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Steve Donahue        

Sahara Desert Adventurer, Bestselling Author, Corporate Change & Engagement Expert

A spellbinding storyteller and motivational speaker, Steve Donahue grabs your attention and never lets go. His highly interactive and deeply researched presentations touch the heart and soul of corporate purpose and individual motivation.

As a young man, he crossed the Sahara Desert overland. Decades later, Donahue completed a three-year, 72,000-mile global odyssey to find a new story and a reason to tell it. These incredible journeys inspire his work to create legendary leadership in epic organizations as a speaker, leadership trainer, and consultant.

He is a bestselling author and international expert in Narrative Intelligence. His first book, "Shifting Sands: A Guidebook for Crossing the Deserts of Change," has sold over 125,000 copies in half a dozen countries. He has worked with more than 500 of the world's best organizations to revolutionize change leadership and ignite employee engagement.

Speech Topics

Build an Epic Organization

An epic organization enthralls employees and captivates customers in a way which superlatives struggle to quantify. But it’s the ancient definition of epic that shows us how to build a company deserving of the modern meaning. Like the heroes of those old poems epic organizations need to be on a quest. Leaders must thrive in constant change and everyone must be completely engaged on their journey. Most importantly, epic organizations need to cultivate a compelling narrative that staff, stakeholders and customers want to play a role in and be the heroes of.

In this inspiring presentation Steve Donahue will share his own epic story to illustrate the cutting edge concepts of Narrative Intelligence as a bridge to the future. You will learn how to embed personal and organizational values within stories to guide your career or company during times of groundbreaking change. Steve will show the science that makes narrative so powerful. You will also learn the dominant themes or story lines that function as a compass in your own life and how to leverage that unique narrative content to adapt and capitalize on opportunities while always staying true to your core values.

Tell an Epic Story

Stories carry values, clarify your mission and build brands. But how to tell your story and what kind of stories to share are crucial when competing for attention in a digital world. In this interactive presentation, master storyteller Steve Donahue will enthral your audience with his narratives while instructing your group to perfect and leverage their own. Using the latest brain research he will show the science behind the art of storytelling that helps you captivate, illuminate and motivate.

Make an Epic Journey on Shifting Sands

Steve’s classic presentation based on his journey across the Sahara Desert features a powerful metaphor for leading and succeeding in a change environment. Steve will keep you moving together in the right direction whether your change is continuous or episodic, proactive or reactive. His customizable “Rules of Desert Travel” focus on aligning personal and corporate direction, maintaining energy and engagement, teamwork and getting out of your comfort zone.


Steve Donahue is your keynote speaker, emcee and conference storyteller all-in-one. For the entire conference Steve interacts with delegates on breaks, attends all sessions and functions, then appears on stage as often as possible to weave his thoughts, experiences and insights. He literally tells the story of your conference in real time to deepen the messages and moments from presenters and attendees alike. Make your next multi-day event more cohesive, inclusive and magical with Steve's uniquely inspiring approach.

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