Basic Types of Motivational Speakers

A motivational speaker may be classified according to his expertise; whether he specializes in delivering speeches about personal development, business, youth mentoring, or community. Those four are the typology of speakers according to professional expertise. There are, however, two types of speakers in terms of speech technique or approach—those who motivate by relating their own motivations and those who motivate by relating how others are motivated to achieve something.


Self-motivators are usually people who have achieved success in achieving their goals through their own courageous acts of optimism and persistence. Examples of self-motivators are sports champions who are invited to give speeches, enabling them to relate their personal stories with young or beginner sportsmen. Survivors of disasters or illnesses are also invited to deliver testimonials of the gravity of their tragic experiences and how they were able to rise up no matter how dire the situation.

Self-motivators only need to understand what motivates them or what keeps them going. They just have to share their experiences that are relevant to what the audiences are going through, leaving the learning and motivation part to them. The goal is to let people know that they are not alone and that they can achieve what the speakers achieved by effectively making them realize that they also have the capabilities that the speakers have. Their speeches are usually delivered in very emotional and intimate ways—they must open up their lives to their audiences, providing details of their vulnerabilities, inspirations and deeds.

Keynote speakerA self-motivator is an effective motivational speaker on personal development and youth mentoring. If a speech is about drug addiction and rehabilitation, the best speakers would be former drug addicts themselves as they will be more capable in relating to the situation of the audience and in making the audience realize that they are also capable of overcoming their addictions just as how the speakers were able to do it on their own. If a speech is about obesity and weight loss, the best speakers would be former obese people as they can best relate to what the audience is feeling about their bodies and they can inspire them to lose weight by sharing their ways of adopting healthier lifestyles despite the rigors of eating less.

Leadership Motivator

A leadership motivator, on the other hand, is a motivational speaker who is most likely a leader or expert in his field. Leadership motivators have extensive experiences in handling teams of people and motivating them to work together towards the accomplishment of common goals. Examples of leadership motivators are successful businessmen who are invited to deliver speeches about how they were able to manage and motivate their subordinates to be productive and contribute to their success in sales or marketing ventures.

Leadership motivators must understand how their audience can be motivated and inspired. They must focus on addressing their needs regarding particular aspects of businesses or careers. They should concentrate on providing or suggesting solutions for different scenarios and issues that are commonly encountered by the audience. Unlike with self- motivators, the motivation and learning part must come from the speakers; they must be effective in imparting valuable knowledge and tips to the audience.

A leadership motivator is also an effective motivational speaker on business and community. If the speech is about improving business marketing strategies, the best speakers would be business leaders who specialize in marketing and advertising as they would be well-equipped with the knowledge and experience in developing marketing strategies. If the speech is about emergency preparedness in the community, the best speakers would be experienced disaster coordinators who are knowledgeable in crowd-control and management during emergencies.

All in all, if you’re looking for a motivational speaker, make sure that you’re indeed searching for the right one.