Motivational Speakers

Energize, motivate, and inspire your audience with motivational stories that inspire peak performance. Our renowned motivational speakers list is comprised of motivational speakers in the U.S.A. and around the world. They are leaders in sports, business, the military, and more, and they share standing-ovation-worthy stories about pushing past limits, overcoming adversity, and thriving in challenging environments. With our expansive roster of motivational keynote speakers, we'll find a speaker that fits your event like a glove.

Our Top Motivational Speakers

Leading Authorities, Inc. speakers bureau represents famous motivational speakers and great motivational speakers who are the right mix of entertaining and educational for your group. The insights and stories from these motivational celebrity speakers are so engaging that they stay with audiences long after the keynote is over. Here are popular types of motivational speakers, but we have much more:
 

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

Olympic Champion Swimmer; 10x Olympic Medalist, 21x World Champion, 14x World Record Breaker

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    Please Inquire
Katie Ledecky is a 10-time Olympic Medalist (seven Gold, three Silver) and 21-time World Championship Gold Medalist, the most for any female swimmer. She has broken 14 World Records and 37 American Records in her career. Katie was the most decorated female athlete at both Tokyo and Rio Games and had the most decorated single Olympics performance ever by a U.S. female athlete in Rio. Katie’s success has earned her USA Swimming’s Golden Goggles Award as Female Swimmer of the Year an unprecedented eight times. A recent graduate of Stanford University, Katie is passionate about the importance of education, especially STEM and leadership programs for girls. Katie went home with more hardware at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics - two gold medals and two silver medals, making her the most decorated female swimmer in individual events of all time. She also made history by winning gold at the first ever 1500m women’s event.

Legendary "Iron Man" of Baseball

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

World-Class Blind Adventurer

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

For the best motivation story, Erik Weihenmayer is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers in the world. Despite losing his vision at age 14, he is an accomplished climber, paraglider, skier, and kayaker who never allows blindness interfere with his passion for pursuing an exhilarating and fulfilling life. Erik brings audiences a powerful message about harnessing the power of adversity as fuel for greatness, emphasizing the importance of building a strong “Rope Team,” and illuminating how to develop a “No Barriers Mindset.”

Alexander Hamilton in Broadway’s “Hamilton,” Actor & Advocate

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US West: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Europe: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*
For years, Miguel Cervantes was the actor behind the most visible role in the world of the performing arts. Following his standout performances as Alexander Hamilton in the Chicago run of Hamilton: An American Musical, he was hand-picked by the show’s creator and original Alexander Hamilton actor Lin-Manuel Miranda to play the role of the title character in the Broadway run of the universally beloved production in 2020. He would stay in the role until 2024. Cervantes’ ascent to the stratosphere of theatrical excellence embodies the essence of creativity, resilience, and unwavering dedication to one’s purpose. He overcame setbacks and unthinkable personal tragedy to capture imaginations with his spellbinding portrayal of Alexander Hamilton and cement his legacy as one of the great performers of our time. He taps into the magic of story and performance to inspire audiences to write their own unique script to success.

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

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 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.

Legendary Saturday Night Live Producer

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $55,001 - $75,000*
A legendary presence behind one of America’s most beloved television shows, Lindsay Shookus is an Emmy award-winning producer who, for 20 years, worked as a veteran producer for “Saturday Night Live.” During her tenure, as producer and head of the talent department, Shookus was responsible for engineering the show’s success from booking celebrity hosts and musical guests and creating comfort and connections between them and the cast, to scouting rising stars to join the show’s ranks. She played a pivotal role in launching the careers of household names, including Kristin Wiig and Kate McKinnon — cementing her reputation for having a sharp eye for talent within the entertainment industry. She points to her own experiences to lead an on-stage masterclass on personal transformation, building connections, and embracing life’s obstacles on the road to overcoming them.

Legendary British Skier, Four-Time Winter Olympian; BBC “Ski Sunday” & Olympic Presenter

Fees
  • Local: Under $10,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: Under $10,000*
  • Asia: Please Inquire
Widely regarded as one of Britain’s greatest-ever skiers, Chemmy Alcott is a four-time Winter Olympian who has defied the odds in sport and life to inspire the world and show people that anything is possible when they’re willing to take risks. She represented Team GB throughout her 20-year sporting career, during which she became the eighth ranked skier in the world and the first British ski racer to win a run in the World Cup.

High-Impact Leadership Expert & Retired Green Beret

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*
Described as the “Warrior Storyteller,” retired Lieutenant Colonel Scott Mann is a human connection expert and coach who works alongside organizations to unite their teams around a shared vision and arm them with the tools and resources to make an impact and achieve mission success. A former U.S. Army Green Beret who specialized in unconventional, high-impact special operations in do-or-die conflict zones all over the globe, Mann applies his hard-won lessons from the battlefield to business as he shares the relationship-building techniques that drove so many of his successful combat operations. Through Rooftop Leadership, the professional training and coaching program that he founded, Mann advises servant leaders across industries — from Fortune 100 corporations (including Capital One, Walmart, Raymond James, and Fannie Mae) to local small businesses — on how to mobilize their teams, forge deeper connections with their people, and gain a more complete understanding of the opportunities that exist to create high-trust, high-performance cultures.

Motivational Leadership Expert, FBI’s First African American Female Special Agent Assistant Director

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: Please Inquire
  • Asia: Please Inquire
Cassandra “Cassi” Chandler is an innovator, strategist, investigator, and leader who has broken barriers, led diverse teams, and built cultures of motivational leadership and inclusivity at some of the world’s most important organizations, including Bank of America and the FBI. In a career that has included many “firsts” across the U.S. government and financial services industries, she served as the FBI’s first African American female special agent assistant director as well as the Bureau’s first female national spokesperson and director of public and community affairs. In addition to defining the tools motivational leaders need to mindfully build more high-performing cultures, Chandler provides actionable insights on how to move the needle while leading with empathy.

Former Secret Service Special Agent and Interrogator, Co-Host of Bravo TV’s “Spy Games”

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*

For more than 12 years, Evy Poumpouras served as a Secret Service special agent in an action-packed career during which she was responsible for protecting the world’s most high-value assets. She was a member of the Presidential Protective Division for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, and also protected Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush. Today, she is a widely recognized multimedia journalist, host, and producer who uses her skills in front of the camera and behind it to conduct headline-grabbing interviews and investigate the biggest stories in the media. She appears regularly on “TODAY,” NBC, MSNBC, and “Good Morning America” to share her sought-after expertise on national security, law enforcement, and crime, and is the host of Bravo TV’s competition series “Spy Games.” Having mastered the arts of communication and psychology in a wide-ranging career that has taken her from the Secret Service to the TV screen and everywhere in between, Poumpouras offers unconventional strategies for crushing any challenge and living life fearlessly.

Founder & CEO of GRAVITAS, National Bestselling Author of GRAVITAS (USA Today, No. 1 on Amazon)

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*
Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of GRAVITAS, seamlessly blends stories from her data-driven insights from 11 years at McKinsey & Company and from her experience as an entrepreneur launching an innovative retail brand to offer talks that encourage audiences to choose self-confidence, work to harness their “superpower,” and use gravitas to advance personally and professionally. Sun explores why it’s vital to push past your potential, how to transform an idea into a movement, and why you’ve got to bet on yourself every single day. Sun has always had a passion for style, for inclusivity, and for helping people look and feel their best and was named one of Washingtonian Magazine's Best Dressed Women.

Record-Breaking Explorer & Repeat TED Speaker

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • 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.”

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

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    Please Inquire

Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, author the critically acclaimed memoir, A Quantum Life: My Unlikely Journey from the Streets to the Stars, is an internationally-recognized astrophysicist, science TV personality, and global education advocate who has had a long, distinguished career in academia, scientific research, and motivational speaking.

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

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

Inspirational Changemaker in Science & Society; Cutting-Edge Communicator; Founder & Director of the Ramsey Research Foundation

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*
One of only a handful of African Americans to earn a PhD in entomology, Dr. Sammy Ramsey is an inspirational science leader and communicator who has defied the odds to achieve his dreams and is a testament to the power of grit, determination, and an unwavering commitment to one’s purpose. When people said he didn’t have what it took to make his mark in entomology, he proved them wrong by making a breakthrough discovery in the field of bee research — one that could potentially reverse a devastating pandemic in bee populations. And when people told him he didn’t “look” like a scientist, he remained true to himself and redefined what a scientist could look like. Dr. Ramsey has mastered the art of unconventional thinking to arrive at innovative solutions to some of the most significant challenges shaping the future of our society and teaches organizations and individuals how they can do the same as they address their most-pressing challenges in business and life head-on.

Adventurer, Author, First & Only Woman to Kayak the Amazon River from Source to Sea

Fees
  • 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.

World Class Magician, TV Personality, Former NFL Pro Bowler

Fees
  • Local: $75,001 and up*
  • US East: $75,001 and up*
  • US West: $75,001 and up*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*
As an entertainer for over twenty years, Jon is known as the NFL's “Magic Man" and is respectfully referred to as the "Entertainer's Entertainer." He also has performed personally for Jason Statham, Nicholas Cage, Garth Brooks, Magic Johnson, the entire New England Patriots football team, Joe Montana and Dan Marino.

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

Fees
  • Local: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US East: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • 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 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.”

Make A Difference With Motivational Speakers

As one of the largest motivational speaking bureaus, we represent the best motivational speakers ever—and we’re not just saying that. They offer inspiring, one-of-a-kind experiences that captivate audiences around the globe. Their unique experiences—and natural knack for speaking in front of crowds—allow them to deliver moving stories.

With our expansive roster of motivational keynote speakers, we’ll find a speaker that fits your event like a glove. Looking for a famous motivational speaker who’s an Olympic medalist to talk about the limits they pushed past to stand on the podium? Check. Looking for a great motivational speaker who is also a blind adventurer? Check. How about a motivational celebrity speaker to discuss the adversity they overcame in the industry? Or an adventurer who’s been to the farthest reaches of the globe? Check and check.

Whether you are seeking top business speakers, corporate speakers, professional keynote speakers, an American motivational speaker, a black motivational speaker, a life coach, youth motivational speakers, female motivational speakers, influential motivational speakers, professional sports speakers, sales motivational speakers, postitive speakers, business motivational speakers, or a motivational author, we have you covered. Our corporate motivational speakers cover topics such as public speaking, inspiring people, inspirational stories, public influence, how to unleash the power, the pursuit of happiness, provide pep talks, and share powerful and motivational speaker quotes. LAI's popular motivational speakers share inspirational stories through a motivated seminar or any other in-person, hybrid, or virtual format.

Leading Authorities speakers bureau provides access to inspirational, motivational, and exciting keynote speakers who are sure to catch the attention of audiences while encouraging and supporting them as well. It’s also important to note that motivational speakers accomplish more than just moving and inspiring, they have the potential to change perspectives and outlooks as well.

The Importance of Motivational Speakers

Motivational speakers are important for any type of organization in any situation. Even if employee morale is high, a motivational keynote speaker can encourage the audience to continue feeling that way. If employee morale is low, a top motivational speaker can inspire your audience to boost themselves and increase productiveness and feelings of motivation. Motivational speakers are needed to:

  • Inspire, support, reassure, and uplift employees who may be in a rut by talking about relatable experiences and hardships. Poppy Jamie, founder of Happy Not Perfect, combines her own struggle with perfectionism and life purposes with cutting-edge science to help groups tackle today’s culture of anxiety and perfection.
  • Motivational speakers can provide energy and inspiration in the workplace by boosting employee morale and ensuring everyone is on the same page. Joan Higginbotham, a retired NASA astronaut and electrical engineer, inspires audiences with her trailblazing journey into space and beyond, sharing how to tackle any endeavor like a NASA astronaut for success.
  • Motivational speakers can change the way that audiences view themselves and the world around them. Darcy Gaechter, the first woman to kayak the Amazon River, takes audiences along her heart-pounding expeditions to demonstrate the power of self-belief and perseverance in overcoming even the most daunting challenges.
  • In a world full of negatives, a motivational speaker is the positive light that everyone needs to keep them moving forward. Sebastian Terry, the creator of 100 Things Philanthropic Movement, provides a tool kit that can transfer into anyone’s personal or professional lives as they set out with a structure to conquer any goal.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Speaker for Your Event

Booking a motivational speaker can be a great way to inspire and energize your audience, but it's important to choose the right speaker to achieve success for your upcoming event. From NFL players and Navy Seals to best-selling authors and CEOs, with so many types of motivational speakers out there, it can be challenging to know where to start. However, by keeping a few key considerations in mind, you can find a great motivational speaker who will connect with your audience and deliver a memorable and impactful message. Continue reading to discover the critical factors to consider when booking a motivational speaker and gain some valuable insights, tips, and questions to assist you in making the optimal choice for your event.

  • Expertise and Experience: When searching for a motivational speaker, seek out someone who has a proven history of delivering impactful presentations, and possesses expertise in the specific topic or theme that aligns with your event's goals. Additionally, you may want to check for any reviews, testimonials, or referrals from previous clients to help determine the speaker's effectiveness and reliability.
  • Style and Tone: It is crucial to select a speaker whose style and tone align with your audience's preferences and your event's theme. Consider whether the speaker's delivery is high-energy and dynamic or more subdued and thoughtful to set the appropriate tone and engage your audience effectively.
  • Tailored Message: Confirm that the speaker you book can adapt their message and delivery to align with your event's objectives, audience, and theme is crucial to your event’s success. The best motivational speakers should be capable of customizing their content to cater to your audience's specific needs and interests.
  • Audience Relevance: Ensure that the motivational speaker you select can captivate your audience with a topic that is relevant to their interests and values. It is important to ensure that the speaker's message aligns with your audience's preferences.
  • Delivery Style: Assess the speaker's presentation style, which includes their utilization of visual aids, interaction with the audience, and energy level. Choosing a speaker who is ethical, professional, and cooperative, and who will portray your organization in a positive manner is crucial to your event’s success.

Qualities of Great Motivational Speakers

The most outstanding motivational speakers possess unique qualities that set them apart and leave a long-lasting impression on their audience. Aside from their expertise and ability to engage, the most exceptional speakers can adapt their message to cater to the specific interests and requirements of their audience. They are passionate about their message, which helps to inspire and motivate others, and they are always well-prepared, conducting research on the audience and event to deliver a personalized and impactful presentation. Below is a list of the top 5 qualities to consider when selecting a motivational speaker for your next event.

  1. Authenticity: An exceptional motivational speaker delivers their message with authenticity and sincerity. They share personal experiences and insights that resonate with the audience on an emotional level, creating a powerful connection. Being authentic on stage is crucial for a motivational speaker because it helps them establish a genuine connection with their audience and build trust.
  2. Adaptability: The most effective motivational speakers recognize the importance of thorough preparation before delivering a presentation. They devote time and effort to researching the audience, the event, and any other relevant factors such as the industry or organization. Through this understanding, they can create a tailored message that is relevant, engaging, and resonates with the audience. By taking the time to personalize their approach, they can deliver a more impactful presentation that fosters a strong connection with attendees and creates a memorable experience for all.
  3. Professionalism: Along with possessing excellent communication and motivational skills, a professional speaker should also demonstrate a high level of integrity, ethics, and decorum. They are well-prepared for the event and arrive on time, with appropriate attire and equipment. A professional speaker should show genuine interest and commitment towards your event’s success. Furthermore, a professional speaker should be able to represent your organization positively, aligning their message with your brand values and vision. By selecting a speaker who exemplifies professionalism in every aspect of their work, you can ensure a successful event that leaves a positive and lasting impression on attendees.
  4. Passion: A skilled motivational speaker exudes passion and conviction in their message, which can inspire audiences to take action. Their ability to motivate and empower their audience to make positive changes in their lives is a testament to their expertise and commitment. They often use personal anecdotes or real-life examples to illustrate the importance of perseverance and determination in achieving success.
  5. Engagement: Ensure that the motivational speaker you choose has the ability to keep your audience engaged and interested through their presentation, utilizing techniques such as humor and storytelling. They may also incorporate interactive elements, such as audience participation or Q&A sessions. One way to assess a speaker's engagement skills is to check their social media and watch videos from past events. This can give you a sense of their speaking style and how they connect with their audience. You can also read reviews or testimonials from previous clients to get a sense of their ability to engage and inspire.

Learn More About Us

At Leading Authorities, we take pride in representing a diverse group of powerful women and men who have overcome obstacles and achieved success in their respective fields. With our carefully curated roster of motivational and professional keynote speakers available to inspire and motivate your audience, we make it easier for you to find the perfect fit for your event. Our vast network of connections and extensive experience also enable us to help you find the perfect speaker and ensure the success of your event. Our team of dedicated professionals will work closely with you to understand your goals and objectives, providing tailored recommendations based on your specific needs. To book a powerful motivational speaker that will leave a lasting impact on your audience, contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

For more information about our expansive roster of elite keynote speakers or to book one of these talented speakers for hire for your next event or meeting, contact our team today. 

To get in touch with a member of our team right away about a professional speaker or famous motivational speakers, you can also email us 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.

If you are looking for a specific popular speaker not listed above, we still encourage you to contact our team as we specialize in placing hard-to-find and in-demand keynote speakers from all around the world, which may not be listed on our website.