When hiring a public speaker for your keynote address, you want someone with a strong message and broad appeal. That’s why sports speakers are in such high demand. Even if you don’t follow sports, their message of endurance, perseverance and personal excellence appeals to all of us.
Whether you need a speaker for a product launch, corporate restructuring or fundraising for a public cause, sports speakers inspire us both at the team and personal level. With that in mind, let’s look at 5 former athletes that we find especially motivational, versatile and who will provide the most lasting impact for your event:
Former World Championship pitcher Todd Stottlemyre became a star athlete through personal resilience, mastery of self-control and a drive for success. He brings these same attributes to each of his successful business pursuits as well as his personal life. Best of all, he has a deep passion for sharing his secrets of professional and personal success with his own clients as well as with audiences through his speaking engagements.
Stottlemyre believes that accomplishment must include more than financial success. For him, the eight forms of wealth are “family, relationships, business/career, finance, lifestyle, health/fitness, personal development and spirituality.” His drive to assist others led him to write his first best-selling book, Relentless Success, and its followup, The Observer: A Modern Fable on Mastering Your Thoughts & Emotions. As a keynote speaker and high-performance business coach, he has worked with Realty Executives, Merrill Lynch, Canadawide Sports and many others. Always powerful and moving, Stottlemyre’s keynote addresses motivate audiences with a message of achieving personal fulfillment and nurturing the best attitude possible.
Johnny Quinn saw his dream of playing for the NFL come to an end after being cut three times and losing millions in contracts. At age 30, when many would have given up their athletic career, he switched gears and made a bold move—he competed with the USA bobsled team in the 2014 Winter Olympics. And his perseverance and resilience have served him well. Today, Quinn is a highly sought-after business speaker, serving corporations ranging from BMW and Cox Business to the American Diabetes Association and Baylor Medical Center at Frisco.
Author of Push: Breaking through Barriers, Quinn has been featured by ABC, CNN, ESPN, Time and the Wall Street Journal, among many national outlets. Entrepreneurial in spirit, he also owns and operates the Johnny Quinn Insurance Agency in Texas. His public speaking focuses on overcoming challenges through laser focus and flawless execution. Some keynote address topics include Think Like an Olympian, Champion Mindset and Leading in the Digital Age.
Laila Ali is more than a former boxer and daughter of superstar Muhammed Ali. As an undefeated four-time world champion, she’s a world-class athlete and is considered one of the best female boxers of all time. Furthermore, she’s a fitness and wellness advocate focused on knocking out heart disease through better nutrition and a solid exercise regimen. In her book Food for Life, Ali provides her own recipes for comfort food that is both simple and nutritious.
As a celebrity speaker, Ali implores her audiences to embrace their own authenticity in creating the best possible version of themselves. She has been featured on Home Made Simple, Good Morning America, Rachel Ray and even provided a keynote address for Oprah’s 2020 Vision Tour. Her philanthropic endeavors include work for dozens of organizations including the American Heart Association, Athletes for Impact and Knock Out Human Trafficking.
Star snowboarding athlete Amy Purdy has earned paralympic bronze and silver medals, overcoming challenges few of us will know. At age 19, Purdy contracted meningococcemia which led to the amputation of both of her legs below the knee. She began snowboarding only seven months after receiving her prosthetic legs.
While her story in itself provides an example of resilience, Purdy takes her positive impact further through her motivational books and keynote speaking engagements. Her best-selling book, On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life, details her journey in overcoming adversity through persistence and passion. Her TEDx talk, “Living Beyond Limits,” became so well-received as to be selected by TEDx for its homepage. And her Bouncing Forward podcast further inspires audiences to not only survive challenges, but to thrive from them.
Inspirational author and keynote sports speaker Inky Johnson knows adversity. A college football injury threatened his life, dashed his NFL dreams and left his right arm paralyzed. Still, he persevered, finding opportunity within adversity. He went on to obtain his master’s in sports psychology from the University of Tennessee, a degree which serves him well as a speaker, entrepreneur, author and mentor to underprivileged youth.
His book, Inky: An Amazing Story of Faith and Perseverance, chronicles his journey from life-threatening adversity to personal achievement. He has brought that powerful message to clients including Chick-fil-A, State Farm, Bank of America, Comcast, and major universities and national sports teams.