Whether in the workplace or in your at-home life, you’re going to face obstacles every day. It’s going to be really hard sometimes to keep going. So how do you do it? How does anyone do it? This week, we are highlighting the top motivational speakers on the topic of overcoming obstacles and persevering through life’s many challenges. These incredibly moving motivational keynote speakers have the power to capture your audience and use their own story as an inspiration for your audience to find confidence, take responsibility, meet challenges head-on and prepare for the unknown. Each of these 10 top motivational speakers have received rave reviews in recent months for their powerful messages shared at business conferences, corporate internal meetings, fundraisers and other special events.
Sully Sullenberger: Perhaps one of the most requested motivational keynote speakers on the circuit right now is retired U.S. Airways pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. In 2009, his heroic efforts helped saved the lives of 155 passengers aboard U.S. Airways flight 1549 which struck a flock of geese upon takeoff and was forced into a dangerous emergency landing on the Hudson River. It is incredibly inspiring to hear the story from Sully’s point of view and understand the truly immeasurable poise and calm under pressure he exhibited that day. His story was immortalized in the 2016 hit film Sully starring Tom Hanks. Today, Sully is a leading voice on leadership and developing strategies for flawless execution under pressure.
Amy Purdy: This empowering female motivational speaker personifies the most important desire a person can have – the desire to evolve. Amy faced her own unique obstacles that brought her to the brink of death after overcoming a serious bacterial meningitis infection at the age of 19. She could’ve let that experience negatively affect her life forever, but instead she chose to use it as motivation to reach and exceed her goals. Since becoming a Paralympic champion in 2014, Amy has spread her positive light as a fan favorite on Dancing with the Stars, the founder of her own non-profit organization and one of the most memorable TED Speakers of all-time. Her message of “Living Beyond Limits” will teach your audience how to get out of their own way and reach their full potential in work and life.
Marcus Luttrell: Honor. Perseverance. Leadership. These 3 words define a man who overcame extreme adversity in countless missions as a U.S. Navy SEAL. He is best recognized as the lone survivor of the fateful Operation Red Wing that took place in 2005. His New York Times bestselling book and the subsequent feature film Lone Survivor brought the mission to life as the public saw the compassion Marcus and his company had shown on local herdsman that backfired into an ambush and eventually took the lives of every man in the company except Luttrell. As a motivational speaker, Marcus connects with audiences on a personal level to give them a new perspective on life and it’s many challenges.
Joan Lunden: Joan is a beloved TV personality and news anchor who spent almost two decades as a featured co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America. In June of 2014, Joan revealed the shocking news that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. A lifelong proponent of healthy living, Joan battled through chemo and is now cancer free! She is using this life-changing event in her life as a source of inspiration for others to take charge of their health, happiness and success. Joan has been quite the hit at women’s leadership conferences, health industry events and fundraisers in 2017. Most recently, Joan served as a the featured keynote guest speaker at the Laura W. Bush Institute’s Power of the Purse Luncheon.
Chris Gardner: Many had not heard the inspirational story of stockbroker and entrepreneur Chris Gardner before his life was immortalized in the hit 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith. As a single parent, Chris battled homelessness and the insecurity of low-paying and grueling corporate training programs to eventually realize his success as a businessman. Now a dynamic motivational speaker for business events and college speaker series, Chris teaches audiences how the keys to self-empowerment and how each one of us can beat the odds in our own lives. His “Start Where You Are” mentality relates to audiences of all levels, ages and walks of life. Chris will give your audience a game plan for success that starts TODAY!
Dara Torres: At 41-years-old, Dara Torres made Olympic history when she became the oldest U.S. female swimmer ever to compete at the Olympic Games. She competed in an unprecedented 5 Olympic Games in her career, also a record, and battled through age, injury and naysayers to win a total of 12 Olympic Medals. Now she is regarded as one of the most down-to-earth and engaging top motivational speakers on the speaking circuit. Dara talks about the dedication it took to be the best even as she aged, and the ways she overcame obstacles and challenges in her life and career to determine her own success. When she is not speaking, Dara currently appears on the Gracie Award-winning all-female sports talk show We Need To Talk on CBS.
J.R. Martinez: J.R. is a retired U.S. Army veteran, actor, NY Times bestselling author and the season 13 winner of Dancing with the Stars. While serving as an infantryman in Iraq in 2003, J.R.’s Hummer drove over an IED that caused severe burns to over 34% of his body. He spent the next 34 months in recovery. During his long, grueling recovery at BAMC in Texas, J.R. was asked to speak with other burn patients who were having a tough time accepting reality. J.R.’s words moved patients in a positive way and he decided he wanted to use his story on a larger scale to positively impact as many people as possible. J.R. has since been hired by non-profit organizations, universities and major corporations including General Motors and Wells Fargo.
Jessica Alba: Let’s be Honest, it’s no secret Jessica Alba has become one of the top motivational speakers available for hire in 2017! Jessica has rewritten the business plan for successful entrepreneurship with her popular environmentally-conscious consumer goods brand, The Honest Company which she founded in 2011. This month, the company introduced their first licensed products with MLB themed diapers, an ode to Jessica’s love for baseball and her own children. Her biggest secret to creating a successful brand in 2017? Be specific, be special, be unapologetic, and never take “no” for an answer. Hire Jessica Alba to speak at your next corporate conference or leadership summit and we know your audience will leave ready to take your business to the next level.
Shaquille O’Neal: Can…you… dig it!? Shaq’s signature catchphrase is a great opening one-liner for the big man who lives life out loud unabashed, every day. Shaq is a 4-time NBA champion turned on-air analyst for TNT and has also enjoyed business success as an entrepreneur and early investor in companies such as Google and Apple. He is regularly called upon as a motivational guest speaker for major industry conferences such as the Consumer Electronic Show as well as special events including university speaker series and sports forums. Just a few weeks ago, Shaq was hired by the University of Cumberland to headline their 12th annual Excellence in Leadership Series.
Bethany Hamilton: Rounding out our list of top motivational speakers for hire this week is professional surfer Bethany Hamilton. Bethany lost her left arm in a shark attack while surfing when she was just 13-years-old. But she didn’t let this horrific experience derail her from her dreams, returning to the water mere months later and going on to win several pro surf competitions. She wrote about her experience in the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. In 2011, the feature film Soul Surfer was released based on Bethany’s story. She has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of determination, faith and hope.
Do any of these top motivational speakers sound like they’d be the perfect fit for your event? Contact us today! Our speaker booking agents will help you find and hire the right keynote speaker for your event theme/goals while also staying within your budget for talent. You can also review our full database of additional top motivational speakers to get a better idea of the full breadth of motivational speakers on the speaking circuit right now. Contact us today via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.