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The Hottest Event Keynote Speakers for 2018

Mandy Espey

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The right keynote speaker adds something special to your event. They take your message, repackage it and deliver it back to your people with an unmatched power and vigor.

Bringing in an outside voice creates a nonreplicable spark and authority, more than having a member of your team speak.

If you’re looking for the perfect keynote speaker for your next event, check out these thought-provoking, motivational event speakers recommended by Midwest Speakers Bureau guaranteed to get your team going.


Mel Robbins

Mel Robbins is one of the most sought after motivational speakers trusted by global brands to design and deliver business expanding, life-changing, interactive keynotes that inspire change, challenge thinking and accelerate personal and professional growth. Her TEDx Talk on “How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over” (below) has over 10 million views across 37 countries, and her book on the brain and productivity, Stop Saying You’re Fine, is a business bestseller that has been translated into four languages. She started her career as a criminal defense attorney and went on to launch and sell a retail and internet technology company. Mel has led multi-year coaching programs at: Johnson&Johnson, AG Edwards, Bear Stearns and Partners Healthcare. The media has tapped Mel to host award-winning shows for FOX, A&E, Cox Media Group and CNN.



Michael Strahan

As a Hall of Fame defensive end for the New York Giants, Michael Strahan earned plenty of acclaim on the gridiron, helping the team to a Super Bowl victory in 2007. But a career shift to the world of entertainment after he hung up his jersey kept him in the public spotlight for years to come.

Strahan would be a perfect event keynote speaker to inspire your team. His inspiring story of victory and overcoming obstacles in sports, on the screen and his personal life is applicable to a wide array of audiences.



Scott Christopher

Author, actor and culture consultant Scott Christopher offers, “that perfect blend of substance and style that makes his presentations unforgettable.”

As a long-time keynote speaker and consultant on strengthening work culture with recognition and fun, Scott has circled the globe entertaining and motivating audiences of all kinds and seniorities. Applicable to all audiences in any industry, Scott's unforgettable messages and off-the-cuff humor illustrate how levity, humor and becoming a “people person” can enrich lives at work and at home.



Chris Norton

On October 16, 2010, in Decorah, Iowa, Chris Norton was severely injured while making a tackle on a kickoff, fracturing his C3-C4 vertebrae. After being told he had a 3% chance of ever regaining movement below the neck, Chris has defied the odds every step of the way, demonstrating a faith and determination to overcome his circumstance that has inspired thousands



Mark Schulman

Mark takes you on a musical, passionate and revelatory journey through his experiences working with some of the greatest musical artists of all time. He demonstrates how the attitudes of the rockstars will give you insights on how to evolve your understanding and implementation of peak performance and joy! When people say that ‘attitude is everything’ they are completely accurate when it comes to personal power, productivity and happiness. The ability to control or determine your attitude is the precursor to manifesting your desired outcomes.



Cal Fussman

Cal Fussman is a New York Times bestselling author, writer-at-large for Esquire and keynote speaker.

Cal has spoken for many companies, including Pixar, Lululemon, Vans and Apple Music. His keynotes and interactive workshops, derived from decades of interviewing, inspire organizations to take a new look at the fundamental aspects of their business.



Simon Bailey

Simon T. Bailey is the leader of the brilliance movement and one of America's top ten most booked speakers according to The Speaker Experts. Speaker magazine cited him as one of the top twenty-five "hot speakers" shaping the profession and he was recently inducted into the prestigious National Speakers Association Hall of Fame whose honorary members include former Secretary of State General Colin Powell and President Ronald Reagan.           



Matt Havens

Havens entered the workforce like most college graduates—ready to spend the next 40 years climbing the corporate ladder. He ultimately landed with a Fortune 50 company before realizing corporate America has a lot to learn! Matt brings that background and couples it with an unprecedented ability to deliver high-quality education in an undeniably entertaining way.

By combining a traditional presentation with the entertainment value of a comedy show, Matt has found enthusiastic audiences in government, academia, small businesses and Fortune 50 companies, all while still being one of the youngest members of the professional speaking circuit.



David Horsager

David Horsager, MA, CSP, is a business strategist, keynote speaker and author of the National Bestseller, The Trust Edge: How Top Leaders Gain Faster Results, Deeper Relationships, and a Stronger Bottom Line. His work has been featured in prominent publications such as Fast Company, Forbes, The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal.



Dr. Bill Withers

Dr. Bill Withers is a unique speaker, facilitator and workshop leader, and his love for "Aloha shirts" is only part of his story! Groups will benefit from his decades of business management and leadership experience, and he can relate to all levels of organizations, whether larger corporates or smaller non-profits, from the front lines to the C-suite.

Perhaps the greatest benefit to audiences is Dr. Withers' research into top-tier organizations, including Hy-Vee, Ritz-Carlton, Disney, Four Seasons, Starbucks, and most recently, Southwest Airlines.



Molly Fletcher

Molly Fletcher is a trailblazer in every sense of the word—a rare talent of business wisdom, relationship brilliance and unwavering optimism. As a CEO, she shares her unconventional and unique techniques that made her one of the first female sports agents in the high stakes, big ego world of professional sports and now a successful entrepreneur.



Josh Linkner

Josh Linkner delivers inspiring and actionable keynotes to drive meaningful outcomes worldwide. He is the perfect balance between energizing and practical; entertaining and result-focused; fun and impactful. As an innovation keynote speaker, New York Times Bestselling Author, successful five-time entrepreneur, venture capitalist, national columnist and well-respected jazz musician, Josh blends deep, real-world experience with a magnetic stage presence to help people and organizations thrive. Every talk is customized to drive the biggest possible impact, combining engaging stories, gorgeous visuals and practical techniques that push audiences to jumpstart their creative energy and solve challenges in fresh, innovative ways.



Vikram Mansharamani

Vikram Mansharamani, author of “Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst” and PBS contributor, has shown business leaders and investors how to look at the world differently in order to manage risk and navigate uncertainty.

He believes that the future doesn't have to surprise us—and it won’t—if we adopt a generalist's mindset. Vikram shows audiences practical ways to use this approach to spot opportunities and reduce risk.



Kevin Brown

Kevin's unconventional path to business and personal success has taught him that winning in business and in life requires anything but conventional thinking. He has been learning and earning since he was a teenager growing up on the streets of Muskegon, Michigan. His resume includes working in a funeral home, washing oil drums, selling household appliances door-to-door and buying a franchise at 17 years old.

In a fresh and entertaining style, Kevin shares ideas, strategies and principles that will inspire and equip participants to show up every day and make a positive difference. At the heart of Kevin's message is a simple, yet powerful philosophy for life that drives every thought, every action and ultimately every result we achieve both personally and professionally.



Eric Boles

An executive advisor, coach and trainer, Eric Boles keynotes major leadership and sales meetings around the world. He is the author of several executive and emerging leader development programs that are used across the globe and have been translated into seven different languages.

He is also the president of The Game Changers Inc, a leadership development firm with clients that include Nordstrom, Dunkin Donuts, Nationwide Financial, Motorola and John Deere.



Related: Start driving results with event strategy using our new ebook: “7 Ways to Make Your Event More Strategic.”


Erik Wahl

As a kid, Erik Wahl was told by a teacher that art was not his strong suit. He put down his crayons and pencils and went to a traditional corporate job. But he couldn’t silence his inner voice telling him he should be an artist.

Wahl, an inspirational speaker, author and speed painter, now tells his motivating story to huge audiences and offers his high-energy onstage performance to inspire your group to learn, live and pursue their goals. He boasts a long list of prestigious clients, and would be perfect for your next corporate event.



Janet Evans

Four-time Olympic champion swimmer Janet Evans has a unique, engaging and incredibly inspiring story perfect for your audience. She delivers over 20 keynote speeches per year to top companies around the country and is one of the most requested speakers in women’s athletics.

Listen to Evans’ motivating story, and see it embolden your audience to take action.



Shark Tank Panelists

Shark Tank, the popular ABC TV series, pits entrepreneurs against a panel of investors. The results can be harsh—as the “sharks” can pick apart the entrepreneur’s business model or product—but are always entertaining. The takeaways can be relevant to your business as well.

Booking one of the sharks— Kevin O'LearyBarbara Corcoran, Daymond JohnRobert HerjavecLori Greiner or Mark Cuban—would be a great way to build momentum in your team.



Magic Johnson

In the late 1980s, Earvin “Magic” Johnson was best known for his ongoing rivalry with the Boston Celtics’ Larry Bird. But off the court, life dealt Johnson a problem that risked his life—a HIV diagnosis.

Since his diagnosis, he played on the US National Basketball Team, became an entrepreneur, philanthropist—and has survived HIV. His uplifting story of dedication and persistence fits the context of many corporate events.



Waldo Waldman

Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman is a retired Air Force combat pilot with an incredible story—he earned his MBA while in the service, and climbed the ladder as an impressive sales and financial consulting leader. With a background in the military and business, Waldman offers an incredible perspective on leadership with the relevant, unique energy necessary to command your attendees’ attention.

See your team’s morale soar with an incredible keynote speech from Waldman.



Abby Wambach

As the second-highest all-time goal scorer for the USA Women’s National Soccer Team, Abby Wambach knows a thing or two about reaching her goals. Growing up as the youngest of seven siblings in upstate New York, she never thought soccer would take her to two gold medals, as well as the Time Magazine list of 100 most influential people in the world.

Wambach speaks about her life, lessons learned on and off the field and about the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity.



Juliet Funt

Juliet Funt is the CEO of WhiteSpace at Work, a training and consulting firm that helps organizations, leaders and employees flip the norms of business in order to reclaim their creativity, productivity and engagement.

With thought-provoking content and immediately actionable tools, she has become a nationally recognized expert.


Finding the right person to speak at your event sets the tone for the whole thing. Interested in booking one of these awesome event speakers? Contact us!

Mandy Espey's picture

Mandy Espey

Mandy has spent the last 11 years in the event management and industry relations field. She leads a purchasing team who is responsible for conceptualizing events, building program budgets, negotiating contracts and maintaining client and supplier relationships. In her spare time, Mandy enjoys traveling and cheering on her beloved Iowa Hawkeyes.