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Overcoming Adversity Speakers

From “We Shall Overcome” to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to “Shake It Off,” our cultural lexicon is rife with rhetoric on facing tough times. We represent a team of Speakers on Overcoming Adversity that add substance to the songbook, having charged head-on into some of the most insurmountable and unimaginable obstacles ever encountered, and not only survived, but thrived.

The ability of our inspirational speakers to reframe and adjust perspective becomes even more salient when a culture of fear and complacency is prevalent in the workplace, and employees become limited more by attitude than perceived lack of opportunity.

Our Overcoming Adversity Speakers won’t just lift you up and over, but carry you further, going beyond motivation with the ability to ignite and inspire that inner fire in your audience as well as sustain and maintain the drive to succeed throughout your organization, long after the keynote concludes.

Browse speaker candidates below, refine the results or choose another topic.

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Overcoming Adversity Speakers

Johnny Quinn

FEE CATEGORY * $15,000 to $20,000
TRAVELS FROM Texas, USA

Olympic bobsledder Johnny Quinn is a highly sought-after speaker for businesses and organizations of all sizes. Johnny has been featured on: ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, ESPN, FOX, NBC, TIME, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. Known for his… Full Profile


Chad Williams

FEE CATEGORY * $25,000 to $30,000
TRAVELS FROM California, USA

Chad Williams draws from his experience in the military to provide a Navy SEAL's perspective on issues related to effective leadership, resilience, teamwork, overcoming adversity and motivation. He is a frequent guest on Fox News Channel,… Full Profile


Matthew Zachary

FEE CATEGORY * $25,000 to $30,000
TRAVELS FROM New York, USA

Matthew Zachary is a 26-year brain cancer survivor and one of the most respected, influential, and visionary voices in healthcare. An award-winning concert pianist and film composer, he is the "Podfather" of healthcare broadcasting, amassing… Full Profile


Nina Sossamon-Pogue

FEE CATEGORY * $15,000 to $20,000
TRAVELS FROM South Carolina, USA

Nina Sossamon-Pogue is sought after speaker and author on Resilience, Adversity and Achievement. A former member the USA Gymnastics team, Nina became an award-winning journalist and television news anchor, then left TV for Tech and… Full Profile


John O’Leary

FEE CATEGORY * $25,000 to $30,000
TRAVELS FROM Missouri, USA

In 1987, John O’Leary was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, John created a massive explosion in his home and was burned on 100% of his body. He was given less than… Full Profile


Jon Kedrowski

FEE CATEGORY * $10,000 to $15,000
TRAVELS FROM Colorado, USA

Jon Kedrowski has a Ph.D. in Environmental Geography, Weather and Climate.   Dr. Kedrowski is a professional mountain guide and ski mountaineer. He grew up in Vail, Colorado. Dr. Kedrowski has been to the top… Full Profile


Minda Dentler

FEE CATEGORY * $10,000 to $15,000
TRAVELS FROM New York, USA

Minda is the first female wheelchair athlete to complete the Ironman World Championship Minda’s life is one of inspiration, courage and determination; she will have you on your feet ready to face your personal Ironman… Full Profile


Alex Honnold

FEE CATEGORY * $75,000 and above
TRAVELS FROM Nevada, USA

Perhaps the most famous rock climber in the world, Alex has amazed and inspired audiences with stories of his ropeless, free solo climbs. The pinnacle of his career (and maybe the sport of climbing) was… Full Profile


Lindsey Vonn

FEE CATEGORY * $75,000 and above
TRAVELS FROM California, USA

The most successful race skier in American history, Lindsey Vonn broke record after record during a career that spanned nearly two decades. In addition to winning 3 Olympic medals, 2 World Championship gold medals, and… Full Profile


Bertice Berry

FEE CATEGORY * $30,000 to $50,000
TRAVELS FROM Georgia, USA

Dr. Bertice Berry has been stirring academic and corporate audiences to action for over 25 years. An accomplished sociologist, Dr. Berry has expertise in several areas including statistics, race relations, and gender, but it is… Full Profile


Jaz Ampaw-Farr

FEE CATEGORY * $20,000 to $25,000
TRAVELS FROM United Kingdom

As a teacher, speaker, and “resilience ninja”, Jaz Ampaw-Farr is a catalyst for change. Hailed as “the British Oprah” for her contagious empowering energy, Jaz was born into a despairing environment of poverty, abuse, and… Full Profile


Linda Cliatt-Wayman

FEE CATEGORY * $25,000 to $30,000
TRAVELS FROM Pennsylvania, USA

Principal, Linda Cliatt-Wayman turned three of the country’s most dangerous and impoverished schools into successful centers of learning and development. The dedicated educator’s inspirational tale has been featured on TED, ABC’s World News Tonight and… Full Profile


Amelia Rose Earhart

FEE CATEGORY * $10,000 to $15,000
TRAVELS FROM Colorado, USA

One of the youngest women to fly around the world, Amelia Rose Earhart dedicated years to fulfilling her dream of retracing the epic 1937 flight of her namesake, aviation icon, Amelia Mary Earhart. Her 2014… Full Profile


Nicole Malachowski

FEE CATEGORY * $30,000 to $50,000
TRAVELS FROM Colorado, USA

The first woman Thunderbird fighter pilot, Nicole Malachowski is one of the most raved about speakers on dreaming big, achieving more, and performing under pressure. During her 21 years of military service, Col. Malachowski had… Full Profile


Wasfia Nazreen

FEE CATEGORY * $20,000 to $25,000
TRAVELS FROM California, USA

Wasfia Nazreen is a National Geographic Explorer & Adventurer and the only woman to hold these simultaneous titles. Although she is most known for being the first Bangladeshi and Bengali in the world to climb… Full Profile


Joe De Sena

FEE CATEGORY * $30,000 to $50,000
TRAVELS FROM Vermont, USA

Fitness legend, Joe De Sena is the founder and CEO of Spartan Race, the biggest brand in obstacle racing. Every year Spartan hosts over 200 competitions worldwide, bringing in approximately 1 million participants per year.… Full Profile


Nick Santonastasso

FEE CATEGORY * $25,000 to $30,000
TRAVELS FROM Florida, USA

Nick Santonastasso is a medical miracle. Not only is he one of four people alive with the rare genetic condition, Hanhart Syndrome, the inspirational keynote speaker is an internationally known bodybuilder and fitness model -… Full Profile


Tal Ben-Shahar

FEE CATEGORY * $30,000 to $50,000
TRAVELS FROM Israel

Teaching to over 1400 Harvard University students, Tal Ben-Shahar's course on “Positive Psychology" was the most popular in the University, while another course, “The Psychology of Leadership," took third place on the same list. Ben-Shahar… Full Profile


Bear Grylls

FEE CATEGORY * $75,000 and above
TRAVELS FROM United Kingdom

One of television's most watched celebrities, Bear Grylls launched a Survivalism Fever that has swept across the world. The former British Special Forces operative is best-known for taking his adventures in the planet's most hostile… Full Profile


Lance Allred

FEE CATEGORY * $10,000 to $15,000
TRAVELS FROM Utah, USA

Born hearing impaired and raised in a polygamous commune, Lance Allred started playing organized basketball later than most future pro-athletes; he was in the eighth grade the first time he touched a basketball, the same… Full Profile


Stephanie Decker

FEE CATEGORY * $5,000 to $10,000
TRAVELS FROM Indiana, USA

Stephanie Decker became a national hero after she saved her children, shielding them from the falling debris of their collapsing house with her own body while a freak tornado engulfed their small Indiana town. Though… Full Profile


John Maclean

FEE CATEGORY * $25,000 to $30,000
TRAVELS FROM Australia

A role model and inspiration for audiences around the world, John Maclean is the first wheelchair athlete to finish the Ironman World Championship, the first wheelchair athlete to be inducted into the Ironman Hall of… Full Profile


Kathy Bates

FEE CATEGORY * $50,000 to $75,000
TRAVELS FROM California, USA

One of the greatest actresses of her generation, Kathy Bates has brought numerous roles to life on screen and onstage that no other performer could pull off. In recent years, she has also demonstrated she… Full Profile


Paul Shoemaker

FEE CATEGORY * $10,000 to $15,000
TRAVELS FROM Washington, USA

Paul Shoemaker is a mastermind at knocking down the barriers and curtailing social problems. As the Founding President of Social Ventures Partners International and SVPI's former Executive Connector, he's brought together social changers, researchers, and… Full Profile





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