Business Leadership Today

Top 5 Business Motivational Speakers


Muriel Call, Staff Writer

With employee engagement and retention continuing to pose challenges for many organizations, business leaders are constantly on the lookout for inspiration and practical, effective methods to motivate their teams. 

The quest for improvement and growth is ceaseless as leaders strive to grow their skills, foster innovation, and drive their organizations toward sustainable success. Leadership events and conferences serve as life-changing forces along the way. 

These events provide a unique opportunity for leaders to learn from the best, exchange ideas, and discover new strategies. They are more than just gatherings—they are transformative experiences that can significantly impact a leader’s approach to leadership and team management.

At the heart of these events are motivational speakers, who play an indispensable role in affecting change in organizations, using their knowledge, experience, and charisma to inspire attendees. 

A good motivational speaker does more than just speak. They engage, challenge, and stimulate thought. They share insights and stories that resonate, that can transform mindsets, and inspire change.

Motivational speakers have the power to ignite a spark in leaders, inspiring them to transform their workplaces, motivate their employees, and achieve long-term success. They provide fresh perspectives and practical tools that leaders can implement, helping them navigate the complexities of the workplace.

In the following sections, we will explore the top five business motivational speakers in the $15,000–$30,000 fee range. These speakers have proven their ability to inspire and motivate, making them not just valuable but essential additions to any leadership event or conference.

The Power of Motivational Speakers: Making the Connection

The potency of motivational speakers is deeply rooted in their unparalleled ability to foster a profound connection with their audiences. 

An adept motivational speaker can resonate with their audience on a personal level, understanding the hurdles that leaders and teams encounter and leveraging this comprehension to deliver impactful messages. They share narratives, experiences, and insights that are not only inspiring but also relatable.

Motivational speakers invigorate attendees by challenging their thought paradigms and encouraging them to perceive things from a fresh perspective. They offer novel viewpoints on leadership and team management, igniting a wave of innovative ideas that leaders can incorporate within their organizations.

However, motivational speakers’ influence transcends mere inspiration and ideation. They are the driving force behind organizational change. The insights and strategies they impart can assist leaders in reshaping their leadership approach, leading to greater team motivation, increased productivity, and higher profitability. 

A captivating leadership keynote speaker, for instance, can act as a potent catalyst for change and transformation. They achieve this by sharing stories and insights that resonate with attendees, making them more relatable. This connection can stimulate the generation of innovative ideas and transformative actions within their organizations. 

The impact of such a speaker extends beyond the confines of the event, as the attendees carry these insights back to their organizations, leading to improved team dynamics, enhanced performance, and a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

Selecting the right motivational speaker is pivotal for the success of any event. It’s important to find a speaker whose values and message align with those of the organization, ensuring that their presentation resonates with the audience and reinforces the vision.

In the following section, we will delve into some of the top business motivational speakers in the $15,000–$30,000 fee range who have demonstrated their ability to inspire and motivate.

Top 5 Business Motivational Speakers

Here are our picks for the top five business motivational speakers in the $15,000-$30,000 fee range.

1. Sara Canaday

Sara Canaday is known for her unique blend of analytical entrepreneurship and perceptive warmth, which she has dedicated to helping high-potential professionals excel. 

With an MBA and a successful corporate career, Sara emphasizes the importance of applying knowledge and talents, as opposed to relying solely on IQ or skills. She places great value on collaboration, communication, and influence and has developed a keen ability to identify attributes that can significantly impact a career. 

Today, Sara is a sought-after speaker, consultant, coach, and author, and is the owner of Sara Canaday & Associates, a rapidly growing firm. Based in Austin, Texas, she has mentored and supported thousands of individuals, inspiring them to translate insight into action and achieve significant career results. 

Sara advises her clients to be honest with themselves, continually improve, and enjoy a double mocha latte with extra whipped cream when in doubt.

Watch Sara’s Demo Video

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2. Matt Tenney

Matt Tenney is known for providing insights that can help leaders improve employee engagement and performance, and create work environments that can attract and retain top talent. 

He is also known for delivering powerful keynotes that share his personal journey and end with a call to prioritize helping others. Those in the audience often feel deeply inspired after his talks, with many expressing how impactful his keynotes have been for them.

Matt has written three leadership books, including Inspire Greatness: How to Motivate Employees with a Simple, Repeatable, Scalable Process. His clients include several Fortune 500 companies such as Canon, United Airlines, and Salesforce, as well as state and national associations like the Credit Union National Association, the American Society for Association Executives, the Corporate Housing Providers Association, and the American Dental Association.

Demo Video for Those Planning a Leadership Meeting

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Demo Video for Conference Planners

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3. David & Jonah Stillman

David and Jonah Stillman are known for their work in the field of generational dynamics and motivational speaking. 

David is an expert in generational dynamics and a well-regarded keynote speaker, having co-authored best-selling books on the topic. His book, Gen Z @ Work, was co-authored with his son Jonah, a former top-ranked snowboarder. 

Jonah, despite his youth, has gained recognition for his insights on Gen Z’s workplace attitudes and has been featured in major publications. 

Together, David and Jonah offer a multi-generational perspective on generational dynamics, and their work has been well-received by Fortune 100 companies.

Watch David and Jonah Speak at Talent Connect

YouTube video

4. Bridget Hilton

Bridget Hilton is known for her work on enriching life experiences. She began her journey in Flint, Michigan, and developed a passion for music that led her to join the world’s largest record label as a teenager. She played a key role in launching prominent music careers during her time there. 

Inspired by a video of a deaf woman hearing for the first time, she founded LSTN Sound Co., a social-good electronics company. The company has partnered with Google, Delta Air Lines, and Amazon and has sold millions of products, gifting over 50,000 people with the joy of hearing. 

Currently, Bridget is a keynote speaker and co-author of the Experiential Billionaire book and Treasure Maps card game. She is dedicated to helping others enhance their mental health and live intentional, regret-free lives. 

Bridget has also facilitated one of the largest surveys on life experiences, inspiring others to pursue fulfilling goals. Her story is a testament to the power of determination and the pursuit of enriching life experiences.

Watch Bridget’s Speaking Reel

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5. Marc Wayshak

Marc Wayshak is a well-known sales keynote speaker who has made a significant impact on the sales industry with his data-driven approach at the Sales Insights Lab. His Sales Insights Method, supported by extensive research, has led clients to achieve over $100 million in annual sales growth.

Recognized by LinkedIn as one of the “15 Influential Sales Professionals to Watch” in 2019, Marc’s YouTube channel has attracted over 200,000 subscribers. He is the author of several best-selling sales books.

Marc’s keynotes are a combination of humor, storytelling, and expertise, based on the latest data on successful sales strategies. He has delivered keynotes for prominent companies such as Siemens, Goldman, Lenovo, and Marriott.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Marc is an enthusiastic kiteboarder, rugby player, and traveler. A Harvard and Oxford alumnus, he is passionate about positively impacting the lives of salespeople every day.

Watch Marc’s Motivational Sales Speech Video

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Choosing the Right Speaker: Setting Transformation in Motion

Choosing the right motivational speaker for a conference or leadership event is a make-or-break decision that can significantly impact the event’s success. The right speaker can inspire attendees, ignite innovative ideas, and drive change within organizations. 

Here are a few questions that you need to answer before you choose a motivational speaker for your event or organization:

What is the speaker’s expertise? 

The speaker’s knowledge and experience in the field are relevant and should be a factor in the decision-making process. They should have a proven track record of success and a deep understanding of the topics they speak about. Their expertise will lend credibility to their message and ensure that they can provide valuable insights to the audience.

What are the audience’s interests?

Understanding the audience’s interests and needs is key to selecting just the right speaker. The speaker’s message should resonate with the audience and address their specific challenges and goals. The speaker’s message will have a greater impact if they can connect with the audience on a personal level.

What is the event’s theme?

The speaker’s message should definitely align with the theme of the event. Whether the event is about leadership, innovation, team building, or any other topic, the speaker should be able to tailor their message to fit the theme and objectives of the event.

What is the speaker’s style? 

Every speaker has a unique style. Some are more motivational, while others are more educational. Some use humor to engage the audience, while others rely on compelling stories. The speaker’s style should match the tone and format of the event.

What’s my budget?

Last, but certainly not least, the speaker’s fee should fit within the event’s budget. While it’s important to select a high-quality speaker, it’s also important to ensure that their fee is affordable and provides good value for the investment.

Choosing the right speaker involves careful consideration of several factors. By taking the time to select the right speaker, conference planners can ensure a successful and impactful event where attendees can walk away inspired and motivated.

Muriel Call

Muriel Call

Staff Writer / Editor

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