Top Ten Motivational Keynote Speakers

Planning a motivational keynote event for your company or organization?

Research shows that a boost in employee engagement and morale will also boost company productivity and profit. Motivation comes in many forms and goes by many names–motivational speakers have overcome adversity, beat the odds, and invested insurmountable amounts of time and effort to reach for their dreams.

A motivational speaker can inspire, engage, empower, and, of course, motivate your team. But, “Who are the top motivational keynote speakers,” you may ask?

Fear not, we’ve compiled this list for you. 

Top 10 Motivational Keynote Speakers

1. Jack Canfield

The originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and a prolific self development author, Jack is recognized as America’s number one motivational speaker. From Jack’s motivational keynote audiences will be inspired to participate more fully in life, show more compassion and caring in their professional relationships, dream bigger, replace blaming and complaining with responsibility, and how to persevere in the face of fear, obstacles, and setbacks. A keynote presentation from motivational speaker Jack Canfield is a once and a lifetime experience not to be missed.

2. Leon Logothetis

Leon is a global adventurer, motivational speaker, and philanthropist. Uninspired at this broker job in London, Leon set out for life on the road. Inspired by the movie The Motorcycle Diaries, Leon traveled across the country in a vintage yellow motorbike relying solely on the kindness of strangers to find food, gas and lodgings, while simultaneously giving life-changing gifts to good Samaritans along the way. Leon’s motivational keynote speech teaches you how to listen to that inner voice that tells you life is yours, that anything you dream is possible, and that the power for harnessing all of this potential has been right in front of you all along through kindness and human connection. Leon has an inspiring and fun story to tell, one that will surely motivate all in attendance.

3. Mel Robbins  

Mel Robbins is best known for her TEDxTalk: “How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over.” Mel is a powerful motivational keynote speaker who jumps into your audience (literally); creating motivational experiences with surprising research, vivid imagery, original videos, and music. In her keynote, “The 5 Second Rule”, based off her bestselling book of the same name, Mel points out that as we grow up we have parents, coaches, teachers, mentors, etc. who push us to be better and work harder. But as adults, we often don’t have anyone to push and motivate us but ourselves. Using scientific research on the nature of habits, and drawing on facts from some of the most famous moments in history, art, and business, Mel explains the power of a “push moment” to break the habit of procrastination and self-doubt and become a more confident and productive individual.

4. Brian Holloway

Former offensive tackle for the New England Patriots, Brian Holloway, is the most requested motivational team builder. He understands how to transform thinking within organizations and challenge the competitive spirit of diverse teams. Brian grew up to face and overcome many challenges—he spent much of his youth adjusting to life in 12 different states, even being labeled a “slow learner.” Persistence and an unstoppable spirit propelled Brian through his early struggles and on to academic and athletic success throughout high his school, college, and professional football years. As an international motivational speaker, Brian’s speaking engagements move and inspire audiences to positive change.

5. Tan Le

Tan Le is an innovator, entrepreneur, and the co-founder and CEO of the bioinformatics company EMOTIV. In her motivational keynote speech, “My Immigration Story,” Tan recounts her childhood experiences fleeing from war-torn Communist Vietnam with her mother, and sister at the age of 4, to their life in Australia as refugees. Despite immense financial and emotional hardships, Tan explains how her single mother was able to support Tan and her sister and provide them with a good education. Audiences will be motivated by the tenacity of this young entrepreneur and inspired by her courage and grace in any situation.

6. Magic Johnson

Universally known for his 13-year professional basketball career, which includes 12 NBA All-Star games, an Olympic gold medal win, and a very public diagnosis and battle with HIV, Earvin “Magic” Johnson is also one of our most requested motivational speakers. After retiring from professional basketball, Magic turned his interest towards entrepreneurship and became a leading spokesperson for HIV education. After leaving the ballcourt, Magic turned to the board room. He established the Magic Johnson Development Corporation, which builds commercial property in long-neglected minority urban and suburban neighborhoods. In his keynote address Johnson delivers a passionate message about his life story and how we can all make a difference in our community. Magic is dedicated to developing programs and supporting services that address the educational, health, and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities.

7. Diana Nyad

At the age of 64, Diana Nyad successfully fulfilled her lifelong dream of completing the 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida on September 2, 2013. Never one to quit, this marked her fifth and final attempt. It was in July of 2010, at the age of 60, when she first began her quest of swimming from Cuba to Florida, a task she had failed to finish thirty years prior that. Nyad was unsuccessful in 2010 and tried two more times 2011 and 2012 before completing her historic and victorious swim in 2013. When asked her motivation, she replied, “Because I’d like to prove to the other 60-year-olds that it is never too late to start your dreams.” If Diana’s story doesn’t inspire you to never give up  and never stop working towards your dreams, then nothing will.

8. JP Pawliw-Fry

What is it that most often stops us from performing at our best and accomplishing our goals? Dr. JP Pawliw-Fry suggests that it is pressure moments when we feel, overwhelmed and unsure. Using the research and brain science of emotional intelligence Pawliw-Fry explains how your brain works under pressure and how that affects your decision making and your impact on others. JP offers actionable tips on how to view pressure situations as opportunities, instead of obstacles, and provides strategies to manage your emotions so you can be at your best even in your most difficult moments.

9. Allison Massari

In 1998, Allison survived a devastating near head-on car crash where she was trapped in her burning car, conscious the entire time. A selfless onlooker, who was a Vietnam veteran, ran into the fiery scene, kicked the glass out, and saved her life. Just three years later she was hit again at 60 mph and sustained a closed-head brain injury. Allison’s profound journey of overcoming these two life-altering injuries gives her a genuine and direct approach to transcending life’s difficulties. By sharing her story she motivates change in people and in organizations. Her motivational keynote focuses on success, adversity, and personal development to equip audiences with tools they need to effectively manage change and challenges. Alison is also a successful entrepreneur who has built four businesses in 25 years and has been voted top ten motivational speakers in North America for the past three years.

10. Bert Jacobs and John Jacobs

Motivational speakers, Bert and John Jacobs have an inspirational story of turning their dream into a socially conscious business. Bert and his brother John launched their retail company, Life is Good, with $78 in their pockets, by selling T-shirts on the streets of Boston. Today, Life is Good is a $100 million positive lifestyle brand sold by over 2,000 retailers across the US and Canada. The brand developed 10 “superpowers” (gratitude, authenticity, creativity, love, courage, compassion, simplicity, humor, fun, openness) that they not only run their company by, but also live by. These superpowers were inspired by customers’ stories which illustrated the power of optimism in the darkest of times.

With the top ten motivational speakers (or perhaps 11?) in mind, you’re well on your way to planning the most motivational and inspiring keynote event your organization has ever seen!