Silvabrand | Motivation 2.0
Silva Brand

Motivation 2.0

Oct 31, 2022 | by Team Silva
3 min

Standing in front of a crowd and sharing your secrets to success can be heady and profitable if done right. The motivational speakers of the past, like Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale and Tony Robbins were largely models of self-confidence and fearlessness. As Tony Robbins puts it, “When you are grateful, fear disappears, and abundance appears.” But, in a post-pandemic world, materialism and self-promotion seem tone deaf to the universal human frailty that has become unavoidable over the past several years.

Texas academic-turned-guru Brene Brown is a prime example of motivation 2.0. Brown, 54, is perhaps best known for her TEDx talk “The Power of Vulnerability.” Recorded in 2010, the talk is one of the five most popular in TED history, with more than 60 million views, “Brown has spent the last decade of her career preaching that vulnerability is not only unavoidable but a prerequisite for leading a full life. If we move through the world with our guard up, she argues, we’ll never feel as though we belong,” The New York Times wrote in 2020.

Conducting in-depth research helped make Brown an expert on how openness can help us move forward. “A PhD and research professor at the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work, Brown spent years studying the concepts of shame and vulnerability,” Inc. writes. Through this work, she concluded that “real leadership can happen only when we embrace our imperfections, work to overcome them, and take risks.’”

Brown’s work in academia and unique understanding of vulnerability have allowed her to share her wisdom with the public, and her personal style and charisma have also helped her appeal to hordes of people hungry for lifechanging insights. “She’s a cross between Oprah and Malcolm Gladwell, harnessing the compassion and brave-warrior language of the former and the social science and data-backed wisdom of the latter,” according to Texas Monthly. That combination proved indispensable when the pandemic hit, and Brown started a podcast that buoyed listeners’ flailing emotions. “Brown took the microphone alone to speak directly to her audience, a sort of fireside chat for a society grasping to comprehend how the world could pause its rotation mid-spin,” Texas Monthly goes on to say.

Trabian Shorters is another motivation expert who is making waves with his innovative ideas and outlook. With a background in tech entrepreneurship, Shorters has focused on helping African American men achieve self-actualization and make greater societal contributions. According to an interview Shorters did with Forbes, he pioneered “asset-framing,” a concept that entails “defining people by their aspirations and contributions, not by the challenges they may face.” With this viewpoint in mind, Shorters founded BMe, an organization that works to improve the story surrounding race, gender and success.

According to, “BMe connects authentic black male leaders with key influencers across industries and sectors who share their belief in valuing all members of the human family.” The change that Shorters hoped to put into effect through BMe is taking hold. PAHARA Institute writes that the members of the BMe community “command and direct billions in private resources toward building more caring and prosperous communities.”

Self-help expert Les Brown has similarly changed lives by sharing the original lessons he learned throughout his remarkable life. “Born in an abandoned building in Liberty City, a poverty-stricken area in Miami, Brown was labeled ‘educable mentally retarded’ in the 5th grade due to his hyperactivity and inability to concentrate. Because of that, Brown was placed into special education classes until high school,” KULTUREHUB writes.

According to Naples Daily News, “his circumstances left him with low self-esteem, but with the encouragement of his teacher, he decided to pursue his early dream of becoming a DJ by applying at a Miami radio station.” Brown embarked on a successful career in broadcasting and politics, eventually becoming an Ohio state legislator, and today, he is a popular and respected public speaker. RealLeaders writes that “he is a highly-sought-after resource in business and professional circles for Fortune 500 CEOs, small business owners, non-profit, community leaders, and all sectors of society looking to expand their opportunities.”

Among the people he inspired is businessman Paul Yroz who wrote an article for Newsweek, titled “Tips for Recent Graduates From an Executive Recruiter.” In it, he quotes Brown as saying, “Imagine being on your death bed, and standing around your bed are the ghosts of the dreams, the ideas, the abilities, the talents given to you by life, and that you, for whatever reason, never acted on those ideas. You never used those talents. You never used those gifts. And there they are standing beside your bed, looking at you with large, angry eyes saying, ‘We came to you and only you could have given us life! And now, we must die with you forever.’ ”

Whether it’s Brene Brown’s research into vulnerability, Shorters’ activism around race and gender in the business world, or Les Brown’s fiery take on living up to your potential, savvy motivational speakers know how to package their philosophy and present themselves to the public. And as Forbes writes, “[motivational speakers] must have a delivery style that is good enough and content that is strong enough to motivate their audience members to start doing something, stop doing something, change something, etc.” That combination of self-branding, meaningful content, and impressive delivery style can change lives.