Who is the Best Motivational Speaker?

Who is the best motivational speaker and do motivational speakers even work?

These questions get asked each year when organizing the company conference or offsite. Whether leaders and employees are grappling with change, dealing with disruption, or setting some ambitious targets, everyone needs a dose of motivation.

Do Motivational Speakers Even Work?

With inspirational quotes on LinkedIn and Instagram, every manager or social influencer can consider themselves a motivational speaker, which raises some legitimate cynicism about the effectiveness of hiring a motivational speaker.

Here are some common themes that might make people feel good for a few minutes but have no lasting impact:

  1. I did it so you can too

    I climbed a mountain, beat cancer, or some other trauma so you can too. As inspiring as these stories are, they ignore survivor bias and can lack practical takeaways for achieving this quarter’s goals.
  2. Mindset is all that matters

    Yes, being aware of your current frame of mind is important but unless this mindset consistently drives the right behaviors it can be just wishful thinking.
  3. “If it’s going to be it’s up to me”

    Taking ownership of your own actions and their consequences is a great strategy but not at the expense of collaboration. Nobody has achieved success in isolation, we all owe our existence and our results to a host of visible and invisible supporters.

As a speaker myself for over 20 years, a past president of Asia Professional Speakers Singapore, and current president of the Professional Speakers Association of Spain, I have certainly seen the ‘Good, Bad, and the Ugly’ of Motivational Speakers.

What do the Best Motivational Speakers do?

Motivation is clearly important to delivering results, especially during times of change and uncertainty. The best motivational speakers understand this, and that motivation or mindset must lead to the right actions that deliver the required results.

In my experience, whether the speech is for a team gathering or Global Conference, the best speakers share a Moment, a Message, and a Methodology.

Best Motivational Speaker on Self-leadership

The moment is what makes a good motivational speaker both unique and relatable. This can be a crisis in life or business, some research, or an epiphany but with good storytelling, they put the audience into the experience to ask, “what would I do?”

From the moment the speaker has a message for the audience. That message is about thinking differently, feeling differently, but most importantly acting differently to achieve desired results.

The methodology is what differentiates the good from the great motivational speakers. The methodology, which is often in the form of a model, is a series of memorable strategies that the audience can apply at work, without being superhuman.

Choosing the Best Motivational Speaker for your Event

Celebrity speakers like politicians, actors, astronauts, and sports stars will add a WOW factor to your event. These speakers are only available through a speaker bureau and along with the high price tag, be aware that they are unlikely to tailor their message to your audience.

Professional Speakers and subject matter experts who speak are more likely to deliver a moment, message, and methodology that will engage your audience and leave a lasting impact. These speakers are also available from Speaker Bureaus but typically have their own speaker websites.


The question, “Who is the best motivational speaker?” needs to be expanded to “Who is the best motivational speaker for my audience and event?”

This will depend on the message your audience needs to hear, and whether the methodology the speaker shares will drive the behaviors required for results.

After 17 years in Asia, I am now back in Europe and if you would like to ask me about speaking for your event, there’s a link to my calendar on my website www.andrewbryantspeaker.com.





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