Les Brown: One of the World's Finest Motivational Speakers

by NickM on March 30, 2015 - 11:24pm

Les Brown is known as one of the world’s greatest motivational speakers. He is also a best-selling author, entrepreneur, speech coach, and mentor of the power of positive thinking. His charismatic personality captivates his audiences into seeing a much larger vision of themselves all by understanding and realizing their full potential. The insights he provides in his motivational speeches are unique because they reflect his character and his personal background.

Leslie Calvin Brown was born on February 17, 1945 with his twin brother Wesley in an abandoned building, part of a low-income section of Miami, Florida. Three week after they were born, he and his brother were given up for adoption by their birth mother. Three weeks after that, the twins were adopted by Mamie Brown, a 38-year-old unmarried lady who worked at a cafeteria. What made Mamie so important in Leslie’s life was her big heart and her ability to make him see the best in himself and Les values her by stating: “Everything I am and everything I have I owe to my mother. Her strength and character are my greatest inspiration, always have been and always will be.”

As a growing child, Les possessed great excitement and the encouragements provided by his mother led him to believe that he was capable of great endeavours. During his time in elementary school, this excitement and inattentiveness led his teachers into believing that his learning capacities were insufficient and thus was considered as “educably mentally redarded” by his teachers. This was a demeaning label that Les had trouble getting rid of.

In high school, Les was opened to a new way of thinking when he was exposed to a very special speech and drama instructor named LeRoy Washington. The lessons taught to Les by this teacher led him to picture himself “onstage speaking to thousands of people.” When Les told Washington about him being labelled “educably mentally retarded”, Washington replied: “Do not ever say that again! Some-one’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” Washington continued by saying: “The limitations you have, and the negative things that you internalize are given to you by the world. The things that empower you—the possibilities—come from within.” This new method of self-perception reflects on Brown’s speeches, as he teaches people to look within to recognize their own potential.

Later after high school, Les Brown became an Ohio State legislator. He also developed a youth career training program in Miami, where he also helped communities deal with social issues such as social injustice. Years later, Les was influenced by Hilary Hinton “Zig” Ziglar, a millionaire and motivational speaker, to become a motivational speaker himself. A few years later, Les earned the National Speakers Association’s highest award: The Council of Peers Award of Excellence, which earn him the title: “The Motivator”. In 1990, he became a motivational speaker for PBS and conducted many corporate coaching session across the country and internationally, where he presents powerful notions to help people attain their professional objectives by realizing their full potential. Here is an example of an individual who has benefitted (and who’s career has benefitted) from Les Brown’s motivational speeches:

Aaron Darko, an online entrepreneur, attended a Les Brown event in central London at the age of 20. Although this session was composed of only 30 people, Aaron found this experience all the more interesting because it allowed a much more interactive experience with the speaker. During the session, Les Brown got each member of the audience to speak about three goals they have for 2010 that would make the coming year better for them than the previous year. For many people, these objectives included overcoming specific obstacles or fears that have had a negative impact on their lives. To help people overcome these, Les Brown helped them adopt new notions, such as: “Facing our fears is the only way to overcome them.” This notion may seem like common sense for most people, but for Aaron, this notion opened him to a new way of perceiving his limitations. Aaron also enjoyed the experience because of Brown’s sense of humour. For example, Aaron emphasized on Brown’ use of the quote: “All of us are born the same way—dumb, naked, and speechless!” He explains that what Brown meant with this statement was that “nobody is born with more knowledge than the other person” and that “whatever it is we want to do we have to learn how to do it.” After the session, Aaron established a long-term plan of becoming a millionaire before the age of 25 while applying Les Brown’s notions of self-determination and personal realization. By the age of 24, Aaron Darko reached his long-term goal and became a millionaire and online icon.

In conclusion, Les Brown is an incredible motivational speaker who has made a significant impact on the lives of many different individuals. Aaron Darko is only one out of the tens of thousands of people who have benefitted from Brown’s insights and abundance of wisdom on personal success. To this day, Les Brown continues to assist people in the discovery of their abilities in all disciplines, in all domains, all around the world.



Works Cited

Ryan, Chris. “Les Brown Wisdom to Make You a Winner.” Newswire. Newswire, 19 March 2015. Web. 29 March 2015. http://newswire.net/newsroom/pr/00088083-les- brown.html

“Les Brown Facts.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. N.A.. Web. 29 March 2015.


Darko, Aaron. “10 Things Les Brown Taught Me About Life.” Millionaire At Twenty-Four. N.A.. Web. 30 March 2015. http://millionaireat24.com/10-things-les-brown-taught-me/