Motivational speakers are all the rage today and for good reason. A good motivational speaker can change your life in a positive way by encouraging you to live up to your full potential. Many people start their day by listening to inspirational speakers on TV, radio or online. Kids, teens and adults alike can benefit from what these public speakers have to offer.
Role of a Motivational Speaker
Inspirational speakers play an important role in society. Whether they’re giving a talk at a company, school, church or community center, their goal is to have a positive influence in the lives of others. Through their talks and writings, motivational speakers can help people overcome the difficulties that are keeping them from finding direction and purpose in their lives.
Inspirational speakers come from diverse backgrounds and have different levels of education, experience and expertise. While some speakers may focus on business topics, others may gear their talks to personal development, social issues or the challenges of youth. Speakers who are extremely talented in business may speak at business seminars or workshops. Those who have a gift for talking to children or teens may give speeches in community centers or schools.
Experienced speakers may write motivational books or make podcasts of their talks as well as appear on TV. Some speakers only engage part time in this professional while others dedicate their lives to developing fulltime speaking careers. A speaker’s workplace and work schedule depends a great deal on his area of expertise. Popular speakers may book talks in different countries around the world and travel extensively for speaking engagements. Top motivational speakers are often in great demand at world conferences and seminars due to their experience in certain areas or level of expertise.
Motivational speakers come from different backgrounds, nationalities and walks of life. Most have some form of college or university training along with years of experience in a certain area, making them experts in their field. Being an expert in an area isn’t enough to qualify a person as a public speaker. Unless you are a natural speaker, you will need to cultivate good speaking skills such as:
- Use of good body language
- Voice projection
- Use of humor correctly
- Pronunciation, eye contact pausing and emphasis skills
- Timing of your speeches
There are quite a few college courses you can take to develop public speaking skills. You can also gain valuable experience by participating in college debates or giving public speeches on campus for college clubs and organizations. It’s important for public speaking students to get “real world” experience in order to improve their presentation and delivery skills. By choosing impartial audiences, you’ll be able to receive honest feedback on your presentations which will help you improve. The more practice you gain in public speaking, the better you will become. This is one of the best ways to grow as a motivational speaker. Once you’ve gained some experience, you can consider charging a fee for your speeches to profit from all that you have learned.
Great speakers share certain qualities and characteristics that make them excel in their field. An inspiring speaker needs to know his subject matter, be confident in his abilities and be able to relate well with his audience. Many people have the ability to give a motivational speech; not all, however, can establish a career out of motivational speaking. The following characteristics can be found in most, if not all, of the best motivational speakers of our day.
Personal Motivation for their Profession
Great speakers believe in what they’re doing and are personally motivated for their profession. Their performances bear witness of their commitment to excellence. They give 100% to every engagement, big or small, and have the drive and determination to get their work done. In order to inspire others, motivational speakers need to be genuinely inspired themselves with their subject matter and believe in the principles they preach. A great speaker will reflect optimism and sincerity in his speeches, inspiring listeners to follow his or her advice.
Ability to Connect with Others
Great speakers know how to connect with their audience. They have empathy for the problems and difficulties people face in their lives and are genuinely interested in helping people reach their goals. Some speakers use humor to connect with their audiences; others share their personal life stories, to include hardships, insecurities, past failures and mistakes. Knowing the speaker has gone through tough times yet has come out on top gives hope and encouragement to others that they can do the same. People gain confidence from listening to speakers who are not afraid to show they are “real.”
Good Speaking Voice
Having a good speaking voice is a major plus for a public speaker. A good speaking voice will resonate well throughout a room or auditorium and make it easier for the speaker to get his message across. This is where learning to develop voice projection and enunciation skills comes in. Not all speakers are naturally gifted with eloquent speaking skills that captivate audience attention. Most have to practice and hone their speaking skills in order to deliver their message effectively and engage their listeners.
Personal motivation, confidence, optimism, empathy for others and a good speaking voice are some of the most important qualities you need to become a successful motivational speaker.
The Effect of Motivational Speakers on Youth
Youth motivational speakers are having a tremendous effect in mentoring youth around the world. According to Kevin Mincher, British youth leader and founder of the organization Unstoppable Teen, “Effective youth leadership is the process of empowering young people to willingly be more than they normally would.”
Through youth workshops and personal development seminars, Mincher and other youth motivational speakers are doing their best to accomplish this goal. Many young people are benefiting from encouragement and guidance these youth speakers have to offer.
Some of the key strategies shared in youth motivational speeches include:
- How to raise personal aspirations
- Effective learning and how to be successful in school
- How to enhance self-esteem
- Accepting responsibilities and accountability
- Emotional intelligence
- How to develop leadership skills
- Improving communication skills
- How to enhance personal health and wellbeing
Choosing a list of the best motivational speakers is subjective, depending on personal opinion. However, there are a number of speakers today who definitely stand out in the crowd. These speakers have inspired millions throughout the years and are well known for their contributions to society. The following five speakers are classified as being tops in their field.
1. Les Brown – “Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality.”
Les Brown was born into a poverty stricken neighborhood in Miami, FL, and later adopted by a single woman with a modest job. Being declared educationally challenged as a child further complicated his life. With love and encouragement from his adopted mother and the help of a dedicated secondary school teacher, Les overcame these difficulties to become the confident and powerful motivational speaker that he is today.
2. Eric Thomas – “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”
High school dropout and former homeless person Eric Thomas is one of today’s most zealous inspirational speakers. He’s known for his blatant honesty and commitment to his profession.
3. Tony Robbins – “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
Tony Robbins’ forte is helping people perceive and achieve their life goals. He’s a firm believer in success and his speeches are tailored to helping others decide what they want to accomplish in life and showing them how to get the results they desire.
4. Jim Rohn – “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
Jim Rohn’s powerful speeches are geared to stimulate the heart and mind in an effort to encourage people to accomplish their dreams.
5. Nick Vujicic – “The challenges in our lives are there to STRENGTHEN our CONVICTIONS. They are NOT there to run us over.”
Born without arms and legs, Nick Vujicic has risen above many obstacles to become one of the most famous motivational speakers of our time. His optimism and joy are contagious. Nick dedicates his speeches to teaching determination, faith and a “can do” attitude.