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10 Speakers Who Motivate & Move Millennial Audiences

by Megana Kalakuntla
10 Speakers Who Motivate & Move Millennial Audiences

Are you in the market for a motivational keynote speaker to help connect with and drive millennials, college, or university students in need of inspiration? Perhaps you’re looking for someone that can relate to and understand millennials and spark a lightbulb moment. Or maybe you are on the hunt for keynote speakers who would be a good fit for millennials and Gen Z-ers who struggle with motivation and yearn for tips on how to foster motivation beyond the classroom and as they enter into the workforce.

Here are the top ten motivational and inspirational keynote speakers that we recommend who are breaking the ceiling with their moving messages and connecting with millennial audiences in deep and meaningful ways:

  1. Shon Hopwood
  2. Chris Gardner
  3. John O’Leary
  4. Kevin Hines
  5. Rob Jones
  6. Vernice Armour
  7. Adam Markel
  8. Scott Harrison
  9. Kristin Beck
  10. Ben Saunders

Learn more about each of these keynote speakers below, and click through to their speaker profiles to find out even more about each individual and watch video footage from their recent keynote talks.

Shon Hopwood 

Hopwood-Shon

Associate Law Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, Criminal Justice Reform Advocate, & Motivational Speaker

Shon Hopwood’s story is one that has an unusual beginning: at federal prison. Now an Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, Hopwood’s initially learned to write briefs for other prisoners while serving an 11 year sentence stemming from a string of five bank robberies. Hopwood’s unique story inspires millennials by proving that there can be success after failure and that second chances do exist for those willing to work hard enough for them.

Check out Shon’s speaker profile to read more about his speaking topics and watch this video to see his exclusive interview on 60 minutes.

Chris Gardner 

Chris-GardnerInspiration For the Film, The Pursuit of Happyness

Many millennials have most likely seen this speaker’s film, The Pursuit of Happyness. Chris Gardner’s story is one that will grab your audience’s attention and truly motivate students to accomplish incredible goals of their own. Gardner went from homeless on the streets with a son to becoming a stock broker and CEO. His message of perseverance is one that will motivate any college student.

Check out Chris' speaker profile to read more about his speaking topics and find out why he would be best suited to address millennial audiences.

John O'Leary 

John-O'LearyPresident of Rising Above LLC

John O'Leary's story began when he was only nine-years-old and was suffered burns on 100% of his body. Remarkably, he beat the odds and survived. His emotional journey and moving presentation will motivate young students by showing them they can beat the odds as well no matter what challenges they are up against. Students will walk away feeling transformed and with a new outlook on their future.

Check out John's speaker profile to find out more about him and watch this short clip of John speaking to get a preview of his presentation style.

Kevin Hines 

Kevin-HinesSuicide Survivor, Wellness Advocate, Best-Selling Author, & Documentary Filmmaker

Mental health struggles are a growing problem in today’s world, and statistics show that more than 25% of college students have been diagnosed or treated by a professional for a mental health condition. Kevin Hines is one of only thirty-six people to survive jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. His story will touch the lives of a college audience and motivate them to cherish life, strive for sound mental health, and focus on the positive aspects of their lives and work.

Check out Kevin's speaker profile to learn more about him and see why he is suited to address millennial audiences and watch this video of Kevin discussing his new documentary.

Rob Jones 

Rob-JonesRetired Marine Sergeant, Paralympic Bronze Medalist, & Endurance Athlete

Rob Jones life was completely altered in a matter of seconds when he was injured by a landmine, resulting in a double above-the-knee leg amputation. Rob’s journey post-combat has taken him from amputee to Paralympic bronze medalist. Rob’s enthusiasm for life and high spirit will both encourage millennials to never settle and never give up, even when they think all hope is lost.

Check out Rob's speaker profile to learn more about him, or watch this video to get a glimpse of what Rob’s Journey was like and the messages he shares in his keynote speeches.

Vernice Armour 

Vernice-ArmourFirst African-American Female Combat Pilot

Inspire and impress your audience with Vernice Armour's multiple accomplishments, including becoming America's first African-American female combat pilot. More than that, her engaging speaking style and passion for success will drive young millennials no matter what their interests are to chase big dreams. Beating the odds was no walk in the park for Vernice, but her gutsy attitude is contagious, and proves that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. She’ll surely hype your audience up and inspire them to create breakthrough results.

Check out Vernice's speaker profile to learn more about her speaking topics and watch this video to get a preview of Vernice’s speaking style.

Adam MArkel 

Adam-MarkelCEO, Entrepreneur, & Best-Selling Author of The Book, PIVOT: The Art & Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life

For any millennial groups that believe they are stuck, Markel will be the one to push them to pivot and change their lives. Markel is an expert in the ability to reinvent, and believes that it is critical for meaningful success. His high energy talks will waken millennials and teach them how to thrive.

Check out Adam's speaker profile to learn more about his speaking topics and watch this short clip of Adam sharing his morning ritual to get a better idea of his speaking style. 

Scott Harrison 

Harrison-ScottFounder & CEO of charity: water

From nightclub promoter to volunteer in West Africa to Founder of a non-profit, Harrison’s journey is a story many college students will be pulled into. Harrison has worked to raise over $260 million and has done water projects in 24 countries around the world. His transformational story will be one to inspire students and show them that one movement can change the world.

Check out Scott's speaker profile to learn more about his speaking topics and watch this video of his "Water Changes Everything" presentation at LinkedIn’s InDay speaker series event.

Kristin Beck 

Beck-KristinFormer US Navy SEAL and Civil Rights Activist

Beck’s story is unique, and one that many millennials will find incredibly moving. (In fact, in a recent study, statistics show that adults between the ages of 19 and 37 are more likely than ever to identify as LGBTQ.) From former Navy SEAL to civil rights activist, Beck’s journey is inspiring as she fights to end discrimination towards the LGBT community. Beck’s story will inspire and motivate your young audience to keep fighting and to always work towards becoming the best versions of themselves.

Check out Kristin's speaker profile to learn more about her speaking topics and watch this video to get a glimpse of Kristin’s incredibly journey.

Ben Saunders 

Ben-SaundersWorld Record-Breaking Polar Explorer & Repeat TED Speaker

Ben Saunder’s is an incredible motivational storyteller that will be able to convince adventurous young college students that anything can be accomplished with ambition and passion. According to statistics, 75% of millennials are interested in traveling abroad, which makes Saunder’s successful 105-day, 1,800-mile expedition story one that will fully grab millennials' attention.

Check out Ben's speaker profile to learn more about his story and speaking topics and watch this video from one of Ben’s recent TED Talks as well one of his many inspirational talks on his speaker profile page. 

We help identify the best speakers for conventions and meetings for our clients and would love to come up with a customized list for you that fits your audience. So if you’d like more information about any of these phenomenal keynote speakers, are interested in booking one of our speakers for an upcoming event or meeting, or want our team to send you a curated list of speaker recommendations based contact our team today!

You can also send us an email, call us at 1-800-SPEAKER, or live chat with a member of our team right now.

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