Neal Petersen – business keynote speaker

When Helsinn, a global pharmaceutical company, wanted to launch a new drug and were in the midst of facing major changes, they needed a keynote speaker who could weave their messaging of “Making Waves” within a brilliantly told story. That choice was adventurer, author, Neal Petersen. PNC Bank needed their leadership team to navigate a growing future as their organization expanded among banking reform. They turned to Neal’s leadership experiences of using the life and death choices he had to make on the high seas. Financial leaders can use the same principles in their decision making abilities. As tax receipts fell, Municipal and City Governments had to tighten their belts and do more with less and needed a business speaker who could take a long term vision from concept to inception with limited financial means. They turned to Neal Petersen.
Neal Petersen addresses the creation of winning strategies, embracing diversity, conquering fear in order to achieve the impossible, while continuing to raise the bar as he takes the challenges of his clients businesses, combines it with the specific messaging, that creates results and an extraordinary experience. Using a well crafted personal story of over overcoming all odds of prejudice, economic hardship and physical disability to complete the longest and most arduous sporting event, solo racing around our planet, Neal assists clients in moving their workforce and customers forward into positive action.
Working with governments, technology, healthcare, insurance, financial services companies, Neal is the business speaker who will inspire leadership growth, creation of long-term vision, while re-focusing on the ability to keep navigating towards being the industry leader. This is the fuel for change!  See quotes below…

NPFog TEDx speaker Neal Petersen

“We always like to hear from speakers who have accomplished the unimaginable and Neal certainly fits this description. He delivered his powerful message in a unique and compelling way that captivated our audience. His story of overcoming barriers resonated with our attendees and provided them with the motivation needed to tackle daily obstacles. The research he conducts on the company in advance of the keynote allowed him to connect in an even deeper way. Overall, well worth the investment.” Mark Clemente, PNC Financial Services Group 2014

“For our leadership conference, we brought Neal to our conference to address the topics of rallying around common goals and achieving operational excellence. His presentation was vivid and dynamic and his life story and experiences helped this audience see how we can all marshal our inner strengths, stretch our capabilities and realize remarkable achievements. Neal’s words inspire confidence by making the pathway to success seem like something that every individual can attain. Albert Benchimol, CEO, AXIS Capital Holdings Limited 2013

“Neal is a great speaker and he has found ways to help financial advisors take Neal’s experiences and to apply it to their practices in such a way to grow their businesses through the tough times and enjoy the good times.” Larry Roth, CEO, AIG

PNC Reference

We always like to hear from speakers who have accomplished the unimaginable and Neal certainly fits this description. He delivered his powerful message in a unique and compelling way that captivated our audience. His story of overcoming barriers resonated with our attendees and provided them with the motivation needed to tackle daily obstacles. The research he conducts on the company in advance of the key note allowed him to connect in an even deeper way. Overall, well worth the investment.
Mark Clemente
Corporate Communications
PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.






Neal and Mark during rehearsal.

Collaboration Between the Client and Their Motivational Speaker

As an event planner looking for motivational speakers, inspirational speakers, and keynote speakers, you must have a strong level of communication in order to ensure a successful event. When meeting planners plan an event, their ultimate goal is to inspire their attendees. This means, having speakers who leverage off of each other’s messages to increase the overall impact of the presentation or workshop. Motivational speakers used to open an event set the tone for the rest of the event, solidifying the theme. The closing speaker builds upon that tone to re-enforce the theme. Neal Petersen and Doug Dvorak are both professional speakers that have worked closely together for years to figure out how to impact events and conferences positively. Whether it was for an insurance executive in Halifax, Canada, military leaders in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba or the Department of Defense Fire Chiefs to all the US military bases meeting in Chicago, Neal Petersen and Doug Dvorak get their messages out which captures their audiences right from the start.
In order to capture your audience you must first capture your client. Building a relationship with your client will be key to having an extra-ordinary event. If your relationship with your client is strong and done right, they in turn will spread that captivity along to the participants (audience) giving you great recognition and an identity among your attendees before even meeting and presenting to them. In addition, collaborating with the client allows one to provide key information to your speakers, which will allow them in turn to study and get to know your audience strengths and weaknesses. Great communication leads to easy to find, but crucial to touch upon focus points that makes your event that much more impactful. Your audience will be able to relate to the speakers because your speakers will have built their presentation around the knowledge of your audience.
In addition, to building a relationship, collaboration allow one to work as a single team. The client should always be deeply involved in the speakers’ preparation, whether it is a motivational speaker, inspirational speaker, or a keynote speaker, it will help avoid any misunderstandings and miscommunications. With trust fostering through communication, one can ensure that both on the same page and have the same overall mission, which is to be impactful, motivate, encourage, and deliver exemplifying new perceptions. This alone will make your next event more powerful and influential. Once the audience sees the togetherness of the people involved and how the event is structured around them as individuals and as a team, they will be talking about it for months to come.
Choose speakers who start to deliver excellence before they appear on your stage, speakers who inspire you while you are working on the tedious details, who are clear on what tools they need in order to motivate and inspire your attendees and have incredible content. What is also important when choosing your speaker, it is not just what they do on your stage, but how they make your attendees feel from that platform and later, off that stage. Are your speakers willing to engage the attendees post presentation in a non commercial, supportive, energizing manner that makes you the true hero of the event for demonstrating great vision, leadership and lasting inspiration? This is why corporations and associations are bringing Neal Petersen and Doug Dvorak to their stages.

TEDx appearance in Reno, NV

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATEDx8We had a very successful time in Reno, NV on our first TEDx experience. Great team to work with, standing ovation after my address and we spent a lot of time in the community giving four more talks at the University of Nevada, addressing Microsoft’s licensing office and spending the day at Carson Montessori School.



Elizabeth Smart was one of the day’s speakers and it was interesting listening to her story of being kidnapped and surviving.

TEDx7 TEDx10 TEDx11 TEDx





Two of my new favorite people, Racquel Abowd and her student, Ivan. Ivan plans to be Governor of NV. We will post his acceptance speech soon. We got to spend some time together at Rachquel’s school and have lunch at Adele’s. This is one of the best dining experiences one can have in Nevada. This is Raquel’s parent’s restaurant and do not miss the place if you are ever in Carson City.


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One local newspaper covered our work with the students and wrote the following article.

Outside Magazine Story, Sept 1994

So You’re Young Black South African and You Want to Sail Around the World

Neal Petersen knows it will take more than geluk. Ten thousand miles from his home, awash on the benevolent shores of Ireland, he hasn’t lost sight of his dream.
By John Brant

Read the entire Outside Magazine that was published in 1994, one of the best comprehensive articles every published on Neal’s life story before the 1994-95 solo around the world race. This article led to Neal’s first version of his autobiography being twice optioned for a major motion picture deal, but unfortunately not made as of yet.

Bermuda Summer Leadership Program

Bermuda Arial ViewJuly 29 – August 2, 2013
The Fairmont Southampton
Southampton, Bermuda
No Barriers, Only Solutions
An educational program facilitated by Neal Petersen & Darlene Kristi

Neal and Darlene are conducting a 15 credit  hour leadership workshop for Long Term Healthcare leaders in Bermuda. Today more than ever we are navigating changes in healthcare and we need to be able to adapt. Leaders from across the long term healthcare industry will be joining together to learn, to share and to navigate into the future.

 Who should attend? Continue reading

Neal’s PBS Documentary

29 min PBS documentary on keynote speaker, adventurer and
author, Neal Petersen and his participation in the 27,0000 mile solo
race around the world. Born in South Africa in poverty and on the wrong
side of Apartheid, he was the least likely to finish this epic single
handed race.