Top 6 Motivational Speakers of 2017

#MotivationMondays aren’t just for Mondays anymore.

top motivational speakers

Don’t you love that jolt of energy you get when listening to one of those “big thinkers” or super inspiring keynote speakers?

After listening to them, the feeling that you can conquer the world is an astonishingly common side-effect, yet a rare one (if you take into account all the negativity going around these days.) Let’s take a trip down memory lane, and look at the top 6 motivational speakers of 2017.

Eric Thomas (ET The Hip Hop Preacher)

Making waves with his passionate speeches and sermons, Dr. Eric Thomas gives motivational talks to students and athletes all around the country. ET often talks about his humble beginnings as a high school drop-out and homeless man, and on making the most of his circumstances. His influence and reach have made him a household name, with celebrities like Lebron James crediting ET as a source of his inspiration for winning the NBA Championship (2012). Here’s one of our favorite lines of him discussing the point in which he decided to make a change for the better in his life.

"I changed, and I stopped being a victim. I stopped saying I’ve got to wait for good things to happen to me. And I said I’m going to grind, I’m going to fight."  — Eric Thomas

Sheryl Sandberg

Known not only as Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg is also an author and activist. Taking a strong stance for women empowerment, much of her message revolves around having gratitude and in striving for women’s equality. In her 2017 Virginia Tech commencement speech, Sandberg talks about resilience and gratitude. She mentions that:

“There are many kinds of hope. There’s the hope that she wouldn’t swipe left. Sorry. There’s the hope that as you sit here your stuff will magically pack itself. Sorry. But my favorite kind of hope is called grounded hope — the understanding that if you take action you can make things better.”  — Sheryl Sandberg

Greg Reid

A best-selling author of over 50 books, Greg Reid is a master story-teller and businessman. Reid’s accomplishments read like a series of metaphorical slam dunks. Selected by as “a top 10 best entrepreneurial speaker for taking your event to the next level”, Reid likes to speak about the importance of not giving up and seeking counsel from mentors. He has spread his expertise and motivation in front of audiences at TEDx, Forbes, and Inc. Here’s one of his most known quotes is the following:

“I find it more enjoyable investing time doing what pleases me, rather than wasting precious time attempting to please everyone else.”  — Greg Reid

Soraya Darabi

Sky-rocketing to fame with her involvement as the New York Times’ Manager of Digital Partnerships and Social Media, Soraya Darabi is a veteran digital strategist, since the age of 23. Her insightful and motivating speeches discuss marketing strategies and innovation, as well as the future of work and wellness. Who knew fairy godmothers existed, (at least in the start-up world), as she’s an investor and adviser to new ventures including and When asked about her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, she mentioned:

“The tough truth is, it’s very, very hard to start a company. It’s even harder to scale one, and the hardest feat of all? Making your idea profitable… Stress test your ideas in a safe space, find proof of concept and product market fit, and then believe in yourself enough to really give it a go when you feel you’ve struck gold.”  — Soraya Darabi

Daymond John

Splashing around the world of good-old business and entrepreneurship, this Shark Tank personality delivers fire and enthusiasm in all of his speeches. Daymond John, a highly sought after speaker, often talks about his journey as the founder of FUBU, and provides motivational wisdom to individuals and businesses alike. One of our all-time favorite Daymond John quotes is below:

“If you go out there and start making noise and making sales — people will find you. Sales cure all. You can talk about how great your business plan is and how well you are going to do. You can make up your own opinions, but you cannot make up your own facts. Sales cure all.”  — Daymond John

Gary Vaynerchuk

We wanted to save the best for last, (at least in our very biased opinion.) If you’re one of the few who live under a rock and haven’t heard of Gary, we urge you to drop everything, head to YouTube, and search him up. (You’ll thanks us later.) An immigrant from Belarus and now a serial entrepreneur & internet personality, Gary not only spits motivational fire in his keynote speeches, his day to day interactions on his daily vlog are a testament to his passion for shifting people’s mindsets. With a knack for tapping into pop culture, (should we mention he dropped 2 signature sneakers?), one of his most epic quotes is summed up in 3 short words:

“You’re gonna die.”  — Gary Vaynerchuk

Need I say more?

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