When it comes to hiring a dynamic keynote speaker for a major conference, corporate event, or other high-profile occasion, you want to bring in one of the best of the best. But with so many speakers out there, who truly ranks among the top keynote talents?

At the very highest echelons, a handful of renowned speakers stand out as some of the most in-demand, impactful keynote speakers working today. While opinions may vary, here are several speakers who are widely considered among the best in the business:

Brené Brown
The research professor and five-time #1 New York Times bestselling author is celebrated for her groundbreaking work on topics like vulnerability, courage, shame, and leadership. Her compelling keynotes inspire audiences with powerful storytelling and life-changing lessons.

Gary Vaynerchuk
The serial entrepreneur and social media influencer delivers high-energy keynotes focused on digital marketing, e-commerce, branding, and entrepreneurial mindset. Audiences rave about his no-holds-barred, frank presentation style.

Malcolm Gladwell
As the author of five New York Times bestsellers (The Tipping Point, Outliers, etc.), Gladwell is an exceptional storyteller able to synthesize ideas into profound keynote presentations that challenge the way people think.

Reshma Saujani
The founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and former New York politician, Saujani delivers empowering, inspiring keynotes on topics like courage, closing the gender gap in technology, and risk-taking.

Sir Richard Branson
The legendary entrepreneur behind Virgin Group never fails to captivate during keynotes, drawing from his experiences building novel business ventures to discuss leadership, disruption, customer experience, and achieving the impossible.

While their areas of expertise and keynote topics vary considerably, these speakers all share the ability to fully engage audiences with their words, presence, and delivery. They have mastered the art of the keynote talk.

Of course, many other speakers could stake a claim as one of the most elite keynote talents depending on the specific client’s needs and objectives. However, the names above represent those who have established themselves as truly phenomenal keynote speakers able to create transcendent audience experiences.

Booking any of these top-tier speakers often requires paying premium fees and dealing directly with their representation at large speaker agencies. But for many organizations, bringing in one of the best keynote speakers in the world for a marquee event is well worth the investment.