Top Inspirational Speakers: Transform Your Audience's Lives

Captivate your audience with dramatic stories of adversity, triumph, and change. Our awe-inspiring speakers redefine courage and human potential. They can energize listeners with stories that inspire peak performance, move your audience to action, and create a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose. These inspirational speakers have moving inspirational stories that draw out emotions in your audience and leave them feeling like they are capable of accomplishing anything.

Let us know if you are interested in one of our speakers for your event.

Former SEAL Team Six Leader, Naval Special Warfare Development Group, & New York Times Best-Selling Author

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Rob O’Neill is one of the most highly-decorated combat veterans of our time. He was a team leader and operator with the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (SEAL Team Six). He has held combat leadership roles in more than 400 missions, but with most of his career shrouded in a classified cloak, O’Neill served his remarkable career in the shadows. Through incredible stories drawn from lessons learned during some of the country’s most headline-stealing conflicts, he shows audiences how to approach strategic planning when mission failure is not an option.

Astrophysicist, Former Space Science Education Lead for NASA, & Inspirational Speaker

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Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi has three degrees, 8 U.S. patents, four E.U. patents and has hosted shows on the Science Channel and on Discovery. But more impressive is his life story. Oluseyi grew up in the roughest neighborhoods of America, learned to survive on the street, and still taught himself Einstein’s theory of relativity from an old set of encyclopedias. At every turn he was presented with a compelling option to quit and yet he persevered. Today, he is a NASA astrophysicist, a global educator, and the author of the highly-anticipated memoir A Quantum Life: My Unlikely Journey from the Streets to the Stars where he recounts his journey from the streets to the stars. Dr. Oluseyi is exclusively represented by Leading Authorities.

First African American Army Surgeon General and Former Commanding General, US Army Medical Command

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Europe: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*

A trailblazer in female leadership and one of the top female motivational speakers, Lieutenant General (ret) Nadja West is the 44th Army Surgeon General and the former Commanding General of US Army Medical Command. She is the first African American woman 3-star General in the Army’s history, the first African American Army Surgeon General, and currently the highest-ranking woman to ever graduate from West Point. West shares her story of grit, perseverance, strength, and breaking boundaries, even when faced with adversity. Taking audiences on her journey to becoming the Army’s first African American woman 3-star General, she motivates them to overcome challenges with self-belief, bravery, and balance. With more than 20 years of experience in executive leadership, crisis management, and disaster response – including crafting the DOD medical response to the Ebola crisis – West speaks expertly on leadership tactics to effectively lead teams through times of uncertainty and crisis.

Retired NASA Astronaut, Electrical Engineer, & Third African American Woman in Space

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $35,001 - $55,000*

A NASA astronaut and black motivational speaker, Joan Higginbotham is a trailblazing electrical engineer who in December 2006, flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery to become the third African American woman to travel into space. Over the nearly 13-day mission, she joined the seven-member crew to continue construction of the International Space Station (ISS), embarking on four space walks and operating the station’s robotic arm. Sharing captivating insights from her 20-year distinguished career with NASA, Higginbotham inspires audiences with her personal journey of breaking barriers into space and beyond. Taking groups aboard the International Space Station and sharing her lessons-learned along the way, she highlights the keys to succeeding in her missions – including preparation, perseverance, and never giving up – and how these tactics can be applied to any endeavor.

Legendary "Iron Man" of Baseball

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*

One of the true legends of baseball, "Iron Man" Cal Ripken, Jr. broke several professional records during his 21 seasons, but none is as sacred as his consecutive-games-played record. Shattering Lou Gehrig's streak of 2,131 games by more than 500, Ripken displayed perseverance, endurance, and an everyday work ethic that endeared him to fans, transformed him into a national icon, and some argue, even saved baseball at its darkest moment. An inspirational speaker, philanthropist, businessman, and best-selling author, Cal Ripken, Jr. is the personification of leadership, commitment, and excellence. As a male motivational speaker, in warm and witty presentations filled with stories from his illustrious career, he shares how his keys to success apply to both the business world as well as the baseball field.

Adventurer & First Woman to Kayak the Amazon River

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  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Europe: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Asia: $20,001 - $35,000*

An adventurer, record-setter, and boundary-breaker, Darcy Gaechter is best known as the first woman - and member of the first team - to kayak the Amazon River from source to sea. The journey required her crew to paddle over 4,000 miles across the widest part of South America, a voyage that took 148 days to complete. She is also the author of The Kayaker’s Guide to Ecuador and Amazon Woman, an adventure memoir detailing her Amazon River expedition and the life challenges she faced to get there – the rights of which have been purchased to turn her story into a movie. Gaechter inspires audiences with her personal journey of overcoming obstacles and making the impossible possible – sharing useful tactics to take on even the most daunting of challenges and demonstrating how a strong belief in yourself and in your goal are key ingredients to any success.

NASA Astronaut, Navy SEAL, CEO and President of the National Medal of Honor Museum

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  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $35,001 - $55,000*
A decorated veteran of the sea, air, land, and outer space, Captain Chris Cassidy is among the leaders of an exclusive and distinguished group of accomplished military astronauts who have made an impact on and beyond this world. Recognized for his leadership and achievements as a United States Navy SEAL and a NASA astronaut, CAPT Cassidy’s various military deployments and spaceflight missions provided the catalysts for an action-packed career where he made the most of every opportunity presented to him, even in challenging and high-stakes environments.

Renowned Leadership Expert and Colonel, USAF (Ret.)

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Asia: $55,001 - $75,000*

Described by Dr. Brené Brown as one of her “leadership heroes and a total badass,” U.S. Air Force retired Colonel, DeDe Halfhill is a proven leader and communications executive who draws on her 25-year accomplished military career to provide a transparent, real-world perspective on the power of embracing humanness and vulnerability in leadership. During her time with the Air Force, DeDe became a trusted advisor to some of our nation’s highest-ranking military leaders, including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense. Deployed twice during the Iraq War, DeDe gained first-hand experience leading and advising through the most difficult circumstances, often when lives were at risk, and when there were no easy answers. She understands leadership, not just from studying it, but by actually living it. Weaving in both humorous and heartwarming stories, she demonstrates the practical strategies for any organization to authentically connect, build trust, and empower others in a meaningful way – and, with Brené Brown's words, that leading with vulnerability and humanity is the path to true courage and exceptional leadership.

Grammy-Nominated Creator of "Poetic Voice" & Inspirational Speaker

Fees
  • Local: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US East: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US West: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*

A school teacher turned actor, musician, two-time national poetry slam champion, entrepreneur, and award-winning poetic voice, any given day may now find Sekou keynoting at a leadership conference, helping a Fortune 500 company with brand messaging, or even performing pieces for Barack Obama in Oprah’s backyard. Sekou is a black motivational speaker and the creator of Poetic Voice, a new, cutting-edge speaking category that seamlessly fuses inspirational speaking with spoken word poetry to make messages more moving and memorable. For over 15 years, Sekou Andrews has been helping the world’s largest organizations deliver relevant information with riveting inspiration through an innovative, unconventional category of speaking called “Poetic Voice.”

Creator of 100 Things Philanthropic Movement

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  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $35,001 - $55,000*

Known worldwide for pursuing an incredible list of 100 Things that he wants to achieve before he dies, Sebastian Terry’s story is surprisingly not about a bucket list. It’s about something more far reaching: Permission, choice, growth, and connection. Affected by a curious mind and the death of a close friend, Sebastian experienced a moment in his life where he asked himself a simple question: “Am I happy?”. The answer was NO and so he decided to pen down a list of 100 Things that he’d always wanted to achieve. Sebastian's incredible story has grown from an entertaining tale of adventure into a global philanthropic movement that engages a growing tribe of hundreds of thousands to not just set meaningful goals, but pull the trigger and achieve them—all while helping others do the same. Guaranteed to make you laugh, cry, and inspire motivation, his talk will re-engage, connect, and inspire your organization to move forward as one.

Innovator and CEO, Uncharted

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  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*

Jessica O. Matthews is the Founder & CEO of Uncharted, an award-winning energy and data technology company that develops infrastructure solutions for communities, facilities, and Internet of Things. The company was founded by Jessica when she was only 22 years old. Jessica’s research and career centers around the intersection of disruptive technology, renewable energy, human behavior, and the psychology of self-actualization. A business motivational speaker and dual citizen of Nigeria & the U.S., Jessica has a degree in Psychology and Economics from Harvard University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and is listed on over 10 patents and patents pending—including her first invention of the SOCCKET, an energy generating soccer ball, at the age of 19.

World-Class Blind Adventurer

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  • Local: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US East: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*
Erik Weihenmayer is a world-class adventurer, the first blind man to summit Mount Everest, and one of only 150 mountaineers to climb the Seven Summits. His latest and most demanding adventure is kayaking the 277 miles of the Grand Canyon. One of the most exciting and well-known athletes in the world, he never let his lack of vision interfere with his quality of life. Weihenmayer’s feats have earned him incredible press coverage and dozens of awards. He is also the author of two books and addresses leadership, teamwork, overcoming adversity, motivation, and inspiration.

Record-Breaking Explorer & Repeat TED Speaker

Fees
  • Local: Under $10,000*
  • US East: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US West: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Europe: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Asia: $35,001 - $55,000*
Polar explorer, TED speaker, and record-breaking long-distance skier Ben Saunders fuses the spirit of adventure with impressive technical ingenuity. He has five North Pole expeditions under his belt and is best known for leading one of the most ambitious expeditions in a century. Humble and self-effacing, he is an explorer of limits and his message is one of inspiration, empowerment, and boundless potential. He explores the dichotomy between ideas and action and urges audiences to consider carefully how to spend the “tiny amount of time we each have on this planet.”

Legendary Business Leader, Fmr. CEO of Flywheel Sports, & Fmr. President of Nike, Gatorade, & Equinox

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Executive, activist, and entrepreneur, Sarah Robb O’Hagan is described by the media as everything from “Superwoman undercover” to the “Queen of the Jocks” to the ultimate example of where fierce business woman, mother, and fitness fanatic combine. Named among Forbes “Most Powerful Women in Sports” and recognized as one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business,” Sarah's career includes leadership roles at some of the world’s most iconic brands. She is the former CEO of Flywheel Sports, former President of Gatorade, former Director at Nike, and an internationally recognized re-inventor of brands. She is the founder of Extreme Living, a consultancy focused on bringing the best out of individuals and organizations, and CEO of Exos, the world leader in elite performance training that helps people reach higher and achieve more.

Medal of Honor Recipient & New York Times Best-Selling Author

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $20,001 - $35,000*
Sergeant Dakota Meyer is a Marine Corps veteran and the recipient of the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest honor. He is the first living marine to have received the medal since 1973 and is also one of the youngest. Through five successive missions, he helped save the lives of 13 American and 23 Afghan troops. President Barack Obama awarded Meyer the medal on September 15, 2011. Meyer was also inducted into the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon. He addresses motivation, courage, leadership, believing in yourself, doing what is right, and what happened that day in Afghanistan.
Accomplish More with Top Inspirational Speakers

What moves your audience? Is it the explorers that push themselves to discover new realms? What about the US military leaders who lead forces on high-stakes missions? Whatever it is that captures your audience’s attention, stories from our top inspirational speakers are bound to leave them amazed.

From military veterans and scientists to CEOs and explorers, our inspirational speakers are ready to share their stories, whether you’re hosting an event focused on team-building, goal-setting, innovation, leadership, or other topics that are trending in the lecture industry.

Because our talented inspirational speakers come from many different backgrounds, we help you find the best speaker for your event and audience. That means we think about more than your budget. We also consider your goals, audience demographics, and theme so we can create a list of inspirational speakers who meet your needs.

We don’t stop there, though. Our team also takes care of the logistics in getting your speaker from Point A to Point B and helps with choosing and organizing event extras. Find out more about our top inspirational speakers by browsing their profile today.

Topics Covered by Our Inspirational Speakers

Our top motivational speakers cover a wide range of topics including, how to achieve success in life, motivation and inspiration, their bestselling books and nuggets of wisdom, the difference between female and male motivation, how to unleash the power from within and become the best version of yourself, how to succeed at public speaking, how to become a professional speaker, and how to internalize the thoughts and beliefs of top inspirational conference speakers.

Additional topics these popular motivational speakers talk about are leadership, adventure, branding, economic outlook, turnaround, teamwork, sales, risk-taking and its pros and cons, relationship building, peak performance, overcoming adversity, growth, and overall happiness and well-being. Inspiration plays a key role in enabling others to feel as though they have it within themselves to create something great or enable positive change to happen. Without inspiration, new products and ideas come to a standstill. Booking famous motivational speakers benefits any type of organization and will have a positive impact on any audience. Contact our motivational speakers bureau to get started.

These top motivational speakers and famous inspirational speakers come from all backgrounds and walks of life, with experience in delivering a motivated seminar, speaking at TED talks, are bestselling authors, former Navy SEALs, and world-renowned experts. For some professional motivational speakers, being public speakers did not always come easily. For some, watching motivation videos, having a motivational coach, reading a motivational author, watching other celebrity motivational speakers, practicing public speaking, and surrounding themselves by motivational people is what helped them succeed.

When to Consider Booking an Inspirational Speaker

These famous, inspirational speakers are perfect for any audience in any situation, but especially when your listeners are in the need for corporate speakers or business speakers that don’t just talk about the good parts of life. The most successful speakers in the world are those that can tie in personal anecdotes and instances that are relatable to audiences, even if they haven’t experienced a situation like it before. Successful celebrity speakers are authentic and can inspire and motivate people that have been in a rut or need a general pick-me-up to keep them going on a successful track.

Inspirational speakers are the perfect fit for annual meetings, sales conferences, live broadcast events, or any situation where motivational speaking is involved. A CEO keynote speaker or American motivational speaker can elevate any event experience to increase motivation and productivity.

According to Entrepreneur, unhappy and unsatisfied workers can cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion per year. Investing in employees and company culture can help resolve this issue and increase employee happiness, satisfaction, and retention. Employers are coming to the realization that just being able to offer a job is not enough – providing a competitive salary, work perks, substantial benefits, and a welcoming and inclusive environment are all things future employees are looking to check off on their list. If these things cannot be provided, employees are going to look elsewhere to have these needs satisfied. American motivational speakers can provide companies with the inspirational talks that employees look forward to and lean on.

Our Process

Working with LAI makes planning an event and choosing a speaker for your meeting easy. If this is your first time searching for a speaker for an event – we are here to help. The process begins by reaching out to us and giving us a rundown of what type of event you’re planning and what type of presenter you’re searching for. The type of event you’re planning and the speaker for that event will need to go together – if you’re planning a formal event, a lax speaker is most likely not the right fit. Once we’ve established what type of speaker is right for the event that you're putting together, we will send you a variety of speaker options, all within your desired fee range. You will have the ability to explore each of these speakers’ profiles in-depth, their accomplishments, their bios, and their speaking topics, along with some sample speaking footage.

After you pick the speaker you would like to have present at your event and we confirm their availability, LAI handles the rest from there. Everything from deciphering travel logistics to ensure that the speaker is at the meeting on time, to providing their headshot and biography for your event marketing purposes, Leading Authorities speakers bureau is there every step of the way. Additionally, if you are looking for help producing the event, whether it is taking place virtually, in-person, or in a hybrid setting, LAI Live an help. And if you’re looking for a sizzle reel to intro your speaker or a compilation video that highlights the peaks of the meeting, LAI Video can help as well.

Accomplish More with Top Inspirational Speakers

For more information or to book a speaker for you next event or meeting, contact our team.

To get in touch, you can also send us an email at Contact@lauthorities.com, fill out the form below, live chat with a member of our team online, or call us at 1-800-SPEAKER.