GDA's Top Trending Speakers

Gail Davis, 21 June 2024

Recently I was looking at a handful of speakers trending with GDA and thought it might be of value for me to share a quick update. I recommend you keep these speakers on your radar - both for obvious and maybe not-so-obvious reasons.

John O'Leary
Best-Selling Author of On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life; Inspiration for Upcoming Film "On Fire"

John has been a GDA favorite since our first booking with him in 2007. His incredibly inspiring story along with his impressive ability in presenting it has given him elite orator status amongst our clients and team. He captivates his audience every single time. In 1987, John was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, he created a massive explosion in his family’s garage which burned 100% of his body and he was given a one percent chance to survive.

John’s bestselling book, ON FIRE, counters the belief that we are defined by our mistakes or the difficulties we endure. It instead celebrates the parts of John's story that are most enduring and most universal—that when community comes together, when personal imperfections are embraced and when we allow who we wish we were to finally give way to the gift we already are, amazing things happen.

Did you know?

John's inspiring story is coming to the silver screen! Directed by Sean McNamara, the movie has an impressive cast list including William H. Macy (Shameless), John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Joel Courtney (The Kissing Booth), DeVon Franklin (Jesus Revolution), Masey McLain (The Baxters), and Stephanie Szostak (A Million Little Things).

The film is in post-production as we speak and our sources tell us they’re hopeful for an early 2025 release - so stay tuned!

Gian Paul Gonzalez
Youth Education & Wellness Expert; Founder & Director of Hope + Future Foundation

Gian Paul entered the GDA scene in 2015 and we have been booking him consistently ever since. He has spoken to our clients across a variety of industries including corporations, associations, education, and nonprofits. As a former NCAA First Team All-American forward, Gian Paul inspired the 2011 New York Giants to their Super Bowl victory with his famous “ALL IN” speech to the team which became a rallying cry to win. His message gained national attention, being covered by ESPN, Fox News, and CNN.

Did you know?

During the first motivational talk with the NY Giants (that led to them winning the Super Bowl), Gian Paul gave poker chips to each player and coach along with a Sharpie Marker. At the end of his talk he asked each person in the audience to use the Sharpie to sign the poker chip on one side and on the other-side write what they will be "All In" for. One player wrote their daughter’s name and put the poker chip near her crib, others put the football stat that they were going to focus on and put the poker chip in their locker. They put the chip in a place that would remind them to be "All In.” Many corporate clients have Gian Paul do the same exercise for their own teams. We have had people contact them that they saw the poker chip on their banker’s desk or in an executive’s office and it helps employees remember what they are committed to being "All In.”

Dr. Gary Chapman
Author of #1 New York Times Best-Seller; The 5 Love Languages®; Family Counselor

Gary has remained a consistent top pick since 2010. The majority of these bookings are focused around his wildly popular book, The 5 Love Languages®. Dr. Chapman is the go to expert for help healing and improving your most important relationships. His personal life experiences combined with over 40 years of pastoring and marriage counseling led him to publish his #1 New York Times bestseller, The 5 Love Languages®.  

Did you know?

While many of our bookings with Dr. Chapman have centered around Valentine's Day for member organizations, his message is applicable year-round. Although Dr. Chapman is a pastor, his message translates seamlessly to also address family and workplace relationships through topics including The 5 Love Languages of Children and The 5 Apology Languages: Dealing Effectively With Our Failures.

Tim Sanders
Upwork's Vice President of Client Strategy; Fellow at D3 Institute at Harvard Business School; NY Times Best-Selling Author

We first began booking Tim Sanders in 2005. Tim is a Vice President of Customer Insights at Upwork, former Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo!, New York Times bestselling author of five books, and a 5-year faculty member at the Global Institute of Leadership Development. The Financial Times referred to his innovation and collaboration insights as a “force multiplier.” One of Tim’s hallmarks is his expertise as a strategic consultant, making his keynote relevant to the key stakeholders' objectives.

Did you know?

Tim has relocated to Dallas and literally lives next door to GDA Speakers. I even sometimes have the pleasure of running into him at the grocery store! His latest update is definitely worth reporting on - Tim has recently received an executive fellowship from Harvard Business School, where he'll be working with the Digital Data Design Institute. He'll help them package academic AI research for the business community, converting data into actionable insights. In his newest keynote, “Return on AI: How to Convert the Hype into Business Growth,” Tim helps audiences sort through the future of AI and how to leverage it to win markets profitably.


These speakers have remained consistent GDA favorites over the years and for good reason. Whether it’s news of an upcoming movie or the release of new content, we’re always on the lookout for the latest and most helpful insights on our top speakers to give our clients an exclusive edge in selecting a speaker for their event.


-Gail Davis
Founder & President, GDA Speakers