Overcoming Adversity Keynote Speakers
Browse Overcoming Adversity Speakers
Adversity keynote speakers have endured challenges with a new perspective and are empowered to tell a different kind of story of transformation and self-empowerment. GDA Speakers has extremely inspiring adversity speakers in topics such as domestic violence, bullying, childhood trauma, and loss.
Kristina Wandzilak and Constance Curry
Authors of "The Lost Years"
Kristina and Constance are the authors of The Lost Years; Surviving and Mothers and Daughters worst nightmare. The Lost Years is a brutally honest and gritty story of Kristina’s dramatic decent into addiction and her mother’s desperate attempt to save her.
Motivational Speaker, Former Major League Baseball Pitcher
The Major League Baseball pitcher who was born with only one hand, Jim Abbott shares with audiences the keys to adapting, persevering and removing obstacles to success.
New York Times Best-Selling Author and World Champion Adventure Racer
Robyn Benincasa is the founder of World Class Teams, a world champion adventure racer, a CNN Hero, former corporate sales expert and a full time firefighter who advises organizations on building World Class Teams of their own.
Motivational Speaker & Former NFL Wide Receiver
JJ Birden helps individuals seize their opportunities in life. JJ was not the biggest, strongest, or fastest guy on the field, but he knew how to seize his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and maximize his success through dedication and hard work.
Leadership and Change Management Expert
Eric's message is all about changing and making a difference. He talks about the concepts and strategies that has seen work in his training and coaching assignments. They are not just theories or nice ideas.
The Sensei Leader..helping people become better LEADERS...and leaders become better PEOPLE!
Transformed from a loser to a leader––from a drug abuser to a Black Belt, and later to Sensei, author and international leadership speaker.
Jim helps people become better LEADERS...and leaders become better PEOPLE!
Founder, President, and CEO of The Leadership & Learning Institute
As a recognized Master Teacher, business leader, educational/clinical psychologist, anthropologist and motivational speaker, his outrageous and energetic outlook will captivate you the minute he walks onto stage.
World's Leading Customer Service Speaker
David Brownlee is the founder and CEO of Pure Customer Service and the number one, best-selling author of Rockstar Service, Rockstar Profits. After being kidnapped at gunpoint, stabbed and released, David has taken his second chance at life and dedicated it to helping others achieve their goals and dreams.
YouTuber and Spokesperson
Molly openly shares her experiences of bullying, overcoming adversity and embracing diversity, connecting with her audiences at a very personal, emotional, and relatable level. She believes that we all have the strength within us to survive any challenge, and learn how to thrive from those struggles.
Inspirational and Motivational Speaker
Scott Burrows’ unforgettable story of turning a paralyzing setback into a powerful comeback through a clear Vision, a determined Mindset and unstoppable Grit inspires audiences to overcome challenges and put goals into action.
Leading with Grace and Authenticity in Uncertain Times.
Amber brings a refreshing and unique global perspective to the journey of authentic and inspired leadership. A gifted storyteller, successful global entrepreneur and a refugee from Uganda during the tyrannical reign of Idi Amin, she mesmerizes her audiences with personal leadership stories of courage, resilience, grace and determination.
One of First Women Agents in the United States Secret Service
Kathryn Childers was one of the first five women hired into the Secret Service in 1970 protecting Presidents, dignitaries, as well as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and her children. Journalist, philanthropist, and author/publisher followed. Through it all, she became an expert at doing it scared ... and shares that courageous journey.
David L. Cook, PhD
Top Sports Psychology, Consultant, and Best-Selling Author on the Mental Advantage.
Dr. David L. Cook, top sport and performance psychology expert, best selling author, and award winning film producer. Dr. Cook served as the mental training coach for the San Antonio Spurs for eight years that included their two World Championships.
Childhood Cancer Survivor and Author
He has defied the odds of not only life-threatening cancer as a baby but was the only survivor of a horrific drug trial. He continues the battle to this very day and spending nearly a quarter of his life in hospital, he is a true fighter.
Inspiring Mom: Lost Both Legs Saving Children From Tornado, Founder of the Stephanie Decker Foundation
Stephanie Decker is the inspiring mother who lost both legs saving her children during a tornado. She also founded the Stephanie Decker Foundation which helps children with missing limbs take part in sports camps.
Magician Motivational & Keynote Speaker NFL Player
Jon shares his inspiring story from losing his parents at the age of 12, working through the foster system to making it to the NFL Pro Bowl. It's an amazing story of overcoming adversity, heart, and perseverance.
Amelia Rose Earhart
Around the World Pilot, TV Personality, President of Fly With Amelia Foundation
Single-Engine Aircraft Pilot Who Flew Around the World, President of Fly With Amelia Foundation, Namesake of the Original Amelia Mary Earhart
Fashion Designer and Philanthropist
Abi Ferrin has a passion for empowering women and has been doing so through her eponymous clothing line for 14 years. As a fashion designer, she has had a perfect platform to inspire women, and as a philanthropist she created her company to support women while dressing them.
Captain Chad Fleming
Retired U.S. Army Captain, Highly Decorated War Hero, Amputee
Captain Fleming has been deployed overseas six times with the U.S. Army’s elite 75th Ranger Regiment in support of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. During his TEN deployments overseas Captain Fleming has been wounded in combat on THREE separate occasions (Gun shot wounds and hand grenades).
Actor & Son of President Gerald Ford
Steve Ford shares a broad range of inspirational stories, including how the family dealt with Betty Ford's battles with alcoholism and breast cancer, his own successful fight in overcoming alcoholism, and the Nixon Pardon.
Two-Time Heavyweight Champion Boxer & Entrepreneur
He's one of the most recognizable faces in the world. A world heavyweight champion. The force behind one of the biggest and most successful brands. A trans-formative personality who has been knocked down, but not out, only to rise again in his life. He's George Foreman.
Author, Trainer, Consultant, Advancing Women
Co-author of Her Place at the Table and Nice Girls Just Don’t Get It, Carol Frohlinger is an internationally known speaker on the ways women can negotiate with authenticity to achieve their maximum personal and professional potential.
Inspiration for the Film, The Pursuit of Happyness
Chris is an inspirational speaker addressing the keys to overcoming obstacles and breaking cycles. Gardner is a passionate philanthropist whose work has been recognized by many esteemed organizations. Chris' amazing life story was published as an autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, later followed by a film of the same name.
Overcoming Adversity Keynote Speaker and Leadership Coach
Dima draws from 18 years of global corporate experience and the harrowing trials of her journey to establish her unique and empowering consulting company. Dima embraces future leaders, the rebels, and anyone who is ready to shatter limitations, reach their full potential, and become a part of a community for change.
The Power to Survive, Inspiration for the Movie 'Jungle'
Yossi Ghinsberg - Bringing Amazon survival skills to business. Yossi ignites the human spirit to overcome rising challenges, breathing new perspectives into individuals and organizations worldwide. Yossi is a master story teller.
Speaker, Author, Entrepreneur
Anne has a master’s degree in organizational communication and has spent the last twenty years working with some of the largest organizations around the globe.
She has become known as a leading expert on communication, leadership, emotional intelligence, and resilience, contributing to Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Fast Company and more.
Educator and Founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation
Erin Gruwell is a teacher, an author, and the founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation. By fostering an educational philosophy that values and promotes diversity, Erin transformed her students’ lives.
Founder of Wine To Water & One of the Top 10 CNN 2009 Heroes
The W|W story and a Filter Build provide a tangible experience at corporate events for participants to connect to the world water crisis, make a significant impact, and be part of the solution.
Retired Astronaut & Business Man
Jose Hernandez's talk is an effective motivational talk where individuals leave so inspired, they re-evaluate and upgrade their personal and professional goals in life. He shares a simple yet effective recipe that serves as an effective tool in the empowerment process.
Father-Son Duo and a Marathon Tradition
Dick travels the country doing corporate and community presentations, educating the public about disability awareness and promoting the Team Hoyt motto, “Yes You Can”. Through his presentation, Dick shares his lifelong commitment to changing attitudes and educating others on the world of disabilities.
Charlie Rocket Jabaley
Influencer, Hip-Hop Mogul, Motivational Speaker, Athlete and Dreamer
Charlie Rocket inspires those around him. He’s lost 135 pounds. Became vegan. Ran 3 marathons. Reversed the growth of his brain tumor. Became an Ironman. Recently finished his nationally-known Dream Machine bike tour across America. Is currently on the cover of Runner’s World and secured partnership with Nike.
"Roar as One" Founder Social Innovator on Resilience, Change, Adversity and Triumph–Speaker for Women's Empowerment
Shari specializes in helping people transform their lives to feel happier, inspired, listened to, respected and understood. You will experience profound results. Devloped a campaign, #Menwithyoutoo - #MeToo Campaign is not slowing down anytime soon. Time for good men to stand with your wives, sisters, daughters, co-Wworkers, and friends
Bosnian Genocide Survivor, Mental Health Advocate, Successful Entrepreneur, TEDx Presenter, Certified Amputee Peer Counselor.
Maja Kazazic’s life changed forever. In the summer of 1993, two years into the Bosnian War – a genocide that killed 250,000 people and injured millions – a rocket propelled grenade exploded in her courtyard destroying her home and killing five of her friends.
Speaker on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
Her NYT bestseller, If I Am Missing or Dead, is a heart-wrenching journey tracing the roots of her own and her sister's victimization. Both a call to break the cycle of abuse and a love letter to her sister, it is an unforgettable read and she is an unforgettable speaker.
Interactive Project Artist, Neon Artist - Combining Salvaged Material of the Past.
Ben Livingston is internationally known as a neon/light sculptor. His current work called "Spirit Houses or Ghost Memory" is traveling exhibit designed to convert the static nature of any museum or art center into a spirit house made of reinterpreted materials from that community’s dynamic past combined with neon.
Former Anchor - CNN Headline News, Emcee and Host, Cancer Survivor
Bob Losure is a CNN Headline News anchor and author of Five Seconds to Air: Broadcast Journalism Behind The Scenes. Losure shares his life story with great fun and panache as he chronicles his Oklahoma roots.
First Woman Thunderbird Pilot, Combat Veteran, Fighter Squadron Commander, White House Fellow & Adviser
Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.) was a jet fighter pilot, but her story is much more than that. The combat veteran and first-ever female Thunderbird pilot lost her distinguished 21-year career to devastating tick-borne illnesses. Nicole’s inspiring story of overcoming the odds inspires audiences to rethink their challenges and prevail
Astronaut, Columbia Professor, Author, Media Personality
An astronaut, the first person to tweet from space, a recurring character on The Big Bang Theory, and a New York Times bestselling author, Mike is currently a Columbia University professor, an Intrepid Museum advisor, a television host, and frequent guest on morning shows, news programs, and late night television.
Inspirational Athlete, Entrepreneur & Author of No Excuses
Despite being born with arms end at the elbows and legs near the knees, Kyle wrestled for one of the best teams in the Southeast, set records in weightlifting, fought in mixed martial arts, and became the first man to crawl on his own to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Scarred for Life Artist and Patient Advocate
Ted Meyer is a nationally recognized artist, curator and patient advocate who helps patients, students and medical professionals see the positive in the worst life can offer. Born with Gaucher Disease, Ted’s personal experience with the disease served as his artistic motivation.
World Champion Athlete, Coach, Bestselling Author
Dan Millman, former world champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor, has written 16 books published in 29 languages, including Way of the Peaceful Warrior, adapted to film in 2007. Dan speaks worldwide to leaders in business, sports, health, psychology, education, entertainment, and the arts.
Leslie Morgan Steiner
NYT Best-Selling Author, Columnist for The Washington Post, Corporate Executive, Domestic Violence Survivor
Leslie Morgan Steiner is a master of engaging men and women in today's most important women's leadership issues -- parenthood, relationships, and work/family balance.
Jim Morris, The Rookie
The Inspiration for the Movie “The Rookie”
Jim Morris is the subject of Disney's film "The Rookie." He's the science teacher/coach who made a bet with his baseball team; if they won district he would try out for an MLB team. They did, he did and made it to the major leagues in three months!
Mildred D Muhammad
Award-Winning Global Keynote Speaker, Domestic Abuse Survivor, Author, Advocate
Mildred speaks on a national & international platform to discuss her life of terror, abuse and heartache, as the ex-wife of the DC Sniper, all while promoting Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention.
Groundbreaking Athlete, Fashion Icon, Actor, TED All-Star, and Design Innovator
Aimée Mullins revels in the continuous exploration of what is possible—both for herself and those whose lives she touches. Aimée has developed her own unique formula for creating the “invented life,” fashioned from her undeniably unique combination of life experiences.
Inspirational Speaker and Bestselling Author, Breaking Night
Liz Murray’s life is a triumph over adversity, and a stunning example of the importance of Dreaming Big. As the child of cocaine-addicted parents, was filled with severe challenges. Formerly homeless, Liz Murray transformed her life of despair into an inspiring journey of determination, hope and hard-won success.
Prisoner Turned Philanthropist
Andre’s mission is simple – to motivate others to make a change. Through sharing his life experiences, Andre’s goal is to empower those with a desire to make a change. Andre can be your guide to create the steps for putting your life on the path you seek.
An American Hero and Survivor
Scott O’Grady is a former United States Air Force Captain and Air Force fighter pilot who gained prominence after the June 2, 1995 Mrkonjic Grad incident, in which he ejected over Bosnia when his F-16C was shot down by a Bosnian Serb SA-6 while he was patrolling the no-fly zone.
Author of best-selling book, On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life
In 1987, John was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, he created a massive explosion in his garage and was burned on 100% of his body. John was given one percent chance to survive.
Speaker | Author | Producer | Humanitarian
Justin, born into a world-renowned musical family with a 90% hearing loss has the unique ability to capture and captivate his audience with stories calling on reserves of courage, determination and self-belief in order to succeed and sometimes to simply survive.
Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray
Push Inc. Founders
Push Inc. founders, Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray, guide organizations and individuals toward their full potential through the power of relationships. Overcoming life's challenges requires acknowledging our weaknesses, inviting others into our story, and embracing the fact that we cannot do it all on our own.
Olympic Gold Medalist
A true expert on success, fulfillment, overcoming setbacks, facing fear and taking risks, Carly has inspired thousands of people by sharing her unique story of dedication and hard work. Carly shares in her keynotes how she redefined success through three principles she learned as a championship-level gymnast, and in the tumultuous years that followed.
Kyle and Brent Pease
Ironman Champion Triathletes
Diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy as a child, Kyle Pease had grown up supporting his athlete brothers Brent and Evan from the sidelines. While his condition limited his ability to play sports, it didn't dampen Kyle's passion for them, nor did it stop them from including Kyle in everything.
Marlon went from facing life in prison at 19-years old to being one of the preeminent voices in social and criminal justice. Just seven years since his release, he was named one of America's 100 most influential and inspiring leaders in the Black community by Ebony Magazine.
World Blind Golf Champion
Jeremy advises organizations on making key shifts with overcoming adversity. Jeremy inspires audiences all over the country, spreading his story of overcoming adversity and encouraging others to gain perspective in their own lives. Through losing his eyesight, Jeremy learned the importance of interdependence.
Explorer, Innovator, & Collaboration Catalyst
Mark helps people achieve more than they thought possible. It is tough to deliver world class performance. Your people won’t do it by chance. With a high-impact catalyst you can help them act with the courage to make it happen. Mark Pollock is that catalyst.
Fitness Expert & Trainer for Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition
Chris Powell, of ”Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition,” exploded onto the fitness, becoming a pioneer for a new hybrid of fitness professionals. “I have devoted my being to developing innovative lifestyles and tools to enrich the lives of others–and each life changed has been a remarkable gift.”
CNN Hero; Social Entrepreneur
Chad Pregracke embodies how one person can make a difference. Since the age 17, Chad has lead a movement for cleaner water through hard work and by mobilizing thousands of volunteers and corporations to join his cause. His presentation style is authentic, humorous, spontaneous, and inspires people to take action!
Survivor, Paralympic Medalist, NY Times Best Selling Author, Dancer
Featured TEDx speaker, survivor, World Class snowboarder, Best-selling author, Dancing With The Stars Finalist, Toured with Oprah, Superbowl Commercial, Founder of Adaptive Action Sports
Netflix Co-Founder, Executive Mentor, and Angel Investor.
Founder of Netflix. An inspiring and experienced speaker. Draws from nearly 4 decade as an entrepreneur, in order to inspire and entertain audiences ranging from Fortune 500 CEOs to students. Focuses on Innovation, Creativity, Disruption, and Entrepreneurship.
Leadership & Accountability Catalyst: Acclaimed Speaker and Author of Lead Yourself First!
A former media executive and highly sought-after business speaker, Michelle Ray brings three valuable benefits to every presentation: a) achieve higher engagement and accountability b) readily embrace new realities at work, in business and in life c) practical and actionable new strategies to manage change and uncertainty in your organization.
The Funny Rocket Scientist
Shayla Rivera is a former NASA Rocket Scientist turned Keynote Speaker, Stand-up Comedian and awareness expert with many Television credits. She inspires people from elementary school children to executives in major corporations by sharing what she has learned about awareness and taking risks. She travels worldwide entertaining our troops.
America's Leading Expert on Dealing With Change
Dr. Michelle Rozen has a passion for change, management and motivation. For years, Michelle felt neither passionate nor motivated as she was stuck with a job she hated. Today, she travels the world and helps people, teams and organizations thrive through change and find purpose again – professionally and personally.
Critically acclaimed author, songwriter, and singer
Laurie Rubin, blind mezzo-soprano and author provides audiences with a "transformative experience" in which she encourages people to dig deep to realize their dreams through life stories and music.
Author, Attorney, and Domestic Violence Survivor and Advocate
Joshua Safran is a critically-acclaimed author, Sundance/Oprah Winfrey Network film subject, and nationally recognized advocate for domestic violence survivors and the wrongfully imprisoned. He’s a comedic, yet powerful speaker, drawing on his experiences growing up on the dark side of "utopia" and his work as a ground-breaking attorney.
Captivating Keynote Speaker Inspires People to Produce Extraordinary Results
"What It Takes To Be Extraordinary" Eric's keynote address talks about his journey cold-calling the most powerful people in the world and taking them out for coffee. His presentation explores the common traits, motivating factors and core beliefs which enable everyday people to produce extraordinary lives.
Athlete | Change Management and Leadership Expert | Author
Sébastien Sasseville empowers leaders to lead with purpose and inspires organizations to embrace change. An endurance athlete, his extraordinary accomplishments include summiting Mount Everest, completing the mythical Sahara race, and running across Canada are made even more impressive by the fact that he lives with Type 1 Diabetes.
If You Can't Stand Up, Stand Out
When Mike Schlappi takes the floor, a dazzling smile greets you. Then, you notice the wheelchair. Mike is defined by what he can do, instead of what he cannot do. Following a tragic accident, Mike has proven that just because “you can’t stand up, doesn’t mean you can’t stand out”!
A Broken Body isn't A Broken Person
Deepak Chopra calls Janine a Change Agent. Maria Shriver calls her an "Architect of Change." Her spellbinding, inspirational keynote blends the talent of a consummate storyteller with a message of resilience, defiance, acceptance and human potential.
Abduction Survivor & Founder of Elizabeth Smart Foundation
The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Elizabeth’s example and life now is a daily demonstration that there really is life after a tragic event.
U.S. Paralympic Athlete; Retired U.S. Navy Officer
Brad is blind. As a part of his rehabilitation process Brad returned to the pool, and after a few months of training earned a spot on the US Paralympic National Team for swimming. At the 2012 Paralympics, he competed in seven events, earning two Gold medals and one Silver medal.
Dr. Natalie Stavas
Harvard Doctor, Boston Marathon Hero, Mentor, Runner, International Humanitarian, Speaker
Attending physician at Boston Children’s Hospital and an instructor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School; Marathoner whose heroic acts saved multiple lives in the Boston Marathon bombing; Named 2013 Bostonian of the Year; Featured in Runners World, The New York Times, LA Times, The Boston Globe
Co-Author, Devil Came on Horseback, and Founder of Global Grassroots
Gretchen is a producer of the documentary film and co-author of the memoir, "The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur". She is the founder of Global Grassroots where she is pioneering work using mindfulness to advance social innovation for Africa's most vulnerable women.
Blind Entertainer, Author, Athlete, Actor & Producer
Tom Sullivan lives and works by “Sullivan’s Rules.” Invented by his dad, Porky Sullivan, so young Tommy could play baseball with the neighborhood kids, “the rules” became the cornerstone by which the adult Tom came to live his life.
First Cancer Survivor to Summit Everest, Author, Performance Coach Adventurer, World Record Holder
With only one functioning lung, a prognosis of fourteen days to live, and being in a medically-induced coma for a year, Sean Swarner is the first cancer survivor to stand on top of Mt. Everest. Sean has broken through defined human limitation to redefine the way the world views success.
Foster Child, Former NFL Player, American Ninja Warrior, Entrepreneur, and Motivational Speaker
You have a VAST amount of potential inside of you but you'll never reach it until you close your identity gap by making an identity shift so you can Make "Shift" Happen.
Rocky (Rock-T) Turner
Author, Speaker, Radio-TV Personality, Former Professional Baseball Player
Professional baseball player turned DJ and radio personality, Rock-T aka Rocky Turner, has a heart to motivate people to stop making excuses and get it done.
Motivational Artist, The Warhol of Wall Street
Erik is one of the most sought after speakers on the corporate lecture circuit on creativity and innovation. His keynote has been described as an "epic audience experience"He speaks over 100 times a year and his sought after graffiti artwork has raised millions of dollars for charity.
Lt. Col. Rob "Waldo" Waldman
New York Times Bestselling Author, Hall of Fame Speaker
Waldo Waldman is a combat decorated fighter pilot, executive coach, and the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Never Fly Solo. He helps organizations build collaborative cultures of trust, courage and commitment in order to adapt to change, break performance barriers, and overcome adversity.
Basketball Legend, Broadcaster, Humanitarian, and Survivor
Basketball legend Bill Walton is a beloved sports celebrity. A UCLA college star and champion with Boston’s Celtics and Portland’s Trailblazers, Bill is now an ESPN broadcaster. Bill inspires audiences with lessons from his success on the court and overcoming health challenges that cut short his brilliant career
Co-founder and President of Full Circle Intervention
Kristina Wandzilak, CAS, BRI-II, co-founder, has been a leader in the addictions industry since 1995. Kristina is highly respected and renowned for her compassionate and effective work.
Inspirational New York Times Bestselling Author & Award-Winning Musician
Jimmy Wayne is a former foster kid turned country music singer/songwriter whose songs and story highlight his mission to bring awareness to kids who age out of the foster system and become homeless.
Mark Whitacre, Ph.D.
When Good Leaders Lose Their Way
Mark Whitacre is an Ivy League Ph.D. and the highest-ranked executive of any Fortune 500 company to become a whistleblower in US history, and is responsible for uncovering the ADM price-fixing scandal in the early 1990's. His message will greatly impact you about doing the "right thing".