My List0

We've now made it easier for you to research and save your favorite keynotes speakers. Click on the + sign to add a speaker to your Speaker List and email your favorites to colleagues and friends.

V. J. Smith, Employee Retention Speaker

V.J. Smith

    Professional Speaker and Author of The Richest Man in Town
Full Bio
Fee Range

$7,500 and Under

Travels From

South Dakota

V. J. Smith

V. J. Smith

V.J. Smith - Keynote Speaker

V.J. Smith - Keynote Speaker

V.J. Smith has been a professional speaker for more than a decade. He is also a published author.

Smith has also been a bill collector, solar collector salesman and a fundraiser. “Being a child of the early ‘70s, it took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to do with my life,” he says.

As for his speaking ability, he credits that with growing up with three brothers and four sisters. “You had to learn to talk loud and fast or you didn’t get much to eat,” Smith muses. Drawing on his lifetime experiences, Smith peppers his talks with anecdotes and personal stories to illustrate key points. He feels he is better equipped to be a storyteller, not a preacher.

Smith honed his speaking skills through his membership in Toastmaster’s International. On two occasions he was a finalist in that organization’s ‘World’s Championship of Public Speaking. ’

A 1978 graduate of South Dakota State University, Smith spent the decade of the 1980s working for the Allied Signal Aerospace Company in Kansas City, MO. He returned to his alma mater in 1990 to serve as Assistant Athletic Director for the SDSU athletic program. He was appointed Executive Director of the SDSU Alumni Association in 1996 and resigned from that position in January 2007 due to the overwhelming requests for speaking appearances.

Smith’s book, “The Richest Man in Town” was published in 2005.  His latest book, “Jackrabbit Tales” was released in April 2009.

To book Motivational speaker V. J. Smith, call Executive Speakers Bureau at 800-754-9404.

The Richest Man in Town 
This is V.J.’s signature talk and is based on the best-selling book of the same title.  Audience members will go on an emotional roller coaster ride as V.J. describes how Marty, an unforgettable cashier at a local Wal-Mart store, had a profound impact on the people who went through his check-out line.  Marty became a legend in an unexpected place because he treated everybody with dignity, kindness and respect.  As V.J. says, “Marty was living proof that you don’t need money, power or title to make a difference in life.  You just need to care.”

The Exceptional Employee 
Ask most employees and they will tell you they are performing at an above average level.  V.J., drawing on over 20 years experience as a supervisor, offers ten specific traits that separate the exceptional employee from the average employee.  This talk is filled with anecdotes and humorous stories to illustrate key points.  Every person in the audience will relate to the various categories and be able to judge where they are on the “Exceptional Scale.”  For some, it will be a real eye-opener.

Got Goals? 
This is a journey from procrastination to destination.  According to V.J., “Most people drift in life and their destinies are shaped by the wind and the waves.  They aren’t in charge of their lives; daily obstacles are in charge of them.”  What do you want to do with your life?  What do you want to do in your life?  The purpose of this inspirational talk is to give people a soft kick in the pants to make dreams become reality.  “It’s a life changing moment when you take the time to write down your goals,” V.J. says.  “After years of avoiding it I finally did and nothing has been the same since.”

Pants on Fire 
The difference between right and wrong is easy, most kids can figure it out, it’s the application that’s difficult.  This one-hour talk focuses on business and personal ethics.  So often we are faced with tough ethical issues.  Do we ignore or do we engage?  V.J. states, “Speaking up, taking action and living by your values requires courage.  Besides, everyone has someone who looks up to them as a role model.  What kind of example do you want to set?  What kind of legacy do you want to leave?”

Simple Choices, Big Rewards 
We are judged by the choices we make.  In our personal lives and in our business lives, we are faced with simple choices on how we interact with the people around us.  In this talk, V.J. focuses on five key situations we face each day.  Members of the audience will laugh and reflect on their choices during this one-hour rapid-fire session.

Speaking Topics:

Related Speakers

Richard Machowicz, Coaching / Mentoring Speaker

Richard Machowicz

Former Navy SEAL and Life Coach

Jason Hewlett, Speaker

Jason Hewlett

Unforgettable One-Man Show

Rhea Seddon, speaker

Rhea Seddon

One of the first 6 women accepted by NASA

Ronan Tynan

Ronan Tynan

Irish Tenor

Libby Gill, Marketing Speaker

Libby Gill

Delivers Keynote to create a Culture of Risk-Taking

Chris Johnson, Speaker

Chris Johnson

Author of Amazon bestseller CAPACITY & On Target Living

Reggie Jackson, Sports Speaker

Reggie Jackson

Former MLB Player

George Brooks - Speaker

George Brooks

Americas Leader of People Advisory Services for Ernst & Young LLP (EY)

Ross Shafer, Speaker

Ross Shafer

6 Time Emmy Award Winner

Thurl Bailey, Speaker

Thurl Bailey

Basketball Legend

Tricia Molloy

Tricia Molloy

Corporate Leadership Speaker on Work-Life Balance and Achieving Goals

Jack Stack, Business speaker

Jack Stack




"I've worked with Richard and ESB for many years and he's always able to deliver for us. He works hard to meet your speaker goals within the ..

Chem Dry

"Angela is the best!!! I can always count on her honest feedback about speakers. She helps me look like a hero to my company!"

Testimonials | Medtronic | Executive Speakers

"ESB continues to deliver great options for us as we plan our event each year."

Testimonials | Arkansas Heart Hospital | Executive Speakers

“I am banging my head against the wall right now for all the times I have done this without using Executive Speakers Bureau. This ..

Clorox Client

"The conference was an immense hit – we certainly raised the bar in our company on how conferences are planned and executed. You and yo..

Testimonials | Benchmark Global Hospitality | Executive Speakers

"Johnny Cupcakes was a hit last night! Thank you both so much for all of your assistance through this process, it has been such a positi..

Johnny Cupcakes | Testimonials | Executive Speakers

"You all were awesome to work with and helped make my life easier when planning these events. Thanks so much!” 



"Thanks so much for working on this engagement with us. It’s been a very pleasant experience. We will definitely include ESB in our sea..


"They have booked me to speak at events for over a decade and their professional approach and client focus is unmatched in the industry. I am..

Garrison Wynn, Sales Speaker

"Thank you, both, for making last night possible! You have been such a Joy to work with and I appreciate everything you did for us! I can't s..

Salvation Army
Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Call to discuss how we can you help find the right speaker(s) for your organization.

Get Ideas in 1 hour or less

Executive Speakers Bureau consistently receives praises about our speed and efficiency. From the beginning of your event planning, our extensive online speaker database and resourceful staff allow us to quickly equip you with the best speaker for your event.

Need a last minute speaker? No worries. Our speed and efficiency help us give you ideas for speakers in one hour or less.

Please fill in information below