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 Featured
Mother-Daughter Duo; Addiction Recovery Specialists; 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 descent into addiction and her mother’s desperate attempt to save her.
Jim Abbott Featured
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.
Kim Becking Featured
Empowering Leaders, Teams and Organizations to Conquer Change, Boost Resilience and Build UNSTOPPABLE MOMENTUM No Matter What
Kim delivers the WOW as an EXPERIENCE maker and MOMENTUM creator. Inspiring. Engaging. Authentic. Laugh-out-loud funny. Highly entertaining. With a rare ability to connect at a deeper level with audiences and provide MOMENTUM for accelerated results.
Robyn Benincasa Featured
Leadership and Teamwork Expert; Full-time Firefighter; Adventure Racing World Champion
Robyn Benincasa is an Adventure Racing World Champion, CNN Hero, founder of Project Athena, and author of the bestselling teamwork and leadership book, How Winning Works. Her entertaining keynotes show audiences the foundations of inspired leadership and how to win as a team.
Joan Brock Featured
Author of More Than Meets the Eye
Joan shares her inspiring story of the sudden loss of her sight then the loss of her husband to cancer. Joan will captivate your audience while sharing the importance of making positive and productive choices in this world of change and challenge.
Kathryn Childers Featured
Women's History Trailblazer: One of First Five Women Special Agents in United States Secret Service
Kathryn Childers was one of the first five women hired into the Secret Service in 1971 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 being scared fearless and shares that courageous journey.
Amelia Rose Earhart Featured
Around the World Pilot; Podcast Host; Artist; 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
Steve Ford Featured
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.
Tom Hardin Featured
Corporate Trainer on Behavioral Ethics, Human Risk, Compliance, and Financial Crime
Riveting. Sobering. Entertaining. Through unforgettable storytelling, Tom shares his journey down the slippery slope into criminal activity as a young professional in a highly competitive industry and later key informant in the largest insider trading investigation of a generation. Attendees describe Tom's talk as "an edge of your seat experience."
Jason Harris Featured
No Fail Trust | Leadership & Trust | USAF Special Operations Pilot | USAF Academy Instructor
Jason Harris is a motivational speaker, consultant, and certified character coach who values dedication, service and excellence. As a decorated combat veteran, Jason brings unique perspectives gained from his battlefield experience to your organization, empowering you to unleash the untapped potential of your employees.
Inky Johnson Featured
Author/ Communicator/Former Collegiate Athlete and Adversity Overcomer
Inky Johnson is a survivor of a life-threatening injury from playing college football. Executives, sports teams, church members, and young people all benefit from the raw energy of his charismatic speaking. Whether the topic is leadership, teamwork, or perseverance, Inky inspires his audiences to embrace the challenges of life.
Trish Kendall Featured
Inspirational Speaker and Expert on Creating Belonging and Enduring Success: From the Pit of Despair to the Peak of Success
As a little girl, Trish’s ability to trust and love were destroyed by the person who daughters trust and love the most. Now, she is proof that true success—enduring success—is choosing, every day, to give all your love and to receive all the love that others give you.
Janine Latus Featured
Speaker on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
Her NYT bestseller, If I Am Missing or Dead, is both a love letter to her sister and a call to break the cycle of abuse. Her talks are built on their story, and full of practical action items that help listeners save lives -- maybe even their own.
Rex Lewis-Clack and Cathleen Lewis Featured
Inspirational Mother and Son Featured on 60 Minutes
Born blind, Rex Lewis-Clack was diagnosed with autism as a toddler, and then labeled a musical genius (piano) by the age of 7, when musicologists became astounded by Rex's ability to play back complex piano pieces he had heard only once.
Kyle Maynard Featured
Inspirational Athlete, Entrepreneur & Author of No Excuses
Despite being born with arms ending 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.
Leslie Morgan Steiner Featured
New York Times Best-Selling Author; Columnist for The Washington Post; Former 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.
Pauline Nguyen Featured
From Extreme Adversity to Success
Pauline is a best-selling author and award-winning businesswoman and her achievements are even more impressive for her having escaped Vietnam on a boat and survived a Thai refugee camp. She overcame by transforming her approach by re-engineering her beliefs, questioning the status quo and hacking cultural norms.
Andre Norman Featured
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.
John O'Leary Featured
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.
Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray Featured
I'll Push You — 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair
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.
Marlon Peterson Featured
Transformative & Inspirational
From facing life-in-prison at 19 to preeminent voice in social and criminal justice, Marlon Peterson is captivating. He is one of the few people to recieve a standing ovation from Chris Anderson, owner of TED TALKS.
Jeremy Poincenot Featured
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.
John Register Featured
U.S. Paralympian; U.S. Army Combat Veteran; Author
John won the Paralympic long jump silver medal just 6 years after having his left leg amputated. For over 20 years, John has been delivering powerful and impactful presentations that captivate, motivate and teach audiences techniques to overcome any challenge thereby creating a new normal in their own lives.
Mike Schlappi Featured
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”!
Elizabeth Smart Featured
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.
Robert Swan Featured
Renowned Polar Explorer; Leader in Sustainability
Robert is a polar pioneer and leader in energy innovation and works closely with many of the world’s leading organizations on their ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) practices. As the founder of the 2041 Foundation, Robert Swan has spent the last 30 years supporting the preservation of Antarctica.
Joe Theismann Featured
Super Bowl Champion Quarterback, Broadcaster and Entrepreneur
Losing his successful football career at 35 to a serious injury, Joe Theismann learned firsthand how to think, analyze and reinvent in the face of adversity and change.
Anthony Trucks Featured
Foster Child, Former NFL Player, American Ninja Warrior, Entrepreneur, and Motivational Speaker
Former Foster Child, NFL Player, Competitor on American Ninja Warrior, Author, Life Coach and Entrepreneur, Anthony says, 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.
Erik Wahl Featured
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.
Bill Walton Featured
Basketball Legend, Broadcaster, Humanitarian, and Survivor
Bill Walton may be the most colorful figure in sports. An ESPN broadcaster, Bill’s college and NBA championship teams are legendary. But chasing the dream took a nightmarish toll: 39 surgeries and spinal failure. Insightful, funny, and profound, Bill inspires with lessons about winning, losing, teamwork, and overcoming the odds.
Jimmy Wayne Featured
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.
Damon West Featured
Diversity & Inclusion Activist; Recovery Expert; Bestselling Author of The Coffee Bean
Damon West, M.S. Criminal Justice, is a motivational speaker and best-selling co-author (with motivational speaker Jon Gordon) of The Coffee Bean: A simple Lesson to Create Positive Change. His first book was, The Change Agent: How a Former College QB Sentenced to Life in Prison Transformed His World.
Mark Whitacre, Ph.D. Featured
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".
Former NFL Pro Turned Motivational Keynote Speaker
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.
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.
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.
Underpinning Good Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace
Clarke and Carrie have been delivering leading edge talks since 2010. By sharing their lived experience, they obliterate the stigma that surrounds adverse Mental Health issues, especially addressing them within the workplace.
Kerry Max Cook
A story of self-empowerment, hope, faith, determination, and never giving up
Kerry Cook is the best-selling author of "Chasing Justice," a facilitator & an expert teaching others overcoming intolerance, hate, and coping and adapting to challenging surroundings and circumstances.
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.
World's First & Only Armless Pilot, Black Belt, Scuba Diver, Cyclist, and DE&I Crusader
Jessica is best known for becoming the first armless pilot in aviation history. Her achievement earned her a Guinness World Record medal, invitations from six continents, and featured on tv programs like Ellen, Inside Edition, Fox and Friends, Oprah Winfrey Network, CNN, CBS Evening News, and the BBC.
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.
Gen Z Activist; Author; Empowerment Speaker; Thought Innovator
Born with an extremely rare form of dwarfism (metatropic dysplasia), Brandon Farbstein has turned his life experience of suffering and victimhood into empowerment and impact. He served as the driving force behind two new laws on bullying prevention and emotional intelligence being taught in all K-12 classrooms statewide.
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).
CEO & Co-Founder of Hustle Clean, NFL Pro Bowl Running Back
Undersized & overmatched 5’8” NFL Running Back, 7 teams in 9 years. Went from poverty to peak performance through hard work, grit, perseverance, hope.
Underdog Fan Favorite, ProBowl Player, #65 of 2015’s Top 100 players
Successful entrepreneur; Co-Founder of Hustle Clean featured in Target, Walmart, Kohl's.
Witty, humble, inspiring
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.
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 is a master storyteller with an epic story. Lost and alone in the midst of the Amazon rainforest for three weeks, he not only survived, he found new meaning for his life and work. He brings Amazon survival skills to business, igniting the human spirit to overcome rising challenges.
Mental Health Advocate
Dennis Gillan is on a mission to reverse the current trends in completed suicides & to seriously reduce the stigma associated with getting help for one's mental health. The audience loves his comeback story of surviving the loss of two brothers to suicide. You will be glad you heard him speak.
Lovern J. Gordon
President of Love Life Now Foundation and Author of The Legacy He Left Me
Lovern is the Founder of Love Life Now Foundation which promotes year-round awareness around abuse. She is a child witness of abuse and adult relationship she escaped. She has appeared on CBS This Morning and Boston Celtics recognized her as one of their 'Heroes Among Us'.
Olympic Champion and Cancer Survivor
Scott Hamilton is the living example that “good guys CAN finish first!!” He is an Olympic Champion, television broadcaster, philanthropist, motivational speaker, author, husband, father, cancer survivor, and eternal optimist.
Author, Experienced Presenter and Seasoned Performer
A multi-talented powerhouse: an author, experienced presenter and seasoned performer, Devin Henderson has logged thousands of performances as an award-winning comedian and magician, and in-demand keynote speaker over his nearly two decade professional career.
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. He also made the cover of Runner’s World and secured a 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
Author; Activist; Journalist
Amanda Marie Knox is an American author, activist, and journalist. She spent almost four years in an Italian prison following her wrongful conviction for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, a fellow exchange student with whom she shared an apartment in Perugia.
Turning Tragedy Into Triumph
Amberly’s life story of astounding resilience has inspired a revolutionary lesson she offers to the world. She brings unique strategies developed to teach others how to tap into their superpower of resilience and persevere through any challenge.
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.
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!
World's Top Public Philosophers and Pioneering Business Thinkers
Philosopher Tom Morris has become one of the most popular keynote speakers in our time on topics of success, motivation, leadership, and change management. He brings the wisdom of the ages to bear on all our most pressing contemporary challenges with deep thought, high energy, and surprisingly great humor.
Mildred D Muhammad
Award-Winning Global Keynote Speaker, Domestic Abuse Survivor, Advocate, #1 Amazon Bestselling Author
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.
Sasha Joseph Neulinger
Voice For The Kids, LLC
Sasha Joseph Neulinger is an Emmy Nominated, Critics' Choice Nominated filmmaker. Since Sasha's 2015 TED Talk, Sasha has presented over 100 keynote speeches around the world, motivating and inspiring millions of people, while helping to raise over $7 Million for the fight against child abuse.
Simple Disruption, Significant Results!
Disruption and Creativity are THE most in demand leadership skills. While most people just talk about disruption, Greg actually "DISRUPTS" the concept with a music infused keynote performance that has audiences screaming for an encore - literally.
Olympic Gold Medalist, Member of USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame
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.
Former Navy SEAL Officer, Author of Orange Wounded Warrior Sign at Bethesda Naval Hospital
Jason Redman joined the Navy on September 11, 1992 and spent eleven years as an enlisted SEAL. On September 13, 2007, outside of Fallujah, Iraq, Lieutenant Redman’s Assault Team came under heavy machine gun and small arms fire and he was severely wounded in the ensuing firefight.
New York Times Best Selling Author of Three Little Words
NYT & International Bestselling author of her memoir Three Little Words (2008), currently being made into a major motion picture; ran for the Florida State Senate, featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, Nancy Grace, ABC Primetime
Dr. Michelle Rozen
The Change Doctor
Dr. Michelle Rozen, PhD is a game-changing, revenue- building, performance-boosting change expert, keynote speaker, and highly respected authority on the psychology of change. She is an author, a Huffington Post contributor, and a frequent guest on media outlets such as NBC, ABC, FOX News, CNN and many more media outlets.
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.
Angela M. Sanchez
Formerly Homeless, Writer, Cartoonist, Magician, Education Advocate, First Generation Latino College Graduate
Angela M. Sanchez came of age in the Great Recession of the late 2000s and her writing is informed by her experiences. Namely, in 2007, when she was a junior in high school in Glendale, her father, a single parent, lost his job as an architectural draftsman.
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.
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.
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.
Laura Stack, MBA, CSP, CPAE
Performance, Execution, Time Management & Productivity Expert
Laura Stack gives speeches and seminars to help leaders increase team and personal productivity. For over 25 years, she’s worked with Fortune 1000 clients to improve output, increase speed in execution, and save time in the office.
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.
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.
Helping individuals and organizations achieve their Unimaginable Potential!
Mark’s experiential programs will be remembered for a lifetime. Whether you’re looking for a motivating keynote, thought-provoking workshop, or the most unique networking session, Mark will have your group leaning in and engaged. He works closely with planners to assure no detail is missed and to exceed all expectations.
President of Life without Limbs
Today, this limbless young man has accomplished more than most people accomplish in a lifetime. Nick Vujicic is the President and CEO of a non-profit organization, Life Without Limbs. He travels around the world, sharing his inspirational story with millions of people.
Lt. Col. Rob "Waldo" Waldman
Combat veteran, New York Times Bestselling Author, Hall of Fame Speaker
Waldo Waldman is a Hall of Fame Speaker, decorated fighter pilot, executive coach, and author of the New York Times & Wall Street Journal Bestseller Never Fly Solo. He helps organizations build collaborative cultures of trust, courage and resilience in order to adapt to change, break performance barriers, and overcome adversity.
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.