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Ever wonder who are the most effective public speakers of 2023?
In this post, you’ll get to know 18 of the top motivational speakers in the world. The individuals you’ll encounter today use their words to spur their audiences to take action, overcome obstacles, and change their lives for the better.
Most of the motivational speakers featured in this post have overcome difficulties in their past and took the lessons from their experiences to catapult themselves into greatness.
Are you excited already? Let’s meet these motivational speakers now.
1. Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins was born on February 29, 1960, in Los Angeles, California. His commanding presence during his talks and his passion for helping others reach their goals are some of the traits that make him a powerful motivational speaker.
Mr. Robbins usually talks and writes about overcoming fears, strengthening communication, improving and maintaining relationships, attaining more wealth, and staying fit and healthy.
He is the author of several self-help books, such as Awaken the Giant Within, an international bestseller that shows readers how to take control of their personal destiny.
His seminars Unleash the Power Within and Master University are often sold-out events. In his Unleash the Power seminars, participants are shown how to become successful in their lives and businesses.
In 2014, Fortune nicknamed him “The CEO Whisperer,” owing to a large number of executives who attribute their success to his teachings.
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2. Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington (Ariadni-Ana Stasinopoulou) was born on July 15, 1950, in Athens, Greece. She is the founder of Thrive Global and co-founder and editor-in-chief of HuffPost (previously known as Huffington Post). Even before she co-founded HuffPost, she was already a prominent and influential feminist.
She is the founder of the Detroit Project that lobbied US car manufacturers to manufacture vehicles that are more fuel-efficient and can use alternative fuels.
Her topics of interest in her talks and writings include business leadership, science-backed solutions for increasing productivity, and the importance of health.
Two of her bestselling books are The Sleep Revolution, which has become more relevant in our sleep-deprived culture, and Thrive, where she redefines the meaning of success.
Through Thrive Global, Ms. Huffington helps individuals and companies unlock their potential, avoid burnout, and empower them to constantly achieve peak performance.
3. Nick Vujicic
Nick Vujicic was born on December 4, 1982, in Melbourne, Australia. He is a Christian evangelist and the founder of a non-government organizations Life Without Limbs. Mr. Vujicic was born with no arms and legs due to a very rare condition known as autosomal recessive tetra-amelia.
As one of the top motivational speakers in the world, he inspires his audience as a living example of someone who has overcome obstacles to be where he is today. He shares his journey of faith and the message that there is a loving God with his audience and readers.
He is the author of several inspiring and motivational books, including Life Without Limits and The Power of Unstoppable Faith.
Mr. Vujucic was featured in several shows and TV programs, including 60 Minutes, Oprah’s Lifeclass, and TEDx.
4. Chris Gardner
Chris Gardner was born on February 9, 1954, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is the founder and CEO of Gardner Rich LLC.
The story of his rise from rags to riches is one of the most inspiring stories of the 21st century. He story was the inspiration behind the film, The Pursuit of Happyness.
In his speeches and writings, Mr. Gardner shares his own experience to show his audience and readers that they can make their dreams come true by tapping into their potentials, having a plan, and being committed to the plan for success. These concepts empower and inspire people to change their lives for the better.
His most popular books are Start Where You Are, where Mr. Gardner discusses 44 life lessons that can motivate readers to work toward their success, and The Pursuit of Happyness, which is his memoir of the days when he was homeless single parent until his rise as one of the most influential people in the world.
Mr. Gardner believes in the importance of the father’s presence in the lives of children, and advocates for balancing commitments to both career and family.
5. Jack Canfield
Jack Canfield was born on August 19, 1944, in Fort Worth, Texas. He originated the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is nicknamed “America’s #1 Success Coach,” and he is known for his compelling and empowering speeches that inspire a lot of people to make their dreams come true.
Aside from inspiring people through the Chicken Soup series, Mr. Canfield has founded the Canfield Training Group. Through this company, he trains individuals, executives, and leaders on how to achieve their goals.
His seminars are often on the topic of achieving success in all areas of life.
A couple of books he authored are The Success Principle and Key to Living the Law of Attraction.
Mr. Canfield holds a Guinness World Record for having seven of his books simultaneously on the New York Times’ bestseller list.
6. Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin was born on December 14, 1965, in Kansas City, Missouri. She is primarily an author but is also well-known for her educational and funny talks that connect well with her audience and inspire them to action.
The topics she discusses well both in her writing and talks are about happiness, health, creativity, success, and habits that help people achieve the first four topics.
Her bestselling books include Better Than Before, where she helps her readers develop self-awareness to create good habits, and The Happiness Project, where she combines age-old wisdom with science to discover what is true happiness.
She has delivered live talks for different companies and organizations, including at Google and Procter and Gamble.
7. Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk was born on November 14, 1975, in Babruysk, Soviet Union. He is the CEO of VaynerMedia, a digital agency with focus on social media. Gary Vee is a sought-after speaker because of his knowledge of digital trends.
The topics often discussed in his talks include online marketing, personal branding, content creation, and business strategies.
He authored several books that include Crushing It!, where he gives readers lessons on personal branding and success in e-commerce, and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, where Gary Vee how to get the most out of social media marketing to produce higher profits.
Mr. Vaynerchuk is known for growing his family’s wine business into a multi-million dollar company through e-commerce.
8. Les Brown
Les Brown was born on February 17, 1945, in Miami, Florida. His ability to build rapport with people from all sectors of society makes him one of the most sought-after and influential speakers in the world.
While growing up, he faced many challenges, including being held back in school for being mistakenly labeled as a “slow learner.” However, he overcame the challenges and even went on to become a politician as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives.
In his talks, he teaches the audience how to let go of fear to make their dreams come true. His most popular catchphrase during his speeches is “It’s possible!”
His seminars are known for empowering the participants to get unstuck and find their purpose. He offers his training and mentoring via Les Brown Global.
He has written several best-selling books that include Live Your Dreams and Laws of Success.
9. Brendon Burchard
Brendon Burchard was born on September 18, 1977, in Montana, USA. Surviving a near-fatal vehicular accident led him to question the deeper meaning of life and inspired him to motivate and inspire others to reach their highest potentials.
He is the founder of High Performance Academy, where participants learn how to master the concepts of psychology, physiology, productivity, and interpersonal communication in order to achieve success.
Mr. Burchard inspires and motivates through his writings and live talks. He is often compared to Tony Robbins in his teaching style.
He is the author of several books, including High Performance Habits that discusses the habits you need to develop in your life to become successful and The Charge that teaches readers how to master the “human drive” to be energized and happy.
10. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi. She rose to prominence through her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show that was aired from 1986 to 2011.
She has often been ranked as one of the most powerful women in the world, with her influence coming from being a philanthropist and leading media executive. Through her multimedia empire, she has reached countless individuals across all levels of society and changed their lives.
Although she is not technically a motivational speaker by profession, she has delivered keynote speeches in various settings, which are empowering, thought-provoking, and inspiring.
She is the author of several books, including The Wisdom of Sundays, where Ms. Winfrey invites her readers to awaken to a deeper connection with themselves and the world around them.
Fortune included her in their 2018 list of The Most Powerful Women.
11. David Goggins
David Goggins was born on February 17, 1975, in Buffalo, New York. He is a retired Navy SEAL and an endurance athlete.
During his live talks, Goggins shares his personal story with his audience as a way to inspire them to beat all odds to reach success. He teaches talk participants the value of accountability in achieving their personal best.
In his memoir, Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, he shares how he overcame the challenges of a difficult past to become the athlete that he is today and “the only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Controller.”
He has been recognized by Outside Magazine as a Fittest Real Athlete. In 2013, he broke the world record for the most pull-ups accomplished within 24 hours.
12. Dave Ramsey
Dave Ramsey was born on September 3, 1960, in Nashville, Tennessee. He is well known for being the host of the radio program The Dave Ramsey Show that discusses issues related to financial freedom.
His empathic approach enables him to reach out to his audience.
The topics in Mr. Ramsey’s books, live events, and podcasts include principles of financial management, personal leadership, and life.
He has written several books on the subject of financial freedom, such as The Total Money Makeover, Financial Peace, and Complete Guide to Money.
Mr. Ramsey was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2015. A similar honor was given to him earlier by the National Association of Broadcasters in 2013.
13. Mel Robbins
Mel Robbins was born on October 6, 1968. She is a motivational speaker, an author, and a TV host. Her energy and humor, as well as her talks’ actionable lessons, make her a sought-after speaker.
The topics in her talks and writings center around “The 5 Second Rule” for helping people achieve something amazing in their lives; how to become a leader; e-commerce; and interpersonal relationships and communication.
She is the author of several best-selling books, including The 5 Second Rule and Stop Saying You’re Fine that teaches readers how to get what they really want in their lives.
Her syndicated talk show is slated to air in September 2019.
14. Shawn Achor
Shawn Achor was born on March 9, 1978, in Waco, Texas. He is a leading expert and speaker on the link between happiness and success.
His writings and talks are often on the subjects of making positive change, leadership, the importance of right education, and happiness. His Orange Frog Workshop applies research-based methods to become better leaders in their companies, businesses, and personal lives.
He is the author of the bestselling books Big Potential, where he shows readers a new way of pursuing success, and The Happiness Advantage, where Mr. Achor shares 7 actionable principles for reprogramming our brains to become more positive in order to achieve success.
15. Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle (Ulrich Leonard Tölle) was born on February 16, 1948, in Lünen, Germany. When he was younger, he underwent a period of depression and, upon overcoming it, attained inner transformation. His work as a spiritual guide has drawn people eager to transform their own lives through his teachings.
His teachings revolve around the topic of transforming and transcending ego-based consciousness, personal happiness, human evolution, meditation, and spiritual awakening.
He has written several books, including the bestsellers The Power of Now, where he guides his readers to achieve spiritual enlightenment, and A New Earth, where Mr. Tolle teaches us about our true purpose in our lives.
Mr. Tolle was the recipient of the Ultimate Destiny Hall of Fame Award.
16. Iyanla Vanzant
Iyanla Vanzant (Rhonda Eva Harris) was born on September 13, 1953, in Brooklyn, New York. She is an author, a talk show host, and speaker.
She offers workshops where she teaches participants how to reach their highest potentials, healing past hurts, and growth.
Ms. Vanzant wrote several inspiring books, including Tapping the Power Within, where she teaches her readers how to reach within themselves to attain spiritual growth, and Forgiveness, a journaling workbook that readers can use to gain clarity about their lives, learn to forgive, and attain inner peace. Jumpstart your feeling of inner peace by checking out some quotes on forgiveness here.
Ebony magazine included her in their list of 100 Most Influential Black Americans. Likewise, in 2012, Watkin’s Mind Body Spirit listed her in their profile of the “100 most spiritually living people.”
17. Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra was born on October 22, 1946, in New Delhi, (British) India. He is the founder of The Chopra Foundation He is an advocate of alternative medicine, as well as an influential figure in the New Age Movement.
His writings and talks are on the subject of healing, research and education, personal development, and empowerment. You can read some Deepak Chopra quotes here.
He has written over 70 books, with several titles being New York Times bestsellers. His latest written work is The Soul of Leadership, a must-read for those aspiring to reach the top in their chosen careers.
Want to improve your own public speaking skills? Check out this post.
18. Eric Thomas
Eric Thomas was born on September 3, 1970, in Chicago, Illinois. He is nicknamed “ET the Hip-Hop Preacher” for his unique style and high-energy presentation. Aside from being a minister, he is also an internationally recognized speaker, educator, and author. He is the CEO of his own consulting firm, Eric Thomas & Associates, LLC.
A strained relationship with his family caused him to drop out of school and leave home at an early age. He spent most of his childhood and teenage years in Detroit, Michigan. At one point he experienced homelessness. Meeting a preacher and being inspired by his message turned Mr. Thomas’s life around. He went back to school and obtained a Bachelor’s degree from Oakwood University.
In his talks and writing, Mr. Thomas focuses on topics such as the importance of education, being a good leader, unlocking one’s best potentials, and becoming successful. (Check out the best Eric Thomas quotes here.)
People draw inspiration from experiences that Mr. Thomas shared in his autobiography, The Secret to Success. Another book he’s written that continues to inspire others is Greatness Is Upon You.
Mr. Thomas primarily uses different social media platforms to reach out and touch people’s lives.
Who is Your Favorite Motivational Speaker?
Do you have a personal favorite among the top motivational speakers we’ve featured today? Feel free to tell us in the comments below.
Sometimes, when things in our lives get too challenging, we look up to others for inspiration. It’s reassuring to know that there are people who’ve been there and have made it.
It’s good that there are motivational speakers in the world. Hearing their words give us inspiration to pull through, to succeed.
While we’re on the topic of success, you might want to check out this post that discusses more than 30 habits that help you build a successful career.
Do you also aspire to be a public speaker? These SMART goals examples for public speaking will help you create your own so you can get started.
And if you're interested in hearing more speeches from inspirational people, check out these blog posts:
- 9 Top Christian Motivational Speakers to Witness
- 11 Black Motivational Speakers to See
- 9 Best Female Motivational Speakers to Watch
Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.
I wish you all the best!