What is a motivational speaker? If you’re like most people, you think it’s someone who is a high-energy speaker who excels at getting salespeople fired up — but that’s not always the case.
As a professional speaker myself, I define a motivational speaker as someone who changes the state of the people in the audience.
Yes, sometimes that means a high-energy, inspirational speaker. But other times, it can mean someone who creates a sense of emotion and meaning for the audience. And still other times, it can mean someone who shares a business insight with an audience that gets them to change the way they lead their organization or their team.
Not long after re-framing what it means to be a motivational speaker, I launched the International Speakers Association as a way to promote the world’s best speakers from around the globe. The first thing we did was to spend six months emailing several thousand meeting planners, event professionals, and conference professionals and asked them to name the top speakers they had come across in their careers.
I also did in-depth research of my own and sorted through hundreds of different speaker websites.
Finally, I connected with other speakers and asked them for their input.
What follows are the results of the first annual International Speakers Association Top 100 Motivational Speakers Award, which is based on both qualitative and quantitative research as well as my own experience. Ready to check out the winners? If so, read here.