Debra Peppers Profile

  • Dr. Peppers went from being a high school dropout to a pioneer practitioner of alternative education and National Teachers Hall of Fame inductee.

  • An Emmy and Telly Award recipient, Dr. Peppers was also the longtime host of the radio show Talk from the Heart.

  • Dr. Peppers has inspired and capacitated audiences at over 1000 events across 61 nations throughout her speaking career.
  • Motivational speaker, Debra Peppers went from high school dropout to Hall of Fame teacher. Peppers built a nationwide platform hosting the inspirational radio show Talk from the Heart and has traveled to 60 countries and all 50 states to share her story as well as useful communication and conflict resolution techniques.

    A pioneer of alternative education and an English, speech, and drama teacher for decades, Dr. Peppers was one of only 5 educators inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 1999. She and her students won an Emmy-award for writing and producing the documentary,CHOICES.

    Dr. Peppers’ work has been published in numerous anthologies including Living Your Dreams, God Allows U-Turns, A Father’s Embrace, Best Practices, 5 editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul, as well as her books, It’s Your Turn Now and Secrets of Success. She is an adjunct faculty member at Webster University and holds a PhD in Communication.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio
          • National Speakers Association
          • National Teachers′ Hall of Fame
          • Radio & Television Talk Show Host
          • 25 Year Professional Speaker / Trainer
          • Author & Humorist

      Dr. Debra Peppers was one of only five teachers inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame upon her retirement from teaching English, speech and drama in St. Louis, Missouri. Among her honors is the Emmy award winning play CHOICES, as well as outstanding alumni at Webster University where she is on the adjunct faculty in the Masters program.

      For ten years Debra hosted a daily 3 hour drive time radio talk show, Talk from the Heart. For three years she has hosted a weekly TV program, The Outreach Connection, where her tagline is Shakin′ the Salt with Dr. Peppers.

      Debra is a member of the National Speakers’ Association and has traveled to all 50 states and 60 countries. As an author she is in over twenty publications, including Living Your Dreams, God Allows U-Turns, A Father’s Embrace, Best Practices, 5 editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul and her own books, It’s Your Turn Now and Secrets of Success.

      Her speaking often incorporates her personal story of a 100-pound weight loss and having been a former high school dropout. Debra has been a featured speaker all over the world, from a one room school in Africa to the Crystal Cathedral to conventions of thousands – wherever she can motivate and encourage others.

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    Debra Peppers's Speech Descriptions

    Debra Peppers is a speaker audiences do not forget. Known nationwide for her ability to reignite educators’ passion, Peppers energizes audiences, makes them laugh, and makes them cry, while packing each session with profound wisdom and substance on connecting and communicating with others. Her life story is a testimony that anyone can turn hardship into triumph, or in her words, “where you have been hurt the hardest is where God can use you to help others the most.”

    A Partial Listing of Programs Offered by Dr. Peppers
    Note: All programs will be customized and personalized for your specific audience.

    If you are looking for a high-energy keynote speaker or emcee for your next event, Dr. Peppers is your choice. Debra brings humor and wisdom tailored especially for your group as she “does her homework” in advance . She devotes herself to finding the specific needs and intentions of each particular group and incorporates stories, quotes and research specifically relevant for your audience. Debra brings fun and passion as she loves to interact with the audience, often speaking with several members in advance in order to incorporate their story during the program.

    As a ten year radio and television host, Dr. Peppers has a knack for spontaneity and interaction with the audience. She will have your participants both laughing and yet deeply moved and inspired as she shares “her story “ and those of others as well . One of her unique abilities is writing hilarious poetry specifically for the group addressed and weaving it in at the perfect time! Because of her expertise in the area of humor, inspiration and motivation, Debra is often invited back year after year by many groups and organizations as every presentation is an original!

    Stress Management
    In this fast-paced society, in which we live, everyone needs practical tools and guidelines for getting or keeping the momentum going. Dr. Peppers has the right prescription by incorporating both research and humor, while leaving the audience with real guidelines for personal as well as professional application. Learning how our physiological and intellectual responses are often dictated by our emotions, we learn to realize the enormous amount of time and energy we spend on the petty things that don't really matter. Dr. Peppers incorporates the "urgent vs. the important", rekindling enthusiasm, and practical tools for not internalizing situations. Most content, peaceful, joyous people have several traits in common, and most are acquired not innate. The audience will learn how to play upon their strengths, find their niche, and develop the style best suited to them to enjoy where they are on the way to where they’re going!


    We often hear the saying, “ It’s not what you say but how you say it.” Dr. Peppers demonstrates in this program that both are important! In today’s society it is more crucial than ever to develop plans to be proactive rather than reactive in any interaction with others, whether in the workplace, at home or in the community. Dr. Peppers teaches the audience have strategies for remaining professional and calm, while responding with confidence. She also shares how to establish positive relationships, to de-personalize and redirect conversation when needed. In our fast paced and highly technical world, Debra emphasizes that both written and oral communication must be addressed. She stresses the importance of. both verbal and non-verbal communication “do’s and don’ts” in the areas of tone, body language, facial expression and gestures. We all have areas of communication where we can improve and in today’s society it is crucial we learn to integrate them both personally and professionally.

    Like it or not, each of us is called to be a leader in some capacity-in the home, the workplace, or the community. If leaders are "born" that way why do so many who achieve leadership status seem the most unlikely? Most great leaders have several traits in common: and most are acquired not innate. In this motivational presentation Debra teaches the audience how to play upon their strengths, find their niche, and develop the style of leadership best suited to them. From an office worker to the president of a company, from a teacher leading a classroom to the superintendent leading a district, the measure of one's success as a leader, is not in what you get others to do but how well you can lead them to do it. Dr. Peppers encourages the audience to realize that the particular leadership role we each hold, is both a responsibility and an exciting opportunity to encourage others by example as we all achieve a higher degree of success!

    All of us sometime feel like our lives are chaotic and out of control. But we cannot properly function when we are constantly overwhelmed and overextended. Dr. Peppers compares our hectic lives to a balancing act as she shares practical information for much needed relief. Whether you’re a stay at home mom managing a household, a career person balancing work and family, Debra presents keys that will help you learn to dissect your time and as you value experiences, and find time to live with more joy, vitality and peace in the midst of a chaotic world.

    Debra will provide you with the keys to reduce stress and find greater balance in your complicated, stressful life. Most of us are more able to help our friends and family than we are ourselves and need to bring ourselves back into the equation. Even when we think we have no time, me must begin to attend to our forgotten needs and longings. Dr. Peppers teaches we must balance our responsibilities to others with responsibility to ourselves, obligations with enjoyment, work with play, and activity with rest. The audience is inspired to reduce stress, restore sanity, and find greater balance and fulfillment in everyday life.

    Other Topics Frequently Requested
    • Ethics and Character Building for Today
    • Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Assertiveness Training
    • Succeeding With Difficult People
    • Selling Yourself
    • On Fire or Burned Out
    • Unique Begins With You
    • Overcoming Stress
    • Change: Taking Positive Risks
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Teachers Have Class
    • Successful Classroom Management
    • No Teacher Left Behind
    • Peer Mediation
    • Managing Difficult Students
    • Positive Interaction With Parents
    • Boundaries & Goals: The "Whole Child"
    • Creativity In The Classroom
    • Assertive Discipline
    • How To Get Parents On Your Side
    • The High Performing Teacher
    • Scared Or Prepared: Safety Awareness
    • Spirituality Without Crossing the Boundaries

    What People are Saying about Seeing Debra Speak

    Rating Entries

    When Dr. Peppers speaks, her words not only touch the heart, but moves the soul to a place of hope.


      “Dr. Peppers did an excellent job in motivating and electrifing the audiance. Her personnalization of her presentation was well received and added relavance to her topic. Afterwards, many of our employees thanked us for bring in such a fantastic speaker who kept them entertained as well as focused on their role as educators.”

      Edcouch-Elsa ISD
      (Event booked by Speakers Platform)

      “Dr. Peppers′ presentation at our annual patriotic event was outstanding! We′ve asked her to come back again next year.”
      Todd Akin, United States Congressman
      (Event booked by Speakers Platform)

      “It is my distinct pleasure to commend Dr. Peppers on her accomplishments. Her devotion underscores the importance of civic participation and the shared goal of improving our state and our country.”
      Claire McCaskill, United States Senator

      “Adjectives used to describe Dr. Peppers presentation were “Excellent”, “Wonderful”, “Great”. We would recommend Dr. Peppers as a speaker for any educational organization.”
      Diane M. Beedy, Director of Professional Development

      “Dr. Peppers did an excellent job! Her high energy level and commitment to excellence is highly contagious. Thanks for a great day!”
      William T. Konzal, Superintendent, Tuscarora Schools

      “Dr. Peppers fills her speeches with insight, wisdom, and warmth. She speaks about the philosophy that helped her meet life′s obstacles and overcome them. Dr. Peppers is a real person that speaks from the heart.”
      Larry W. Williams, Superintendent, Allen County Schools

      “Debra is one of the most personable people I have ever known! Her message was an inspiration to all. She is wonderful! She sings, she dances and she tells wonderful stories!”
      Pam P. Sansbury, Director of Finance, City of Hartsville

      “Dr. Peppers will leave your audience laughing, crying and ready to take on the world”
      Dr. Gene Engelhardt, past President, Kiwanis International

      “Dr. Debra Peppers, of the National Teachers Hall of Fame, overcame setbacks to become a huge success. She now inspires others to better themselves for real life success as well.”
      Bob Costas, sportscaster and television personality

      “Debra did an excellent job! Very well prepared and personable. Would love to have her again.”
      Cecil Boothe, Asst. Executive Director, Arkansas Assoc. of Ed. Administrators

      “I congratulate you on your ability to generate so much enthusiasm! If you can bottle it, then I can sell it and we both will be millionaires.”
      Jack R. Whaley, Principal, Gibraltar High School

      ” Dr. Peppers was wonderful! The light beams from her and pulls all those around her in close. We thank her so much.”
      Alesia Skinner, President, Basket of Ideas

      “Dr. Peppers received a 100% “very good to excellent” rating for her presentation. That is why we have had her back every year for the past six years.”
      Diane Kambeitz, Investor Education Coordinator, ND Securities Dept.

      “I have attended numerous talks and seminars over the past thirty years and I can say with absolute certainty that this was THE BEST I have ever attended! Dr. Peppers is amazing”
      David Migliorino, Principal, OSF

      “Debra′s personal story is incredible and her style and energy level are unequaled!”
      Mary Lou Retton, Olympic Gold Medalist/Author

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