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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

Nicole Malachowski

FEE CATEGORY * $20,000 to $25,000
TRAVELS FROM District of Columbia, 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 * $10,000 to $15,000
TRAVELS FROM California, USA

National Geographic Emerging Explorer and Adventurer of the Year, Wasfia Nazreen became the first Bengali to climb the Seven Summits in a campaign she engineered to shine a positive spotlight on her country and empower… Full Profile


Naomi McDougall Jones

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

Award-winning actress, writer, and producer Naomi McDougall Jones is one of the most prominent figures steering the "Women in Film Revolution." Her viral TED Talk, "What It's Like to Be a Woman in Hollywood" has… Full Profile


Nick Santonastasso

FEE CATEGORY * $10,000 to $15,000
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


Paul Nicklen

FEE CATEGORY * $25,000 to $30,000
TRAVELS FROM British Columbia, Canada

Growing up as one of the few non-Inuit residents of a settlement on Baffin Island, Canada, Paul Nicklen has been intimately involved with the natural world since his childhood. This experience, coupled with his first… 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 * Contact for fee schedule
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


Allon Raiz

FEE CATEGORY * $10,000 to $15,000
TRAVELS FROM South Africa

When things got tough, Allon Raiz rethought his failing business and turned it into the most successful business incubator in South Africa. Today Raizcorp is one of the few profitable business incubators in the world,… Full Profile


Paul Shoemaker

FEE CATEGORY * $5,000 to $10,000
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


Phil Hansen

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

When Phil Hansen’s dedication to his art led to permanent nerve damage and a shaking hand, he turned a limitation into a creative catalyst that took his art to new heights. Hansen’s skillful use of… Full Profile


Dr. Joseph Maroon

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

Internationally sought neurosurgeon, Dr. Maroon has contributed decades of groundbreaking research to the treatment and prevention of concussions and other neurotraumatic conditions. His innovative techniques for treating brain injuries, tumors, and spinal conditions have received… Full Profile


Meredith Baxter

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

The star of numerous acclaimed comedic and dramatic roles in television and movies, Meredith Baxter offers an inspiring story of courage, hope, self-acceptance and happiness to millions dealing with drug abuse, domestic abuse, and cancer.… Full Profile


Tan Le

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

One of the science world’s most successful and influential CEOs, Tan Le started her incredible life journey as a refugee facing a high probability of death on a treacherous trip across the pirate infested China… Full Profile


Jessica Cox

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

Despite being born without arms due to a birth defect, Jessica has lived an otherwise normal life. After overcoming her self-esteem issues, Jessica earned a degree in psychology and got her airline pilot’s certificate. Earning… Full Profile


Bethany Hamilton

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

One of the world’s most influential surfers, Bethany Hamilton was attacked while surfing at the age of 13 by a 16-foot-long tiger shark that severely severed her left arm. Bleeding profusely she had to paddle… Full Profile


Allison Massari

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

After surviving two horrific car accidents, artist and entrepreneur Allison Massari braved an excruciating recovery that forever changed the way she viewed life and happiness. She has since then become one of North America’s leading… Full Profile


Meredith Vieira

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

*Meredith Vieira only accepts speaking engagements in the New York area. Meredith Vieira is an award-winning news correspondent, anchor, editor, television personality and philanthropist. She won five Emmy Awards for her work as a correspondent… Full Profile


Dr. Howard Wasdin

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

During his military career, Dr. Howard Wasdin was shot numerous times during a horrific battle and suffered structural deviations that altered the way he walked. He made the decision to attend Chiropractic College after finding… Full Profile


Dr. Sampson Davis

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

Growing up in Newark, New Jersey, Dr. Sampson Davis was surrounded by poverty, broken families and drug-related crime. He managed to walk the tightrope between being smart and socially acceptable in a rough neighborhood, and… Full Profile


Thomas Kolditz

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

Retired Brigadier General Tom Kolditz is an internationally recognized expert on crisis leadership and leadership in extreme contexts. His time as a Leader Development Expert spans four decades in the public, private and social sectors.… Full Profile


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