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As a child, David Rendall was told that he was a "very bad boy on the edge of too far gone" because he couldn't sit still, be quiet, and do what he was told. Years later he used those so-called "negative traits" to his favor and became one of the world's most memorable and entertaining keynote speakers on the topics of leadership and management.

Author of the best-selling book The Freak Factor, Rendall specializes in helping executives, entrepreneurs, and general audiences unlock potential in themselves and others by concentrating on what makes them unique. Unlike other thought leaders, Rendall focuses on finding and developing the hidden strengths in characteristics that may have been labeled by others as "problematic." He prompts audiences to reflect on what it means to "be yourself" as he demonstrates just how often we cave into the pressure to conform, leading us to pursue mediocrity rather than flaunting our rarities - which may just be our most valuable assets.

Rendall's clients have come from numerous industries and include Ralph Lauren, State Farm, the Australian Government, Microsoft, and the U.S. Air Force. He has spoken on every inhabited continent and was a professor of management prior to starting his own firm, the Freak Factory. He holds a PhD in Organizational Leadership, a Masters in Couseling Psychology, and is a former stand-up comedian.

Full Profile

During the last fifteen years, David Rendall has spoken to audiences on every inhabited continent. His clients include the US Air Force and the Australian Government, as well as companies in the Fortune 500 including, Microsoft, AT&T, State Farm Insurance and Ralph Lauren.

In between presentations, he competes in ultramarathons and Ironman triathlons.

Prior to becoming a speaker, he was a management professor and stand-up comedian. He also managed nonprofit enterprises that provided employment for people with disabilities. He has more than twenty years of experience leading people and organizations.

David has a doctor of management degree in organizational leadership, as well as a graduate degree in psychology. He is the author of three books:

  • The Four Factors of Effective Leadership
  • The Freak Factor
  • The Freak Factor for Kids

  • David Rendall Speaker Videos Back to top

    David Rendall, Leadership and Management Speaker: Fortune Growth Summit


    David Rendall explores the "love/hate relationship" society has with those who march to the beat of their own drum. The author of the best-selling book The Freak Factor reveals time how you can think differently, act differently, and ultimately respond to the inevitable pressure you will face from others to conform.

    While we may celebrate and promote being unique in words, Rendall shows that in practice we often seek to "change" mavericks or even destroy them. "Gandi was a maverick. We killed him. Martin Luther King Jr. was a maverick. We killed him," he points out before adding names like Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, and John F. Kennedy to the list. He goes on to share that many successful people were labeled as "bad" or "problematic" in their childhood due to their differences - differences that proved to strengths in retrospect rather than weaknesses.

    As a student, Rendall was deemed "a very bad boy" because he could not sit down, be quiet, and do what he was told - three abilities his teachers and principal framed as the building blocks of success. Decades later he has built his career on three things. "I get paid to stand up, not to sit down," he says. "I get paid to talk, not to be quiet. And I get paid to run my own business, not do what other people tell me to do."

    David Rendall, Leadership and Management Speaker: Keynote


    David Rendall, Leadership and Management Speaker: Interview



    Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


    Management and leadership keynote speaker, David Rendall challenges audiences to reevaluate the way we approach our so-called "weaknesses." The author of the best-selling book The Freak Factor shows how we can unlock potential in ourselves and others by embracing our differences rather than trying to "fix them." You will leave with a thorough understanding of how you can work your way to "exceptional" by honing your differences, leveraging your uniqueness, and resisting the social pressure to conform.

    Funny for a Change: Using Humor to Create Serious Transformation
    Is your organization confronting major change? Is your industry experiencing significant challenges? Are you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated? Maybe you just need a good laugh.

    Making people laugh is very similar to helping people change. We can learn how to transform ourselves and our companies by understanding what it takes to be funny.

    Humor surprises people, pushes boundaries and tells the truth. Great comedy requires the right blend of timing, restraint, humility and emotion. Applying these same principles to change management will help you succeed during turbulent times.

    Dead Leaders: Lessons from the Lives and Violent Deaths of the World’s Most Influential People

    Do you want to become a great leader? What does it take to achieve greatness?

    When I ask audiences to identify the greatest leaders in the history of the world, a few names always make the list. After asking this question repeatedly over the years, I finally noticed something. The leaders, who were consistently rated as great, shared one thing in common.

    They had all been killed. They didn’t die natural deaths. They were either executed or assassinated. This led me to explore the lessons that we can learn from their example. During that journey, I discovered four leadership principles that have the power to transform your leadership and your legacy.

    The Freak Factor: Discovering Uniqueness by Flaunting Weakness
    What’s your problem? I’m serious. What do you wish you could change about yourself? What is the complaint that you hear the most from those closest to you, your friends, co-workers, and family members? Are you too loud or too quiet, too hyperactive or too sedentary, too organized or too messy? You get the idea.

    So, what should you do? Most people think that they should find and fix their weaknesses. Unfortunately, this just leads to frustration and failure. Your weaknesses are actually the best clue to your strengths.

    Furthermore, building your strengths, not fixing your weaknesses, is your best strategy for success. This presentation will encourage you to become more of who you are, not to turn you into someone else. It’s about becoming more different and more unique, not more average and more mediocre. You will learn how to:

  • Discover your distinctive strengths and weaknesses
  • Frame your unique characteristics in a positive way
  • Find situations that highlight your positive qualities
  • Maximize your self-control
  • Implement permanent procrastination

    The Freak Factory: Making People Better by Helping Them Get Worse
    Are you frustrated by disengaged and unproductive employees? Are you looking for better strategies for improving employee performance?

    Research shows that most people are not committed to their jobs and the way we currently manage employees does even more to harm, instead of help, their performance. We think our employees are broken, treat them like they are broken, and then wonder why they don’t work. Instead of attacking people’s weaknesses, we need to find the strength that is hidden inside their apparently negative characteristics. It is time to stop trying to create well-rounded and balanced employees. We need people that are unbalanced. We need freaks. This session will explore four essential strategies for improving employee engagement by turning our teams, departments or organizations into freak factories.



  • David Rendall Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    "Enlightening and highly engaging . . . ”
    Kent Lewis, President, Anvil Media

    "Enlightening . . . one of the highest rankings we have had. Polished delivery . . . informative while entertaining. Sense of humor and integration of real life examples made your concepts easy to follow. Refreshing and motivating. You created a fun and stimulating energy in the room.”
    Barry Raber, Learning Events Chairman, EO Portland

    “Dave Rendall has a radical prescription for chronic dissatisfaction: Stop working on your weaknesses and start amplifying them instead. The Freak Factor flips the cult of self-improvement on its head with stories of real people who have soared to success by embracing their uniqueness.”
    Daniel H. Pink, Author of Drive and A Whole New Mind




    * Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    "Enlightening and highly engaging . . . ”
    Kent Lewis, President, Anvil Media

    "Enlightening . . . one of the highest rankings we have had. Polished delivery . . . informative while entertaining. Sense of humor and integration of real life examples made your concepts easy to follow. Refreshing and motivating. You created a fun and stimulating energy in the room.”
    Barry Raber, Learning Events Chairman, EO Portland

    “Dave Rendall has a radical prescription for chronic dissatisfaction: Stop working on your weaknesses and start amplifying them instead. The Freak Factor flips the cult of self-improvement on its head with stories of real people who have soared to success by embracing their uniqueness.”
    Daniel H. Pink, Author of Drive and A Whole New Mind


    The Freak Factor: Discovering Uniqueness by Flaunting Weakness
    Unleash your inner freak... and discover your unique potential.

    Think of the thing that makes you strange―the weakness that you won’t admit during a job interview or performance evaluation. Well, have you ever thought that the foundation of your success might be found in that weakness? Are you embracing your inner freak, or are you hiding it in order to conform and maintain the status quo? David Rendall believes that amplifying your weaknesses is crucial for your success, and he encourages you to do the same.

    In The Freak Factor, David argues that what makes you weird also makes you exceptional and what makes you weak also makes you strong.

    Embrace your freak factor, and discover:

  • Greater personal happiness, fulfillment, and energy
  • More meaningful relationships with family and friends
  • Increased employee engagement and productivity
  • Better business strategy and marketing

    Your greatest weakness is also your greatest strength. Find out how maximizing your freak factor can transform your life, work, and relationships.


    The Four Factors of Effective Leadership
    This book combines the wisdom of ancient philosophers, successful executives and leadership gurus into a clear roadmap for leadership success. Using stories of famous leaders and infamous failures, the author illustrates the importance of the four factors: Influence, Integrity, Inspiration, and Improvement. These factors are contrasted with the pitfalls of ineffective leadership: Power, Position, Popularity, and Personality.

  • Funny for a Change: Using Humor to Create Serious Transformation
    Is your organization confronting major change? Is your industry experiencing significant challenges? Are you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated? Maybe you just need a good laugh.

    Making people laugh is very similar to helping people change. We can learn how to transform ourselves and our companies by understanding what it takes to be funny.

    Humor surprises people, pushes boundaries and tells the truth. Great comedy requires the right blend of timing, restraint, humility and emotion. Applying these same principles to change management will help you succeed during turbulent times.

    Dead Leaders: Lessons from the Lives and Violent Deaths of the World’s Most Influential People

    Do you want to become a great leader? What does it take to achieve greatness?

    When I ask audiences to identify the greatest leaders in the history of the world, a few names always make the list. After asking this question repeatedly over the years, I finally noticed something. The leaders, who were consistently rated as great, shared one thing in common.

    They had all been killed. They didn’t die natural deaths. They were either executed or assassinated. This led me to explore the lessons that we can learn from their example. During that journey, I discovered four leadership principles that have the power to transform your leadership and your legacy.

    The Freak Factor: Discovering Uniqueness by Flaunting Weakness
    What’s your problem? I’m serious. What do you wish you could change about yourself? What is the complaint that you hear the most from those closest to you, your friends, co-workers, and family members? Are you too loud or too quiet, too hyperactive or too sedentary, too organized or too messy? You get the idea.

    So, what should you do? Most people think that they should find and fix their weaknesses. Unfortunately, this just leads to frustration and failure. Your weaknesses are actually the best clue to your strengths.

    Furthermore, building your strengths, not fixing your weaknesses, is your best strategy for success. This presentation will encourage you to become more of who you are, not to turn you into someone else. It’s about becoming more different and more unique, not more average and more mediocre. You will learn how to:

  • Discover your distinctive strengths and weaknesses
  • Frame your unique characteristics in a positive way
  • Find situations that highlight your positive qualities
  • Maximize your self-control
  • Implement permanent procrastination

    The Freak Factory: Making People Better by Helping Them Get Worse
    Are you frustrated by disengaged and unproductive employees? Are you looking for better strategies for improving employee performance?

    Research shows that most people are not committed to their jobs and the way we currently manage employees does even more to harm, instead of help, their performance. We think our employees are broken, treat them like they are broken, and then wonder why they don’t work. Instead of attacking people’s weaknesses, we need to find the strength that is hidden inside their apparently negative characteristics. It is time to stop trying to create well-rounded and balanced employees. We need people that are unbalanced. We need freaks. This session will explore four essential strategies for improving employee engagement by turning our teams, departments or organizations into freak factories.


  • David Rendall, Leadership and Management Speaker: Fortune Growth Summit


    David Rendall explores the "love/hate relationship" society has with those who march to the beat of their own drum. The author of the best-selling book The Freak Factor reveals time how you can think differently, act differently, and ultimately respond to the inevitable pressure you will face from others to conform.

    While we may celebrate and promote being unique in words, Rendall shows that in practice we often seek to "change" mavericks or even destroy them. "Gandi was a maverick. We killed him. Martin Luther King Jr. was a maverick. We killed him," he points out before adding names like Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, and John F. Kennedy to the list. He goes on to share that many successful people were labeled as "bad" or "problematic" in their childhood due to their differences - differences that proved to strengths in retrospect rather than weaknesses.

    As a student, Rendall was deemed "a very bad boy" because he could not sit down, be quiet, and do what he was told - three abilities his teachers and principal framed as the building blocks of success. Decades later he has built his career on three things. "I get paid to stand up, not to sit down," he says. "I get paid to talk, not to be quiet. And I get paid to run my own business, not do what other people tell me to do."

    David Rendall, Leadership and Management Speaker: Keynote


    David Rendall, Leadership and Management Speaker: Interview