Top 10 Motivational Speakers: Cultivating Teamwork, Performance, and Positive Change in the Workplace
The pursuit of happiness, wellness, and success has become a huge preoccupation of the 21st century—but how do people achieve these goals in a world filled with economic insecurity, emotional suffering, and a mounting uncertainty of the future? Whether drawing from the field of psychology or personal experiences, these 10 motivational speakers offer diverse, intriguing strategies for how to overcome obstacles, cultivate resilience, and generally live your best life personally and professionally.
Dan Lerner: Positive psychologist and motivational speaker Daniel Lerner is what you might call an optimist. Armed with the belief that meaningful work doesn’t have to come at the expense of our personal happiness, Lerner researches how all-star professionals, from athletes to executives, perform at their peak—and how you can too.
MJ Hegar: From flying her team to safety in Afghanistan, to advocating for women’s rights in congress, American Air Force veteran and motivational speaker MJ Hegar’s fearlessness inspires people to not only endure in the face of adversity, but also become catalysts for necessary change.
Yvonne Camus: Yvonne Camus knows a thing or two about leading a high-performance life. As the COO of SPINCO, Camus has a superior understanding of health, stress, and workplace pressure. Combining her industry knowledge with relatable personal experience, Camus’ motivational keynotes show us how grit, determination, and teamwork can lead ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things—without sacrificing wellness.
Bill Strickland: “Give people the tools they need, treat them with respect, and they will perform miraculous deeds.” This is the philosophy of motivational speaker Bill Strickland, founder of the Manchester Bidwell arts and training centre. Strickland looks beyond social and economic standing to recognize the genius in everyone, and empowers audiences to achieve their full potential in his enthralling, unconventional lectures filled with kindness and hope.
Karl Subban: Natural leader and captivating storyteller Karl Subban shares the lessons he’s learned both as a principal in one of Toronto’s toughest neighborhoods, and as a parent of five accomplished children in his thoughtful, humorous motivational talks. Using powerful personal anecdotes, Subban demonstrates the importance of teamwork and leadership in unlocking one’s true potential.
Darby Allen: With bravery and composure, former fire chief and motivational speaker Darby Allen pulled off the largest evacuation in Canadian history—leading over 80,000 Albertans to safety during the 2016 Fort McMurray fires with no loss of life. Now hailed a national hero, Allen candidly talks about how to navigate a crisis with clarity and strength, as well as how to re-adjust to life after trauma.
Jordin Tootoo: Following his departure from the NHL—where he was the first Inuk player ever drafted—motivational keynote speaker Jordin Tootoo has dedicated his life to becoming a role model and advocate for Indigenous communities. Tootoo applies insights from his career as a pro athlete, as well as his personal life, to encourage difficult conversations, promote healthy living, and dismantle taboos around addiction, suicide, and mental illness.
George Kourounis: Motivational speaker George Kourounis believes that curiosity is the antidote to fear—a belief that has served him well as a professional storm-chaser, Royal Canadian Geographical Society Explorer-in-Residence , and host of the wildly popular TV program Angry Planet. In his stimulating, action-packed talks, Kourounis shares how to mobilize fear as a motivating force in achieving your dreams.
Dan Riskin: What can we learn from children? How to cultivate passion and curiosity, according to evolutionary biologist, TV personality, bestselling author, and motivational speaker Dan Riskin. His extraordinary career is built upon those very qualities, which he considers to be skills worth nurturing. “Finding your passion” isn’t just a cliché phrase—in fact, Riskin uses a scientific approach to explain why looking to your interests as a form of inspiration will make you a better learner, communicator, and help you better enjoy life.
Waneek Horn-Miller: “How many times did my ancestors want to give up, lay down, and die? But they didn't. They fought to continue.” It is with this spirit of perseverance that motivational speaker Waneek Horn-Miller has become an Indigenous rights activist, Olympian, and entrepreneur. Using the backdrop of her own personal struggles—including getting stabbed at the age of fourteen—Horn-Miller delivers empowering talks that unpack trauma, resilience, hope, and healing.