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Neal Petersen

Professional Adventurer; Award-Winning Author; Motivational Speaker

Travels From:
South Carolina
Fee Range:
$15,000 - $25,000

Neal Petersen is an award-winning author, solo “Around Alone” racing yachtsman, founder of an investment bank and so much more. Few people have realized their dreams, but even fewer have raced solo around the world and in a home built boat! It is an unparalleled adventure, the longest, most extreme race for any man or woman, 27,000 miles in a boat, nine months at sea –alone!

Featured Videos

Neal Petersen Keynote

Neal Petersen NAHU Standing Ovation Keynote

No barriers: Neal Petersen at TEDxUniversityofNevada

Speaker Resources

  •  Neal  Petersen
  •  Neal  Petersen

Transform your organization through innovation by turning set-backs and barriers into opportunities – then solutions!

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 takes audiences on a captivating journey around the world, using his remarkable life-story and shows, by example, that you can achieve your goals by turning set-backs and barriers into opportunities ~ with the right attitude and ability to foster innovation, build stronger teams, adapt under pressure and cultivate a mind-set that focuses on no barriers ~ only solutions!
World-class, history-making extreme adventurer, Neal Petersen, completed two amazing journeys in his life: a single-handed yacht race around the world, 27,000 miles, 9 months at sea, alone, around Cape Horn, and in the smallest, least funded, boat he designed and built himself. And an even more arduous and eventful trip of overcoming racial prejudice during the harsh Apartheid era in South Africa, poverty, and a childhood physical disability, just to make it to the start line!

Neal connects his remarkable uniquely delivered story to audience’s unique challenges, a theme or vision with remarkable stories of adversity, sheer determination and triumph. His presentations redefine courage and human potential.

With high energy and fully engaging presentation style, Neal’s audience’s are spellbound from the moment he walks onstage, until he departs – leaving them with a fresh perspective on turning disadvantages into advantages.

He carries a treasure chest on stage, and in it symbols of how he reached his dream by always turning barriers into opportunities, then into solutions. Neal demonstrates how success is realized—through innovation, balancing risk against return and being flexible enough to adapt to constant shifting winds. In these challenging times of uncertainly, fear and insecurity, many feel like solo sailors, adrift, grasping for survival. Neal lays out the importance of a clearly communicated vision, followed by detailed planning, preparation, passion and then execution.

He has challenged global audiences to prevail against their own formidable barriers and setbacks while igniting passion and a mind-set to never give-up!

This story of hope, resilience, and accomplishment is truly inspiring and reflects a powerful message that “in life there are no barriers, only solutions!”

Neal projects stunning images during his keynote and a 1 ½ minute intro and a 4 minute powerful self-filmed video of Neal rounding Cape Horn solo – his dream. He has thunder built into his presentation – lightning and fog are easy options for larger productions, dramatically bringing his story to life.

Faced with huge challenges and rapid changes in today’s world, it’s easy to get bogged down in the negativity and uncharted waters. Striving for goals and success helps us to remain positive and to remember what’s really important.

In these challenging times of uncertainty, fear and insecurity rise, many feel like solo sailors, adrift, grasping for survival. Neal lays out the importance of a clearly communicated vision and direction, followed by detailed planning, preparation, passion and execution using his remarkable personal story.


Neal’s life-story addresses adversity, diversity, leadership, team work, motivation, crisis, innovation, change and execution, and the courage to embrace fears.


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.


Overcoming fear and facing danger and the unknown has been central to how Neal approaches his goals and his life.  Audiences will walk away understanding the validity for direct correlations between perseverance, determination, passion and dedication to achieve any goal.


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.


Audiences will understand that you must address the possibility of failure if one wants to achieve great things. His message will connect with audience members’ experience facing challenges – sales quotas for instance – that may seem formidable at first – until imagination, innovation and passion are applied.


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  • “In over 30 years in industry, hearing dozens of motivational, academic, and informational speakers, I am hard pressed to name one that I was more impressed with or appreciated more."

  • "This was the first time in the eight years I have been coordinating these sessions where the audience was spellbound from beginning to end and stayed in their seats for the entire presentation."

  • “Neal delivered an inspiring keynote address for our leadership team that touched everyone deeply. Neal is a true leader and his life experiences are relevant for ANY leadership group.”

  • "Neal Petersen’s powerful presentation was the perfect keynote for our Global Inclusion Summit! His dramatic storytelling ignited and captivated our audience."