Post authored by Donna Kastner, Founder of Retirepreneur
Booking keynote speakers is a high-impact event decision that’s loaded with risk.
Hire superstars or famous athlete appearances and attendees will be raving for months to come. Hire a dud and some may never come back.
Over the past few months, I’ve been conducting my own informal best-keynoter poll, reaching out to dozens of fellow event organizers to get their nominations.
Here are nine (in no particular order) that come highly recommended by your peers, with a few quick details for inquiring minds who’d like to know more.
9 Keynote Speakers You Want at Your Event
Lisa is the CEO at FutureThink, a consulting group that makes innovation simpler and more successful, by eliminating unnecessary work and giving teams simple ways to solve problems.
She is also the best-selling author of Why Simple Wins and Kill the Company
Her clients include Pfizer, SXSW, DirectTV, Novartis, Google, and TED.
A Swedish economist, writer and speaker, Kjell provides a unique and entertaining look at global trends and their impact on us, personally and professionally.
His research focus is on corporate strategy, multinational corporations & globalization.
Co-author of Funky Business and Karaoke Capitalism: Management for Mankind, his latest, Urban Express, explores a silent revolution, spearheaded by cities and women.
At age 9, John was severely burned on 100% of his body, yet from this tragedy, John received abundant gifts. Expected to die, John now teaches others how to truly live.
Through emotional storytelling and great humor, John reveals a brighter vision for what’s possible in life and business.
He is the author of On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life
Considered a top expert in consumer trends, generational differences, and leveraging the customer experience, Kelly is the author of several books, including How to Work with & Lead People Not Like You and How to Market to People Not Like You.
Her clients include Toyota, State Farm, Nike, Harley-Davidson, Miller-Coors, and Sherwin-Williams.
Marketing maestro Seth Godin is an author, entrepreneur, and most of all a teacher, who blogs daily.
He’s the author of 18 bestselling books, including his latest, This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See.
Here’s a classic post from Seth with tips for event professionals who hire speakers – The Secret of the Five Top
Michelle Tillis Lederman
Michelle is a people expert who inspires organizations and individuals to build real relationships to get real results.
She’s authored several books, including The 11 Laws of Likability and The Connection Advantage: 7 Mindsets to Grow Your Influence and Impact.
Her clients include Citi, Morgan Stanley, Johnson & Johnson, Sony, AIG, and MetLife.
Josh is the go-to-expert on innovation for many of today’s top brands.
Twice named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year, he’s also a recipient of the President Barack Obama Champion of Change award.
Josh is the author of several bestselling books, including Hacking Innovation: The New Growth Model from the Sinister World of Hackers.
Author of several bestselling books about business, work, and behavior, including his latest, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.
Dan’s TED Talk on the science of motivation is one of the 10 most-watched TED Talks of all time, with more than 20 million views.
Dan has appeared on NPR, PBS, ABC, CNN – he’s also contributing editor at Fast Company and Wired.
Judi believes in “standing out in a sit-down world” – her keynotes are inspired in a big way by her past experience in Improv Theatre.
Author of Fear is My HomeBoy: How to Slay Doubt, Boss Up, and Succeed on Your Own Terms
Clients include Marriott, Reynolds, Four Seasons, Ford, American Dental Association, and MGM Resorts.
Fun Fact: Judi is also married to Scott Durkin, VP Partner Development at Experient – definitely a dynamic duo!
Who are some of your favorite keynote speakers? Tell us how they left a lasting impression on you in the comments section.
Donna Kastner has spent good portion of her career as an event experience design consultant and is now building a dynamic collaboration community for executives age 50+ who are striving to make a smooth segue from full-time job to part-time consulting gig.
As the founder of Retirepreneur, Donna’s championing a movement to help others design flexible and fulfilling encore career opportunities.