The 10 Best Motivational Speakers in the World

Arianna Huffington speaking

Motivation is a key element in anyone’s success story. It’s celebrated in every underdog trope; from the unpopular chubby kid who became prom queen to the bookish but bullied nerd who grew up and became a billionaire. Every day we’re told that anything and everything in the world is possible if we only believe in the power of our dreams.

So, if you’re looking for that extra push to help achieve your goals, then look no further! Here are some of the world’s best motivational speakers.

10. Jamie Turner

Jamie TurnerSIXTY

Estimated net worth: N/A

Apart from sharing essential marketing tips on his widely read website, Jamie Turner is also a published author of three bestselling books on Amazon. Due to his in-depth knowledge in marketing, he’s featured regularly as a social media expert on business shows on both CNN and HLN.

If you a brand manager or an entrepreneur hoping to find a bit of inspiration, then be sure to check out his talks.

9. Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen RubinGretchen Rubin

Estimated net worth: N/A

Everyone wants to be happy, but no one really knows how, except maybe Gretchen Ruin. Known for her New York Times bestsellers Better Than Before, Happier at Home and The Four Tendencies, Rubin is a world-renowned author who specialises in teaching people how to become happier by being more creative and productive. Translated in 30 languages, and with over 2 million copies sold worldwide, The Happiness Project is her most popular book so far.

Apart from inspiring people through her words, she’s also given motivational talks to huge companies like Google, LinkedIn and Proctor & Gamble.

8. Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary VaynerchukEntrepreneur

Estimated net worth: $160 million (£122.7 million)

No one knows content creation and digital trends better than internet maverick Gary Vaynerchuk, aka Gary Vee. Born to immigrant parents, his entrepreneurial spirit was trained early on after being forced to join the family wine business. He increased the company’s profits by 1,900% from $3 million (£2.3 million) to $60 million (£46 million) a year, and soon after launched the multimedia advertising agency VaynerMedia with his brother.

His natural inclination towards innovation and transformation made him into one of the most sought-after speakers in the world.

7. Erik Qualman

Erik QualmanCUNA News

Estimated net worth: N/A

You know you’ve reached top writer status if you’re one of the most liked authors in the world, second only to JK Rowling (and really, who could beat the creator of Harry Potter?). But more than being nice, Erik Qualman is also a bestselling author and an internationally-recognised speaker whose digital marketing and storytelling techniques have been utilised by several big companies, including IBM, Disney and even NASA.

Regarded as one of the best social media influencers in the world, you definitely don’t want to miss out on what he has to say.

6. Eric Thomas

Eric ThomasPeptalk Motivation

Estimated net worth: $2 million (£1.5 million)

After being born to a problematic household and neighbourhood, Eric Thomas (aka ET) dropped out of high school and was homeless for two years. Through the help and guidance of a pastor, he eventually found his way back and decided to give school another chance. Inspired by other people’s kindness, Thomas created his own programme to help the underprivileged youth.

Since then, he’s been called the Hip-Hop Preacher and has given motivational talks in multiple colleges across the United States. Even star athlete LeBron James credits Thomas for inspiring him to win the 2012 NBA Championship.

If you’re stuck in a rut and don’t know how to get out, Thomas’s inspiring words and stories may help you.

5. Diana Nyad

Diana NyadChicago Tribune

Estimated net worth: $3 million (£2.3 million)

Known as the 64-year-old woman who swam from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage, Diana Nyad is unquestionably someone who can do anything she sets her mind on. Her bestselling book Find a Way details how her lifelong dream pushed her to go beyond her own limits.

Aside from being a world champion swimmer, she can now add blockbusting author and in-demand motivational speaker to her long list of achievements; proving once again that age is just a number.

4. Daymond John

Daymond JohnTime

Estimated net worth: $300 million (£230.2 million)

It’s not unusual for accomplished people to have multi-hyphenated titles but Daymond John’s numerous achievements take it a notch higher.

Not only is he a world-famous motivational speaker, but he’s also an author, a TV personality and the founder and CEO of not one but two companies: FUBU and the Shark Group. But unlike most people in business, John didn’t go to a fancy business school. He credits working as a full-time waiter at a Red Lobster restaurant for teaching him how to become an entrepreneur.

A true rags-to-riches success story, John is another example of the power of focus, dedication and hard work.

3. Brené Brown

Brene BrownTED

Estimated net worth: $3 million (£2.3 million)

Before becoming the bestselling author of Daring Greatly, Brené Brown was like any researcher who depended on numbers and data to make sense of the world. It was only by accepting and recognising the power of vulnerability that she was able to make one of her most important discoveries.

With over 30 million views, Brown has one of the most-watched TED talks ever. She’s also given talks to several prestigious institutions, including the Microsoft, Pixar and even the White House.

If you’re having trouble connecting with your inner child, listening to any of Brown’s intimate but honest talks might help you find yourself again.

2. Benjamin Zander

Benjamin ZanderBoston Globe

Estimated net worth: $25 million (£19.2 million)

Most creatives are introverts who dislike talking and presenting to large crowds but not Benjamin Zander. As the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, he’s had the unique experience of inspiring people from all over the world with both his music and words.

His fascinating talk on leadership is made more captivating when set to music, making him one of the most memorable and engaging speakers of his time.

If you’re up for a leadership position and need a bit of inspiration to take the leap, then you might want to listen to the maestro himself.

1. Arianna Huffington

Arianna HuffingtonThe New York Times

Estimated net worth: $50 million (£38.4 million)

Before she was known as the cofounder of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington was already a fearless and enigmatic feminist who wasn’t afraid to voice her own opinions. She was also the author of several books and a host for the BBC.

Her various interests and extensive knowledge make her an expert speaker on a number of topics, including health, leadership and business. As one of the world’s most powerful women, she’s a trailblazing media mogul whose timeless words of wisdom are undeniably worth hearing.

No matter how you’re doing in life, there will always be days when you’ll need a bit of inspiration to keep you going. Most motivational speakers had to go through their own challenges before they could find the courage to follow their dreams.

So, don’t make the same mistakes; take what you can from their teachings and become the person you’ve always wanted to be – today.

Do you dream of becoming a motivational speaker one day? Let us know in the comments section below.

This list was adapted from Socialnomics’s list of the top 20 motivational speakers in 2018.

All salaries and figures are based on data compiled and published by Celebrity Net Worth and Net Worth Post. Currency conversions are based on rates supplied by on 12 September 2018.