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Top Personal Development Keynote Speakers [2022]
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Top Personal Development Keynote Speakers [2022]

Seeking to hire a personal development speaker to improve the health, resilience, creativity and interpersonal skills of your organization’s teams? Look no further—SUCCESS Speakers Bureau presents 10 of our top picks for inspiring personal and organizational transformation.

Jay Shetty

World-renowned speaker, podcaster and motivational coach Jay Shetty didn’t always know success. The former monk has experienced corporate rejection, career dissatisfaction and even financial instability. Yet Shetty not only endured—he thrived. Today, the lessons he learned in finding peace and purpose infuse his every keynote presentation, and he has assisted countless top organizations including Google and NASDAQ. His wisdom, charisma and humor shine through in every presentation with topics including innovation, mindfulness, creativity, branding and more.

Natasha Graziano

Personal development can be transformative. Most often, it is not so much about changing yourself as it is finding yourself. Celebrity speaker and mindset coach Natasha Graziano knows this process intimately. Once homeless and broke, the Be it Until You Become It author and trending celebrity speaker experienced transformation at the grassroots level. Now, Graziano has delivered timeless addresses alongside speakers like Mark Cuban, Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone and Tony Robbins, and has worked with top brands including Estée Lauder, Nord VPN and BetterHelp. 

Stephen Hilgart

Personal development creates peace and fulfillment. It also builds strong, confident leaders and successful companies. Peak performance and business strategy expert Stephen Hilgart has served thousands of corporations and audiences with his one-of-a-kind training sessions and workshops. Personally trained by Tony Robbins, Hilgart’s results-driven approach to building optimal performance creates immediate strategic improvements that will last through the long-term of company growth. Energetic and always entertaining, Hilgart makes every event he attends both memorable and meaningful.

Anne Grady

Personal development requires proven methods in building resilience. Recognized as a leading resilience expert, Anne Grady has inspired hundreds of thousands of people across industries to take ownership of their lives and improve performance. As both a virtual and in-person keynote speaker, she draws equally from her personal research in neuroscience and her master’s degree in organizational communication. This combination, along with her mastery in connecting with audiences at a personal level, has made her one of the most in-demand professional speakers today.

Sam Silverstein

Understanding the keys to personal accountability resembles planting a seed. It not only grows individually, it also has the power to change the environment around it. Sam Silverstein leads as an expert in personal accountability, and the transformation he inspires can lead to a better work culture and lasting growth and sales throughout your organization. Called an “accountability guru,” Silverstein has authored such books as The Success Model, Making Accountable Decisions and No More Excuses, among others. Always engaging, his keynote addresses take on topics that include leadership, healthcare, personal development and accountability.

Karen M. Allen

Better individual health and an improved mindset transforms individuals, teams and entire corporations. Karen Allen, keynote speaker and founder of 100% Human™, has more than proven her expertise in the transformative power of mindfulness and positive mindsets. She has worked with Google, AT&T, Lockheed Martin, Experian and many other top corporations to showcase proven methods in building positive psychology and better overall well-being. Her resilience-building addresses build upon two frameworks: “Stop & Shift” exercises to build resilience and “100% Human” guideposts to create a human-centric professional culture.

Neil Pasricha

Living intentionally seems as though it should come naturally, yet the circumstances we experience—and how we cope with them—can lead us to just “going along” with life as though we are in a dream. Neil Pasricha wants you to reclaim intentional living and experience your life with purpose. A leading authority in intentional living, Pasricha helps individuals in your organization cope with failure, build resilience, experience gratitude and reclaim their most mindfully aware lives. Author of The Happiness Equation and You Are Awesome, Pasricha speaks at institutions ranging from Shopify to Harvard. His Ted Talk, The 3 A’s of Awesome, has been viewed over three million times.

Mo Brossette

Mind, body, movement and nutrition are more than connected. They make up who we are, and these intricate connections impact our overall well-being and performance in every aspect of life. Four-time Ironman Triathlete and nutritionist Mo Brossette not only speaks about feeling better—he helps audiences live better. The clarity of mind that comes with better health and nutrition assists teams and entire organizations to achieve peak performance, creativity and functionality. With a strong, healthy mind, communications improve, along with overall well-being. As a keynote speaker, Brossette helps get you there.  

Dan Thurmon

Better health and wellness improve our focus, creativity and even overall productivity. Always energetic, Dan Thurmon lives what he teaches. He has assisted corporations like Google, Microsoft, Chick-fil-A and Firestone in achieving optimal performance even at times of transformation. Thurmon has provided thousands of presentations worldwide, helping employees embrace success and achievement in the face of their personal fears and inhibitions. As founder and current president of Motivation Works, Thurmon coaches major brands, educators and even world leaders in purposeful leadership.

How to Hire the Right Keynote Speaker for Your Next Event
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How to Hire the Right Keynote Speaker for Your Next Event

A great keynote address stirs an audience, taking attendees from disinterested to engaged. Just as importantly, the right keynote address adds unity and cohesion to your event. Hiring the wrong speaker can leave your audience flat or even confused.

Hiring the right motivational speaker for your corporate or fundraising event is critical to overall event success. While every portion of the day will be remembered, the perfect keynote address can tie everything together into a single and inspiring message. A lot rides on finding the right person. How do you go about hiring a speaker who will make your event both memorable and successful?

Start with the theme of your event.

Event planning can be complicated, and it’s easy to get lost in details. You need to plan everything from breakout sessions to catering. Finding the right keynote speaker means taking a step back from those planning details and asking yourself simple questions:

  • What is this event about thematically?
  • What do I want my audience to come away with in both the long and short term?
  • Are there gaps in my event plan that need to be addressed?

Hiring the best motivational speaker provides an opportunity to refocus energy and enthusiasm while providing a clear theme for your company event.

Keep your audience in mind.

Examine your invited audience. Will board members be in attendance? Are IT professionals part of the group who will listen? Is the public invited? Because even if you want to impress the CEO, they will be looking to the reactions of your general staff in attendance to gauge success.

Crowd dynamics are far different than normal workplace dynamics. Hierarchies of rank break down. If a particular message gets your work crew or marketing staff laughing or on its feet, others of all ranks will follow. Consider who can speak broadly enough to your entire audience and relate best to them. Demographics such as age and ethnicity can play roles, too. Find someone who will appeal to your audience universally.

Research the best motivational speakers available.

Resources such as the SUCCESS Speakers Bureau and SpeakInc make finding the right motivational keynote speaker easier. Rather than searching the entire internet from scratch, these sites have assembled the top professional speakers and provide biographical data. With simple searches by interest and industry, you can find speakers who will motivate your audience and make your event come to life. Best of all, they filter out the nonprofessionals and no-shows who can throw your event off track.

From here, your job is not only easier but fun, too! Investigate your top few choices. Visit their websites. Learn not only what they say to their audiences, but how they say it. Do you want humor, or a more solemn event? Watch a few of their TEDx Talks or listen to their podcasts to ensure they hit not only the right content but tone.

Once confident in your short list, simply return to the SUCCESS Speakers Bureau or other resource and check for the availability of your desired keynote speaker. Their booking agents will make the arrangements easy. More importantly, you’ll hire a qualified speaker you can depend on for your corporate, fundraising or public event.

Photo by Jacob Lund/Shutterstock 

How to Hire a Speaker for Your Event
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How to Hire a Speaker for Your Event

Hiring a keynote speaker can feel like the most daunting task when planning an event. Whether you seek a celebrity speaker to help raise institutional funds, a motivational speaker to advance sales or a business speaker to support your team in coping with change, you need a professional. In fact, that single keynote presentation often determines overall event success.

That’s a lot of pressure for an event organizer.

But the task does not need to be daunting. By keeping certain considerations in mind, and following a step-by-step approach, you can all but guarantee a positive, fun and motivational company gathering. Let’s look at some best practices in hiring the right speaker for your next business or charitable event.

Get to know your event: set goals, objectives and outcomes first.

As an event planner, the most stressful part for me always came at the opening strategy stage. Don’t rush yourself at the beginning. Talk with other organizers, managers, employees and anyone else with a stake in the event. Give yourself time to fully understand how the day or afternoon will unfold. That is, the timing, space and intended purpose of the guest speaker.

Separate goals, objectives and outcomes. An immediate goal may simply be hiring a speaker, but think of objectives and outcomes, too. Define them. Is your objective to inspire your audience or to promote a cause? Is it to create better communication in your company or to entertain attendees between working break-out sessions?

Then, consider your intended outcomes. Perhaps you seek to enhance creativity in a company that has become complacent, or to increase donations for longevity of a program. While you haven’t begun thinking of particular speakers yet, getting a sense of objective and outcomes will assist you in the process later.

Define your time and budget.

Two things matter most in event planning: time and budget. And both are in short supply!

Once you’ve defined your objectives and outcomes, you can better address the role of your guest speaker. Consider how much money you have to spend and the amount of time you can a lot. There will certainly be moving pieces, and you may have to revisit scheduling and budget several times during the planning process. For instance, you may first desire a keynote presentation at a certain time for a certain price. But later, the person you want costs a few dollars more and is only available at another time. You will need to shift things around as you go, but it’s important to start with a working plan.

What kind of speaker will be most useful and memorable to attendees?

If you already have a fair sense of the above steps, you will be surprised at how easily the rest falls into place. You are now ready to consider the kind of keynote address you would like to have for your company event.

You will face certain pressures. Everyone from the CEO to coworkers will have an opinion on who you should hire as a speaker. So might the caterer you spoke with! Take in their suggestions, whether informally or at meetings. Jot down every idea. You’ll revisit them later.

Most importantly, think as though you were any other attendee. Consider what kind of speaker will be most relevant and engaging to your audience. Your audience may consist of employees, outside guests from the public, or both. Revisit your objectives and outcomes. The speaker you’d want for a public groundbreaking ceremony will engage very differently than a speaker for an internal sustainability initiative.

Research your guest speakers.

Believe it or not, you’re already mostly there! By now, a fuller picture has formed. You should have a clear idea of your audience and where to guide them. Now, you can begin looking more deeply at specific guest speakers.

Revisit the lists you made earlier from the suggestions of others. Make phone calls, send messages and get on the internet. That is, follow every lead and source as you search for available guest speakers who align with your goals. Check out their availability. More importantly, visit their websites and available media. A guest motivational speaker who interests you almost certainly has Ted Talks and other media available on hosting sites like iTunes, YouTube, Spotify and others. Gather a sense of them. Do they align with your purpose? Do they interest you personally? If not, you will almost certainly find several other “suggested” speakers along a similar vein.

Mostly, keep a strong balance of the subjective and the objective when researching media. On one hand, they should be exciting. You want someone who is motivational and subjectively “grabbing” your attention. Objectively, you also need to look critically at whether a particular keynote speaker has the right familiarity with your event’s defined objectives and outcomes.

Begin contacting potential speakers.

In most cases, you will not contact your guest speaker directly. Rather, you will work through a booking agent.

Yes, if your event is small or purely of local interest, you might be able to reach out to a “local celebrity” or internal guru yourself. But for a memorable event, you need an experienced motivator and thought leader. And “experienced” usually means that they are busy!

Don’t let that worry you. In fact, working through a booking agent will make your job easier.

Booking agents have been through this routine before, hundreds or perhaps thousands of times. They will work with you on scheduling to meet your timing, budget and event needs. Just don’t be afraid to express your specific objective and outcomes to the booking agent. It’s better to find out now rather than later that the speaker you initially chose doesn’t exactly suit the subject matter you intend for your keynote address.

Keep your eyes on the prize and remain versatile.

Every event—whether corporate or foundational—has dozens of moving parts. Each piece is an opportunity for something not to work out as perfectly as you planned. A caterer brings the wrong meals. An assistant you depended on calls in sick. And, in rare cases, your keynote speaker arrives late.

Flight delays happen. Things go wrong. Planning is everything, but only if you remember that part of planning is knowing that everything won’t go exactly as you imagined. Remain versatile. Have backup and contingency plans. Be ready to think on the fly throughout the day and smile the whole way through.

If an audience needs to be engaged for an extra 10 or even 20 minutes, don’t be caught off guard. Instead, rehearse, know your available resources and be ready to take charge of your event personally when needed.

Get started hiring your event speaker.

Event planning does not need to be hard, but it is up to you to make it easier. And in the process, take your event from good to great.

We will assist you in hiring the best event speaker available. SUCCESS Speakers Bureau provides a growing list of dozens of top international speakers from a spectrum of industries and backgrounds. Plus, each speaker is searchable by keyword, saving you time. After that, booking your guest speaker has never been easier. All it takes is adding the time of your event plus your contact information. 

Make your next event the best one yet. Check out the dozens of bestselling authors, motivational speakers and the top business leaders SUCCESS Speakers Bureau has to offer.

Photo by GaudiLab/Shutterstock 

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