Inspirational Keynote Welcome

South African-born, Neal Petersen is a dynamic inspirational keynote speaker, international extreme adventurer, who draws from extraordinary life experiences, delivering a powerful and timely message of adaptability and perseverance, Neal turns barriers into solutions by never giving up. An award-winning author and the subject of a PBS documentary, Neal is a natural storyteller—riveting, engaging and highly entertaining. He challenges audiences to find their treasures, to use their experiences to navigate these challenging times to their advantage.

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Keynote speaker, author and adventurer – Neal Petersen

Attendees are guaranteed to hang on the edges of their seats as he empowers them to excel by sharing how he overcame the formidable barriers of a childhood physical disability, poverty and the humiliation of Apartheid in South Africa to compete in the longest and most dangerous of all sports: solo yacht racing around the globe—27,000 miles, 9 months at sea—alone, and in the smallest yacht he designed and built himself.

In these challenging times of uncertainly, fear and insecurity rise, many feel like solo sailors, adrift, grasping for survival, Neal lays out the importance below of a clearly communicated vision and direction, followed by detailed planning, preparation, passion and execution using his personal story. Neal’s keynote addresses adversity, diversity, childhood physical handicap, poverty and the need to excel with accountability and responsibility – not only for today, but, for the next generation.

Neal is an in-demand guest speaker at the College of Charleston’s International Business Program teaching leadership and macroeconomics. He is a well-traveled, informed global investor, lived in various parts of the world, has homes globally, understands many cultures and has worked with many world leaders.

Neal demonstrates how success is realized-through innovation, balancing risk against return and being flexible enough to adapt to constant shifting winds. Neal has “wowed” international audiences with his life story and how he relates and connects it to their challenges, which consistently end with rave reviews and rousing standing ovations.


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Neal with Olympian Silken Laumann and Astronaut Mae Jamerson

Petersen masterfully shares how his courage to dream, dedication to a plan, perseverance, and help from others, enabled him to reach his goals and provides the tools for others to reach theirs.  His story of hope, resilience and accomplishment is brilliantly delivered, truly inspiring and reflects a powerful message – In Life There are No Barriers ~ Only Solutions!”


Keynote speaker, author and adventurer
Neal Petersen



“Neal is one of the most inspiring, dynamic and thought provoking speakers you will ever witness, he is mesmerizing!”

Why book Neal Petersen…Alicia Holt explains.


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