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Millennial expert Aaron McDaniel delivers timely aha moments and viable solutions on how to bridge generational gaps in the workplace and marketplace. Drawing from his own experience as a Millennial in the corporate world, McDaniel has floored audiences with his ability to connect to attendees of all ages while giving them tools and insights to understand each other better and collaborate more effectively.

McDaniel is the author of The Young Professionals series. The first book of the series, The Young Professional’s Guide to the Working World, is an international top 10 listed book that has been translated into multiple languages. He's spoken to groups ranging from recent grads to senior executives at The Ritz Carlton Leadership Center, Deloitte Consulting, UnitedHealth Group, and the United Way.

McDaniel draws from his own experience learning the ropes during the early years of his career. At age 27, he became one of the youngest regional vice-presidents in AT&T history. He has since launched various entrepreneurial ventures, including the e-commerce company Pong360 which he successfully sold in 2012 and the crowdfunding platform, Tycoon Real Estate, which was acquired in 2015.

He got his start focusing on Millennials, teaching a highly rated student course "Leadership and Organizational Dynamics" at the Haas Undergraduate School of Business at UC Berkley while he was is still a student. Ten years later, UC Berkley continues to teach the course based on the curriculum that McDaniel created.

Full Profile

Aaron McDaniel is a corporate manager & entrepreneur with a passion for helping millennials build the foundation for successful careers. Currently, he is the co-founder and CEO of Access Investors Network, an equity and debt crowdfunding mobile aggregator that is revolutionizing private investing through technology.

Previously, Aaron founded Tycoon Real Estate, a crowdfunding platform that was the first real estate crowdfunding platform to be acquired. After graduating from UC Berkeley’s Haas Undergraduate School of Business, Aaron entered the Leadership Development Program at AT&T, a Fortune Global 100 company. After holding various management roles, Aaron was one of the youngest to serve as Regional Vice President. His experience includes roles in marketing, customer service, operations, business development, strategy and sales management where he was named to AT&T’s Diamond Club, being recognized as one of the company’s top 1% of sales leaders worldwide.

Aaron is the founder of multiple entrepreneurial ventures one, Pong360, that successfully sold in 2012. In 2012 he also wrote The Young Professional’s Guide to the Working World, the international top 10 listed book that has been translated into multiple languages and is the first in a series focused on helping young professionals build the foundation for successful careers. He followed this up with The Young Professional’s Guide to Managing in 2013.

Aaron has been written about in Forbes, Bloomberg, BusinessWeek, US News & World Report, and Kiplinger. He has been heard on NPR and CBS Radio and seen on
ABC and CBS. He has also been a contributing writer for the syndicated Personal Branding Blog, the Forbes Top Websites For Your Career winner that has over 150,000 followers.

Aaron’s passion for helping young professionals succeed reaches back to his time at Haas where he instructed the highly rated student-led course, “Leadership and Organizational Dynamics” from 2002-2004. As an active public speaker, Aaron continues to share strategies for success having spoken to audiences at many universities and business organizations as well as to young professionals at top companies and organizations like Wells Fargo, Deloitte Consulting, UnitedHealth Group and the United Way.

Outside of his professional life Aaron is passionate about giving back to the community through active involvement in the Full Circle Fund, Junior Achievement and as a “Big” in Big Brothers Big Sisters. In 2011, Aaron founded the Jill Wakeman Foundation for Equality and is always on the hunt for new restaurants and cultural experiences both abroad and in San Francisco where he lives.

Aaron McDaniel ON Speaking Back to top


When hearing me talk, audiences come away with...WHO Millennials are, WHY they got that way, WHAT they want, and HOW to maximize what I refer to as their Gen Y ROI.

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

MCDANIEL: When hearing me talk, audiences come away with the Who/Why/What/How: WHO Millennials are, WHY they got that way, WHAT they want, and HOW to maximize what I refer to as their Gen Y ROI. I share specific strategies that help them maximize the return on investment they get from focusing on retaining and empowering Millennial employees and engaging Millennial customers. People get practical advice that is customized for their industry, company and unique business objectives and they leave feeling inspired to take action.

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

MCDANIEL: I always customize my talks for my audience. In addition to spending my own time doing my own research, I ensure that I understand my client's objectives and confirm that they are achieved with my speaking material. I also connect with 3+ audience members to fully understand the biggest issues they are facing so that I can address them in my talk.

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

MCDANIEL: Earlier this year I had the chance to speak at the Intercoiffure Atelier conference (the international salon and beauty industry owners association). Besides the fact that the audience was very different from my typical corporate clients, speaking at the conference gave me a unique opportunity to honor someone very important to me. For over 70 years, until the age of 91, my grandmother was a professional hair stylist working at a high-end salon near Stanford University. I found it only fitting to dedicate my talk to her and the amazing example she set for me in how to live a successful life. Standing in front of peers from her industry was a tremendous treat.

The success of your business or organization will be directly affected by your ability to engage Millennials.

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

MCDANIEL: The audiences who would benefit from my message are those that currently have or plan in the future to employ anyone from the Millennial generation, as well as anyone who wants to sell their products and services to Millennial customers. (So basically every company in every industry would benefit from hearing my message!) The success of your business or organization will be directly affected by your ability to engage Millennials. Let me show you how.

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

MCDANIEL: While I love sharing about innovation, work-life integration, effective management tactics and more, the topic of Millennials and Inter-Generational Teamwork is my favorite because I have seen the profound effects my message has had on my clients' organizations.

As I sat in the audience I always imagined myself on stage. I love helping people and engaging with them, helping them solve their problems and learn how to improve their business.

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

MCDANIEL: This will probably reveal to everyone that I am a big nerd, but I actually love conferences. When I sat in the audience at conferences back when I was working at AT&T, I was always energized, not only hearing the messages spoken on stage, but also the ideas that would come to me. I was able to take a breather from the day-to-day work I was doing to look above the clouds while learning something new.

As I sat in the audience I always imagined myself on stage. I love helping people and engaging with them, helping them solve their problems and learn how to improve their business. Then one day, I decided to go for it and share the messages I had; and I have never turned back since.

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?

MCDANIEL: As I mentioned before, part of how I keep my audiences engaged is by speaking their language. I customize the case studies and references to be applicable to their industry and I use the homework I do (talking to audience members ahead of time) to help me learn the right lingo and re-enforce my message the proper way.

I use video and other interactive content (with personal stories, pop culture references, humor and classic business references) to make sure everyone is engaged. If the time and speaking format permit, I love to have a Q&A session with the audience at the end of my talks (which I have done with audiences of hundreds of people), so I can really address what is on everyone's mind and tie-in the message I just shared with their day-to-day challenges and objectives.

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

MCDANIEL: While I always love to hear about far reaching executive-sponsored initiatives that spark positive change and affect hundreds or thousands of people all stemming from hearing my message, I also love to hear about the little things that people take from my talks. Those little "ah-ha" moments that lead someone to change how they manage that 1 Millennial on their team, or how my message sparks the implementation of one simple successful marketing strategy or new operational strategy that someone never considered before, are what really motivate me.

The fact that my message can help entire organizations but can also help individuals make little changes in how they do their job and approach work - that is what really inspires me to continue working hard for my clients.


Aaron McDaniel Speaker Videos Back to top

Aaron McDaniel, Millennial Expert: Keynote


Aaron McDaniel unpacks the secrets to understanding and engaging Millennials both as talent and consumers. With 80 million Millennials in the work force today, no organization can fully thrive if they are unable to reach the hearts and minds of this key demographic.

Drawing comparisons between a youthful Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, McDaniel explains that many of the characteristics associated with Millennials - traits such as passion, impatience, and a belief that the rules don't apply to them - are actually a product of youth rather than a specific generation; however, Millennials' youth is unfolding in a very different context. Instead of the Vietnam War or MTV, this generation has come of age in a world shaped by social media and mobile technology.

"A lot of what we talk about Millennials in spirit is very similar to how you and your generation were a few years ago," McDaniel asks to the Baby Boomers and Generation Xers in the audience to take in account their similarities.

Aaron McDaniel, Millennial Expert: Demo Reel



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Whether he's addressing intrapreneurship, management techniques, or empowering your Millennial talent, Aaron McDaniel works hard to make sure each of his presentations meets the needs and interests of his audience. Primarily focused on bridging the generational gap between Millennials and their older counterparts, McDaniel delivers viable solutions for leveraging this young generation's strengths and engaging them as customers. Additionally, he guides Millennials in taking control of their careers, teaching them how to navigate corporate waters, collaborate with their senior co-workers, and make the tricky the transition to management.

Aaron can also include a Q&A Segment in his presentation, if you prefer.

Maximize your Gen Y ROI
Combination of "The Future of Customer Engagement" and "Empowering Your Millennial Workforce" (listed below)- most popular among clients. Addresses how to attract/retain Millennial customer and empower Millennial employees (executive audiences)

The Future of Customer Engagement
Learn how Millennials think, what they value, how to appeal to them and how to develop Millennial customer loyalty (executive audiences)

Empowering your Millennial Workforce
Gain key insights and practical advice into how to get the most out of your Millennial employees and set them on the right track to be the future leaders of your organization (executive audiences)

Intrapreneurship & Innovation: How to drive lasting change & results through innovation.
Learn how to develop an entrepreneurial spirit within your organization (with effective implementation of Silicon Valley mindsets & process) (all audiences)

Work-Life Integration
It's no longer work/life "balance" - the two are fully intertwined with the demands of today's market and mobile technology. Learn how to deliver top results at work while maintaining the life outside of work that you have always wanted (all audiences)

The Young Professional's Guide to the Working World
College doesn't teach you how to be successful in professional work environments. Get the proven playbook for how to build the foundation for a successful career (Millennial/Young professional audiences)

How to Be the Boss
Being a young manager is tough, especially when you are managing your ex-peers and people your same age or much older and with more experience than you; excel as a young manager using the framework discussed in this session (Millennial/Young professional audiences)

60 Days to Success
People change jobs every 2-3 years. With each change you are expected to hit the ground running and contribute to your organization, which is often difficult. This session outlines the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of getting any new job on the right track from day 1. (all audiences)



Aaron McDaniel Speaker Testimonials Back to top

In today's business climate, a new message is a must, and Aaron's delivery of the "thinking of the millennial" opened my eyes to how I need to change me! Aaron is the Stephen Covey of his generation!
-Frank Gambuzza, President, Intercoiffure America/Canada

I have found few that can top Aaron McDaniel. His topic around hiring, coaching and nurturing millennial talent is most timely and he executes on stage with style and grace. From the initial meeting to his post-session follow up, Aaron is world class... He does it all with humor and an easy to listen style that keeps people engaged regardless of age. If you are looking for someone to discuss how to blend millennials into the workplace, hire Aaron McDaniel, hire him now.
-Jack Hubbard, Chairman & Chief Sales Officer, St. Meyer & Hubbard

Aaron did his homework and customized his presentation to be relevant to the industry and to my company specifically. His understanding of and discussion around the Millennial generation is critical knowledge for every company and manager in today’s workplace. Aaron’s presentation style is relaxed and confident, which allowed him to really engage with the audience individually and as a group. Aaron was a true pleasure to work with, start to finish.
–Al Giobbie, Sr. Vice President, Provident Bank

Aaron was amazing to work with from start to finish. He worked with me to customize his talk for our group and really focused on what would be interesting and relevant for the audience. His session was really dynamic and engaging with multiple people coming up immediately to me after the talk to compliment the session. We would love to bring Aaron in again to speak to our group!
–Jenna Chen, Chief of Staff, Deloitte Consulting

In his session “Redefining Age in the Workplace: Diversity is More Than Just Ethnicity and Gender,” Aaron McDaniel provided workable solutions... Participants learned tips that would be beneficial throughout their careers. McDaniel helped them understand the importance of being patient, stepping outside their comfort zones, making careful decisions and being open to career coaching. Attendees also left with a clear understanding of the value of collaboration among different generations in the workplace. In his session, McDaniel inspired millennials to become engaged and empowered to succeed and helped prepare them to lead those who will eventually follow in their footsteps.
— Sheron Rose, Vice President, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

We had the opportunity to feature Aaron McDaniel at one of the Young Professional Networking events. Our members left feeling inspired to enact the strategies he presented during the event. His strong communication and facilitation skills were impressive. He provided invaluable insight and we look forward to collaborating in the future.
— Perrine Zen, President, Wells Fargo Young Professional’s Network- San Francisco

Outstanding! Thank you for taking part and being a part of our leadership conference. [Aaron’s] thoughtful presentation hit the minds and the hearts of all assembled. Clearly [his] message added the dimension to our gathering that was at the center of our vision for the organization.
— Donn Wadley, Rotaract District Manager




Exclusive Interview with Aaron McDaniel

Many people label Millennials as disloyal, but this is not entirely true; it's just harder to earn a Millennial's loyalty.
In this interview, Aaron McDaniel discusses:
  • How to secure the loyalty of Millennial talent and customers.
  • What Millennials need to understand about work.
  • Tips for Millennials who are taking on leadership roles.

  • * 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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    In today's business climate, a new message is a must, and Aaron's delivery of the "thinking of the millennial" opened my eyes to how I need to change me! Aaron is the Stephen Covey of his generation!
    -Frank Gambuzza, President, Intercoiffure America/Canada

    I have found few that can top Aaron McDaniel. His topic around hiring, coaching and nurturing millennial talent is most timely and he executes on stage with style and grace. From the initial meeting to his post-session follow up, Aaron is world class... He does it all with humor and an easy to listen style that keeps people engaged regardless of age. If you are looking for someone to discuss how to blend millennials into the workplace, hire Aaron McDaniel, hire him now.
    -Jack Hubbard, Chairman & Chief Sales Officer, St. Meyer & Hubbard

    Aaron did his homework and customized his presentation to be relevant to the industry and to my company specifically. His understanding of and discussion around the Millennial generation is critical knowledge for every company and manager in today’s workplace. Aaron’s presentation style is relaxed and confident, which allowed him to really engage with the audience individually and as a group. Aaron was a true pleasure to work with, start to finish.
    –Al Giobbie, Sr. Vice President, Provident Bank

    Aaron was amazing to work with from start to finish. He worked with me to customize his talk for our group and really focused on what would be interesting and relevant for the audience. His session was really dynamic and engaging with multiple people coming up immediately to me after the talk to compliment the session. We would love to bring Aaron in again to speak to our group!
    –Jenna Chen, Chief of Staff, Deloitte Consulting

    In his session “Redefining Age in the Workplace: Diversity is More Than Just Ethnicity and Gender,” Aaron McDaniel provided workable solutions... Participants learned tips that would be beneficial throughout their careers. McDaniel helped them understand the importance of being patient, stepping outside their comfort zones, making careful decisions and being open to career coaching. Attendees also left with a clear understanding of the value of collaboration among different generations in the workplace. In his session, McDaniel inspired millennials to become engaged and empowered to succeed and helped prepare them to lead those who will eventually follow in their footsteps.
    — Sheron Rose, Vice President, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

    We had the opportunity to feature Aaron McDaniel at one of the Young Professional Networking events. Our members left feeling inspired to enact the strategies he presented during the event. His strong communication and facilitation skills were impressive. He provided invaluable insight and we look forward to collaborating in the future.
    — Perrine Zen, President, Wells Fargo Young Professional’s Network- San Francisco

    Outstanding! Thank you for taking part and being a part of our leadership conference. [Aaron’s] thoughtful presentation hit the minds and the hearts of all assembled. Clearly [his] message added the dimension to our gathering that was at the center of our vision for the organization.
    — Donn Wadley, Rotaract District Manager


    THE YOUNG PROFESSIONAL'S GUIDE TO THE WORKING WORLD
    School does not teach you how to be successful at work.

    The Young Professional's Guide to the Working World provides important insights on the topics essential to success within the first 5-10 years of any corporate career, including:

    • How to get promoted faster and drive results not matter what your industry or job title
    • The 25 attributes all successful young professionals possess
    • How to avoid being a DOPE (someone who Disses Opportunity, Potential & Earnings)
    • The keys to becoming a STAR in your career (someone who is Savvy, Tenacious, Adaptive & Resourceful)
    • How to create and implement a career development plan
    • Leveraging mentoring to ensure career success


      THE YOUNG PROFESSIONAL'S GUIDE TO MANAGING
      One of the hardest challenges in anyone's career is transitioning from being a employee responsible yourself to a manager responsible for others.

      The Young Professional's Guide to Managing fills this void with a mix of relevant tips and stories. It is an essential guide for all new managers and emerging leaders, providing insights, including:

      • How to successfully transition to being a manager, from the very first day
      • The 10 skills all young professionals must develop to thrive as STAR managers
      • Managing people of different generations
      • How to hire, develop, and lead teams to incredible results
      • Advanced strategies for young managers, including how to fire under-performing employees and how to squash office politics

    Maximize your Gen Y ROI
    Combination of "The Future of Customer Engagement" and "Empowering Your Millennial Workforce" (listed below)- most popular among clients. Addresses how to attract/retain Millennial customer and empower Millennial employees (executive audiences)

    The Future of Customer Engagement
    Learn how Millennials think, what they value, how to appeal to them and how to develop Millennial customer loyalty (executive audiences)

    Empowering your Millennial Workforce
    Gain key insights and practical advice into how to get the most out of your Millennial employees and set them on the right track to be the future leaders of your organization (executive audiences)

    Intrapreneurship & Innovation: How to drive lasting change & results through innovation.
    Learn how to develop an entrepreneurial spirit within your organization (with effective implementation of Silicon Valley mindsets & process) (all audiences)

    Work-Life Integration
    It's no longer work/life "balance" - the two are fully intertwined with the demands of today's market and mobile technology. Learn how to deliver top results at work while maintaining the life outside of work that you have always wanted (all audiences)

    The Young Professional's Guide to the Working World
    College doesn't teach you how to be successful in professional work environments. Get the proven playbook for how to build the foundation for a successful career (Millennial/Young professional audiences)

    How to Be the Boss
    Being a young manager is tough, especially when you are managing your ex-peers and people your same age or much older and with more experience than you; excel as a young manager using the framework discussed in this session (Millennial/Young professional audiences)

    60 Days to Success
    People change jobs every 2-3 years. With each change you are expected to hit the ground running and contribute to your organization, which is often difficult. This session outlines the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of getting any new job on the right track from day 1. (all audiences)


    Aaron McDaniel, Millennial Expert: Keynote


    Aaron McDaniel unpacks the secrets to understanding and engaging Millennials both as talent and consumers. With 80 million Millennials in the work force today, no organization can fully thrive if they are unable to reach the hearts and minds of this key demographic.

    Drawing comparisons between a youthful Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, McDaniel explains that many of the characteristics associated with Millennials - traits such as passion, impatience, and a belief that the rules don't apply to them - are actually a product of youth rather than a specific generation; however, Millennials' youth is unfolding in a very different context. Instead of the Vietnam War or MTV, this generation has come of age in a world shaped by social media and mobile technology.

    "A lot of what we talk about Millennials in spirit is very similar to how you and your generation were a few years ago," McDaniel asks to the Baby Boomers and Generation Xers in the audience to take in account their similarities.

    Aaron McDaniel, Millennial Expert: Demo Reel



    Maximizing your Millennial ROI, with Keynote Speaker Aaron McDaniel

    By Aaron McDaniel

    Millennial speaker Aaron McDaniel delivers timely “aha moments” and viable solutions on how to bridge generational gaps in the workplace and marketplace. Drawing from his own experience as a Millennial in the corporate world, McDaniel has floored audiences with his ability to connect to attendees of all ages while giving them tools and insights to ... more

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