At Prime Performers we are proud to offer such a wide scope of motivational speakers, ranging from politicians past and present, through to sporting legends. When you sit back and consider the variety of backgrounds that our speakers have, you realise that the circumstances of some individuals doesn’t immediately suggest they would make a good motivational speaker. Yet once on stage, they are able to captivate and inspire the crowd. In honour of these rousing raconteurs, we take a look at 3 of the most unlikely motivational speakers you are ever likely to find.
Australian Nick Vujicic was born in 1982 with the rare disorder tetra-amelia syndrome, which is characterised by the absence of all 4 limbs. Despite trying to drown himself as a child having suffered years of bullying, Vujicic went on to form the non-profit organisation Life Without Limbs at the age of just 17. Shortly afterwards he began giving talks, often at universities and colleges, addressing a variety of topics, including teen issues. Vujicic is now one of the hottest properties on the motivational speakers’ scene, having appeared in more than 20 countries in 5 continents. Perhaps his most notable appearance was his recent talk in Hanoi, Vietnam, where he even gave a brief of his faith. Despite reference to faith not usually being allowed on TV shows in Vietnam, the broadcasters did not cut the evangelical preacher’s mention, from what was mainly a motivational talk.
When you think of good motivational speakers you usually think of someone who can talk clearly, concisely and project well. So you might be surprised to learn that our second motivational speaker suffers from Usher’s Syndrome, which affects both sight and hearing. Bryan Grubb, who is now legally blind due to the on-going deterioration of his sight, uses American Sign Language to communicate, with his talks related by a translator. Despite his disabilities, Grubb completed a degree in computer operations at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in New York, before going on to work for Xerox, IBM and the Internal Revenue Service, where he retired. Struggling to keep occupied, Grubb came out of retirement and began looking for a new job. However, he found it difficult to find a new job, with prospective employers unable to see how a person with such disabilities would be an asset to their organisation. Grubb then decided to try his hand at motivational speaking, at the suggestion of an audience member who had attended a Union County Board of Development Breakfast at which he gave a short talk. BRG Motivational Solutions was created soon afterwards and Grubb has since given talks to many universities and businesses, including Honda.
Dr Wouter Basson
Our final unlikely motivational speaker is a little different to our first two offerings, in that we aren’t too sure he is someone you’d like to sit and listen to. Dr Wouter Basson is a practicing cardiologist who lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa. Unfortunately, Basson’s career history is somewhat less impressive than his current role. Between 1980 and 1990, Basson was the head of Project Coast; South Africa’s secret biological and chemical warfare project, which was in breach of the international BTWC agreement. In 2002 Basson was charged with a variety of offences, including arranging the murder of 200 South West Africa People’s Organisation in Nambia. The murder charges were dismissed by the judge, due to the fact they occurred in a different country. However, Basson is the subject on an on-going investigation by Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for unethical and/or unprofessional conduct, including the development of an anti-fertility vaccine, which it is alleged was to be administered to black women without their knowledge. With such a chequered past, you’d be forgiven for assuming that it would be difficult for Basson to find an audience interested in what he had to say. Yet in January 2013 he gave a motivational talk to members of the Kelvin Grove Club – an exclusive sports club in the upmarket suburb of Newlands in Cape Town. This wasn’t the first of such talks that Basson has undertaken, having been asked to address a fundraising dinner for Amado in February 2012, which allows disabled children the chance to ride horses. Although Basson is said to be intelligent, charismatic and an excellent orator, it is safe to say that Prime Performers won’t be looking to add him to our list of after dinner speakers any time soon. Image credit: hkwaffle on Flckr