I do a number of speaking events every year, and people often ask me to recommend great speakers. (Hopefully that's not because they were less than thrilled by my performance.)
Unfortunately, I haven't seen as many people speak as I would like, so my list of suggested speakers is fairly short.
Fortunately, Kevin Kruse has seen a ton of speakers. A keynote speaker in his own right, and best-selling author of books on employee engagement and wholehearted leadership, he's compiled a list of his favorite leadership speakers and trainers; most Kruse has seen in person, and he's also hired a number of them to speak at his own events.
(And he's also a humble guy; while he left himself off, he definitely belongs on any list of great business speakers.)
Check out some of the following people the next time you need a great speaker. And if you're deciding whether to attend a particular event and one of them is on the program, drop everything and go. You'll be glad you did.
Here's Kruse's list (in alphabetical order):
Founder of GLS Worldwide
President at TalentSmart
Astronaut and space shuttle commander
Website/blog: www.kepplerspeakers.com/speakers/?speaker=Colonel Eileen Collins
S. Chris Edmonds
Blue Angels fighter pilot
CEO at Mindworks
Founder of Growing Your Leaders
Astronaut and commander of Space Shuttle Endeavor
Founder of Kotter International
Founder of Now That's Leadership!
Former president at Reebok