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8 Speakers With Incredible & Inspiring True Stories To Tell

Speakers With True Stories: Erik Weihenmayer, Melissa Stockwell, Ben Saunders, and William McNulty

Did you know that personal stories make up 65% of human conversations? That’s because storytelling is one of the most effective ways to communicate—it activates the brain of the person talking and the person listening. 

If you want to make sure your attendees leave your event feeling engaged and excited, here are eight speakers with amazing true stories for you to consider.

8 Speakers With Incredible True Stories

  1. Ben Saunders, World-Record Breaking Polar Explorer & Repeat TED Speaker
  2. Erik Weihenmayer, World-Class Blind Adventurer
  3. Vernice Armour, First African American Female Combat Pilot
  4. Melissa StockwellUS Army 1st Lieutenant, Paralympic Medalist, & World Champion Triathlete
  5. William McNutly, Co-Founder of Team Rubicon
  6. Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, NASA Astrophysicist and Author of the Book, Hacking the Stars: My Unlikely Journey Through Space and Time
  7. Rick Stanton & John Volanthen, Cave Divers Who Played A Pivotal Role In The 2018 Tham Luang Rescue

Keep reading to learn more about each of these keynote speakers with incredible true stories and browse through their individual speaker profile pages for even more information about their expertise ans speaking topics and to see their speaker videos. 

Ben Saunders

World-Record Breaking Polar Explorer & Repeat TED Talk Speaker

Ben is a three-time TED speaker who just returned from his most recent trek to the South Pole. Charming and witty, Ben’s stories of excruciating physical endurance, run-ins with polar bears, and pushing past doubt move audiences to push themselves and rethink their abilities. If you haven’t yet heard Ben talk about “giving everything you have to achieve something that’s never been done before,” watch his original, powerful TED talkSaunders combines the allure and nostalgia of 20th century explorers with the ingenuity of today’s modern adventurers. His presentation takes you to the ends of the Earth and back and showcases spectacular visuals, a commanding stage presence, a winning smile, and funny and relatable stories. Learn more about Ben here

Erik Weihenmayer

World-Class Blind Adventurer

Erik’s one of the most energetic and optimistic people you will ever meet, and the first blind person in history to reach the summit of Mount Everest. He talks about his journey from fear to adventure, shares amazing visuals, and explains how everything great he has in life came from reaching into the unknown. Watch as he tells CNBC Make It why it’s not enough to do things to prove the world wrong—it’s more important to be motivated by the question, “What’s possible?”. | Learn more about Erik here

Vernice Armour

First African American Female Combat Pilot

It’s incredible to hear charismatic Amour talk about how, after the Combat Exclusion Policy was overturned by the Pentagon in 1994, she came across a female pilot at an ROTC career day and a dream was first born. She went on to become a Captain, serve two tours in Iraq, and she wrote the book, Zero to Breakthrough: The 7-Step Battle-tested Method for Accomplishing Goals That Matter. Watch as she tells the women of ABC's The View how she got where she is today. | Learn more about Vernice here

Melissa Stockwell

US Army 1st Lieutenant, 2016 Paralympic Bronze Medalist, & World Champion Triathlete

Melissa Stockwell shares her amazing journey from tragedy to triumph. She was just 24 when she lost her leg as the result of an IED explosion in Baghdad. She felt devastated and hopeless, until one day at Walter Reed Medical Center, when she looked around and thought, “How lucky am I to have just lost one leg?” Watch as she tells a TEDx audience about the importance of refusing to give up and “choosing your own story.” | Learn more about Melissa here. 

William McNulty

Co-founder of Team Rubicon

Before founding Team Rubicon, William McNulty served for nine years in both the infantry and intelligence. He tells his personal story of coping with the service void in his life after his enlistment ended, and how a trip with a few friends to help in Haiti in the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake led to a new career. Watch as he tells the story of the first Team Rubicon, and how one person altered the course of his life. | Learn more about William here

Dr. hakeem oluseyi

NASA Astrophysicist and Author of the Book, Hacking the Stars: My Unlikely Journey Through Space and Time

Born into deep poverty in Mississippi, Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi grew up in some of the roughest neighborhoods in the country. He realized a love of science and space at a young age and, despite near constant discouragement, went on to obtain three degrees, 12 patents for inventions in modern computer chips, and to work on Nobel Prize-winning research projects. Funny, warm, honest, and inspiring, Hakeem moves audiences to never give up. Watch as he talks about why it’s so important to believe in yourself and he discusses his passionate pursuit to understand the Universe. | Learn more about Hakeem here.

Rick stanton & jOHN VOLANThen

Cave Divers Who Played A Pivotal Role In The 2018 Tham Luang Rescue

Rick Stanton spent 25 years as a firefighter before retiring and John began caving with the scouts at the age of 14. Since then, John and Rick have been involved in exploring and mapping caves throughout the world, including the UK, Europe, and Malaysia. Recognized as two of the world’s leading cave divers, in 2018 they both played an integral role in locating and rescuing the Tham Luang youth soccer team. Rick and his diving partner, John, were the first to make contact with the team, and played a leading role in the rescue mission. Watch as Rick and John talk about the incredible rescue mission and the “ultimate responsibility” that is ensuring the safety of another human life. | Learn more about Rick here and learn more about John here.


Are you interested in bringing one of our these top motivational speakers with incredible, true life stories to your next event stage? Looking for someone to get your team excited for a big undertaking at one of your upcoming meetings? Please let us know!

Contact our team to find out more about one of these individuals and their speaking topics, to check their speaking fees and availability, or to book one of these experts for your next event.

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