Adventurer, Author, World-Class Motivational Speaker
South African-born, Neal Petersen is a world-class professional solo racing yachtsman, global investor, award-winning author of Journey of a Hope Merchant and the subject of a PBS documentary. Read More >
TEDTalk: No Barriers
Neal Petersen Receives a Standing Ovation
Interviews with Neal Petersen
The Treasure Chest
No Barriers Excerpt
How do you navigate forward, deal with constant wind shifts, sudden storms, conquer fear, isolation, while dealing with an ever present changing world? Neal Petersen will take you on a personal journey and show you by example – there are no barriers, only solutions! Read More >
Neal Petersen's keynote addresses adversity, diversity, childhood physical handicap, and the need to excel with accountability and responsibility. Petersen is a well-traveled, has experienced and lived in various parts of the world, relating well to global audiences.
Taking his audience on a journey around the globe, Petersen demonstrates how success is realized through innovation, passion, balancing risk against return, and being flexible enough to adapt to constant shifting winds. He has "wowed" international audiences with his life story and his ability to relate and connect it to their challenges, resulting in rave reviews and rousing standing ovations. Petersen shares how his courage to dream, dedication to a plan, perseverance, and help from others have enabled him to reach his goals and provides the fuel for others to reach theirs. He is known for delivering thought-provoking real-life experiences and messages that captivate and engage audiences and move people emotionally, inspiring them to make long-term, substantial changes in their personal and professional lives. His story of hope, resilience, and accomplishment is truly inspiring and reflects a powerful message that "in life there are no barriers, only solutions!"
Images project during Neal’s keynote that bring his story to life and 2 videos, a 1 ½ minute intro and a 4-minute powerful video of Neal rounding Cape Horn solo – his dream! He has thunder built-in and fog and lightning optional for larger production events, great visuals to really bring his story to life. Read Less ^
Based on the polar explorer, Ernest Shackleton, who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic and became a role model for leadership as one who, in extreme circumstances, kept his team together in a survival story described as "incredible”! Read More >
Neal challenges guests to ask themselves, “Why would someone follow you to the end of the world?”
This stimulating and thought-provoking leadership program will follow Neal Petersen’s “No Barriers, Only Solutions” keynote. The allotted time is customized to fit a client’s program, between 1- 6 hours and can be done as a two-day program as well.
Leadership Program Content
Leadership and Developing Relationships for Creating a Legacy
Neal has always defined himself by what he can imagine – rather than how others would define him and how he sustained his dream in the face of numerous barriers is compelling. Neal’s ability to apply his own attitudes, values and experiences to reflect on the values and mission of the guests will make this a powerful and meaningful experience for all.
Overcoming fear, isolation and facing danger and the unknown has been central to how Neal approaches his goals and his life. Guests will explore how to balance risk and danger with good judgment; how Neal coped with the unknown when making life-threatening voyages and will empower guests to better tackle their tough challenges ahead.
Neal’s impact transcends age, gender, and race to promote the creation of leaders, life-long learners, and individuals who are mindful of the consequences their choices will have on personal, familial, community, and generational levels. Neal communicates the fundamental processes needed to create the foundation of a vision and provides validity for direct correlations between perseverance, determination, motivation, and dedication to successful outcomes. The choice is up to each one individually.
Establishing trust and personal responsibility is part of the foundation of leadership and achievement. In addition to Neal’s innovative use of technology and the plain guts and determination that drove his success, discussion about the values and ethics that frame his goals and achievements – and how these values power one’s achievements and ambition will be explore. Neal is an extraordinary thought-leader and global visionary, who empowers others to think globally and generationally with the highest ethics when making decisions. Read More >
Neal represents the need to constantly expand the horizon of the possible; cross new frontiers; seeking out new challenges and accepting no limitations within oneself.
Neal’s accomplishments demonstrate that true exploration isn’t just about what you find in the world – it’s about what you discover within yourself. Read Less ^
"The theme of our summit this year was ‘Owning Your Possibilities’ and we could not have had a better opening keynote speaker than you, Neal Petersen. Our attendees were on the edge of their seats as you took them on a journey of how you broke barriers to own your possibility and reach your goal. They appreciated that you were able to correlate the challenges you faced to our business needs so that they could make the connection and that you spent the entire day with them and were willing to share your knowledge with them. Thank you for your engagement, for sharing your story and for inspiring us to ‘own our possibilities!’"
"Neal Petersen’s powerful presentation was the perfect keynote for our Global Inclusion Summit! His dramatic storytelling ignited and captivated our audience. With high energy and fully engaging presentation style, Neal captured the audience’s attention and left us with a fresh perspective on turning disadvantages into advantages. Neal’s inspirational “No Barriers” presentation brought our Summit theme to life!"
"I have been very fortunate to work with Neal Petersen - we brought him in to speak to three of our top producer meetings. He 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."
"I just wanted to thank you for the great message you shared with our top producers and senior management team. Your entire presentation was right on point with the goals of the meeting and was extremely well received (standing ovation!). Several advisors commented on how much they personally got from your unique story, how effective you were at incorporating relevant elements to this group, and how enjoyable it was to spend time with you... It was a pleasure working with you during the entire process. Thanks for helping us have a successful event."
"It is rare that I am asked by my senior management at IBM to immediately hire a keynote speaker when he is barely off the stage to give another keynote speech the following week - but that is in fact what happened with you Neal. And I want to thank for the extraordinary presentation you gave in San Diego to 8,000, but for the follow up presentation you gave in Barcelona (another 5,000) with virtually no prep time as well. I truly was in awe of the spirit you drove into the audience and how you made your own journey so very relevant to every person in both locations. You were nothing short of a genius! You generated some of the highest ratings and most positive feedback I have seen in many years of running WW events in this division."
"I stepped into the General Session to listen to the featured speaker, Neal Petersen. Quickly, I was riveted to his dynamic delivery of inspiration, hope, and excitement. Neal is one of the most inspiring, dynamic and thought provoking speakers you will ever witness, he is mesmerizing. His presentation takes you on a journey from his personal struggles and childhood, of just being able to walk, to becoming the first black man to race solo around the globe, and in doing so breaking down every barrier put before him. Neal's story of conquering political issues and the oceans of the world will challenge your association, opening the mind, with new hope and a determination to break down the barriers, real or perceived, that now exist and to take adversity head on and demonstrate that with determination and hard work you can achieve your goals."
"I have spent hours and hours reviewing motivational speaker options for my corporate clients. But this is the first time that I have felt so strongly about a speaker and the success that he will bring to your events, that I felt compelled to pass the information on. Neal Petersen's message is current and very significant in today's current times. His energy is contagious. The group is sure to give him a standing ovation and participants will take away messages that will indeed be life changing."
"Neal did a great job for our event. We were very pleased that some of the key points that Neal made in his presentation became part of our language in the group – a real sign of the presentation being spot on, and useful in its purpose. (For example, we now use the phrase, "I don't need a new boat, I just need two feet" when we need to be more practical and to make it work with what we have at hand. It is new shorthand speak for "get it done simply" as well as "look at this a different way.") Many of our attendees mentioned Neal's presentation as a key highlight in the event on our feedback form. I was honored to meet Neal and would recommend him for other events."
"Neal Petersen has received our highest ratings ever for a keynote speaker, and this covers hundreds of events over more than a decade. Before him, we never had a single standing ovation, yet I can't remember a time when he did not get one! He also goes out of his way to spend time with attendees afterwards. He has a magical way of inspiring people. We couldn't have made a better choice for our thirty conferences this year."