Kevin Kelly Profile

Internationally acclaimed motivational speaker Kevin Kelley is a foremost authority on entrepreneurship, leadership, sales, creativity and personal excellence. Over the course of two decades, Kevin has been a keynote speaker for a multitude of events all across the globe, from the Middle East and Asia to Europe and the United States. Kevin is known for his engaging style that energizes audiences for an entertaining, interactive experience. His presentations are a mix of exercises, information, and stories based on his unique experiences from all across the world, both in and outside corporate corridors.

As proof that positivity and a plan can overcome great opposition, Kevin challenged himself to write a book despite poor marks in English class. How? When You Don’t Know How became a bestseller, and the first of several books. They include Get Real— Thinking and Doing Differently, Life: A Trip Towards Trust and Basics Before Buzz. He has also produced three motivational CD’s: “Good Enough- Now Go Get It;” “Setting, Getting, and Forgetting Goals;” and “Compelling Communication Strategies.” (All of these are now available in Farsi.) Kevin also challenged himself to go from his high-income job breaking sales records at many of the companies he worked for, to a low income and back again when he decided to follow his passion for teaching people how to be better entrepreneurs.

Born in the west of Ireland, Kevin still lives there with his wife Deirdre and son, Conor. He has appeared many times on National TV and radio shows in Ireland, UK, USA, and most recently he was featured on the front page of Success magazine in Iran. When you choose Kevin to be your motivational keynote speaker, you’ll be getting “Honesty, Integrity, and Passion” according to research conducted amongst his key clients.

  • View Extended/Alternate Bio

    Kevin Kelly is an internationally acclaimed Speaker, best-selling author and expert on Sales, Leadership, Storytelling and Execution.

    His focus is on moving organisations, large and small to Do!, to execute, and to move in the direction of their dreams and vision.

    Unlike speakers who communicate a message, Kevin is the message. He lives, breathes and sleeps the DO! ethos every day of his life.

    From the age of six, Kevin was selling in his family retail environment. On graduating with a Marketing degree Kevin, consistently broke sales records in each of companies he worked for culminating in him being continuously head hunted. Finally in 1990 (after being offered a job by an Italian business man who couldn’t speak English) Kevin honoured his entrepreneurial DNA and set up his own company, Advanced Marketing. The company dedicated itself initially to increasing the sales of small and medium businesses in addition to exhaustively researching the area of personal and business potential.

    In 1996 Kevin committed to writing a Best Selling book on motivation – the first of its kind on the Irish market – even though he had a poor academic record in English, had no background in writing and was written off by the self-proclaimed experts before he even began.

    “How? When You Don’t Know How” sold 15,000 copies, an unparalleled feat for Ireland, and Kevin learned a very valuable lesson in terms of Doing and execution: knowledge may give you enough reasons not to act but Do! it anyway and be prepared to end up in a place you recognise and accept as better than your starting point. This book became the foundation on which he built his international speaking career.

    Since then he has written four more books, including the first ever graphic novel which aims to educate the next generation on the key skills of emotional intelligence.
    His most recent book is the critically acclaimed “DO! The Pursuit of Xceptional Execution”, in which he uncovers the success strategies of the Leaders of some of the most exciting start-ups on the planet. Tom Peters described it as “the book I would have loved to have written.”

    Staying true to his Irish roots, Kevin is a master storyteller who has worked around the world with Fortune 500 companies and prestigious associations like the Million Dollar Round Table. He has consulted with some of the biggest brands on the planet, including Microsoft, for whom he developed a unique video series for their World Wide Partner Community.

    “Working with Kevin on our Xceptional Execution Video series was a fantastic experience. He is passionate, committed, creative and cooperative. The feedback was excellent. Meanwhile his 92.5% speaker satisfaction rating at the World Partner Conference in July 2015 speaks for itself.” – Margie Gradwohl, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft

    Kevin’s keynotes consistently deliver an interactive conversation that engages, informs, inspires and empowers attendees with a toolbox of invaluable takeaways. His consultancy projects are built on delivering results for you. You set the agenda, and Kevin works with you and your team to address your specific challenges and reach your stated goals.

    In 2016 he created the first ever Speaker Summit in Ireland where six of this colleagues from around the globe taught potential and existing speakers the A-Z of the Speaking profession. This was followed with another first in 2017 – the first conference on Storytelling and Sales. Kevin is currently researching his new book on that topic and also in consultations with VR/AR companies on how to share his knowledge in new ways.

    Is it your time to DO! and work with one of the most compelling voices in the marketplace?

Kevin Kelly Speaking Videos

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Kevin Kelly's Speech Descriptions

As a motivational speaker, Kevin offers keynotes about an array of topics. Each course can be customized to suit the needs of your organization in the following areas: Motivation, Sales, Customer Service, Managing Change, Entrepreneurial Thinking, Authentic Leadership and Communication. From the Business keynote “Managing in an Attention Deficit Society” to the Entrepreneurship “Success Through Failure” there is a course to suit the needs of your organization.

Kevin’s “Goals- Setting, Getting, and Forgetting” speech provides participants with the goal setting process he used to write his best selling book, and build an international brand. Kevin also does Leadership training, pointing out the challenges leaders face and the strategies they need to embrace in order to reach their personal and organizational potential.

Do More! Xceptional Execution for Sales

The latest research shows that the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds, but the average attention span of a person is 8 seconds.

Engaging and building brand loyalty has become an extreme challenge. Using his methodology of Xceptional Execution, which draws on over 2 decades of breaking sales records in client companies, Kevin highlights the secrets to dramatically increasing your sales and developing long term sustainable relationships with customers.

This is a great keynote for sales and marketing teams!


  • Just how distracted are we? The Attention Deficit Society breakdown.
  • How presence persuades and how to make those first impressions count.
  • How passion precedes persistence and how persistence is the new sales strategy!
  • How ‘canned’ can’t? How and why a canned sales approach doesn’t work with the modern consumer.
  • How to build friendships, not customer relationships – Goodbye sales person, hello business consultant.
  • Become a paranoid – every moment counts.

    Do More! Xceptional execution for Startups/Entrepreneurs

    Aspiring entrepreneurs face many challenges before taking that vital first step, not least the intimidating myths that they must be a stand-out visionary, have a unique idea and work to a detailed, all-worked-out-in-advance business plan.

    Another factor, is that everyone deep inside has a fear of failure. According to the Global Entrepreneurial Monitor, this fear is the number one reason people fail to act upon their entrepreneurial dreams and ideas.

    In this keynote, using his methodology of Xceptional Execution, Kevin Kelly highlights what makes start-ups and their leaders -which he dubs the “Xceptionalists” – succeed beyond all odds. Kevin uses cutting edge business cases such as Dwolla, Globant, Outfit 7 and Balsamiq to show that success doesn’t depend on the normal factors. It depends on your ability to execute with Xception.

    This keynote is perfect for entrepreneurs, managers leading through change, and CEOs.


  • How an ordinary idea is the new WOW … if you execute.
  • How the Xceptionalists faced and moved with their fears to create compelling businesses and brands.
  • Why self-development is the key to attracting the right team.
  • Why knowledge can sometimes stand in the way of progress.
  • Why the ‘customer’ no longer exists, thus the need to focus on building friendships, not customer relationships.
  • How to craft and deliver a winning pitch.

    Xceptional Leadership

    According to Gallup Daily tracking, 32% of employees in the U.S. are engaged while worldwide, 87% are switched off! A 2017 study by Aon Hewitt mirrors the findings showing that less than one-quarter of employees are highly engaged. Meanwhile, trust in CEO’s recorded its biggest drop –down 12% according to Edelman. A new strategy is required.
    In this keynote, Kevin highlights how to mirror the mindset, attitudes and success strategies of the outstanding Xceptionalists interviewed for his book “Do: the Pursuit of Xceptional Execution.”

    From these exclusive interviews and over two decades experience working with companies, Kevin distills the attributes of the modern manager/director/leader. From the Co-Founder of the Talking Tom app who went from eight cofounders with no clear business idea to being sold for one billion dollars in 2016 to an asthma sufferer who is currently teaching the world how to breathe, Kevin reveals their leadership secrets.


  • Authentic Attention the drug to engage the internal and external customer?
  • How to lead with a story and make your message stick?
  • Self-awareness described by Stanford Business Advisory Committee as the attribute a leader should develop. How YOU are the key to building a high trust culture. The ability to learn…..from everyone from the cleaner to the Guru.
  • How the creation of an empowering culture starts with yourself and how it is the key to developing, attracting and retaining top talent.
  • How to get your message across in an Attention Deficit Society.
  • What is the key to building engagement and trust?
  • How the power of friendships can help build your business.
  • ROI – Return on Intuition – why you shouldn’t dismiss the entrepreneur’s language.
  • Why you should see value in values and show patience in vision.

  • Kevin Kelly on Speaking

    I guarantee every audience that I will share at least four strategies that they can use tomorrow.

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

    KELLY: Let me rephrase this question: What do I want people to DO? I guarantee every audience that I will share at least four strategies that they can use tomorrow. I want them to commit to taking action on these for one month and see what happens. Mine isn’t a “talk shop” – it is a “DO! Shop!”

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

    KELLY: The major focus is on getting to know the audience beforehand so I can nail their dreams and expectations for the event. To achieve this, I try to speak with at least seven people from the company before crafting the keynote. After crafting the keynote, it’s just a case of turning up. I am afraid you won’t see me walking up and down the stage beforehand in mental rehearsal mode!

    Audiences continually tell their clients about my energy and enthusiasm for the subject. I genuinely believe I don’t communicate a message – I am the message so there’s no major need for mental rehearsal when you are on flow from the get go!

    When preparing to go give a presentation in the Middle East, I was told by a speaker agent that “you may get in but you may never get out.”

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

    KELLY: I’ve had too many to mention but here are a couple of highlights:

    1. Colombia separatists placed a bomb in the Grand Rex Theatre, the venue where I was speaking at in Buenos Aires, because they were targeting the speaker after me, ex President Alvaro Uribe.
    2. When preparing to go give a presentation in the Middle East, I was told by a speaker agent that “you may get in but you may never get out”…and there was more!

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


    • Sales Kickoffs/Conferences
      I know how to sell – better than most!
    • Leadership conferences
      I share the four attributes of an Xceptional Leader which is very powerful content that inspires and informs.
    • Entrepreneurship/ Entrepreneurial mind/Startups
      Very few speakers explore the key reasons why people don’t start up on their own and what blocks them from progressing if they do: the fear of failure.

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

    KELLY: Sales, Leadership, The Entrepreneurial Mind/Startups, and Personal Excellence. I love them all, because I am one of the very lucky people that love what they Do! As a result, I am able to execute with effortless ease! I don’t consider this work. For me, it’s fun and a privilege to serve and inspire.

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

    KELLY: I guess like many people in the industry, it was feedback and passion. The feedback I was getting from my early speeches was fantastic. (I didn’t know what a keynote was at that time!) On top of that, I was having so much fun and gaining such enjoyment from addressing groups of 5 to crowds of a few hundred, that choosing to become a professional speaker was an easy decision.

    Given that the average attention span is somewhere around the 8-second-mark, you cannot expect an audience to be engaged if you love your monologues!

    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?

    KELLY: This is a great question and the challenge for speakers. Given that the average attention span is somewhere around the 8-second-mark, you cannot expect an audience to be engaged if you love your monologues! I engage through an interactive cocktail of exercises with key learning points, stories drawn from my insights gleaned inside and outside corporate circles, and the most up to date research.

    What are some of the successes you’ve helped clients achieve?

    KELLY: Breaking sales records, allowing leaders to see and engage, and allowing people to tap into their innate potential. Exclusive Interview with Kevin Kelly
    Four Pillars of Exceptional Execution, with Kevin Kelly
    In this interview, Kevin Kelly discusses:
  • The biggest mistake companies make when it comes to taking action.
  • The 4 pillars of excellent execution.
  • The new rules for succeeding in sales.
    Read the Full Interview
  • "Knowledge will always give you enough reasons NOT to act. The more you do analyses of pros and cons or strengths and weaknesses, the closer you get to consigning that idea to the grave."
    - Kevin Kelly

    What People are Saying about Seeing Kevin Speak

    Rating Entries

    “We asked Kevin to handle the coveted spot closing out our MDRT Experience meeting in Seoul, Korea this year. Kevin gave the audience an abundance of energy, enthusiasm and practical take-away messaging that our members can immediately apply to their lives. I would definately urge any organization to consider utilizing Kevin Kelly on their program.”

    Anthony Germade
    Executive Producer
    Million Dollar Round Table

    “Some speakers motivate and some have great content. Kevin Kelly has both which means he brings double the value to your conference. If you want a speaker who will inspire, motivate, educate, entertain and give a performance so powerful that the delegates will hardly dare blink for missing something then Kelly is your man.”
    David Thomas
    World Memory Champion & International speaker

    “Your interactive and motivational style of speaking provoked lots of innovative and new thoughts in our audience and made our event a real great success,and unleashed the potential of our delegates, you were one of the most impressive speakers we have ever had in the past 5 years of our conferences.”
    Sepehr Tarvedian CEO
    Hamayesh Farazan, Iran

    “Kevin is motivational, inspiring and enthusiastic, not to mention lively, entertaining and thought-provoking. His energy was transferred onto his audience as he engaged with them throughout. He encouraged self belief and instilled the importance of positive thinking. He certainly offered something different !”
    Cathal Divilly, Managing Director
    Great Place to Work® Institute Ireland

    “I really enjoyed your interactive and inspirational keynote at the PMI Leadership meeting in Budapest. Your energy and content was inspiring.”
    Thangavel Subbu

    “The feedback to Kevin Kelly was very positive – most people in addition to have been entertained and informed, took some vignette or tool away from the talk that should have a positive impact on their work performance in the future.”
    Karen Fitzsimons
    Davis Langdon
    Top 50 Best Companies to Work for 2008

    “Too often speakers base their presentations on other people′s experiences – Kevin has lived and breathed every bit of the journey he takes you on. That′s what makes him stand out head and shoulders above every other speaker I have seen in the last 15 years. Yesterday Kevin′s motivational keynote took 30 colleagues and me on a rollercoaster ride for three hours. Initially it was scary, then the adrenalin pumped through all our veins and when he eventually allowed us to loosen our grip we all walked away shattered but taking with us the experience of a lifetime. The energy with which he delivers is breathtaking – it′s akin to Michael Schumacher on steroids!!” The seminar lasted three hours – the impact will be forever.
    Michael Brady, CEO 98FM
    “Radio Station of the Year 2008”

    “Kevin Kelly is truly inspirational. He not only talks the talk but walks the walk and this has enhanced his creditability. Our staff, who have encountered him through our corporate programmes on Leadership and motivation have given him a 100% approval rating. He has always adapted his presentation to suit our particular needs – truly flexible, always relevant and ever optimistic.”
    Harry McCarry, Head of Staff Development
    Belfast Institute

    “A mixture of energy, entertainment and high content. Kevins inspirational “timeless truths” were delivered with clarity and in a style that honours his Irish upbringing.”
    Ray O Flaherty, Chairman and Founder
    All-Ireland/U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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    Books by Kevin Kelly:

    How? When You Don′t Know How

    With refreshing clarity, Kevin Kelly, Irelands best selling personal development author and speaker applies the wisdom assimilated from his travels around the world to help people achieve their potential. As the title suggests the focus is on the “how.”

    How to build rapport with anyone?
    How to overcome being successfully stressed?
    How to identify your purpose in life?

    Through stories and exercises Kevin demonstrates that we have all the resources necessary for fulfillment.

    For those who desire to take control of their choices Kevin tells you how.

    Order Here

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