Motivational speakers dedicate their life to improve the lives of others. To be a great motivational speaker, you need empathy and selflessness. You need to be able to connect with your audience and put yourself in their shoes. Understand their fears, their motivations, their reasons for behaving a certain type of way. As a motivational speaker, you need to be able to connect to people from all walks of life. Simply observing and talking to people is a great way to do this! You'll be amazed at the knowledge you can pick up just by asking your neighbour, your family member or even your work colleague about some of their experiences.
Amongst the many other necessary traits you need to have to become a successful speaker, the most important is passion. Just like anything, you have to be passionate about it in order for it to be worthwhile. Your audience will not be able to connect with you if you're not authentic, they will spot it a mile away!
Here we have a list of 10 motivational speakers at the top of their game in the industry. These individuals are incredibly popular and never fail to leave their audiences with a moment that shifts their perspective forever. To start off the list of profound and memorable quotes, here is the Survivalist Bear Grylls.
1. Bear Grylls
Bear Grylls is primarily known for his adventurous streak and survival expertise. What you might not know is that he is also an author, environmentalist, presenter and businessman. Oh, and his name is Edward Michael Grylls OBE (yes, his real name isn't Bear! Although it does suit him considering his antics).
"Never depend on those luck moments - they are gifts, but instead always build your own backup plan." - Bear Grylls
2. Chris Gardner
If you are not familiar with Chris' story, then I suggest you watch The Pursuit of Happyness straight after! It is an inspiring true 'rags to riches' story of Gardner. It is well documented that Gardner had struggled with being homeless when raising his son, who was a toddler at the time. He then miraculously managed to become a stockbroker, moving on to create his own firm later on in life. He did this when all odds were against him yet determination and a positive mindset prevailed.
"I was homeless but I wasn't hopeless. I knew a better day was coming." - Chris Gardner
3. Magic Johnson
A household name, Johnson rose to fame as one of the most powerful NBA players on the court. Since his time in the game, he has been a very successful businessman and continues to grow his companies/investments. In 1991, Johnson made the brave revelation to the world that he was HIV positive. He has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS and safe sex since and continues to actively discourage the stereotypes surrounding the illness.
"Talent is never enough. With few exceptions, the best players are the hardest workers." - Magic Johnson
4. Simon Sinek
If you haven't watched some of Sinek's speeches, your quite frankly missing out! This is a man that lives and breathes motivation and inspiration. As his official website states, 'Simon is an unshakable optimist. He believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together.' Sinek is a visionary and of his best work surrounds how to find your WHY and successful leadership.
"Always plan for the fact that no plan ever goes according to plan." - Simon Sinek
5. Eric Thomas
Thomas is known for his high-energy speaking engagements. His style of communication is bound to make you maintain focus and enthusiasm throughout his talks. Thomas dropped out of high school and was homeless for several years before finding a focus with Christianity. It was a minister he met during his time on the streets that convinced him to return to school. After graduating, Thomas began to preach and work with at-risk youth.
"Stop the blame game. Stop! Stop looking out the window and look in the mirror!" - Eric Thomas
6. Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins did not have an easy start to life. He too has had experience with homelessness along with an absent father figure and an alcoholic mother. Today, Robbins is a top life coach and business strategist. His confidence is contagious and really does shine through every speaking engagement he holds. Robbins recalls being 17 when he first attended a seminar by the famous motivational speaker Jim Rohn. It was at this time he realised his calling.
"It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped." - Tony Robbins
7. Mel Robbins
Yes, another Robbins in the list and no, they are not related (I thought so too). Many were introduced to Mel Robbins for her popular talk on TED called 'How to stop screwing yourself over' which has over 23 million views! Before her fame, Robbins experienced unemployment at 41 along with facing bankruptcy, a failing marriage, a knock in confidence and 'hitting the bottle hard', (her words, not mine!).
"You do not have to settle for anything less than a life you're obsessed with. You deserve to wake up every day thinking you're dreaming." - Mel Robbins
8. David Goggins
Goggins once made a living as an exterminator, living paycheck-to-paycheck. Oh, he was also out of shape, weighing almost 300 pounds. At 24, Goggins decided he wanted a change and had the desire to become a Navy Seal which notoriously requires completing an intense and grueling training program. Unfortunately, Goggins was completely laughed at as to just apply for the role you have to be 191 pounds for his height alone. Was it a happy ending? Oh yes. Today, Goggins is the ONLY member of the U.S. armed forces ever to complete training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller. He is considered one of the world's top endurance athletes.
"The most important conversation is the one you have with yourself." - David Goggins
9. Amy Purdy
Losing both her legs to meningitus at the age of 19, Purdy shows that a positive outlook and strength of will can make you achieve great things. Purdy holds the legacy of being one of the most successful paralympic snowboarders in the world and continues to share her story worldwide.
"If your life were a book, and you were the author, how would you want your story to go?" - Amy Purdy
10. Dr. Bernice King
Does that last name ring a bell? Yes, Dr. Bernice King sure has some big shoes to fill as the youngest daughter of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr, and she's doing an amazing job at it too! King had a tough start which includes the well-documented assassination of her father. She had also contemplated suicide in her 20s which she says pushed her towards the call to preach - following her father's footsteps. King continues to spread the message of her faith and challenges others to always raise the standard.
"We live in a society where we may have differences, of course, but we learn to celebrate these differences." - Dr. Bernice King
And so we have come to the end of the list. I do hope that a few of these stories and quotes will have resonated with you. Leave a comment and let us know your favourite!
Related article: 21 Quotes to Inspire Passion
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By Tinisha Savage on behalf of Let's Talk Coaching
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