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Richard St. John      

Success Expert; Author of the Bestselling Book "The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 To Be Great"

In the corporate business world, Richard St. John achieved success as a member of scientific staff at Nortel Networks R&D labs. For 10 years he was a researcher, marketing guru, and CEO speechwriter. He won design awards, did breakthrough consumer/user research, and masterminded creative production for many of Nortel’s largest product launches.

In the entrepreneurial business world, he achieved success after starting The St. John Group, an innovative marketing communications company that has been at the forefront of evolving technology for over three decades. He won top business marketing awards, including best corporate video and script in the world, and an IABC Gold Quill, the highest award in business communications. He did what he loved and became a millionaire.

On the personal side, he has a black belt in judo. He spent a year on a ten-speed bike cycling halfway around the world. He has run over 50 marathons (26 miles) on all seven continents (fastest time: 2 hours, 43 minutes). He and his wife Baiba have climbed two of the world’s seven summits, Kilimanjaro in Africa, and Aconcagua in South America. They have been together for over 35 years, a success in itself these days.

He spent ten years doing over 500 face-to-face interviews with many of the world’s most successful people, including Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, Richard Branson, the Google founders, Rupert Murdoch, and the list goes on. He analyzed every word they said, sorted, organized and correlated every comment, and created one of the world’s largest and most organized databases on success. From that he discovered the critical factors for achievement in any field.

He wrote a bestselling book "The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 To Be Great." Bill Gates personally asked for a copy. Others who applaud the book include Jeff Skoll, billionaire co-founder of eBay, and James Cameron, creator of the top two highest-grossing films of all time, "Avatar" and "Titanic."

St. John has given talks around the world and is consistently rated “Most Inspirational Speaker” at conferences. The largest bank in Norway chose Richard Branson and Richard St. John as the only two business speakers at a private VIP event for top CEOs and highest-level government ministers. He has also shared the stage with Bill Gates and General David Petraeus, U.S Chief Commander and one of “The Most Powerful People in the World” (Newsweek).

On the prestigious TED.com website, his talk “Secrets of Success in 8 Words, 3 Minutes” is consistently in the top 20 “Most Viewed” out of 700 amazing talks by great speakers. It has also ranked at the top in many TED categories: “All Time Favorites,” “Most Inspirational,” "Funniest," “Most Emailed,” and “Most Translated into other Languages."

College and university students like his down-to-earth, fun approach to a high-level, serious subject, and many say, “It’s the best talk I’ve ever seen.” Schools where he has spoken include University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and York University’s Schulich School of Business. At Erasmus University in the Netherlands, he was the closing keynote speaker at the largest and most prestigious student-organized conference in Europe.

In his talks and books, St. John shares an incredible wealth of wisdom from the world's most successful people, knowledge that everyone can apply to their own success, and the success of the company or organization they represent.

Speech Topics


A Shy Guy Who Speaks to Thousands

For most of his life, Richard St. John was a very shy guy who had nothing much to say.

Then he spent ten years studying success, and interviewing greats like Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, and the Google founders, and suddenly – bing!– he had lots to say. But communicating it to others meant doing the thing he feared most -- standing up on stage and opening his mouth. Ahhhhh!

Richard was terrified of public speaking, but he pushed himself to do it. He started by speaking to small groups of five or six people, then he pushed himself to speak to 20, then 50, then 100. The more he spoke, the more the fear diminished.

Now Richard speaks worldwide to audiences of thousands. He has gone from being the “Most Scared Speaker at conferences” to being rated the “Most Inspirational Speaker” at conferences.

Richard is living proof that anyone can go from being afraid to speak, to speaking on the world stage.

At last, an Un-motivational Speaker

Richard St. John's topic is success, so he's often called a motivational speaker. But he says he's NOT a motivational speaker. For one thing, he couldn't pass the height requirement. All those motivational speakers seem to be giants. Richard isn't that tall, and that's good, because he prefers to look up to audiences, not talk down to them.

Instead of being a motivational speaker, Richard is an informational speaker. He interviews the world's most successful people, analyzes information on what helped them succeed, and then communicates it with facts, not hype, substance, not fluff, evidence, not opinion.

Many audiences prefer this approach and resonate with his information. So, ironically, the guy who is not a motivational speaker is consistently rated "Most Inspirational Speaker at the Conference." But, don't tell anyone. You'll ruin his reputation as the “Un-motivational” Speaker.

When Richard speaks, nobody falls asleep. Except his wife.

Richard St. John has attention deficit disorder. That's actually a good thing for audiences, because he knows what it's like when a speaker doesn't keep him engaged. He'll start to fidget and his mind flies off in a hundred directions and he misses most of what the speaker is saying.

So, after spending ten years developing content, Richard spent more years making that content engaging for today's audiences. The result is a fast-moving presentation with 500 slides that's a feast for the eyes, as well as the ears; seriously thought-provoking one second and hilariously funny the next.

Audiences use words like "magical, fast, funny, fantastic, fun, exciting, energetic, and entertaining." So, when Richard speaks, nobody falls asleep -- except his wife. But that happens at home, too.

Richard was a "C" student. He studied the success of CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CTOs, CMOs, CROs, CIOs…

To discover what successful people have in common, Richard needed to interview hundreds of leaders and then compare the patterns that led to their success. In the business world, he came face-to-face with CEOs like Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, Jeff Bezos, Martha Stewart, Richard Branson and Cynthia Trudell, the first woman to run an auto company. But he didn't stop at the CEOs, he also interviewed and studied the people who report to them. To name a few:

CTO: Nathan Myhrvold, Bill Gates' Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft

COO: David Lipkin, Chief Operating Officer, Method

CIO: Dawn Lepore, Chief Information Officer, Charles Schwab

CFO: Mickey Clagg, Chief Financial Officer, Bob Howard Financial Group

CMO: Laurie Coots, Chief Marketing Officer, TBWA Worldwide

Richard ran up and down org charts, interviewing successful employees at all levels, on the front lines, back lines, bottom lines, and assembly lines, and he discovered the common factors that lead to high performance and success in all areas of an organization. No wonder his content resonates with everyone from accounting to advertising, software to sales, marketing to manufacturing, HR to PR.

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