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Top Motivational Speakers for School Events


Motivational speakers are a popular choice for school events, whether it be for assemblies, awareness days, or the opening of new school buildings.  Educators are discovering the profound and positive effect these speakers can have on their students. They uplift, inspire and encourage.

All of our motivational speakers have incredible stories to tell, but there are some whose experiences really resonate with young people. Each of these speakers have overcome adversity in some form of other. Some have overcome massive obstacles, others have focused on achieving a dream. In every case, they have achieved things they never thought possible in their youth. Now, they inspire new generations that they too can achieve the impossible and teach them to view their setbacks not as obstacles but as learning blocks to future success.

Here are a few of our best-loved speakers for school events:

Ben McBean

An absolute favourite with young people, Ben McBean is a hugely inspiring, humble and incredibly motivating speaker. A double amputee, Ben managed to recover from stepping on a Taliban landmine in 2008 to living a full life without his left arm and right leg. Despite his injuries and amputations, Ben has completed marathons, climbed the three peaks and raised thousands of pounds for charity. A Dad of two young boys, Ben’s speech topics include resilience, positivity and how he will not allow his disabilities to define him. He is renowned for receiving a stranding ovation every single time he speaks.

A day in the life of Ben McBean – YouTube

Alex Holmes

After being a victim of bullying himself, aged just 16 Alex created a national movement against bullying and discrimination and now works with some of the biggest names in the world to further his mission. Alex was named on the Independent on Sunday’s Happy List as one of the ‘100 people who make Britain a happier place to live’ and has a keen interest in combatting barriers to children’s happiness and wellbeing.

He delivers talks to young people on: PHSCE, Well-being, Teacher CPD, Anti-Bullying, Mental Health, Parents, Online Safety, Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, work place culture, kindness, Cyber bullying, student leadership, racism, diversity, discrimination and respect.

Beat bullying; why young people hold the key | Alex Holmes | TEDxExeter – YouTube


Rich Whincup

Rich Whincup had a very challenging childhood and was born with a chronic stammer which left him almost unable to speak until he was 19. Rich’s life was turned round when he started University and learnt about the McGuire Technique which changed his life in just four days. Now a lecturer, a rugby coach and motivational speaker, Rich appeared in Stammer School: Musharaf Finds His Voice.

Overcoming My Stammer BBC Film – YouTube


Sally Kettle

Sally Kettle is hailed as the first ever woman to row the Atlantic Ocean twice from East to West (once with a somewhat unconventional partner… her mother!)   A fantastic choice as a motivational speaker for school events, Sally shares stories about shark attacks, broken body parts and hurricanes with students, highlighting the importance of resilience in the face of adversity.

TEDxBrighton — Sally Kettle  — A Drop In the Ocean – YouTube


Dudley Stokes

Dudley ‘Tal’ Stokes was the founding member of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Team. The team’s story featuring Dudley as the principle character, was immortalised in the film ‘Cool Runnings’. Their trainer was played by the late, indomitable, and hilarious actor John Candy. Dudley ‘Tal’ Stokes is a four-time Olympian and father of three. He went from what many regarded as an impostor to a contender in six years. Furthermore, he is a respected orator on the subjects of Diversity and Inclusion, personal development and leadership.  Whatever topic he is asked to speak about, he shares his wealth of knowledge and experience in a direct, entertaining and easily understood way, making him a perfect choice for an audience of young people.

Jamaican Bob Sled Hero and Cool Runnings Star Dudley Stokes – The Beat the Scroll Podcast – YouTube


Dame Kelly Holmes

Kelly is a worldwide female sporting icon and Double Olympic champion. She is only the third female athlete to win both 800m and 1500m Gold at the same Olympics. Her speeches are both hugely motivating and inspirational. Her strength and courage have won her many fans both within the sport and outside of it. She is only the third female athlete to win both 800m and 1500m Gold at the same Olympics. Her speeches are both hugely motivating and inspirational.

Dame Kelly Holmes is not only known for her medals and records, but is also known for her gutsy, committed approach to her athletics. In addition, her ability to overcome injury and illness and still stay at the top of her discipline is remarkable.

Life discovery | Dame Kelly Holmes | TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWells – YouTube


Dr Maryhan Baker

Dr Maryhan Baker is a world-renowned parenting expert and psychologist. As a speaker, Dr Maryhan is available to talk to students on subjects ranging from emotional wellbeing to managing a work life balance. Dr Maryhan is also the figurehead behind the One Million Moments campaign; aiming to reduce the number of children struggling with a mental health challenge from 17% to 10% by 2025.

Ask the expert: Year 6 transitions to secondary school |Dr Maryhan Baker – YouTube


Catrin Pugh

Catrin Pugh was a normal young girl with her dreams and life ahead of her, until in an instant everything changed forever. In 2013, she was involved in a coach crash on the side of a mountain which left the driver dead and Catrin fighting for her life. She sustained horrific burn injuries on 96% of her body but has beaten all the odds to astonish medical staff, her family and her friends with her resilience. She now delivers some of the most motivational speeches you will ever hear. Catrin Pugh has gone from being a victim to a survivor and is now a thriver. She uses her own experiences and survival techniques to help others, whether that be to inspire, improve motivation, deal with trauma or self-image and everything in between.

Burns Survivor Catrin Pugh – Getting Through The Trauma of 96% Burns After Horror Crash – YouTube


Jo Salter

Jo Salter was Britain’s first female fighter pilot flying the Tornado GR1 Fighter.  At that point she was one of only 5 women fighter pilots in the world.  Unsurprisingly, she was described as “One of the 50 most inspiring women in the world” by Harpers & Queen.  Mother of two Jo is a wonderful choice for school events; her anecdotes from her RAF days have students and teachers alike in stitches as well as gawping in awe at some of her more astonishing and hair-raising incidents over the course of her career.

Jo Salter on shifting mindset. – YouTube


Amar Latif

Amar Latif is an incredibly talented entrepreneur, speaker and television presenter. Known as the blind traveller, Amar lost 95% of his sight by the age of 18 due to an incurable eye condition. Yet it doesn’t stop him in any way. Through sheer determination, he has managed to turn an unpromising tale of loss, into one of inspirational achievement. Amar Latif’s talks show students one of the most important messages of all: determination and the right attitude can take you far in life.

He’s flown a plane over Ayers Rock, trekked 220 miles across Nicaragua, skied down some of Europe’s highest mountains, and founded a successful travel company. Losing his sight at the age of 18 was not going to stop Amar from living the life he dreamed of. Amar believes that no matter what personal challenges you are facing, through small actions and being aware of who you are, you can live a life without limitations. If you’re looking for a dose of motivation for your school event, this is it.

Being limitless | Amar Latif | TEDxGlasgow – YouTube


Shanel Drewe

Shanel Drewe is a young racing driver, instructor and performance Driver for Mercedes Benz.  An astonishingly talented speaker, she is hugely inspirational and a great motivator. An incredibly strong minded, powerful young woman, Shanel takes every day at work as a small step to transforming the views of women in the sport. She is also a massively inspirational and motivational speaker.

Shanel is a perfect choice for school events, since she was only 15 herself when she began the most incredible journey that kickstarted her career. Often the only female in a male dominated industry, Shanel inspires her audiences to challenge societal norms and break down these barriers so that others may follow.

Interview with Shanel Drewe – CDS Ambassador – YouTube


James Sutliff

James Sutliff developed Dystonia overnight, a rare neurological disorder that affects his speech and the use of his hands.  Over the past 12 years of living with this life-changing condition, James has totally rebuilt his life and career. James Sutliff has gone from working as a plumber to a specialist disability coach, social influence and motivational speaker.  James’ wife Samantha joins him on his talks to help him tell his story of determination. It is James’ life purpose to educate and inspire people who also have life-changing conditions. He inspires people, particularly students, to live a life that is abundant in great experience and understand that their limitations are in fact their strengths.

Imagine Losing The Ability To Speak Or Move Your Hands: Dystonia – YouTube


Helen Richardson Walsh

Helen Richardson-Walsh is one of the most experienced members of the GB women’s hockey team. Over the course of her 17-year career she has amassed 19 medals including an Olympic bronze at London 2012, the European Championship title in 2015, World Cup bronze and Commonwealth silver. All before reaching the pinnacle of her sport with an Olympic gold at Rio 2016.

Helen Richardson-Walsh was, at the age of 16, the youngest ever woman to represent GB hockey at an Olympics in Sydney. She has now competed at four Olympic Games. In Rio, all of her hard work, sacrifice and passion for her sport paid off when she and her teammates won the Olympic Gold Medal in the finals of the Hockey. Her role as part of the senior leadership group played a central role in propelling the women’s game to victory in 2016.

In Conversation with Helen Richardson-Walsh MBE – YouTube


Sonia Beldom

Sonia is the wonderful creator of the hit mental health blog Sonia’s Mum  This famously highlights the issues of growing up with a hilarious but often hugely embarrassing mum whose multiple mental illnesses weren’t fully diagnosed until she was 80 years old. Sonia is highly impactful when it comes to talking to young people, integrating stories of her childhood and her mother’s mental illnesses with valuable mental health advice for people today. She is also a highly respected TV creative who was one of the team behind “An Idiot Abroad” with Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington & Stephen Merchant.

Sonia Beldom – Transformational Coach and Speaker – YouTube

Book The Top Motivational Speakers for School Events and more through the UK’s leading speaker bureau, The Speakers Agency. Simply contact us here or give us a call on +44 (0)1332 810481 to speak to one of friendly staff to learn more.

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