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Top Feel-Good, Inspirational Keynote Speakers

Kaitie Choo
Thursday, Feb 02, 2023

Whether your team needs a small pick-me-up or a surge of new motivation, these dynamic Inspirational Keynote Speakers will ensure you walk away from their keynotes feeling refreshed and inspired to take on any challenge. Overcoming adversity and sharing unique, diverse perspectives are the difference between a good speaker and a truly inspiring one. 

Sterling Hawkins,  Author, CEO and Founder of the Sterling Hawkins Group

2023022184137Headshot2-2023-02-02T124121-466.png (12 KB)From the bottom of a failed start-up to the top of the C-suite, Sterling Hawkins has made it his mission to never give less than 110% in anything that he does. As CEO of the Sterline Hawkins Group, he provides research, training, and organizational guidance to individuals and companies who are looking to innovate. 

His keynote, #NoMatterWhat, outlines the five practices to unleash unstoppable growth and produce breakthrough results. Hawkins combines the latest research on brain science and psychology to encourage audiences to confront the scary unknown and embrace discomfort.

Nicole Malachowski, First Woman Thunderbird Pilot and White House Fellow

20190912193206Nicole-Malachowski-Promo-Photo-2019-square-HiRes.jpg (15 KB)Nicole Malachowski was born to fly. From a 16-year-old accumulating flight time after school to her distinguished 21-year career in the Air Force, she is revered as a fighter pilot and the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron. One of her personal mantras, “nobody wants to lead a scripted life,” has inspired her through life’s difficulties. 

In her keynote, Breaking Barriers: Conquering Self-Doubt and Cultural Paradigms, Malachowski reinforces the idea that only you can define your limits. Since overcoming a career-ending illness, Malachowski has fearlessly pursued her goals and will inspire you to do the same.

Dr. Thom Mayer, Medical Director for the NFL Players Association, and Author

2021233182238Headshot2-14-.png (54 KB)Dubbed one of the most important people in the NFL, Dr. Thom Mayer, has set the bar for exceptional healthcare leadership. Dr. Mayer’s realm of care extends beyond sports medicine; his leadership has also influenced patient care for emergency, pediatric, trauma, and disaster care. Notably, Dr. Mayer has advised the Secretary of Defense, served as the Command Physician at the Pentagon Rescue Operation on 9/11, and more recently led a mobile team to Ukraine where he treated almost 350 patients and trained over 1,700 Ukrainian medical staff.

Outside of the emergency room, Dr. Mayer has been the CEO, founder, and principal shareholder of a variety of successful corporations in the healthcare industry. Using his years of crisis care, Dr. Mayer will share his wisdom and encourage audiences to seek out their true passions. 

Robyn Benincasa, World Champion Adventure Racer, Veteran Firefighter, and Author

2019176142338Robyn-Benincasa-square.jpg (3 KB)Robyn Benincasa has spent 20 years of her career challenging her endurance and embarking on extreme adventure races in jungles, mountains, and deserts all over the world. Benincasa speaks on her secrets to overcoming adversity and deeply believes that teamwork is the magic behind her triumphs. 

In her keynote, Adapt, Overcome, and Win as One!, Benincasa discusses how leaders can shift their mindset to encourage their organization to overcome the ever-changing obstacles in business and life. Her adventure stories feature external pressures, problem-solving, and races with the clock which resonate with professional teams who have to juggle similar barriers in the workplace.  

Kemba Smith Pradia, Criminal Justice Advocate and Author of Poster Child

20191211185325Kemba-Smith-2019-cropped.jpg (21 KB)Kemba Smith Pradia’s case paved the way for first-time prisoners to be reevaluated by the justice system and often earn fairer sentences on non-violent drug charges. Smith Pradia is a domestic violence survivor who focuses on teaching women and survivors how to unlock their own unimaginable strength and resilience.

Since her release from prison in 2000, Smith Pradia has led trainings for both federal and state probation organizations and worked with the White House, the United Nations, and members of Congress. Her candid and compelling story proves to folks all over the world that past mistakes do not have to define your future.

James Clear, Habits Expert and Bestselling Author of Atomic Habits

20191312172902about-james-clearsquare.jpg (109 KB)James Clear, author of the wildly popular book Atomic Habits, challenges readers everywhere to rethink their habits and dive deep into experimental ways of tackling tasks to propel personal growth. Clear is the leading expert on building and retaining habits, using science to bust myths about how to form new positive habits.

He has made his mark with his key ideas revolving around breaking down large goals into bite-sized pieces of success. Clear will provide anecdotes, wisdom, and advice on how to triumphantly overcome the obstacles you may have built for yourself in your own mind. 

Princess Sarah Culberson, Princess of Sierra Leone and Humanitarian

2021081194518Headshot2-1-.png (38 KB)In true “Princess Diaries” fashion, Sarah Culberson grew up in the midwest with her adopted family until one day she discovered she was royalty in her birthplace of Sierra Leone, West Africa. She found the courage to seek out her birth parents in hopes of uncovering more about what makes her who she is. 

Since reconnecting with her biological family, Princess Sarah Culberson has not only connected with her culture and tribe, but she now coaches others on embracing diversity by encouraging conversations regarding race, gender, and class. Culberson is able to connect with any audience utilizing her experience with Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, youth education, and her business background in technology.

Jim Davidson, Expedition Leader and Author

2019187140409Jim-Davidson-square.jpg (347 KB)After surviving the deadliest earthquake and avalanche on Mt. Everest in 2015, Jim Davidson trained even harder and returned just two years later to finally summit Mt. Everest. He shares his exhilarating stories about not only surviving Nepal’s largest earthquake in over 81 years but choosing to come back stronger than ever. 

Davidson currently leads mountain rescue missions and expeditions all over the world. His adventures captivate audiences as he outlines the way friendship, teamwork, and resilience can be the most powerful tools for survival. 

David Goggins, Retired US Navy SEAL and Endurance Athlete

2019128183421David-Goggins-cropped.jpg (8 KB)David Goggins is the pinnacle of athletic ability having completed more than 30 endurance races, including ultra-marathons, ultra-triathlons, mountain summiting, and numerous other physical competitions that you may have never even heard of. His strong mind and body are performing at peak levels as he sets records and pushes his body to the limit for no reason other than to prove to himself he can. 

Goggins overcame his difficult upbringing pained by obesity, racism, and bullying by enlisting in the military, which proved to be an admirable and impressive career path. Goggins proposes a “no excuses” approach in his keynotes, encouraging audiences to reach new heights both in their careers and their personal life. 

Ronan Tynan, Gold Medal Paralympian, Doctor, and Singer 

2021055192354Headshot2-9-.png (20 KB)Moving to the rhythm of his own song his whole life, Ronan Tynan, is living proof that you can excel physically, mentally, and creatively. Before Tynan lit up the stage with his beloved voice, he was breaking world records and earning gold medals as a Paralympian. Although his singing career was a fulfilling path, his ambitions led him to pursue a medical degree to become a doctor, specializing in orthopedic sports injuries in addition to his musical aspirations. 

Tynan’s keynotes serve as a reminder that living your life to the fullest means you should never put yourself in a box. His message is internationally relatable, funny, and exciting. 

Need a spark of inspiration at your next event? Contact Executive Speakers Bureau to book one of our top Inspirational Keynote Speakers.


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