Updated: November 06, 2022

17 Keynote Speakers for Corporate Events

Here is our list of the best keynote speakers.

Keynote speakers are public-speaking experts who have reliable knowledge of a particular industry and act as lead speakers during an event. These speakers use their expertise, personal experience, and storytelling skill to engage with the audience. Examples include Zahra Al-Harazi, Jeff Havens, and R. Michael Anderson. The purpose of these speakers is to address the audience extensively on a topic and set out an event’s central theme.

Key speakers can address audiences at corporate events like office parties, team building events, and company retreats. Many of these figures are also virtual keynote speakers.

This list includes:

  • keynote speakers for hire
  • keynote speakers in the US
  • keynote speakers in Canada
  • keynote speakers in the UK
  • keynote speakers in Australia

So, let’s get started!

List of keynote speakers

Keynote speakers are experts in various industries and use their experience to motivate, entertain, and inspire audiences. From Steve Harvey to Adam Pearson, here are the best keynote speakers you can hire for corporate events:

1. Daniele Henkel

Daniele Henkel is one of the leading keynote speakers for hire. She delivers her speech in two languages, English and French.

Daniele’s areas of specialization include:

  • Human entrepreneurship
  • Women’s leadership
  • Succeeding in business
  • Diversity and inclusion

Daniele Henkel is a woman of courage who never lets her challenges bring her down. Her motto is “everything is possible because we have the courage to try.” Daniele launched Henkel media in 2018, a platform for empowering underrepresented entrepreneurs. In 2020, the L’Institut de la Confiance Dan’s Les Organisation named Daniele as one of the decade’s most trusted personalities. The mother of four delivers value through her speeches in different countries, including UAE, France, and Switzerland.

Book Daniele Henkel.

2. Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner is an experienced philanthropist, entrepreneur, and speaker. He uses his life experience as a homeless and single parent to inspire his audience. In the long run, Chris overcame his challenges and became a successful CEO and stockbroker. When addressing his audience, Chris often speaks on personal responsibility and perseverance.

If you hire Chris Gardner for your next corporate event, then attendees will gain insight into how to take advantage of recessions while pursuing a career or starting a new business. You will also learn crucial lessons Chris himself learned while facing his adversities. Gardner’s true-life story notably inspired the famous film titled “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

Besides being a respected keynote speaker, Chris Gardner is a talented author. His books include “Permission to Dream,” “In Pursuit of Purpose Driven Life,” and “Start Where You Are.”

Book Chris Gardner.

3. Zahra Al-Harazi

Zahra Al-Harazi is one of the most talented keynote speakers in Canada. She takes pride in helping companies find their purpose and discover their potential for success. Zahra is a mother of three who survived two civil wars. She initially entered the business world without any higher education. Yet Zahra embraced her inner entrepreneurial spirit and successfully started her first company.

Zahra Al-Harazi once served as a Canadian ambassador to UNICEF. Also, she authored the book “What It Takes To Live and Lead With Purpose, Laughter, and Strength.” She shared her experience of becoming one of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs in this book. Zahra Al-Harazi received national and international awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, for contributions to Canada.

Zahra’s success story has inspired top companies and audiences in more than 20 countries. Institutions she once worked for include the University of Toronto, The Royal Bank of Canada, and Great West Life.

Book Zahra Al-Harazi.

4. Jeff Havens

If you are looking for ways to inspire employees and grow your business, then consider hiring Jeff Havens. His keynotes address challenges in modern-day business. Your employees will also learn how to deliver the best customer experience.

Jeff Havens enjoys discussing how to overcome fear, become a better leader, and create a lasting impact in your organization. The best part of working with Jeff is that you will gain insights into impactful solutions in an entertaining way. During Jeff Havens’ session, you can expect a lot of hilarious moments and laughter from guests.

Book Jeff Havens.

5. Daniel Murray

Daniel Murray is one of the best keynote speakers in Australia. His main audiences are individuals looking to become better leaders. His keynotes center around how individuals can lead a team to success with empathy. Daniel is a Management Consultant and once helped top companies like Commonwealth Bank, QBE, and IAG solve provocating challenges.

Daniel Murray is passionate about psychology, behavioral economics, and neuroscience. One of his topics is “Leading the Great Reconnection.” While addressing this topic, Daniel teaches the audience how to lead and motivate workers amidst uncertainties. Furthermore, Daniel hosts highly-interactive sessions where the audience can test their strategic decision-making skills and solve real-world problems.

Book Daniel Murray.

6. Leanne Spencer

Leanne Spencer has over ten years of experience in health and well-being. She is one of the leading female keynote speakers who address burnout and stress at work. Leanne uses a storytelling approach to deliver her keynotes.

Leanne Spencer’s message centers around the “Cadence Approach,” which teaches teams how to perform their best and manage their energy. Leanne’s message is excellent for senior leadership meetings, sales conferences, and annual company meetings. At the end of a session with Leanne, you can expect your guests to know how to build resilience like an athlete and handle stress in the best way possible. Leanne also teaches audiences how to deal with change and recover from burnout.

Book Leanne Spencer.

7. Christopher Thornberg

Christopher Thornberg is one of the best keynote speakers in the US. As a founding partner of Beacon Economics, Christopher has a reliable experience in the field of economics. He also took up the role of Director of the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. Christopher is an expert in revenue forecasting and gained a national accolade for forecasting the 2007 subprime mortgage market crash.

Christopher’s keynote topics include real estate, economics, and economic outlook. He addressed hundreds of organizations worldwide in his career as a keynote speaker, including the California State Association of Counties and Chevron. Furthermore, Christopher has also been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.

Book Christopher Thornberg.

8. Terry Crews

Terry Crews was once an NFL player, actor, and game show host. He is also famous for advocating for women’s rights. After coming out about his sexual abuse case, Time Magazine named Terry “Person of the Year” in 2017.

Terry Crews takes pride in delivering impactful keynote speeches at events. He has acted in many hit television shows and movies, including Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Everybody Hates Chris, and The Expendables. Crew’s career as a host in America’s Got Talent started in 2019. He also hosted the US version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire between 2014 and 2015.

Book Terry Crews.

9. Adam Pearson

Adam Pearson is one the best keynote speakers in the UK. Pearson has neurofibromatosis and strongly advocates against bullying persons with disability. He equally addresses audiences at world-class events, including British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, World Health Innovative Summit, and TEDx.

Adam Pearson is a presenter and talented British actor. The New York Times reported that Adam is “an actor of great charm.” He is famous for his campaigning works, which made him earn a Diana Award and a RADAR Award. Furthermore, Adam contributed to developing the first “Beauty and the Beast” series.

Book Adam Pearson.

10. Kevin Gaskell

Kevin Gaskell is a leadership expert and speaker who successfully managed businesses in industries like market research, technology, and brand marketing. Gaskell believes that the best way to get extraordinary results is to be an inspired leader.

If you are looking for ways to inspire your team or the leaders in your company, then Kevin’s keynote speeches will come in handy. Kevin Gaskell teaches his audiences value by sharing his own experience. He is a speaker and a business fixer who can turn businesses into long-term profitable enterprises. If you hire Kevin Gaskell as your next event’s keynote speaker, then attendees will learn how to identify the difference between opportunity and market share.

Book Kevin Gaskell.

11. James Taylor

James Taylor is one of the best keynote speakers in Canada. He travels worldwide, including the US, Asia, and Africa, to share insightful keynotes and inspire audiences. James Taylor is famous for helping companies explore their creative energies and deal with changes effectively. He delivers motivational keynotes on creativity, leadership, and change.

James worked with top companies like Johnson & Johnson, Sony, and Yamaha. Alongside keynote addresses, Taylor organizes corporate workshops which explore challenges faced in the business world. This speaker can work with industries like retail, healthcare, financial services, and education.

Book James Taylor.

12. Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey is a TV personality and respected keynote speaker in the entertainment industry. He travels from Chicago to address audiences in different parts of the world. Steve is a best-selling author and wrote the ever-popular Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.

Steve Harvey is the founder of an entertainment company called Steve Harvey Global. He also hosts several TV shows, like Family Feud, Judge Steve Harvey, and The Steve Harvey Morning Show. Steve Harvey won NAACP Image Award up to 14 times and Daytime Emmy Award six times. He also partnered with his wife, Marjorie, to form The Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation committed to reaching out to struggling youths.

Book Steve Harvey.

13. Anders Sorman-Nilsson

Anders Sorman-Nilsson is one of the most respected keynote speakers in Australia. He is famous for providing content tailored to fit different industries and their specific challenges. Sorman-Nilsson is also a scenario planner as well as a moderator and panelist.

This speaker often performs at social events and client gatherings. He specializes in industries like real estate, hospitality, and banking and finance. He is also a great innovative strategist and global futurist who help leaders figure out proactive solutions. Sorman-Nilsson has worked with reputable technology companies and brands like Apple, Mercedes-Benz, and Cisco.

Book Anders Sorman-Nilsson.

14. Adam Kay

Adam Kay is a doctor, comedian, musician, and best-selling author. He won several awards, including the National Book Awards and Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year. Kay frequently appears on TV shows and is famous for his best-selling book, This Is Going to Hurt. In 2017, this book gained recognition as Blackwell’s Debut Book of the Year. Also, the book is available in over 35 languages and explains Kay’s career as a junior doctor to readers.

Besides writing and public speaking, Kay has a career rooted in music. In the 2014 London Cabaret Awards, Adam Kay won Best Music Variety Act. Furthermore, this speaker has reliable experience performing in private events, ranging from royal parties to conferences. If your event centers on health and well-being, then Adam Kay is an excellent speaker to hire.

Book Adam Kay.

15. R. Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson is a respected keynote speaker and best-selling author. Anderson has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and was once a radio show host. Anderson’s main area of specialization lies in impacting leaders through his words.

This expert believes you must learn to lead yourself if you want to lead others successfully. He has also written several leadership books, including Soul-Centered Leadership. As an internationally recognized leadership expert, Michael is one of the best keynote speakers for hire. During addresses, he shares his own experiences, struggles, and successes on his path to leadership. Top companies like Microsoft, Uber, and Stanford University once hired Michael to address their employees.

Book R. Michael Anderson.

16. David Parish

David Parish is a keynote speaker who uses his experience to motivate and entertain guests. Parish travels worldwide to deliver his speech and once worked in over 60 countries, including Colombia, Spain, Korea, Ireland, Russia, and Ukraine. Parish often addresses topics like creative marketing, marketing strategies, and international marketing.

David Parish also talks about how to be a creative entrepreneur and succeed in the digital economy. This motivational guru appears as a speaker in start-up events, corporate events, and conferences. His audience includes business owners, senior executives, and students in university business schools.

Book David Parish.

17. Ben Saunders

Ben Saunders is a gifted speaker, athlete, and English polar explorer. He has a passion for skiing, and in 2004, he skied solo to the north pole. Also, he completed the longest-ever polar journey and became the third person in history who skied solo to the south pole on foot between 2013 and 2014. On his adventurous journey, Ben endured provocative and unpredictable conditions. In return for his predicament, he earned a life lesson he now shares with his audience through his keynotes.

Also, Ben believes that if you want to grow through failure, then you must learn to act without certainty and “control the controllables.” Ben Saunders remains one of the best keynote speakers in the UK. He is an expert in telling engaging stories and gives practical lessons your audience will find helpful in their business and personal lives.

Book Ben Saunders.

Conclusion

Keynote speakers usually play the role of a headline speaker during an event. These speakers are thought leaders and respected influencers in various industries. Hiring a keynote speaker is one of the best ways to educate and entertain the audience at your event. The speakers often use their own experience and knowledge to address guests. Also, many of these figures work independently or may partner with a speakers bureau. Regardless of the keynote speaker you hire, the most crucial part is that the speech delivered drives up audience engagement during your event.

You can check this list of employee engagement activities and employee engagement strategies for more tips on improving engagement. We also have a list of corporate events and entertainment ideas for company parties.

FAQ: Keynote speakers

Here are answers to questions about keynote speakers.

What are keynote speakers?

Keynote speakers are primary speakers paid to deliver speeches and set out the central theme of an event. These speakers are experts in a particular topic or industry and deliver their speeches in a way that the audience will understand the event’s theme better. Also, keynote speakers often use storytelling, motivational, and inspirational elements to keep guests hooked.

Who are some good keynote speakers for company events?

Good keynote speakers for company events include David Parish, Terry Crews, Steve Harvey, Chris Gardner, Leanne Spencer, Jeff Havens, Zahra Al-Harazi, Adam Kay, and Daniele Henkel.

How do you book keynote speakers for corporate events?

If you plan to hire a keynote speaker, then first take note of your event’s main topics. The speakers usually have different industries or topics in which they specialize. Therefore, you would want to hire a speaker that can deliver value to the audience. You can look for respected figures like celebrities, actors, authors, and presenters who have reliable knowledge of your event’s topic or theme. Also, check with a speakers bureau, which is a platform where you can easily contact different speakers. Many keynote speakers offer consultations to clients before booking. That way, you can determine if the speaker can address guests according to your event’s central theme. Also, the fees charge often vary by the speaker and duration of the speech. So you should consider your budget when booking a keynote speaker for company events.

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Author:

Content Expert at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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