Bold Ideas

We list speakers we love and would travel to see

In a world of online information overload, being in the audience listening to the right speaker can spark permanent change.

As an entrepreneur and an eternal student of life, I'm inundated with information, advice, hacks, tips and new research online. Everyday my social media feeds flood with articles that are meant to inspire me, make my business better and even motivate me to meet all my goals in less time! I have loved learning online but something inside me has reached a tipping point. I am craving the pure pleasure of sitting in an audience, under the spell of a great speaker and feeling the buzz of being connected to another human while learning and growing.

And so I challenged my Scout Team to shortlist and then select speakers who have a reputation for being vibrant, authentic and challenging on the stage. Speakers who could spark lasting change in how I think and move through the world. The final list of speakers includes speakers I have either heard speak in the past and never forgotten or are on my bucket list. When you're ready to take learning and inspiration back to a human level and turn your ringer off for an hour or so, I highly recommend that these speakers be the ones you travel to see!

Sharon Ricci, Editor-in-Chief

Danny Khursigara, Speaker, Hong Kong

We first discovered Danny Khursigara through his Living With Purpose - TEDx talk. We were intrigued about his approach and followed up, reading his chapter in The Road to Success: Today’s Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Reveal Their Step-By-Step Systems To Help You Achieve The Health, Wealth and Lifestyle You Deserve and awarding him one of our first 100 Authority features. Danny authentic and passionate approach while speaking to audiences around the world has earned him a place on our Speakers You Must Hear This Year list.

If you get the pleasure of hearing Danny speak, you'll gain the lasting benefit of hearing his ideas on how to discover your life purpose and transcend beyond fear and limiting belief systems. Danny believes that living with purpose is a key characteristic of super successful people.

When asked who benefits most from being his audience, Danny responded, "C-suite corporate executives, women leaders, human resource heads, entrepreneurs, meta physical practitioners". And the key message you'll walk away from one of his live workshops?

Clarity is power. Be clear why you're here. When your purpose , passion, vision & goals are in alignment success happens.

While I have seen taped versions of Danny's speaking engagements, many of which happen in Asia, I have spoken to professionals who have been in his audience who report, replaying the session 4 times, they were so inspired.

Upcoming speaking engagements: October 15th at The Hong Kong Mindfulness Event addressing over 1,000 people. Topics include Interpersonal Relationship - How to Overcome Resentment as well as Spiritual Laws Of Success Manifestation. In November he will be speaking in Tokyo on Success Principles and Mindfulness for an internationally renowned brand name. Also he will be speaking about Being Inspired to Greatness during a two day intensive event, January 19th in Hong Kong with events in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen subsequently.

Drayton Patterson, Speaker, Chicago/Phoenix

Drayton Patterson is as comfortable in a Major League Baseball stadium as he is on stage. He reaches deeply into his decades of coaching and mentoring experience as an athlete and psychologist to help audience members connect with the stressors in their lives and walk away with not only inspiration to take control of their lives, but the tools to get them started. The speaking topic that caught our eye is his session on "Understanding Stress, Burnout, and Stress Management".

We caught with to Drayton to ask him about his signature keynote and the audience it attracted. He said, "The seminar focuses on defining stress and burnout, and the varieties of stressors that can become detrimental to one's performance at work, interpersonal relationships, and emotional and physical well-being. A variety of stress management techniques are discussed and practiced with my audience. The seminar becomes dynamic and interactive and is very well received. Look around my audience and you'll see professionals from educational institutions and the corporate and healthcare world. Each come for their own reasons but the common bond is that they are experiencing different types and levels of stress and I'm able to speak to them to spark lasting change. Our takeaway from Drayton's "Understanding Stress, Burnout, and Stress Management" session?

Having stress in our lives is inevitable...we cannot avoid stress but we do have the ability to control our thoughts and emotions.

During his speaking engagements, Drayton reflects on the strategies he learned throughout his professional baseball career and that he now speaks about in his seminars and training sessions. Drayton's most recent audience were medical doctors and they gave him high marks for his workshop, reporting that they were grateful for gaining a different perspective on the stressors they're faced with and that they felt more able to cope efficiently with the stressors of being a physician, a spouse, and within their interpersonal relationships with family, peers and friends.

Upcoming speaking engagements: October and November 2017, Drayton will be working as an Independent Sport Psychologist in the Arizona Fall Baseball League with the top prospects in professional baseball, based in Mesa, Arizona. His focus with players is on mental conditioning for success, which echoes his chapter in his best seller, "The Road To Success, Vol.1". Athletes will benefit from his wisdom and guidance on positive self-talk, goal setting for success, self-esteem enhancement, and making good decisions on the field and in life. Drayton will also be speaking on these same topics with educators in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area in 2018

Catherine Oaks, Speaker, Nevada

I had the personal pleasure of meeting Catherine Oaks while we shared a stage in Reno, Nevada in the spring of 2017. Catherine's "from the heart" talk about overcoming adversity in life inspired me greatly. As a person and a professional speaker, Catherine is a rare gem as she radiates positivity, grounded mindfulness and infectious love of life. Her talk entitled, "Things are not always what they seem" is the one that has earned her a place on our Speakers You Must Hear This Year list.

From the stage Catherine shares her hard earned wisdom on how self confidence or the lack thereof impacts every area of our life and what we can do to build confidence and live our purpose fully and successfully. When you look around the audience you'll see people who still thrive to reach new heights and increase their financial freedom and sense of fulfillment in their personal or professional life. 

After Catherine left the stage I asked fellow audience members what they thought. Their response? "Catherine's speech was the most inspirational I have ever experienced. I was touched deeply. Catherine gave me the motivation to move forward and look for ways to live my dreams."

If you are lucky enough to be in the audience when Catherine is on stage the takeaway that you'll leave with:

Stay hungry. Stay foolish. Never give up and always walk head up with the belief that you are as good as anyone out there.

Kelly Lovell, Speaker, Ontario

Kelly Lovell has been our Editor’s radar for a few years and she was one of our natural picks for our Speakers You Must Hear list. What really stands out for us is her talk focused on “Digitalization at Work - How to Recruit and Engage Millennials”. In her audience you’ll find HR professionals and C-Suite leaders looking for common sense ideas on how to recruit and retain young talent.

Wondering why it’s important for you to hit the road and hear Kelly speak? According to Kelly herself, “Millennials are set to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, millennials are becoming a critical demographic for employers. Much to their frustration, these young employees do not respond well to traditional communications and training methods.”

So, what do you do with new employees who aren’t concerned with the bottom dollar and will move companies to find a vibrant, socially engaged community where there’s room for growth? You hit the road and find Kelly wherever she is speaking and take a deep dive into workplace gaps and figure out the defining characteristics and strategies to build the purpose-driven culture millennials seek.

What others have said after being in Kelly’s audience?

“At the end-of-the-day wrap-up, everyone in peer marketers’ group, agreed Kelly's presentation was the best. Not only did you help us better understand our challenge but you left us with some real nuggets of wisdom and inspiration to face that challenge – and make it an opportunity. I look forward to working with you again soon to make our youth and Millennial marketing authentic and effective!" 

-VP, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Your Neighbourhood Credit Union

Upcoming opportunities for you to hear Kelly speak:

Startup Canada's Day on the Hill - Oct 19th (Ottawa)
FEMM Live - Oct 21st (Toronto)
GroYourBiz Luncheon - Millennial Employee Engagement for SMEs Nov 28th (Mississauga)
World Youth Forum - Nov 4-10 (Egypt)

For more upcoming events and presentations please visit

JoJo Townsell, Speaker, Nevada

Joseph Rae "JoJo" Townsell is a former National Football League wide receiver. He played for the New York Jets from 1985-1991 and has plenty of stories and insights to share about being a professional football player. But that's just the beginning of what you'll learn about JoJo and the life lessons he gathered through childhood and early adulthood that will really stick with you long after he leaves the stage.

I had the pleasure of being in the audience in Lake Tahoe this past spring when JoJo Townsell brought his unique brand of motivation and entertainment to the stage. He shared personal stories that resonated even with the non-athletes in the crowd. In fact, as a professional speaker, JoJo takes every member of his audience on the journey from asking his Grandmother for new football shoes to facing his deepest fears on the field. JoJo is an entertainer that scores a perfect 10 from every kind of audience, raising "chuckles and thoughtful smiles" from the athletic and non-athletic attendees alike.

The talk that JoJo is currently touring with is titled Your Success is our REWARD and his goal is to share his deeply felt message that "We are all super professionals." The lasting message you'll walk away with? We all have extraordinary powers. When we decide to use them.

Audience feedback is passionate and enthusiastic. From a teenager I heard,

"I now understand how education helped you became a NFL Player", 

And from professionals in the audience, "I want to join your efforts in building our local workforce" and "You have motivated me to keep working to reach my professional potential."

Upcoming opportunities for you to hear JoJo speak:

October 30 - November 13, 2017 - Mondays @ Pau Wa Lu Middle School
November 1 - November 15, 2017 - Wednesdays @ Carson Valley Middle School
November 1 - November 15, 2017 - Wednesdays @ Douglas High School
January 22 - April 9, 2018 - Mondays @ Pau Wa Lu Middle School
January 24 - April 11, 2018 - Wednesdays @ Carson Valley Middle School+Douglas High School
May 7, 2018 - Molly Youth Awards Banquet

Troy West, Speaker, Colarado

When I'm looking for a speaker to invest my time on, I'm often searching for topics that will help me take my business to the next level. Last spring when I was in Lake Tahoe speaking I shared a stage with Troy West.  His topic? Retirement. As an entrepreneur my retirement plan consists mostly of hope and wishes in the place of concrete strategies. And as a creative type, the thought of listening to a speaker talk about retirement wasn't exactly at the top of my list. And then Troy hit the stage. Troy took the idea of "save, wait, save, wait" out of retirement and had my attention from the moment he began speaking.

Ask Troy what you'll walk out of his "You Don't have to be Old to Retire, Live your Lifestyle Today" knowing and he counts it off in six steps: 1, Retirement is branded and the tools used are mechanisms to control your time and money. 2. Security, control, and options give you the tools you need for your deep desires. 3. You must learn how to get the tools. 4. 90% of people are dead or dead broke at 65 after working 40 years. You can learn a new path to what you want now. 5. Understanding core problems Americans face to live the lifestyle they want today. 6. There are 4 steps to improve your lifestyle immediately.

"Your time, money, and networks can all be working for you with a proper plan."

Who's in Troy's audience (other than surprised creative types like me)? According to Troy when he looks out from the stage he mostly sees businesses and close families. They come because they've heard that he'll guide them to a new way of thinking about retirement. They'll leave knowing they can wear learn new methods to provide security, control, and options to build a better business and improve their lifestyle and circumstance of the people and purposes they care about most.

Feedback from fellow audience members? "I learned that I can use other people's money for common purchases and that expenses like taxes and interest can be eliminated quickly!"

Upcoming opportunities for you to hear Troy speak:

In January Troy's team is officially launching The Retirement Myth. To get updates about new material and content, email Troy or visit The Retirement Myth website.








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