In every profession, in every corner of the world, in every age and every era, there is always the resounding question of who the best is. It doesn’t matter what category or what field. For some reason, people will always discuss, argue, quarrel and even fight amongst themselves in a bid to proclaim their own preference as the best of the best. It probably stems from the fact that it’s near unacceptable for humans not to have someone occupying the top rank.
It’s almost impossible to pinpoint the best of the best, especially since times and competition are different from generation to generation. Even in a single year, performance fluctuates and being number 1 today doesn’t mean being number 1 tomorrow. Of course, every field has their candidates. In sports, boxing has Ali and Robinson, tennis has Federer and Laver, and golf has Woods and Nicklaus. Music has The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Queen, while politics has the likes of Gandhi, Mandela and even Adolf Hitler. Every field has their own candidates for the title of “best”, and professional motivational speaking is no exception.
It is downright impossible to name the best motivational speaker ever to have existed. It is an especially tricky one to gauge, since motivational speaking has no preset parameters for success. Technically speaking, the best motivational speaker is the one who has motivated the most number of people, but that is impossible to count and quantify. Even if you could, the definition of “motivated” has never been defined, in terms of a speaker’s effect on a specific person. There is no legitimate way of measuring a speaker’s success in comparison to his colleagues. Nevertheless, there are exceptional speakers who have risen above the rest, showing tremendous capabilities of reaching people across the globe and making a change.
Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield are good contenders for the title if for nothing else than their groundbreaking book series: Chicken Soup for the Soul. They co-created the book that has spawned 100 licensed products and over 140 million books sold in more than 40 languages. The book itself contains inspirational anecdotes about real people, and through it Hansen and Canfield have managed to motivate the world without even having to speak.
The late Zig Ziglar is another great motivational speaker who has managed to touch millions of lives through his life improvement messages. He started speaking to the public in 1970, and he’s also written many books, ranging from life improvement, sales success, raising kids and living a Christian life.
Perhaps the most inspiring personal testimony of a motivational speaker comes from Australian Nick Vujicic. Nick was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, and as a result he was born with none of his four limbs. It comes as no surprise that his childhood did not come easy at all, but what’s amazing about his story is that he not only came to terms with his misfortune, he went one step further and used his story to show people worldwide that one can find meaning in life no matter what the situation is. He is also a Christian evangelist as well as the founder of Life Without Limbs, a non-profit organization. He also devotes time for disability campaigns and charities, and he focuses a lot of his speeches on living life and finding hope even with disabilities.
There are a lot more great motivational speakers in the past and the present, like Eric Thomas, Les Brown, Tony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki and Jim Rohn. There is no single formula that binds these great speakers together, just that they have helped motivate so many people from all walks of life around the world and they have for sure motivated the next generation’s motivational speakers as well.