The Sweeney Agency will help you find the perfect Virtual Keynote Speaker for your event by providing you with all the information you need to make the right decision. We take into account your event objectives, audience dynamics and expected outcomes. We provide you with professional speaker bios, video clips, topic outlines, and independent perspectives on the best virtual speakers available. Working closely with the Business Speaker you choose, we will ensure he or she delivers a customized presentation that informs, inspires and entertains.
Inspiring Story of Leadership from Former Commander of USS Benfold
Real-life Leadership advice from the former captain of the best ship in the U.S. Navy—the U.S.S. Benfold
First book, It’s Your Ship, has sold over 1.1 million copies to date
Fresh ways to build trust, harness people’s passion and achieve extraordinary results; common-sense ideas to stay focused only on the things you can control/influence
Past clients include: Cox Communications, Disney, Exxon Mobil, JP Morgan, Microsoft, Starwood Hotels, Toyota
Mike Abrashoff has a personal tagline: “You can tell people what to do but you can’t order excellence.” When Mike was the most-junior officer in the Pacific Fleet he took command of the near-worst performing ship. Twelve months later, the USS Benfold was the best ship in the entire Navy -- using the same crew. The story of that stunning transformation has lessons for every organization: leadership matters -- and culture is everything. Mike’s written three books -- his first, It’s Your Ship, has sold over 1 million copies. His Leadership Roadmap offers clear, battle-tested, and actionable steps. Mike shows people at every level of the organization how to engage and take incremental steps toward change that can make a dramatic difference at work. Mike is clear, “I didn’t turn the ship around -- my crew did that. What I did was to create an environment where they felt safe, empowered and supported. When you do that, anything is possible.”
In many ways, what Mike was able to do with the USS Benfold was an extreme example of the same problems facing many organizations today. That’s why dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and Fast Company have cited Mike’s story as an inspiring lesson for business. Leaders especially identify with Mike’s being accountable for the results in an environment where he couldn’t make the rules.
“When my crew came to me with a problem, I’d say ‘It’s your ship -- how would you fix it?’.” Mike focused on the one thing he could influence: his crew’s attitude, because culture is the ultimate competitive weapon for any organization.
Mike’s established a set of management principles that he calls The Leadership Roadmap. At the core of his leadership approach on Benfold was a process of replacing command and control with commitment and cohesion, and engaging the hearts, minds, and loyalties of workers with conviction and humility. “The most important thing that a captain can do is to see the ship through the eyes of the crew. The idea is to empower every individual to share the responsibility of achieving excellence.”
By every measure, these principles achieved breakthrough results: turnover decreased to an unprecedented 1%; the rate of promotions tripled; and the crew slashed operating expenses by 25%. Regarded as the finest ship in the Pacific Fleet, Benfold won the prestigious Spokane Trophy for having the highest degree of combat readiness. This remarkable turnaround was accomplished by the very same crew that had performed so poorly just months before.
Mike is author of three books. His first, It’s Your Ship, has a timeless message: don’t use outside forces that stand in your way as excuses -- control the things you can influence and amazing results will happen. His next books, It’s Our Ship and Get Your Ship Together, showed how these principles have been put into action by business leaders in their own organizations.
A popular keynote speaker for audiences looking to ramp up organizational performance, Mike has spoken to every industry and kind of audience -- from board retreats to front line personnel; from sales groups to universities; from Fortune 500s to startups. He inspires audiences to rethink their beliefs about leadership and organizational culture and tailors the message to focus on engagement, execution, change, safety, diversity, leadership, teamwork, innovation, accountability and more.
Prior to commanding USS Benfold, Mike served as the Military Assistant to Secretary of Defense William J. Perry. He also helped draft the air defense plan for naval forces in the Persian Gulf in 1990, coinciding with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait; and served as the executive officer of the Cruiser Shiloh, where he deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq.
Mike Abrashoff is the founder of Aegis Performance Group, a consulting firm that works with and supports leaders as they address leadership, talent and performance challenges within their organizations. Mike and his team prompt leaders at all levels to re-imagine their leadership thinking and create new ways to elevate individual, team and organizational performance.
About Dirk Ahlborn – Entrepreneur and Innovation Speaker, CEO of Hyperloop Technologies, Founder of JumpStarter
Dirk Ahlborn is an entrepreneur keynote speaker and the founder and CEO of JumpStarter Inc. JumpStarter is a web portal that creates smarter and more successful companies by using crowdsourcing to fund ideas from initial conception to final product. Dirk is also CEO and Co-Founder of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. It is JumpStartFund’s well-known undertaking to make the Hyperloop become reality, by using its crowd collaboration concept.
Dirk started his career in 1993 as an investment specialist in Berlin, Germany. After moving to Italy in 1997, he founded several companies in the alternative energy and interior design space. In 2006, he successfully sold one of these companies to a global alternative energy conglomerate.
He is a serial entrepreneur with experience in almost every element of business. His careers have taken him through management, product design, development, manufacturing, production facility design and set up, production cost control, marketing, product distribution, customer service, and sales.
Before co-founding Jumpstarter, he was at the Girvan Institute of Technology, an incubator-accelerator for early-stage high-tech companies. At Girvan, beginning in 2009, he was instrumental in the development of several startup companies, most notably Advanced Turbine Designs, a developer of natural-gas-fueled gas turbine generators for combined heat and power. In the course of his multi-faceted activities at Girvan he also managed mobile and web application developments as well as search engine optimization and online marketing.
Prior to 2009, his activities were centered in Germany and Italy. Dirk is fluent in German and Italian and proficient in conversational Spanish. He holds the credential in banking and insurance from the Organization of German Industry and Commerce.
Bestselling Author and Speaker on Sales, Marketing and Strategic Business Growth
Business leaders call on Ian Altman to accelerate revenue growth with integrity. Organizations around the world have relied on Altman’s guidance and inspiration to double their business growth with an integrity-based approach from his new best-selling book, Same Side Selling. He is considered an expert on how to stand out from the competition in sales, marketing, and business development. If you Google search "business trends" his annual trends article likely comes up at the top of the results.
Altman draws on decades of experience as a former CEO of technology businesses that he founded, sold, and ultimately grew to over $1 billion in value. This business success backed by years of research that Altman conducted to understand how customers make decisions, makes him a leading authority to help people become more successful in business. Through his energetic, humorous, and interactive talks, Altman engages audiences of sales professionals, subject matter experts, and executives alike from beginning to end with proven methods to help modernize their business, marketing and sales approach to align with today’s customers.
Altman is a best-selling author and his latest book, Same Side Selling, has been named “one of two intriguing books you should read on B2B consultative selling,” according to business luminary, Seth Godin. You can read Altman’s columns on Inc. and Forbes.com. Altman also records a popular weekly podcast called, "Grow My Revenue Business Cast," which is available on iTunes or wherever you get your favorite podcast.
Our Sales Speakers have used their knowledge to adapt and create actionable and engaging presentations on how organizations can pivot to embrace the opportunities presented by the pandemic.
Ranging from Virtual Keynotes to Fireside chats, all with interactive elements, let our Sales Speakers help your 2021 Sales Conference.
We work with some of the best Sales Speakers in the speaking world and asked them all the same question:
What is your number 1 sales tip?
Here’s how they answered:
Saying “yes” implies a course of positive action. The predictable expletive, “No!” can fill up our time and energy because saying “no” is
frequently a commitment to an unproductive struggle that reinforces helplessness and inertia.
Responding positively to problems is the prerequisite to overcoming bad things that occur so we can break down our challenges and move forward.
People thrive on challenges, and are the winners who get things done.
Some great advice we received from Tim Sanders, VP of Customer Insights for Upwork just after starting The Sweeney Agency:
“Don’t think about sales or closing deals, just position yourself so that whenever you can help someone you help them, without any expectations. 20% of the people you help you’ll never hear from again, but that won’t matter because you will certainly hear back from the other 80%. They will remember you and your incredible help and that will create such great relationships
that you will build both a great business and a great life.”
Communicating compassionately, consistently, confidently and courageously is precisely what is required during a crisis. Our research has found that two of the biggest drivers of engagement and commitment from employees are confidence in their senior leadership and confidence in the future of the
Now is the time to model scenarios to create a long-term plan and vision for your business, fully aware that you will be agile enough to adapt when new information is available or the landscape suddenly changes.
At the climax of Indiana Jones & The Holy Grail, the Nazis are turned to dust after selected a gem studded chalice they believe to be the Holy Grail. Indy chooses a simple wooden cup that is in fact the true Holy Grail.
In the context of business, most of us scramble to have the “right” message on social media or want to make things look a certain way. The same optics that make the false grail so beautiful.
This is a powerful lesson: the substance of something, is ultimately infinitely more important than what it looks like. Optics may present a short term gain but will always lose in the long run and at a macro level.
Your customers’ natural inclination is to be nice, not honest. Open-ended questions give your potential customers the option to respond very honestly and to fully explain the problems they’re
facing (that your product may or may not solve).
Ask leading questions that broadcast the answer you want to hear, such as:
- “Are you…”
- “Will you…”
- “Won’t you…”
- “Didn’t you…”
- “Can’t you…”
John Baldoni is a globally recognized leadership educator, certified Master Corporate Executive Coach, and author of fifteen books that have been translated into ten languages.
John’s books include GRACE: A Leader’s Guide to a Better Us, MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership, Lead with Purpose, Lead Your Boss, and The Leader’s Pocket Guide.
In 2021, the International Federation of Learning and Development named John a World-Class Mentor and named him to its Hall of Fame. In 2020 Global Gurus ranked John a Top 30 global leadership expert, a list he has been on since 2007. In 2018 Inc.com named John a Top 100 speaker and Trust Across America honored John with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Trust. In 2014 Inc.com listed John as a Top 50 leadership expert.
John is also a member of the renowned Marshall Goldsmith 100 coaches, a group of executive coaches and thought leaders from the worlds of business, academia and social service.
John established a career as a highly sought-after executive coach, where he has had the privilege of working with senior leaders in virtually every industry from pharmaceutical to real estate, packaged goods to automobiles, and finance to health care.
John has authored more than 800 leadership columns for a variety of online publications including Forbes, Harvard Business Review and Inc.com John also produces and appears in a video coaching series for SmartBrief, a news channel with over 4 million readers. John is also the host of LinkedIn Live’s Grace under pressure interview series.
Former Undercover Police Officer & Federal Prosecutor, Trust Strategist & Body Language Expert
Pamela talks about why having strategies that engage a client, customer, or colleague from the first minute to the last second is critical for success, especially in the virtual world.
Audiences learn to effectively display trustworthiness to improve and regulate the perception of peers, team members, and clients; Decode nonverbal cues that provide reliable feedback on how the other person is feeling, regardless of what they are communicating online.
Pamela has been a featured trust strategist and body language expert, contributing to print media, radio, and television news programs. Her TEDx Talk, What Drug Dealers Taught Me About Trust, was viewed more than 400,000 times in the first year.
Imagine what it would be like to live as a different person with a different name, identity, and background. For months at a time, you’re living with a false identity, and your success depends on
building trust and detecting deception with some of the most dangerous people imaginable. That’s precisely what Pamela Barnum did for years working undercover in the Drug Enforcement Section. She learned real-world techniques for building trust and interpreting body language.
When Pamela graduated from law school, she left policing and accepted a position as a federal prosecuting attorney. She spent countless hours in the courtroom, perfecting her proficiency as a truststrategist and body language expert.
Following a successful 20-year career in the criminal justice system, Pamela studied corporate negotiations in graduate school. Now, she shares her expertise with others, teaching them how to
improve their communication skills to increase trust inside corporations, associations, and law enforcement agencies.
As a body language expert and trust strategist, Pamela delivers techniques once thought of like a “secret second language” that participants can begin using immediately.
Take decades of experience, including working deep undercover in narcotics, followed by a rewarding legal career, and you get real-world strategies that help participants crack the code on trust and improve professional relationships using proven field-tested techniques. Pamela shares her experience, research, and expertise with humor, candor, and energy, blending
actionable strategies with memorable stories.
She is also a featured expert and contributor in print media, radio and television news programs in Canada and the United States. She has appeared in person in front of audiences ranging from 50 - 12,000 and on countless virtual stages.
Chris Bashinelli, fondly known as “Bash” - was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After a decade long acting career, including an appearance on the HBO hit television show The Sopranos, Bash decided to follow his real passion - using media to build bridges between cultures. In his early 20's, he became the youngest Moderator for the United Nations and made his first documentary about his travels to Tanzania. He now traverses the globe from Uganda to Haiti, as Host of 'Bridge the Gap,' an inspirational television series featured on PBS and the National Geographic Channel - where he discovers what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes.
He has harvested buffalo with Native Americans in Pine Ridge, lived as a nomad in Mongolia, and Sumo wrestled with the heaviest Japanese human being in recorded history. He is a Moderator for the United Nations, an Eagle Scout, a National Geographic Explorer - and has interviewed some of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People on the Planet.
Bash speaks around the world, from TEDx, to Abu Dhabi, to Azerbaijan - at multi-million dollar corporations, Ivy League Universities, and in the United Nations General Assembly Hall. He has shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, Dr. Jane Goodall, and the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
Speaker on Leadership, Communication and Entrepreneurship
Talks about: Partnership is the New Leadership & The Power of Storytelling
Featured as one of the Top 40 Under 40, Founder of Leadership Inc., and author of 3 bestselling books, built a direct sales business to over $20 million in annual revenues by age 21
Past clients include: Coca-Cola, Subway, Blue Cross Blue Shield and RE/MAX
Ty Bennett is the founder of Leadership Inc., a speaking and training company with a mission to improve communications and empower individuals and organizations to challenge their status quo, cultivate exceptional relationships - and compete in extraordinary ways. He has worked with over 500 leaders, in over 37 countries, to help them fine-tune their sales and leadership skills. He’s changing lives - one leader at a time.
At 21, Ty and his brother built a direct sales business to over $20 million in annual revenues. He was featured as one of the Top 40 Under 40 - and was dubbed one of the 10 Coolest Entrepreneurs in Utah.
He has traversed the world speaking to tens of thousands of audience members - transforming the lives, careers, and business practices of leaders from some of the most recognizable brands in the world such as: Coca-Cola, Subway, Blue Cross Blue Shield and RE/MAX.
Ty is author of three best-selling books, with all three being used in graduate courses at multiple universities including MIT - as today’s version of “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”:
- Partnership is the New Leadership
- The Power of Storytelling: The Art of Influential Communication
- The Power of Influence: Increase Your Income and Personal Impact
He’s one of the youngest speakers ever to receive the CSP Designation from the National Association of Speakers - of which less than 5% of the world’s speakers earn this honour.
Ty is a husband and father - and he’s PASSIONATE about helping leaders cultivate the relevance and influence they need to challenge old ways and open new doors.
About Greg Bennick – Interactive & Funny Motivational Speaker and Event Emcee
Greg Bennick can be the after-dinner comedic act that makes the conference memorable for years, or he can be the keynote speaker who drives your points home with his own unique style. Greg Bennick works with you to deliver impact! He uses clean comedy and explores new ideas around community and creativity.
He integrates award-winning comedy, audience interaction, incredible juggling, powerful magic effects, and unbelievable mind reading into his presentations to create a visual display which helps the ideas really sink in.
A two-time humorous speaking champion, Greg engages and inspires your audience while making them laugh. He has spent over thirty years on stage and has connected with audiences live in over twenty-five countries in the last decade, and of course virtual presentations are available via Zoom, Skype, Facebook live, telepathy, and any other mode you can imagine.
His topics range from new angles on team building and the psychology of how to manage crisis and conflict, leadership, and communication…and how self-doubt limits wide-ranging expansion. Based in Seattle, he’s been flown everywhere from Syracuse to Singapore to share his unique brand of engaging ideas.
Global Speaker, Author and Expert on Customer Experience & Customer Loyalty
Talks about customer-driven growth earned through creating top-notch customer experiences.
Jeanne helps companies and people learn that how you make your customers feel is the greatest currency of your brand.
Former Chief Customer Officer at Lands’ End, Microsoft, Coldwell Banker and Allstate Corporations. Author and Co-Founder of the Customer Experience Professionals Association
Past clients include: AARP, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente, Krispy Kreme, Loreal, MGM Resorts, Salesforce
Jeanne Bliss helps companies and people become the best version of themselves. She guides them to define, build and live the behaviours and actions that will fuse customers to them - and ultimately create deep and memorable relationships. Creating these enhanced relationships has been Jeanne’s singular mission for over 35 years.
Often referred to as the “Godmother of Customer Experience” - Jeanne is one of the foremost experts on customer-centric leadership. She pioneered the role of the Chief Customer Officer, holding the first ever CCO role at Lands’ End, Microsoft, Coldwell Banker and Allstate Corporations. Reporting to each company’s CEO, she moved the customer to the strategic agenda, redirecting priorities to create transformational changes to each brands’ customer experience. She has driven achievement of 95% loyalty rates - improving customer experiences across 50,000-person organizations.
Her ability to effectively guide leaders and companies to earn customer-driven growth is based on these experiences as a practitioner for over 35 years - working across organizations to unite the C-Suite and organizational silos; as well as guiding over 20,000 leaders around the world to understand that improving lives should be their most important strategic vision.
Jeanne is the Founder and President of CustomerBliss, and Co-Founder of The Customer Experience Professionals Association. She has delivered over 2,000 speeches and workshops for nearly every business vertical in B2B and C2B companies - on how to build the roadmap toward these deep and genuine customer experiences that earn passionate advocates both inside and outside of your business.
Jeanne is also a best-selling author:
- Chief Customer Officer (Jossey-Bass, 2006) - this groundbreaking book was the first of its kind to address the role of the customer leadership executive. It quickly became a best-seller and has been translated into eight languages
- Would You Do That To Your Mother? (Portfolio/Penguin, 2018) - this new release is filled with tools you can start applying immediately to turn uncomfortable customer moments into “we got your back” experiences - that would make your mom proud and will win you love and loyalty from your customers
- Chief Customer Officer 2.0 (Wiley, 2015) - a 5-competency roadmap to build your customer-driven growth engine. This book contains an explicit path and set of actions to unite your Chief Customer Officer and leadership team in leading your customer-driven transformation
- I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad (Portfolio, 2001) - in this best-seller, Jeanne shares 45 case studies that highlight decisions made by beloved companies that your company can emulate - to earn devoted customers, social media accolades and growth, even in a down economy
About Molly Bloom – Inspirational Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur, and Bestselling Author
Inspirational Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur & Bestselling Author
Talks about: Molly's Game: The True Story of the Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World, Overcoming Setbacks & Building your Brand
Molly’s Game was adapted into an award-winning film of the same name by renowned director, Aaron Sorkin.
Appeared on numerous shows and in media outlets such as Ellen, Vice, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, Vulture, and has been asked to speak at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, for companies like Blackrock Financial, SiriusXM Radio, and delivered the 2018 commencement speech at Colorado State University
Molly Bloom is an inspirational keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and bestselling author of Molly’s Game. She is best known for her memoir, Molly’s Game, which was adapted into an award-winning film of the same name by Aaron Sorkin. Bloom’s memoir chronicles her journey from college student to LA waitress to building and operating the largest and most notorious private poker game in the world. Her games featured hundreds of millions of dollars and players like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, A-Rod, and Ben Affleck.
Bloom began her career as a world-class skier. While training as a pre-teen she was diagnosed with severe scoliosis and had to undergo surgery that the doctors said would end her athletic career. A year later, fully recovered, she was back on the slopes. She later joined the U.S. Ski Team and at 21 years old was ranked No. 3 in North America in moguls, but her Olympic dreams would go unrealized as she left the team to pursue other projects. This led her to what she thought would be a year sabbatical in LA.
Bloom was finishing her degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado – Boulder, and was in the process of applying to top tier Law Schools, when her assistant job turned her into an accidental entrepreneur, running one of the most exclusive, high-stakes underground poker games in the world, pulling in as much as $4 million per year. What happened next is where her story truly begins.
The film Molly’s Game, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, stars Jessica Chastain (as Molly), Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Brian d’Arcy James, and Chris O’Dowd. Bloom has appeared on numerous shows and in media outlets such as Ellen, Vice, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, Vulture, and has been asked to speak at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, for companies like Blackrock Financial, SiriusXM Radio, and delivered the 2018 commencement speech at Colorado State University.
Globally Recognized Futurist and Expert on Simplification and Innovation
Talks about disruptive trends and ideas, and how to apply them to develop new business concepts
Teaches audiences action-based tactics that use small, incremental innovative changes to create huge ripple effects on business
Bestselling author of Kill the Company and Why Simple Win, and taught innovation at both American University and Fordham University
Past clients include: IBM, Merck, Microsoft, Novartis, Procter & Gamble
FutureThink CEO Lisa Bodell ranks among the Top 50 Speakers Worldwide and is the best-selling author of Kill the Company and Why Simple Wins. She’s a global leader on simplification, productivity and innovation, whose keynotes leave audiences inspired to change and arms them with radically simple tools to get to the work that matters.
Bodell brings a compelling perspective to the sought-after topics of simplification and innovation to over 100,000 people each year. A thought leader and serial entrepreneur, her transformational message has inspired executives at top-ranked organizations such as Google, Cisco, Citigroup, and the U.S. Navy War College.
Based on her best-selling books, Kill the Company and Why Simple Wins, Lisa provides a provocative yet practical approach that enables organizations and individuals to eradicate the unnecessary complexity and time-sucks that hold them back from more meaningful work, and allow simplicity to become their new operating system.
Bodell has contributed her expertise to a wide variety of media. She is a monthly contributor to Forbes and has frequently appeared in other media including: Fast Company, WIRED, The New York Times, Inc., Bloomberg Businessweek, Harvard Business Review, The Huffington Post, FOX News, and CNN. She has also been featured in many major books such as Warren Berger’s A More Beautiful Question, Adam Grant’s Originals, and After Shock, the upcoming 50-year celebration based on futurist Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock.
Bodell has taught innovation at both American University and Fordham University, and has a TED talk on the topic. She has served on the board of advisors of several organizations, including the Global Agenda Council for the World Economic Forum, the United States National Security Agency, the Association of Professional Futurists, and the Novartis board of Diversity & Inclusion.
Consultant and Speaker on Leadership, Peak Performance, and Change Management
Speaker on Leadership and Peak Performance
Talks about: Leading Change in the New Reality & Moving to Great
Former NFL Widereceiver for the New York Jets & Green Bay Packers
Past clients include: Dunkin’ Donuts, Nationwide Insurance, AVIVA Insurance, Alaska Airlines, State Farm Insurance, Starbucks Coffee, USAA, MetLife, Novo Nordisk
Eric Boles is the president of The Game Changers Inc., a training and development company dedicated to maximizing the human asset. Through assessment, consulting, coaching and corporate training, The Game Changers Inc. has set the standard for helping organizations enhance their culture and develop greater levels of commitment and performance.
Eric Boles is also a highly acclaimed keynote speaker and consultant for some of the most recognized and respected organizations in the world. His insights on Leadership, Peak Performance, Team Dynamics, and Managing Change has been shared with clients such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Nationwide Insurance, AVIVA Insurance, Alaska Airlines, State Farm Insurance, Starbucks Coffee, USAA, MetLife, and Novo Nordisk . Eric also speaks to a variety of organizations and associations, including those in sales, education, government, healthcare, manufacturing and financial services.
Prior to becoming an authority on high performance, Eric learned many principles of team dynamics and leadership from his experience playing in the National Football League (NFL) with the New York Jets and the Green Bay Packers. While in the NFL, he had the privilege of being coached and mentored by some of the finest coaches and players in the game.
Eric is an avid sports fan, golfer and reader. He is married to his wife Cindy, and they have two daughters, Taylor and Madison.
5 Tips to Book your Next Great Speaker
Did last year's speaker knock your socks off? Not sure where to go next? Let our team of experienced professionals help you find your next great speaker.
Here's a quick guide to help you get started:
Decide on a theme or topic for your event.
Going through a period of transition? Looking to shake up your creative? Building trust within your teams? We have great speakers on all of those topics.
Having trouble? Check out our IDEA GENERATOR for inspiration.
Get in touch with your Event Date & Theme.
We will ask you some key questions to find the perfect speaker for your live or virtual event.
We pride ourselves on our personal touch. We are small team of dedicated professionals with over 20 years experience. When you call us, you speak to us directly... and quickly.
By now, we have a great idea of what you are looking for and will send you a shortlist of exceptional speakers.
Each speaker will be vetted with YOUR event in mind, along with our personal thoughts on how that speaker can inspire your attendees.
From the shortlist, you've narrowed it down to two great speakers. Let's discuss your needs to help make the final decision.
With over 20 years experience, you can trust us to provide all of the information you need to choose the right speaker.
We work with you to find the best format for your presentation, including live streams, Q&A sessions and even follow up programs to ensure maximum engagement for your key stakeholders.
We will facilitate a call with your leadership team & our speaker to do a deep dive into your business to make sure their presentation really hits home.
As trusted experts, you can rest easy knowing our experience will guide you every step of the way.
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Former F-16 Fighter Pilot, Popular Speaker on Peak Performance, Leadership, Communication & Sales
Anthony talks about how the difference between the winners and the "also rans" comes down to execution.
Audiences leave equipped with simple, actionable tools to improve execution and drive better results as individuals and as teams.
He is a highly accomplished and decorated F-16 fighter pilot, founder, President & CEO of Afterburner, author & keynote speaker on Peak Performance.
Past clients include: Ernst & Young, GE, Cisco, Boeing, Bridgestone, AT&T, Charles Schwab and The Home Depot
Major Anthony “AB” Bourke is a highly accomplished and decorated F-16 fighter pilot who flew tactical missions in service to our country all over the world. He has accumulated more than 2,700 hours of flight time in various high performance aircraft - and was one of the first pilots to fly an F-16 in homeland defense efforts over New York City in the aftermath of September 11th.
Following his impressive military career, AB applied the tools and techniques that made him one of our nation's premier fighter pilots to the competitive world of business. He ascended rapidly to become the top producing mortgage banker in the Western U.S. for a prominent lending institution. His success in the mortgage banking industry led to an opportunity with a California based start-up - where his team dramatically grew annual revenue from $500,000 to $65M in just three years.
Following these two endeavors, AB combined his love of business with his passion for tactical aviation to build Afterburner Seminars, a global training company based on the lessons he learned in the military. While President & CEO, Afterburner grew into a best-in-class training company that was twice named one of Inc. magazine's 500 fastest growing companies.
Currently AB serves as CEO & Founder of Mach 2 Consulting - and has shared his message of peak performance to more than 100,000 people in twelve different countries. AB brings his tactical knowledge and business acumen to the forefront of the management training world - to share how fighter pilots, and other organizations where performance truly matters, can develop a feedback system to ensure continuous improvement and peak performance. His wealth of experience and ability to connect with audiences landed AB in Inc Magazine’s 100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference.
Under AB's leadership as CEO - Mach 2 Consulting consistently delivers dynamic keynote speeches on leadership, communication, sales and teamwork to Fortune 1000 corporations around the globe. AB is a motivational dynamo with a proven ability to energize, enlighten and enrich your team’s experiences - to ensure a successful engagement for you and your client.
AB’s keynotes typically align to the following groups:
- Fortune 1000 organizations
- Sales meetings - speeches that extend into actual training
- Annual meetings - for various organizations such as Trade and Professional Associations
- Management Retreats - to give your leaders an opportunity to step out of the box and think differently
- Company off-sites - where teams are looking to improve communication and alignment
AB continues work on his book The Art of the Debrief . A business and leadership book about the significance of how business people can use Debrief to drive continuous improvement in any organization. Anticipated for release late 2019, keep an eye for the release of AB's first book - apt to captivate all!
Expert on Emotional Intelligence, Change & Leadership
Clinical Psychologist and Author of the bestselling book, The Ring in the Rubble
Leadership Consultant & Strategist to numerous Fortune 500 companies
Past clients include: American Express, Blue Cross Blue Shield, eBay, IBM, Marriott, Merrill Lynch, NASA, Visa, Xerox
More than ever before, change and unrelenting disruption are causing employees to feel emotional fatigue, burnout, stress, anxiety and myriad emotions that strip them of creativity, productivity and overall joy. Providing employees with more strategies to adapt to change with a growth mindset and resilient spirit are critical competencies that Dr. Gary Bradt has been teaching C-Suite leaders in Fortune 500s for 25+ years.
Today, he is being called upon by leading corporations to share his practical and actionable tools for change with employees at every level, so they can embrace change and create a positive path forward both professionally and personally.
Dr. Bradt's unique background and perspective make him a one-of-a-kind speaker on emotional intelligence, change and leadership. As a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Bradt shares relevant research from neuroscience and positive psychology to help leaders and people at every level approach change with a positive perspective.
As a business owner with 25+ years of experience coaching C-level executives, Dr. Bradt passes on practical strategies and tactics that businesspeople quickly comprehend and apply. As a thought leader on change and leadership, he is a contributing writer to Forbes.com and the author of three books on change.
Most importantly, however, Dr. Bradt is a father, who speaks from the heart about the tragedies, triumphs, and lessons he's learned from raising a child with a chronic life-threatening heart condition.
It is no wonder, then, that the late Spencer Johnson asked Dr. Bradt to be the leading speaker worldwide for one of the bestselling business books of all time, Johnson's Who Moved My Cheese? More than 300 keynotes and twenty-years later, Dr. Bradt is as passionate as ever about helping people find the opportunity that change always creates. He will inspire and empower your audience to change and win today
Futurist Expert and Speaker on Business Strategy, Technology, Innovations & Their Impact
Talks about developing game-changing strategies based on his proven methodologies for capitalizing on technology innovations and their future impact.
Audiences learn about Anticipatory Thinking, a learning system that provides a framework for identifying certainties in the market, and for leaping ahead of competition with much lower risk by acting on HARD TRENDS.
Author of seven books, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller Flash Foresight; One of the world's leading futurists who the New York Times called “…one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker…”
Past clients include: Microsoft, GE, American Express, Google, Toshiba, Procter & Gamble, Honda and IBM
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world's leading futurists on global trends and innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker.
Burrus has delivered over 2,800 keynote speeches worldwide, and is a strategic advisor to executives from Fortune 500 companies, helping them to develop game-changing strategies based on his proven methodologies for capitalizing on technology innovations and their future impact. His client list includes companies such as Microsoft, GE, American Express, Google, Toshiba, Procter & Gamble, Honda and IBM.
He is the author of seven books, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller Flash Foresight, as well as the international best-seller Technotrends. His latest book, The Anticipatory Organization: Turn Disruption and Change Into Opportunity and Advantage (2017), is an Amazon #1 Hot New Release for Business.
Burrus is also a featured writer with millions of monthly readers on the topics of innovation, change and the future for CNBC, Huffington Post, and Wired Magazine to name a few.
He has been the featured subject of several PBS television specials and has appeared on programs such as CNN, Fox Business, and Bloomberg - and is quoted in a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune and Forbes.
Burrus is an innovative entrepreneur who has founded six businesses, four of which were national leaders in the United States in the first year. He is the CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients profit from technological, social and business forces that are converging to create enormous, untapped opportunities.
His accurate predictions date back to the early 1980s where he became the first and only futurist to accurately identify the twenty technologies that would become the driving force of business and economic change for decades to come. Since then, he has continued to establish a worldwide reputation for his exceptional record of predicting the future of technology driven change and its direct impact on the business world.
Global Futurist, Keynote Speaker and Expert on Trends & Innovation
Jim Carroll is one of the world’s leading futurist, trends and innovation experts, with a massive global Blue Chip client list. Over the last 25 years, Jim has shared his insight with more than 2 million people in attendance at his events. He is recognized within the global speaking industry for his highly customized, heavily researched, industry specific keynotes, leadership presentations and small, intimate senior leadership meetings.
Jim’s global client list is extensive and covers virtually every industry sector, including the World Bank, Volvo, NASA, the PGA of America, the Walt Disney Organization, the World Government Summit in Dubai, the Swiss Innovation Forum, the Wall Street Journal, National Australia Bank, WorldSkills, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, DuPont, The GAP, the US Air Force Research Laboratory, Godiva, SAP, Pfizer, Mercedes Benz, and hundreds more.
This client list gives him a front row seat to the high velocity change that is occurring as disruption comes to take hold of every industry and every organization. With that insight, and the customized research that he undertakes for every engagement, he helps to transform growth-oriented organizations into high-velocity innovation heroes!
Jim provides high energy keynotes for audiences of 5,000, or intimate, detailed customized strategic planning sessions for CEO / board / senior management meetings. He has researched key innovation success factors for dozens of associations, professions, companies, individuals, and industries including life sciences, health care, insurance, automotive, manufacturing, agriculture, technology, education, government, consumer products, retail, banking and countless others.
He is recognized worldwide as a “thought leader” and authority on: our post-pandemic economy; economic recovery strategies; the future of the workplace; new business and governance opportunities in the era of International upheaval; rapid business model change and industry transformation; business model disruption and the acceleration of market change; global economic trends; and the necessity for fast paced innovation. He is an authority recognized for his deep insight into the cutting edge trends of our time including autonomous vehicle technology, 3D printing, virtual reality, alternative energy generation and storage technologies, the transition to electric battery vehicle technology, genomic medicine, CRISPR and healthcare virtualization, advanced robotics and artificial intelligence, blockchain and virtual cash, machine learning and robotics, crowd-thinking and next generation R&D.
Jim’s insight has been covered in the UK Telegraph, Dubai’s Capital Magazine, South Africa’s The Star, and AP News, among hundreds more. BusinessWeek named Jim Carroll as one of four leading sources for insight on innovation and creativity. He was also a featured expert on the prime time CNBC series, The Business of Innovation.
Jim Carroll is an author, with numerous books including Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast; Surviving the Information Age; The Future Belongs To Those Who Are Fast; Ready, Set, Done; and What I Learned From Frogs in Texas: Saving Your Skin with Forward Thinking Innovation.
Marita talks about how she went from small town girl living in government housing to conquering the globe as one of Forbes Top 50 Women in Tech in the World, and the second youngest person to become a Member of the Order of Australia.
Audiences leave inspired by Marita's trajectory from young engineering student to founder of international movement Robogals, artificial intelligence business Aipoly and robotics company Aubot.
Marita is a technology keynote speaker, one of Forbes Worlds Top 50 Women in Tech, and the founder of Robogals, Aipoly, and Aubot. Marita is an inspirational speaker who has given over 350 speeches since 2012 in 15 countries.
Past clients include: Google, Samsung, Lenovo, Cisco, Unilever and Cognizant.
About Marita Cheng - Tech Expert, Founder of Robogals, Aipoly & Aubot
Marita Cheng is a technology keynote speaker, one of Forbes Worlds Top 50 Women in Tech, and the founder of Robogals, Aipoly, and Aubot. Marita is an inspirational speaker who has given over 350 speeches since 2012 in 15 countries.
Her high-profile engagements have included appearing on Q&A on ABC beside two Nobel Laureates and the Chief Scientist of Australia (live TV audience of 600,000), and alongside Ashton Kutcher at Lenovo’s #TechMyWay (online audience 35,000). She has spoken before the M.A.P. International CEO Conference in the Philippines in 2016, MIT Technology Review EmTech Singapore in 2015, and the 2014 World Entrepreneurship Forum in Lyon France.
Aubot is the manufacturer of the telepresence robot, Teleport, for people with longterm illness or a disability to attend school or work remotely. Teleports have been sold to offices, museums, co-working spaces, for kids with cancer in hospitals and for security. Marita founded Robogals in 2008 to encourage girls into science, engineering, technology and mathematics. Robogals has taught over 100,000 girls in 11 countries. Chapter universities include CalTech, Georgia Tech, Columbia University and Wellesley.
While attending Singularity University’s 10-week flagship Graduate Studies Program, held at NASA Ames in Mountain View in 2015, Marita co-founded Aipoly. Aipoly’s first application recognizes objects in real-time on a smartphone using convolutional neural networks and relays them to people who are visually impaired. Since launching at CES in January 2016, Aipoly has twice won the CES Best of Innovation Award (in 2016 and 2017), is now available in 23 languages and has been downloaded over 500,000 times.
Marita was born in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. She grew up in housing commission with her brother and single-parent mother, who worked as a hotel room cleaner. She graduated from high school in 2006 in the top 0.2% of the nation, and that year was awarded Cairns Young Citizen of the Year for her volunteering and extra-curricula efforts.
Marita has a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics) / Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Melbourne. She has served on the Clinton Health Access Initiative’s Tech Advisory Board.
Co-Founder of Siri and Viv Labs, Tech Speaker and Expert on Artificial Intelligence
Talks about the birth of "Siri" from concept to implementation and new ways of thinking about AI and how to prepare your business for the continuing AI revolution.
Audiences leave with an understanding of how to integrate innovation, including AI and new technologies into their organizations in order to prepare for the future.
Adam Cheyer is a top technology speaker, AI expert and entrepreneur. He co-founded Siri. He has a proven track record of innovation in business, having worked at research labs, startups and some of the largest technology companies in the world, bringing ideas to market to positively impact hundreds of millions of people.
Adam is current Vice President of R&D at Samsung.
Adam Cheyer is a top technology speaker, AI expert and entrepreneur. He co-founded Siri, which was acquired by Apple, and later co-founded Viv, which became the basis of the voice assistant Bixby on Samsung phones, TVs, watches, and more. He is also a founding member and first developer at Change.org, the world’s largest petition platform, with more than 300M members.
Cheyer has a proven track record of innovation in business, having worked at research labs, startups and some of the largest technology companies in the world, bringing ideas to market to positively impact hundreds of millions of people. He is also an award-winning magician, having performed for millions on TV and for presidents and heads of state.
Adam Cheyer is currently Vice President of R&D at Samsung. Previously, he was co-founder and VP Engineering of Viv Labs, an artificial intelligence (AI) company acquired by Samsung in 2016.
Adam was also co-Founder and VP Engineering of Siri, acquired by Apple in 2010 to build their virtual personal assistant, which was distributed on more than 1.5B devices. After joining Apple, he became a Director of Engineering in the iPhone/iOS group, leading all AI and server-side aspects of the Siri assistant.
Adam is the author of more than sixty peer-reviewed publications and twenty-five issued patents. He received his bachelor’s degree with highest honors from Brandeis University and his master’s degree with an “outstanding master’s student” award from UCLA.
Best-Selling Author and Internationally Recognized Speaker on Motivation, Leadership and Sales.
As a modern day Napoleon Hill, Dan Clark has interviewed, studied and worked with the most powerful and successful business leaders, political and military leaders and world champion athletes of our generation. This is why companies around the globe bring Dan in for his expertise in developing emerging leaders, increasing sales and productivity, building winning teams in the midst of mergers and acquisitions, and transforming the culture of an organization from successful to significance.
Since 1982, Dan has been one of the most in-demand speakers in the world, having spoken in all 50 states, 54 countries, on six continents, to over 4,500 audiences, to more than 4 million people, and many times to our combat troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa.
Mentored for over 25 years by the great Zig Ziglar in the art and science of motivational teaching, Dan was inducted into the National Speakers Hall of Fame and is continuously hired by extraordinary organizations including AT&T, NASA, Microsoft, National Football League, United Nations, Marriott Hotels, Lincoln Financial, Wells Fargo, Delta Airlines, McDonalds, Sotheby’s and countless trade associations who offer rave reviews on Dan’s unique ability to customize his speeches and connect with each audience member.
Dan was named “One of The Top Ten Motivational Speakers In The World” in 2015 by Espeakers. Dan received the same honor in 2000 from Achievers Canada and Achievers Europe.
Dan is a primary contributing author to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, a New York Times best-selling author, CEO, university professor, leadership trainer, international business consultant, athlete, philanthropist, and the 2012 Utah Father of the Year.
Add to this Dan’s incredible once-in-a-lifetime personal experiences of soaring to the edge of space in a U2 spy plane, flying twice the speed of sound with the Air Force Thunderbirds, racing automobiles at Nurburgring, running the Olympic Torch in the 2002 Winter Games, and fighting his way back from a paralyzing injury that cut short his football career - and you and your people will see, hear, feel and know exactly what they need to do - to take themselves and your organization to the next level the moment Dan finishes his entertaining and emotional speech.
Hundreds of delighted customers report they have witnessed powerful and lasting change as they apply Dan’s positive approach to life - and incorporate his unique message built around his best-selling book The Art of Significance – Achieving The Level Beyond Success. Dan's latest book (released in February 2019) is The Art Of Significant Selling - How To Get People To Choose You Instead Of Just Somebody Who Does What You Do.
Senior Editor-at-Large, Fortune and Best-selling Author Helping Leaders Confront Trends Driving Disruption
Four decades at Fortune, where Geoff covered the economic, political, technological, and competitive forces disrupting business and how top leaders and companies adapt and transform to win in spite of them.
One of business journalism’s sharpest and most respected commentators on leadership, management, globalization, government regulation, corporate governance, competition, the economy, the infotech revolution, human performance, and related issues.
International bestselling author of Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
Past clients include: Boston Consulting Group, Certent, Coca-Cola, McRock Capital, Microsoft, Putnam Investments, SEI
Geoff Colvin's catchphrase is "One thing that defines the best companies and leaders is they confront reality faster than the competition." Geoff Colvin of Fortune delivers valuable insights to help them do just that. His unique perspective stems from unparalleled access to top global business leaders who tell him what they’re seeing, thinking, and doing. As a result, Geoff can provide audiences with a clearer path for an uncertain future. Geoff unpacks actionable insights on the economic, market, political, and technological forces driving disruptive change. Geoff’s columns and cover stories in Fortune have earned him millions of loyal fans, many of whom also hear him on the CBS Radio Network, where he reaches seven million listeners each week. Geoff Colvin is author of four books including the groundbreaking international best-seller Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else. His latest book is The New York Times best-seller Humans are Underrated which looks at the future of work and how humans will fit into a workplace filled with robots and smart technology.
As Fortune magazine’s senior editor-at-large, Geoff Colvin is now in his fourth decade at Fortune. He is one of business journalism’s sharpest and most respected commentators on leadership, management, globalization, government regulation, corporate governance, competition, the economy, the InfoTech revolution, human performance and related issues.
In addition to his daily CBS Radio Network segments, Geoff has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, Squawk Box, CBS This Morning, ABC's World News Tonight, CNN, PBS's Nightly Business Report, and dozens of other programs. He also served as anchor of Wall Street Week with Fortune on PBS.
In addition to speaking, Geoff is also a brilliant panel moderator, emcee and interviewer whose subjects have included Jack Welch, Henry Kissinger, Richard Branson, the Prince of Wales, Bill Gates, Alan Greenspan, Steve Case, Tony Blair, Michael Dell, Ted Turner, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Henry Paulson, Ben Bernanke, and many others.
Geoff is a respected author whose groundbreaking international best-seller, Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, has been published in a dozen languages. The Upside of the Downturn: Management Strategies for Difficult Times was named “Best Management Book of the Year” by Strategy + Business magazine. Geoff’s latest book is Humans are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will. It’s based on the idea in his wildly popular Fortune article “In the Future Will There Be Any Work Left for People to Do?” It looks at the trend of technology displacing more jobs than it creates, and the ways humans will create value for their organizations and their careers in the changing economy. The ideas he shares have profound implications for every business and industry.
A native of Vermillion, South Dakota, Geoff Colvin is an honors graduate of Harvard with a degree in economics and has an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Virtual Events can:
- Reach a wider audience
- Offer a great experience at a much lower cost
- Create long term impact with recorded elements that allow for content to be watched over a period of time
- Have an increased impact over time, as viewers re-watch, discuss and connect over social media and other channels
And, most importantly: offer the ability for inspiring and impactful presentations to connect in a one-on-one way, directly to the attendee.
WHO is your audience?
Who are your virtual event attendees? Are they across a specific group within your organization, or are you serving clients across a wide range of levels? Determining who you are speaking to will help you determine a format for your event that will captivate your audience.
WHAT is your key message?
Are you focusing on change? Innovation? Leadership?
Creating a single focus or mission will allow you to hone in on the type of speaker(s) you need to engage your audience and help event producers to format the event into a dynamic program that balances inspiration with information and audience interaction.
WHAT type of event suits your audience?
- Virtual Conference
- Hybrid Event
Virtual event technology has come a long way over the last few months, offering a huge range of different options from pre-recorded webinars, to multi-day virtual conferences, to hybrid events with some attendees in the audience while the event is live streamed.
A COMBINATION of live and pre-recorded elements will allow your virtual event to run smoothly and stay on time.
Many of our clients are also opting for multi-day virtual conferences with shorter segments spaced over a few days.
This allows some flexibility for attendees in different time zones and accommodates different teleworking situations for attendees, allowing them to tune in when it is convenient.
WHERE? It’s all about Tech.
Virtual meeting technology has exploded over the last few months as teleworking became the norm.
Consider your needs:
- Interactive elements like breakout rooms, polls & Q&A
- Seamless blend of live & pre-recorded elements
- Ability to replay segments
- Live tech support
If you plan for rain, it’s likely the sun will shine…
Tech isn’t perfect so don’t forget to test, rehearse and have a back up plan ready to go for your virtual event.
Pro Tip: Think of a virtual presentation like a podcast. Viewers can view the content multiple times and refer back to it.
WHEN? A Date… or Dates?
As we have all noticed, our attention spans for meeting in real life versus meeting online are a lot longer.
When deciding on a date, consider spreading your virtual event out over a few days, with a variety of speakers, interactive elements and information.
The benefits of a multi-day format:
- Viewers watch content fresh for a short period every day
- Allows attendees in different time zones to stay on top of the content
- Attendees can review & re-engage with content
Virtual Event Checklist:
Is your event?
- Able to be rewatched?
WHY? Pandemic 2020
Just because you are online instead of in person, it doesn’t mean you are missing out on connection.
Using the technology that we have become so accustomed to over the last few months, our keynote speakers have the ability to connect to your viewers one-on-one, in a way that was impossible in live events.
FIND YOUR WHY…
What do you want the audience to leave thinking at the end of the presentation?
Apply this question to all the presentations and segments in your event to create a cohesive, impactful virtual event.
HOW? Virtual Event Checklist
To wrap it all up
- TECH: Find the right tech platform & don’t forget to test drive before your event
- AGENDA: Use a mix of live and pre-recorded segments, mixed with interactive elements, to ensure a smooth flow of events & audience engagement
- ANTICIPATION: Build up your event with emails, teasers and sneak peeks into what content will be offered
- NETWORKING: Create and encourage online chat functions, an event specific hashtag or even a dedicated event page to allow attendees to network virtually. Maximize the networking opportunities offered by your tech platform.
- EXTEND YOUR IMPACT: A dedicated social media page is a great place for attendees to connect after an event to discuss ideas and implement some of the learnings from the event.
Offer a password protected, limited time recording of keynote presentations to continue the conversation long after the virtual event has ended.
Continue the conversation with post-event touch points like emails or questions based on the key presentations.
Best-selling Author, Inspirational Speaker and Global Marketing Influencer
Andrew Davis is recognized as one of the industry's "Jaw-Dropping Marketing Speakers" - and is a mainstay on global marketing influencer lists. Wherever he goes, Andrew Davis puts his infectious enthusiasm and magnetic speaking style to good use teaching business leaders how to grow their sales and businesses, harness innovation, inspiration and performance, transform their cities - and leave their legacy.
Andrew is also best-selling author and internationally acclaimed keynote speaker. Before building and selling a thriving digital marketing agency, Andrew produced for NBC’s Today Show, worked for The Muppets in New York - and wrote for Charles Kuralt. He's appeared in the New York Times, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal - and on NBC and the BBC. He has crafted documentary films and award-winning content for tiny start-ups and Fortune 500 brands.
About Daryl Davis – Musician, Author, Compelling Unifier, Klan Whisperer, and Award-winning Conflict Navigator
“How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?” As the only Black Cub Scout marching in an otherwise all-White parade, Daryl Davis formed that simple yet powerful question after he was pelted by rocks, bottles and soda pop cans by a handful of White spectators. This was his first encounter with racism at age ten. Pursuit of an answer led this career performing musician on a surreal journey stemming from a chance encounter with a man who turned out to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Seeking to understand, not to change minds or judge, Daryl actually built bridges with leaders from a group that professed hatred for him. Some came to quit the Klan and gave Daryl their robes and hoods when they did. In the process he has unearthed truths about conflict, hate, intolerance, and communication that are valuable today. His extraordinary journey is chronicled in his first book, Klan-Destine Relationships and the documentary about his encounters, Accidental Courtesy. As a speaker, Daryl’s impact on audiences is profound –his TEDx talk has over 10 million views.
Daryl graduated from Howard University with his Bachelor of Music Degree. He has performed extensively with Chuck Berry, The Legendary Blues Band (formerly The Muddy Waters Blues Band), and many others. While music is his profession, improving race relations is his obsession. He is known to many as “The Rock'n'Roll Race Reconciliator.”
It started during a break between performances with a band at a bar one night. A man approached Daryl and remarked that this was the first time he had ever seen a Black man play piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. Daryl explained that both he and Lewis were influenced by Black Blues & Boogie-Woogie pianists, from which Rock'n'Roll and Rockabilly evolved. The man did not believe in the Black origin of Daryl’s piano style even after he said that Lewis was a friend who had shared this news with him. The man then shared news with Daryl –he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
This meeting, and those that followed, would lead Daryl on a journey all over America, meeting and interviewing leaders and members from KKK, neo-Nazi and Alt-Right groups at both his and their homes as well as their rallies. With his highly acclaimed, nonfiction book, Klan-Destine Relationships, Daryl become the first Black author to write a book on the Klan from in-person interviews. The award-winning documentary, Accidental Courtesy, details his journey and has been shown frequently on PBS. Daryl, who has been to 57 countries on 6continents, is often selected by the U.S. State Department as a highly respected expert on race relations and conflict, to present programs in various countries around the world dealing with similar situations. His next book, The Klan Whisperer will be released in 2021.
Daryl has been doing this work since 1983 and has become the recipient of numerous Klan robes & hoods and other racist symbols, given to him by people who once hated him when they didn't even know him. Now many of them have become his friends and supporters of his work. On the other side of spectrum, for his work in bridging race relations he is the recipient of numerous awards such as the American Ethical Union's prestigious Elliott-Black Award, Carnegie-Mellon's Carl Sagan Award & Prize, Tribeca Disruption Innovation Award, MLK Award, Search for Common Ground Award, Washington Ethical Society Bridge-Builder Award, among many others. He is often sought for commentary by CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, People magazine, and many other media sources.
In Daryl’s words, “Ever since I graduated from college in 1980 with my degree in music, I’ve been a full-time musician, traveling and performing all over America and around the world. What I’ve come to find to be the greatest, most effective, and successful weapon we can use to combat ignorance, racism, hatred, and violence, is also the least expensive weapon –and the one that is least used by Americans. That weapon is called communication. We can communicate with people in space but many of us have difficulty talking to the person who lives next door because of the color of their skin, their ethnicity, their religion, their orientation, their politics, etc. We are living with 21stcentury technology in Space Age times, but there are still too many of us with Stone Age minds.”
Daryl has come in closer contact with more members of the Ku Klux Klan than most White people, and certainly most Blacks, short of being on the wrong end of a rope. What's more surprising? He intentionally continues to do so because as he says, “Ignorance breeds fear. If you do not keep that fear in check, that fear will breed hatred. Because we hate those things that frighten us.
If you do not keep that hatred in check, that hatred in turn will breed destruction because we want to destroy those things that we hate. Why? Because they frighten us.” When he speaks, Daryl Davis’s impact on an audience is sobering yet inspirational. More than a few members in every audience remember and ask him about the fictional character in Dave Chappelle’s comedic skit in which he plays a blind Klansman who didn't know he was Black and attends Klan rallies. Daryl shares stories that would be comical, if he weren’t putting his life on the line for a purpose. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction might ever be in Daryl’s case. People will also point out how courageous Daryl was to actually turn up at Klan rallies himself. Inevitably they bring up Spike Lee’s film BlacKkKlansman. That film depicts a Black police officer who infiltrated the KKK over the telephone and would send a White subordinate officer to Klan rallies in his place to gather damning intelligence against the Klan. The difference is not lost on the audience. Daryl had his feet on the ground in the lion's den and tells the story first-hand.
Through his work, Daryl has discovered a successful method of transforming enemies into friends. His stories of his encounters with –and transformations of –White supremacists have inspired people all over the U.S. and abroad. His audiences leave his presentations empowered to:
- Overcome Their Fears
- Confront Their Prejudices
- Recognize Similarities
- Appreciate Differences
- Navigate Diversity
- Improve Relationships with Others
- Better Their Lives While Creating a Positive Impact on Others
In addition to his career as a performing musician, Daryl is the owner of Lyrad Music, a music publishing and licensing business. He is also an actor of stage and screen and has appeared in HBO's highly acclaimed series The Wire.
Mark DeVolder is the Change Specialist and a pioneer in the field of transition management. Unique in the industry, DeVolder is one of the few speakers who teaches leaders how to change. He is a frequent presenter at top management meetings around the world, both live and virtual … from coaching NASA rocket scientists how to re-create themselves to the cultural transformation of a $42 billion merger; from pivoting to a safety-first culture in Qatar’s oil industry to preparing Egypt’s largest company to restructure itself. Mark teaches leaders about Perpetual Pivot, the process of adapting to continuous change through reinvention, innovation and anticipation.
In addition to cutting-edge content, Mark brings high-energy, humor and audience interaction to all his presentations. He uses his skill as a master storyteller to draw people into the essence of his message. Whether live or on a virtual stage, Mark has the ability to connect deeply with people: “Mark kept us glued to our screen” and “Mark was inspiring and kept the audience charged.”
Across five continents and in over 25 countries, Mark has worked with a myriad of impressive and diverse organizations, large and small, including NASA, McDonald’s, GE, Autodesk, Coca-Cola, Marriott, Siemens, Medtronic, PepsiCo, Bristol-Myers Squibb, PWC, HILTI, Verizon, Orascom Construction and Monsanto. Mark has engaged and delighted audiences from Monaco to Dubai, from Singapore to London and from Istanbul to Barcelona.
As a researcher, consultant and author, Mark has written the multi-disciplinary book on managing change, entitled, Perpetual Pivot: How the Best Leaders Adapt to Exponential Change. His second book, Get Engaged, is a practical guide for improving employee engagement. Mark’s first publication was his doctoral dissertation which studied the elements of diversity, inclusion and teambuilding, entitled Unity in Diversity Through Synergy.
Speaker on peak performance, motivation and sales strategist.
Chip Eichelberger believes audiences are craving engagement, not another speech. For 5½ years as world-renowned business leader Tony Robbins’s international point man, he spoke over 1,300 times throughout the US, UK, and Australia. This immersive experience sharpened his skills and created a unique style. It is high-energy, humorous, and persuasive and gets results. Chip promises to be THE energy source at your event.
He is a proven pro with 1,000+ successful events for clients like Genentech, Ford, Hyatt, AXA, Harley Davidson, Proctor & Gamble, Exxon, State Farm, Dun & Bradstreet, RE/MAX, and over 100 diverse associations. He will do his homework on your organization and industry, conduct phone interviews, and customize his message to help ensure his message sticks! He will work hard to make you look like a genius as the decision maker who hired him.
Chip is one of only 7% of the members of the National Speakers Association to earn the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation. He has created numerous audio, video and printed products. His newest book is The Smart Guide To Accomplishing Your Goals.
He specializes in high-energy, interactive and customized opening, after meal, and closing presentations. Chip is consistently told by the organizations that hire him that most speakers were a "rental", and that he was a true partner in making their event a success.
Chip will set the tone for the day at your opening session. The energy, spirit of interaction, and engagement will energize the vitality of the entire day. After lunch is a crucial spot to energize and engage the audience for the rest of the day or before your awards ceremony.
The last and maybe the most important impression at your event is your closing session. There must be energy and a call to action! Many conventions fizzle out at the end. He is famous for his closing team building activity The Board Break Experience – Breaking Barriers program.
Chip is passionate about delivering a "sticky and interactive" experience that grabs the attention of the audience immediately, and engages them to not just talk about change but to be committed to it. He is married, and the proud father of three. He lives in Knoxville, TN, is an avid golfer, traveler, reader, dancer, and difference maker in the community.
Award-winning Author, Keynote Speaker and Business Growth, Sales & Leadership Expert
Meridith Elliott Powell is a business growth expert who was voted One of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts to Watch by Currency Fair. Meridith is an award-winning author, keynote speaker and business strategist. With a background in corporate sales and leadership - her career spans over several industries including banking, healthcare and finance. Meridith worked her way up from an entry-level position to earn her seat at the C-Suite table. She is Certified Speaking Professional, a designation held by less than twelve percent of professional speakers, and a member of the prestigious Forbes Coaching Council.
She has a cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge. She is the author of four books, including The Best Sales Book Ever/The Best Sales Leadership Book Ever - Cut Through the Obstacles and Send Sales Through the Roof (co-authored with Connie Podesta) is two powerful books in one! Whether you work in Sales or Sales Leadership this book is hands-down the best resource you need right now. Comprehensive strategies. Straight talk. Brilliant insights that can transform your career, Own It: Redefining Responsibility - Stories of Power, Freedom & Purpose - about how to build cultures that inspire ownership at every level to create profits at every turn - and Winning in the Trust and Value Economy (a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards). Meridith writes, speaks and is passionate about helping her clients understand everything they need to know about how to make this economy start working for them.
Today’s economy is not down - it is different. Therefore, to understand this economy you have to understand today’s customers. With the ability to stay at home and order anything you want online, what you sell is no longer important. It is how you sell that is your competitive advantage! With the customer experience being so important - every member of your team has to been engaged. How do you ignite employee engagement - create a quality customer experience and see business growth like you’ve never seen before?
In her remarkably engaging sessions, Meridith shows her audiences how to attract more business, retain top talent - and leap into position to win in this new economy. High energy and highly interactive - Meridith’s keynotes will help leaders and business owners learn the new rules of success today. Including how today’s economy has changed, how that has changed today’s customers and employees - and specifically how that impacts your business. No walking on coals, no breaking boards - just real-life strategies you can put into place first thing Monday morning.
Talks about cultivating a high-engagement, high-performance work culture as we prepare for the next growth cycle in business.
Audiences learn what it takes to elevate engagement, unleash human potential and compete to win in the new world of work
Former advertising executive and Founder of Estis & Associates, a professional training & coaching outfit
Past clients include: Blue Shield, CVS Health, Mayo Clinic, Medtronic, Novartis, the NBA, Honeywell, Thomson Reuters, Ernst & Young, Lowes, and Prudential
Ryan Estis has more than 20 years of experience as a top-performing sales professional and leader. As the former chief strategy officer for the McCann Worldgroup advertising agency NAS, he brings a fresh perspective to business events. As a keynote speaker, Ryan is known for his innovative ideas on leading change, improving sales effectiveness and preparing for the future of work. He was recently recognized as one of “the best keynote speakers ever heard” by Meetings & Conventions magazine alongside Tony Robbins, Bill Gates, Colin Powell and Mike Ditka.
Ryan delivers keynote speeches, courses and online learning with an emphasis on actionable content designed to elevate business performance. His curriculum emphasizes emerging trends influencing leadership effectiveness, sales performance and customer experience. Ryan helps participants prepare to thrive in today’s ultra-competitive, hyper-connected business environment.
Ryan supports the world’s leading brands, including Liberty Mutual, Darden Restaurants, Goodyear, the Dallas Cowboys, Medtronic, ECCO USA and Blue Cross Blue Shield. He is a faculty member for the Institute of Management Studies, a member of the SmartBrief on Workforce Advisory Board and a certified Human Capital Strategist.
Ryan and his team publish original research featuring client case studies to expand the live event experience. He is also the author of a popular blog on business performance. His writing has been featured in Inc., Forbes, Entrepreneur, FastCompany, SmartBrief, Business News Network, Crain’s Business, and Yahoo Business.
Ryan is an Ohio University graduate who resides in downtown Minneapolis. When he’s not traveling to speaking engagements around the world, Ryan enjoys down time with family and friends, practicing yoga and cheering on his beloved Minnesota Timberwolves.
Organizational Psychologist and Keynote Speaker on Leadership, Teamwork and Organizational Culture
Audiences leave with actionable tools they can put to good use following her high customized and interactive presentations
Named as one of the top 30 global emerging management thinkers, she is also the author of two best selling books, and a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review, Forbes and Fast Company
Past clients include: KPMG, Walmart, RBC, Google, Bayer, IBM, Fidelity, T-Mobile, Salesforce
Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist, researcher, and New York Times best-selling author. She’s built a reputation as a fresh, modern leadership voice in the business world by pairing her scientific grounding in human behaviour - with a pragmatic approach to professional development.
Over her 15+ year career, she’s helped thousands of leaders, from public company CEOs to early stage entrepreneurs - to improve their self-awareness and success.
She contributes to Harvard Business Review and her work has been featured in outlets like NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes and Fast Company. Her TEDxMileHigh talks have been viewed more than three million times.
Thinkers50 has named her one of the top 30 emerging management thinkers in the world and a top 50 world leader in coaching - and she ranked #13 on the GlobalGurus list of organizational culture experts. Dr. Eurich was also chosen from more than 16,000 candidates as one of Marshall Goldsmith’s “100 Coaches” to advance the practice of leadership with Dr. Goldsmith (recognized as the world’s most influential leadership thinker).
Dr. Eurich’s first book, Bankable Leadership, debuted at #8 on The New York Times best-seller list. Her latest book, Insight, delves into the connection between self-awareness and success. Hailed as a “bold, exhilarating take on self-improvement” by Success Magazine and a “fascinating read” by The Guardian, Insight was named a best book of 2017 by Strategy+Business and nominated for best book of the year by 800CEOREAD.
As a sought-after keynote speaker, Dr. Eurich partners with her clients to deliver:
- A highly interactive experience that cements learning - and maximizes behaviour change
- A tightly customized event that addresses the specific pain points of their organization and/or industry
- Several actionable tools that participants can apply immediately
- Insight from cutting-edge science translated into bite-sized, easy to digest nuggets