The Best Motivational Speakers in the World

Abigail Watts2 January 2020

The best motivational speakers  in the world have the incredible ability to transform our outlook on life. They often use their own unique story to inspire and motivate their audience – empowering them to make positive changes that will enable them to reach their full potential.

They have this incredible way of sharing their story, so you feel like you are there with them, that you are feeling what they are, and you truly get taken away in the moment. Their story is so inspiring that regardless of the audience, everyone can relate to it on a certain level.

Feel inspired as you look through the best motivational speakers  in the world, and discover how they can deliver incredible change in your business.

Benjamin Zander

Who knew that classical music had the power to transform lives? Tapping into the beauty of melodies, Benjamin Zander unravels the messages behind classical music in order to apply it to life lessons.

It’s incredibly moving looking at the impact that Benjamin has on an audience while explaining classical music. Imagine an entire audience listening, understanding and being moved by a piece from Chopin while discovering a fresh perspective on leadership, creativity, coaching and teamwork. Truly breath-taking.

Once experiencing the influence that Benjamin has on an audience, you’ll understand how much truth is in his message and you’ll be taken on a musical journey with him that you will never forget.

“Classical music is for everyone, they just haven’t discovered it yet.”

Spencer West

Imagine what it might feel like waking up one morning, at the age of 5, to be told that you will be losing both of your legs. Just let that sink in for a moment. How would you react? I bet you wouldn’t think, even for a moment, that at one point later in your life you would summit Mt Kilimanjaro after walking most of it on your hands.

This is exactly what Spencer West did. He took this moment as a 5-year-old and grasped it with two hands. Spencer now shares his incredible journey with others, how he overcame the struggles that he was faced with and the lessons he learnt that he shares with us all today.

Filled with humour and humility, his thought-provoking message inspires people to find opportunity in every challenge.

"We need to stop looking at obstacles as negative things. I firmly believe obstacles are given to us to help us learn and grow as individuals."

Malala Yousafzai

Surviving an assassination attempt at the age of 15 is something that is so hard to comprehend, but Malala continues the cause to give the right for every child to learn.

It was at the young age of 11 that Malala, inspired by her father’s activism, began campaigning for girls’ education. It was due to her increased media attention and campaigning that made her a target of the Taliban.

Malala continues to advocate for children’s education, raising awareness and whose story will continue to inspire for generations to come.

“If we don’t educate children, it means they become a generation lost. If you want to protect the next generation, you have to think about their education.”

Ingrid Betancourt

Listening to Ingrid telling the story of how she was kidnapped, is something that will stay with you. The emotions that she felt, you will feel with her. Fear, sadness, hatred towards those who kept her captive for 6 years, but also faith and finding strength in the most terrifying situations.

“Filled with hatred, filled with fear, I stood up and snapped out of it. I’m not going to become one of them. I’m not going to become an assassin. I still have enough freedom to decide who I want to be”.

Sharing the guiding principles that she lived by while she was in held hostage in the depths of the Colombian jungle, Ingrid will take you on a journey of self-discovery. A global symbol of freedom, her fight for democracy, freedom and peace is a shining example of dignity and bravery for the entire world.

“Faith in an exercise of the will. It’s what allows us to transform everything that we are; our weaknesses, our frailties, into strength, into power. It’s truly a transformation.”

Simon Sinek

How can you inspire others? How can we change so people go to work in the morning feeling inspired and appreciated? How can companies inspire their employees? These are just some of the questions that Simon does an incredible job of answering.

One of the prominent examples given to answer some of these questions was of that of the American Marine Corp. After initial training, soldiers leave with the mindset that they would put themselves in harms way because their team would do it for them. After such a small period of time, they would risk their lives because others would do the same for them.

Just imagine if this level of dedication and inspiration was felt by employees and companies. With a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people go home every day feeling fulfilled by their work, Simon is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them.

“When we do good for others, it actually inspires others to do good for others.”

Diana Nyad

“It’s the 5th time I stand on this shore, the Cuban shore, looking out at that distant horizon, believing again that I will make it all the way across that vast and dangerous wilderness of an ocean.”

Diana Nyad, along with being the first person to do so, achieved her lifelong dream of swimming an extreme 100-miles from Cuba to Florida. Stroke by stroke in the pitch black, being stung by jellyfish, choking on salt water, hallucinating, singing John Lennon on repeat, Diana found a way to keep going.

An incredibly motivating story of teamwork, perseverance, preparation and determination, you truly feel like you can achieve anything when listening to Diana speak. Her mantra is one to live by, and with her incredible story to back it, it’s the perfect storm for inspiring lessons.

“Find a way. If you have obstacles in front of you, as we all do, none of us get through this life without heartache, without turmoil. And if you believe and have faith, and you can get knocked-down and get back up again and you believe in perseverance… you find your way.”

Daniel Pink

There is a mismatch between what science known and what business does, so how can that be rectified? Daniel debunks some of the myths of motivation, looking at the reward vs punishment approach and how it can be more detrimental to a company then beneficial. “Rewards actually narrows our focus, and restricts our possibility”.

If you’re looking for a high performing employee base, then David is someone to hear. He questions some of the biggest motivation assumptions the world has created in the world of business. Utilising case studies from around the world, David answer the questions over intrinsic motivators vs extrinsic motivators, autonomy master and purpose vs carrots and sticks.

Businesses need to look at the issues surrounding the rewards and motivators that are the natural part of businesses, stop what is destroying creativity, and utilise what people’s drives actually are. Daniel is the one with the answers, and a different perspective on what motivates people.

Tara Westover

Born in the mountains of Idaho, to a father who opposed public education and hospitals, Tara escaped her violent older brother by teaching herself algebra and grammar. In a fascinating story about living in a radical survivalist Mormon family, Tara shares the reality of what life for her was like.

Self-taught, Tara passed college admissions allowing her to step foot in a classroom for the first time at age 17. Sharing the importance of education, she released a moving coming-of-age memoir, Educated, in 2018 and was a #1 New York Times bestseller upon its debut.

“I had grown up preparing for the days of abomination, watching for the Sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. I spent my summers bottling peaches, and my winter rotating supplies. When the world of men failed, my family would continue on unaffected… Our lives were a cycle, the cycle of the day, of the seasons. Circles of perpetual change that when complete, but nothing had changed at all. I believe my family was part of this immortal pattern, that we were in some sense eternal.”

Nick Vujicic

“…We have a choice. Either to be angry for what we don’t have, or be thankful for what we do have.” Without any medical explanation or warning, Nick was born with neither arms nor legs. Sharing key messages on the value of life, and anti-bullying, he shares the ups and downs of his life growing up.

At age 10 he tried to drown himself, but found the strength within to not go through with it. “Words can only do so much. Hugs can do much more then words, but when hugs can’t do anything, that’s when faith kicks in.

Now the found and CEO of the non-profit organisation, Life Without Limbs, Nick is a loving husband, father and is inspiring millions of people worldwide, even though growing up he was bullied and told that there was no point in him living. Highlighting the importance of parenting in early childhood and its significance in overcoming hopelessness, Nick is a truly inspiring speaker who’s is changing the lives of people who are fortunate enough to get to see and meet him.

“Words are powerful. When you hear those words, then your mind starts growing with those words.”

Richard Phillips

Highlighting the importance of leadership and teamwork, combined with the belief in the power and potential of yourself and your team, Richard Phillips story is all of this with a huge amount or courage from all involved. Captain Phillips was the captain of the ship Maersk Alabama when he and all crew mates aboard were taken over by Somali pirates.

A harrowing story that chills you to your core, Richard’s story hit the big screen in the film adaptation, Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks. After pirates’ board the US ship, the team enact their training and go into hiding, apart from the captain and the crew on the deck. After negotiations to let the pirates escape the ship, they kidnap the captain and attempt to get him to shore. This is when the US Navy get involved and rescue the Richard 96 hours after he was kidnapped.

You will feel the fear and courage in Richards voice as he retells what happened during this hijack and kidnapping. “Nothing is over until we choose to give up. Failure isn’t final and success isn’t a guarantee in the future.” Richard’s story is one that will stay for you for a long time.

“You are much stronger than you even know. You can do more and you can take more”

We hope you’ve enjoyed finding out about some of the best motivational speakers in the world, and feel inspired to introduce your audience to these empowering individuals at your next event.

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