A motivational speaker or inspirational speaker is a speaker who makes speeches intended to motivate or inspire an audience. Business entities may employ motivational speakers (for example) to communicate company strategy with clarity, to help employees to see the future in a positive light, and to inspire workers to pull together. The talk itself is often known as a pep talk.
There are similarities between motivational speakers and inspirational speakers, and someone could be labeled as both simultaneously, but they are not necessarily interchangeable. One subtle difference is that inspirational speakers often deliver a "warm, encouraging message, sometimes based on a story of overcoming great obstacles", with a desired outcome of enlivening or exalting emotion. In contrast, motivational speakers may deliver a presentation that is more energetic in nature, with a desired outcome of moving attendees to action.
See also 
- "Adv ice & FAQs about speakers", Speakers Corner
- Augustine of Hippo paraphrasing Quintilian: Williams, James Dale, ed. (2009). An introduction to classical rhetoric: essential readings. John Wiley and Sons. p. 502. ISBN 978-1-4051-5860-2. Retrieved 2011-12-06. "[...] the hearer [...] must be persuaded in order to move him to action."
- Watson, John Selby, ed. (1986). Cicero on oratory and orators. Landmarks in rhetoric and public address. Ralph A. Micken, David Potter, Richard Leo Enos. Southern Illinois University Press. p. xxviii. ISBN 978-0-8093-1293-1. Retrieved 2011-12-06. "Such a work as De Oratore may serve as a point of departure for students of the rhetoric of motivation [...]"
- "The Art and Business of Motivational Speaking", Inc. Magazine January 2011
- Pinsker, Sanford, "Was Ralph Waldo Emerson Our First Motivational Speaker?", Virginia Quarterly Review, Summer 2001
- Motivational eBook in "Amazon Kindle Store"