knew Dr. Dyer when a young student studying Psychology. I heard Zig in highschool and never forgot. Thanks!

    • Esther Wilhelm PridgenReply

      Nick’s story is amazing! I hope to be able to touch as many as he one day. As I share my own life’s journey.

      In Love And Light
      Esther Wilhelm Pridgen

  35. Excellent list .. although I haven’t heard all of them .. but will surely do … I also think you should add Sandeep Maheshwari an Indian motivational speaker to this list.

  36. There are so many amazing speakers! Good job narrowing it down. I would also include Amy Purdy – just heard her speak this summer and she is incredible.

  37. I agree that some of the authors and speakers that you listed are top motivational and self-development experts in the world but you omitted the pioneers like Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill as well as David Schwartz, the author of the Magic of Thinking Big. I also didn’t see Joe Vitale, Mr. Fire listed?

  38. My favorites:
    Les Brown and Arnold.
    I will take a look at the others in the list I do not know

  39. All great speakers – Thank you for this post. I would like to include Earl Nightingale.

    Inspired

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  41. The first three listed here are hands down my favorites on the list. I really admire most of everyone’s humble beginnings here, but I personally have met Eric Thomas and I must say, his passion really does ignite something in you. I remember attending his talks when I attended Michigan State University and I left the program every time excited to take on new challenges. I also look up to Tony Robbins and I hope to one day have the financial success he has acquired.

  42. I am very happy to see the list of top motivational speakers across the globe but i would like you to add Naseer Khan in your list as he is famous motivational speaker in the world. He is extraordinary in his space. For more details visit naseerkhan.in/

  43. Koren QuesadaReply

    I came across your site today and great work keep it up. Can’t wait for you to blow up. Wish we could talk in person and you could school me on some knowledge or vice versa and talk bout the current subject of motivational speaking and talk bout the law of attraction and etc. See you soon.

    Sincerely,
    Koren Quesada

  44. Wow!Motivationgrid! I love this blog. Eric Thomas is my all time favourite. I am from India but I love to listen to and watch motivational speakers like Zig Ziglar, Anthony Robbins, Robin Sharma etc. In India, my favourite is Naseer Khan. He is just an amazing motivational speaker. You know in India he is the best. Hey can I request you to include him in your list too? That would be just amazing.

  45. I know Tony Robbins and I really like him. I know Arnold Schwarzenegger but as a passionate bodybuilder and Film-star. I have never heard of any of the rest. Thanks for sharing the official web addresses of these speakers.

  46. Wow this is probably the best list of motivational speakers that I have seen on the web so far. Thank you for posting this great article. 🙂
    Mr. Vikas jain is also an Author, Keynote & Motivational Speaker.

  47. I always follow Robbins and Vujici. I never forget their new videos.

    And i also follow Sandeep Maheshwari. He is great guy in India.

  48. Many thanks for sharing this very useful list of posts on top motivational speakers.
    Nice to see Nick Vujicic in the list.

    Have a more blessed day.

  49. Super list!! I think Robin Sharma and Gary Vaynerchuk would make excellent additions to your collection, but I would have to agree with every speaker you included. They all pretty much rock! Keep up the great work!!

  50. I myself being a female motivational speaker has always been inspired by all of them. These 10 are a serious inspiration to live our lives. Even when I am carrying out different sessions I use to follow these gurus when speaking. You can see my story which is somehow similar to these people at http://cassandraworthy.com

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