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Dr. Todd Dewett is one of the world's most exciting and original voices in the leadership and life skills space. He is consistently the #1 most viewed author at Lynda.com/LinkedIN, where millions of people seek his expert advice on how to hone their communication skills and build better relationships. A top-rated speaker by Inc.com, he has transformed thousands of audiences globally through inspiring them and giving them accessible takeaways to make stronger better teams.

Early on in his career at Andersen Consulting and Ernst & Young, Todd realized from his nationwide meetings with clients, that multitudes of people were discontent with their work. He discovered that he really wanted to help people figure out how to find more purpose and happiness in their professional lives. He went back to school to earn a PhD in management and served for ten years as a decorated professor, before his reputation as an electrifying and knowledgable communicator led to a full time career as an in-demand speaker and writer.

Todd is the author of the thought-provoking book SHOW YOUR INK: Stories about Leadership and Life as well as The Little Black Book of Leadership. He speaks to between 70 and 80 audiences per year from a wide range of organizations including Fortune 500s, a host of business associations, smaller organizations, and government agencies.

Full Profile

Performer. Thought Leader. Catalyst. #1 Worldwide Best-selling Author at Lynda.com/LinkedIn, Inc.’s Top 100 Leadership Speaker

As a consultant, Todd held positions at Andersen Consulting and Ernst &
Young. His consulting experience provided a vital career-changing insight:
most professionals are not fully engaged and do not feel their work matters.
In response, Todd decided to rededicate his life to the study of leadership
and success in life in an effort to help people better experience happiness
and a genuine sense of purpose.

The next step was the PhD program in Management at the Mays Business
School, Department of Management, at Texas A&M University where Todd
quickly earned awards for both research and teaching. His hard work
resulted in scholarly publications, a prestigious Post Doctoral Fellowship,
and, finally, a PhD and a tenure track appointment to the business school
at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

As a professor at Wright State, Todd’s teaching focused solely on
leadership-related courses in Wright State’s nationally ranked MBA
program. In three years he received tenure. In six years he became a Full
Professor. In year seven, he was appointed the Assistant Dean for MBA
and Executive Programs.

During his ten years as a professor, Todd received many teaching awards
including the prestigious designation as the Robert J. Kegerreis
Distinguished Professor of Teaching. It was in the classroom that he
ultimately discovered the power of stories, and his next calling in life:
professional speaking.

As an entrepreneur today, Todd wears many hats: speaker, author, advisor,
not to mention being the go-to leadership and life expert for millions of
members at Lynda.com, the world’s leader in online learning. Nonetheless,
his top love remains professional speaking. Todd possesses a rare
combination of traits for a speaker: world-class expertise, a rugged
authentic style, and an ability to use emotion and humor in a way that
changes people. At every event, people laugh, learn, and cry.

His insights have resulted in quotes in the New York Times, Forbes,
BusinessWeek, CNN, Investors Business Daily, MSNBC, Chicago Tribune,
Christian Science Monitor, US News and World Report, and hundreds of
additional outlets including foreign press and award winning blogs. His
electric performance as a speaker has secured recent clients including
Ernst & Young, Booz Allen Hamilton, State Farm, JM Smucker, Medtronic,
TGI Fridays, Standard Register, Cox Media, NCR, Sogeti, Emerson, and
scores of additional corporations, conferences, and nonprofits.

Todd Dewett ON Speaking Back to top


I want people to believe that more is possible – at work and in their lives in general.

SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn/take away from your presentations?

DEWETT: I want people to believe that more is possible – at work and in their lives in general. Sometimes I apply that message to great leadership, high performing teams, or success in life. In any event, it’s all about questioning your assumptions, realizing that most constraints are false, and thus realizing that more is always possible. This is the mindset that defines successful people in any area of life and it’s awesome fun sharing this simple reality with people around the world.

SPEAKING.COM: What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?

DEWETT: Many professional speakers engage extensive prep. Not me. At any given time I have twenty or more stories in my current inventory of material. I work quickly with the client – usually in only one or two brief phone calls – to ensure I understand their goals, the nature of the audience, and the big issues on their mind. This allows me to choose the right stories from my inventory and pepper them with just enough language to demonstrate that I understand the issues they face. Since my messages are universally applicable and people-related, I can easily tweak my presentations so that they directly address the audience’s situation.

Before a gig, in the hotel I will spend 10-15 minutes running through the sequence of stories and that’s it. I get on stage with no slides, look at the audience, and deliver.

SPEAKING.COM: Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements / unusual situations arise while on the road?

DEWETT: Memorable? Many! I once spoke live during the lunch hour of a Leadercast simulcast, the largest one-day leadership event in the world, so I had to compete with John Maxwell and many others – it was huge fun (and a huge success). Then there is the TEDx speech, speaking to the senior team of the world’s largest corporation (ExxonMobil), and many others.

The coolest thing, however, is less glamorous and more intrinsically fulfilling. It’s the cancer stories attendees share with me after hearing my presentation. One of my oldest stories, one I can’t seem to take out of rotation, concerns my father and something he taught me during his journey with cancer. When audience members come up to you after the show to share their personal cancer-related stories and to thank you for encouraging them to see glass half full with regard to their loss, the experience surpasses getting strong applause or even a standing ovation. It’s life changing.

In numerous ways, many of the people-related challenges we face are quite similar across different age groups.

SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

DEWETT: My favorite audiences are managerial (from front line to C suite) because they deeply understand how interesting, important, and yet difficult people can be! Having said that, my messages resonate exceptionally well with high school students through senior executives. In numerous ways, many of the people-related challenges we face are quite similar across different age groups; the key is whether or not you can understand your audience enough to fantastically deliver in a manner that speaks uniquely to them.

SPEAKING.COM: Which of your keynote speaking topics are your favorites and why?

DEWETT: My favorites are leadership, creativity, innovation, and change. These were the areas of interest that drove me to leave my role at Ernst & Young to become a social scientist. I wrote about them as a scholar and fell in love with creating engaging stories that would bring these topics to life for a larger audience.

Just consider aspects of leadership: communication, feedback, coaching, motivation, conflict, etc. These areas that I loved to study turned out to be areas that in practice are of huge importance to nearly any type of professional. Thus, as a speaker I get to help a wide array of professionals think more productively about core issues they face. It’s a serious privilege to make a living enjoying your work as much as I do.

Within just a few years of speaking professionally I had learned that a great communicator could have a genuine impact and that powerful lesson still drives me every day.

SPEAKING.COM: What inspired you to start doing speaking engagements?

DEWETT: I spent ten years in the classroom teaching leadership-related courses to graduate business students. After a few years, my phone started ringing. Former students began asking me to speak at various meetings and conferences. They helped me understand that while we don’t lack experts in nearly any area, we do lack great communicators.

As I started to study and grow, I watched the audience closely. The reactions were moving - laughter, intrigue, even tears all in the service of personal learning and improvement. Within just a few years of speaking professionally I had learned that a great communicator could have a genuine impact and that powerful lesson still drives me every day. I can’t wait for the next gig!

SPEAKING.COM: How do you keep your audience engaged and actively listening during your keynotes? Do you use case studies, personal stories and/or in your speeches?

DEWETT: I am a storyteller. I don’t use slides. I use mostly very personal stories, delivered in a highly authentic manner. Planners and audience members have told me that I combine deep strength, confidence, and competence with an approachable authenticity and casualness that helps people open up and care about the message. I’m a likeable expert, who is not afraid to make fun of myself to make a point, and people love that kind of honesty.

I’ve met or heard from hundreds of people who have changed roles, changed careers, gone back to school, or engaged some other life altering change because of hearing one single speech I delivered.

SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the successes you've helped clients achieve?

DEWETT: I’m thrilled to say there are many. There was the time I convinced a large manufacturing firm to put a moratorium on their bloated and universally hated employee evaluation system. They put a cross-functional team to work streamlining the system to make it fairer and less cumbersome. Employees were thrilled to see management listen so deeply.

Many times, I’ve been able to coach leaders to reconsider the personnel on their teams. Very often they are blinded by talent and forget that great chemistry always trumps talent. I am never out to help people lose their jobs, and yes, I am quick to talk about how we can help a person improve, course correct, and earn their spot on the team. However, ultimately, standards matter both for performance and interpersonal relationships: no jerks allowed, period.

Through modeling candor and encouraging tough conversations, I’ve pushed many teams to address the dead body in the room. It’s amazing how often we don’t address truly important issues. We fear change. We fear offending others. We fear failure. So, when I can act as a catalyst to push needed but difficult conversations, I’m happy.

I’ve met or heard from (thank you Internet!) hundreds of people who have changed roles, changed careers, gone back to school, or engaged some other life altering change because of hearing one single speech I delivered. It’s humbling and inspiring. Likely, the most moving note I have ever received is this one (this is the actual email):

    Dr. Dewett,

    Wednesday night as part of my leadership course I sat and listened to you speak. I had never heard about you before or knew anything about you (sorry). I drove to class not happy following a day of work.

    I was excited about the thought of having a guest speaker. No required readings – just sit and listen. I needed something to re-energize my spirit. I sat and listened, 100% engaged. After class I talked to you and told you, “I am a nurse and I need some emergency leadership skills!” You chuckled and I am not sure you believed me.

    Let me tell you what happened after I left that classroom. First of all, and most importantly, this 40-something woman (yes, me), had a re-energized spirit! I was happy! For this moment I was a “happy nurse” – a happy nurse who was coming to terms with the fact that I AM a nurse leader, like it or not. It is in me and I must be not only a happy nurse, but a “happy nurse leader” to guide the staff through these challenging times as they try to care for the patients.

    Thursday morning I went to work “a HAPPY nurse LEADER” with a re-energized spirit! As I briskly walked in the hall I smiled at everyone and greeted each individual with a nod or a verbal good morning. This one hospital employee all dressed with his hat, coat, etc. was on a mission and did not respond to my friendly “good morning” as we passed in the hall. I stopped in my tracks, turned around, and went after this employee. I got his attention and stopped him. I asked, “Are you ok?” He looked at me as if the worst thing imaginable had just happened. He looked like he was going to burst into tears any second.

    I said, “Follow me. Let’s find a place to talk.”

    He followed me and I quickly realized he COULD NOT talk. The worst thing imaginable was happening at that very moment! Right there, he was having a stroke!

    Throughout the rest of the day, hospital administrators and staff all told me I saved his life. They said I stopped “and made the most of the moment” and that “many would have kept walking.”

    I didn’t save his life, Todd Dewett, YOU DID!!! Thank you.


Todd Dewett Speaker Videos Back to top

Dr. Todd Dewett, Leadership Speaker: TEDxDayton


Dr. Todd Dewett reveals why it's crucial that leaders "get over themselves" if they truly wish to connect and build trust with their employees. He illustrates his point through an amusing story about the multiple missteps one of his former executive students committed in the attempt to reward his team and build a relationship with them.

Many leaders have a tendency to project themselves on the people around them, Todd points out, and therefore struggle to see their employees for the unique individuals they are and the value they add. He states that when leaders do manage to see their employees for the marvelous people they really are, employees in turn will find their leader much more interesting. "And that's when knowledge gets shared, great relationships are born, and great teams begin," he concludes.

Dr. Todd Dewett, Leadership Speaker: Keynote Preview


Dr. Todd Dewett, Leadership Speaker: Interview, Embracing Change



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Dr. Todd Dewett delivers one-of-a-kind world class keynotes. The leadership expert and riveting speaker uses the power of storytelling to share must-have insights on building relationships and teams. Through memorable anecdotes collected from his decades of experience bringing out the best in leaders, the Harley Davidson-loving social scientist shows how you can walk the line between your professional image and "the authentic you" to create a work environment that will maximize and value every employee's talents and abilities.

Todd reaches and resonates with executive teams, leadership teams, sales teams, and employee groups from all industries.

Show Your Ink: Understanding the Power of Authentic Leadership
This interactive keynote address inspires while making leadership practical and accessible. Building on organizational science and years of practical experience, Dr. Dewett delivers leadership insight through personal, funny, and emotionally moving stories. SHOW YOUR INK is a phrase that reminds us to be open and authentic. Managing impressions professionally is understandable, but we overindulge to the point that people share an incomplete version of themselves – say hello to mediocre relationships and lackluster productivity. People need to know the full, authentic you.

From communication and decision making to employee engagement and recognition, Dr. Dewett addresses your core challenges through the lens of authenticity with thought provoking takeaways you can use immediately, all wrapped in the signature energy and humor that have made him one of the most in-demand speakers in the country.



Todd Dewett Speaker Testimonials Back to top

"The talk on being more creative was engaging, inspiring, and extremely relevant. Todd was outstanding!"
-Ohio Society of CPAs

"I have not laughed that hard in a long time – thank you. You have a way of putting laughter into learning, and allowing the participants to soul search for their true values. Thanks again for reminding me to show my ink!"
-Regan, Levin, Bloss, Brown & Savchak

"Dr. Dewett was inspiring, thought-provoking, and great at connecting with the audience in a straightforward manner on leadership, team, and career issues. One of the few speakers I’ve heard who will I will remember long after his presentation."
-PNC

"There is a lot of content out there about leadership, but Dr. Dewett brings the context and delivery to create “ah-ha” learning moments."
-U.S. Airforce

"Todd Dewett demonstrates an amazing ability to create both a motivational and inspirational atmosphere for any audience. He has a creative knack to immediately captivate attention, cultivate relations, and encourage positive action by providing thought-provoking examples."
-Miami Valley Hospital




Exclusive Interview with Todd Dewett

When you slowly and appropriately show more of the authentic you...people tend to open up and reciprocate.
In this interview, Dr. Todd Dewett discusses:
    • Why showing "the authentic you" is a crucial part of extraordinary leadership.
    • Steps leaders can take to "get over themselves" to build stronger teams and professional relationships.
    • How to project intelligence during social exchanges.

* 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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"The talk on being more creative was engaging, inspiring, and extremely relevant. Todd was outstanding!"
-Ohio Society of CPAs

"I have not laughed that hard in a long time – thank you. You have a way of putting laughter into learning, and allowing the participants to soul search for their true values. Thanks again for reminding me to show my ink!"
-Regan, Levin, Bloss, Brown & Savchak

"Dr. Dewett was inspiring, thought-provoking, and great at connecting with the audience in a straightforward manner on leadership, team, and career issues. One of the few speakers I’ve heard who will I will remember long after his presentation."
-PNC

"There is a lot of content out there about leadership, but Dr. Dewett brings the context and delivery to create “ah-ha” learning moments."
-U.S. Airforce

"Todd Dewett demonstrates an amazing ability to create both a motivational and inspirational atmosphere for any audience. He has a creative knack to immediately captivate attention, cultivate relations, and encourage positive action by providing thought-provoking examples."
-Miami Valley Hospital


SHOW YOUR INK: Stories About Leadership and Life
Through the power of story, you are about to begin to improve yourself personally and professionally. SHOW YOUR INK contains twenty short stories that will grab you emotionally. Get ready to laugh, cry, think, and learn. Each story focuses on a different aspect of success in leadership and life. You will learn about the importance of authenticity, the need to use your mistakes, the vital role of feedback, why values matter, the key to personal change, and much more - all wrapped in memorable stories that make learning stick. This fast book can transform how you view your career and your life. Becoming more successful is not complex. You can become a better version of yourself. What you need is a simple and fun place to begin. So remember to SHOW YOUR INK.
Show Your Ink: Understanding the Power of Authentic Leadership
This interactive keynote address inspires while making leadership practical and accessible. Building on organizational science and years of practical experience, Dr. Dewett delivers leadership insight through personal, funny, and emotionally moving stories. SHOW YOUR INK is a phrase that reminds us to be open and authentic. Managing impressions professionally is understandable, but we overindulge to the point that people share an incomplete version of themselves – say hello to mediocre relationships and lackluster productivity. People need to know the full, authentic you.

From communication and decision making to employee engagement and recognition, Dr. Dewett addresses your core challenges through the lens of authenticity with thought provoking takeaways you can use immediately, all wrapped in the signature energy and humor that have made him one of the most in-demand speakers in the country.


Dr. Todd Dewett, Leadership Speaker: TEDxDayton


Dr. Todd Dewett reveals why it's crucial that leaders "get over themselves" if they truly wish to connect and build trust with their employees. He illustrates his point through an amusing story about the multiple missteps one of his former executive students committed in the attempt to reward his team and build a relationship with them.

Many leaders have a tendency to project themselves on the people around them, Todd points out, and therefore struggle to see their employees for the unique individuals they are and the value they add. He states that when leaders do manage to see their employees for the marvelous people they really are, employees in turn will find their leader much more interesting. "And that's when knowledge gets shared, great relationships are born, and great teams begin," he concludes.

Dr. Todd Dewett, Leadership Speaker: Keynote Preview


Dr. Todd Dewett, Leadership Speaker: Interview, Embracing Change



Leading with Authenticity, Dr. Todd Dewett

By Todd Dewett

Dr. Todd Dewett is one of the world’s most exciting and original voices in the leadership and life skills space. He is consistently the #1 most viewed author at Lynda.com/LinkedIN, where millions of people seek his expert advice on how to hone their communication skills and build better relationships. A top-rated speaker by Inc.com, he ... more

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