Gerry Duffy is one of Ireland’s foremost keynote speakers, focusing on optimising performance on either a personal or professional level.

My Story

How I went from a regular job and someone with a pathological fear of public speaking to writing four books and working with companies like Facebook, Coca Cola, Boston Scientific, Allergan, Workday and British Gas.

“Walk on air, against your better judgement”. Seamus Heaney

Before there were over 2,000 presentations and a successful speaking business, there was a quiet, in many areas, introverted early thirty something. A decision to take up exercise a few years before (to lose weight) had unlocked an energy inside me that over the next decade and beyond saw me challenge my own comfortable daily existence to living beyond the comfort zone -and where I began to set ambitious and challenging goals in many different areas of my life.


In my thirties and forties, I developed a passion for sport and running/triathlon in particular. Years of involvement in those culminated in a decision to undertake some extreme sporting challenges such as running 32 marathons in 32 days (2010) as well as completing a DECA Iron Distance Triathlon (2011) which consisted of swimming 24 miles, cycling, 1,160 miles and running 262 miles.

“Work harder on yourself, than you do on your job.” Jim Rohn


The biggest decision however and one which proved to be a game changer for me was a decision in 2005 to confront a fear of public speaking. I was beyond terrified addressing an audience that day of just four people, but the confidence I got from taking it on and standing up and presenting was huge. It also taught me that life rewards effort.

On reflection, for the past 20 years or more, I have invested heavily in my own personal and business development. Perhaps I was following the sage advice of Self Help and Business Philosopher Jim Rohn, who said ‘Work harder on yourself, than you do on your job’. I was investing in personal physical fitness, stronger mental resilience, further personal and business education and setting a higher bar in my career and my business. I became a more focused person with a clear vision for what I wanted in my life and the areas I needed to work on. I realised that the keys to my own growth and success were linked to Physical exercise, a positive attitude (even amidst challenging times) a growth mindset combined with a commitment to improvement - and a willingness to get uncomfortable on a very regular basis.

This culminated with a decision in 2009 to set up a Speaking and Training Business.

“What is a city, but it’s people.” William Shakespeare

Over the next few years, I was invited to share what I had learned with a wide variety of corporate clients all of whom understood that all companies, are in fact, people.

In the past decade I have shared ideas and strategies with companies like De Puy, Microsoft, Workday, Facebook, Salesforce, Oakley, United Drug, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi and many, many more. I encourage people to stretch themselves whilst showing both the personal and business benefits and the outcomes possible.


Ironically my business is dependent on my ability to capture my audience’s attention and to be an impactful speaker. With that in mind, I have spent the past decade learning, honing and further developing my speaking skills, In the early days, I focussed on overcoming my own nerves and showing up with confidence. Once I mastered that, I focused on the art of speaking and how to stand out on stage and impact your audience whether it five people or 500.

“I could have listened to him all day.” Dominic Burke, TravelSavers

Now I spend a lot of time now sharing insights with nervous and even fearful speakers and people who need to deliver important messages. In 2020, we launched a new membership site for aspiring and ambitions speakers who want to deliver more creatively, stand out from other speakers and get in front of more people.

Rather ironic I feel, when I reflect on that first talk I gave in front of just four people!

People we’ve worked with

Some of the great people we have worked with recently.

What our clients say


At Facebook, we pride ourselves on attracting top quality speakers from a wide range of
disciplines. The perspective which they bring really helps our teams to understand and
appreciate how others overcome challenges in their own careers. Gerry’s talk was one of the
best I have seen. He really made us think about the goals we set ourselves and to question our
personal limits. His story resonates strongly with us given our company mission and he has
pushed us all to rethink our limits.

Colm Long, Director Online Sales Operations, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Facebook


Thanks again for your time and inspiration. The feedback from the team was exceptional. Your
messages really hit the mark and they got a huge amount of value from it. I think a colleague
has already been in touch with you about doing something similar with his Irish Life team… I’ll
count that as my first referral to you!

Brian Keane, Head of Financial Planning, Retail Banking, Ulster Bank


Gerry delivered a keynote for one of our partner events. He has a fascinating
personal story which had great parallels to the business world. His drive
and determination in the face of adversity was amazing and I was personally
in awe at all he has achieved. Everyone in the room took a nugget away that will help them.

Cathriona Hallahan, MD, Microsoft Ireland


A great presentation detailing a quite astonishing achievement. Highly enjoyable and hugely

Optimise your Life Team, Google


A BIG thank you for attending our conference and the presentation you did. It was very
inspiring, and all the staff are talking about you. You have certainly inspired lots of people in our
company both in work and their personal life. I think you will be back next year for our
conference – be warned.

Vicki Morrison, Sales Team Manager www.Cruise.co.uk


Gerry joined us for our annual conference. His session was inspirational, interactive and
practical. The way he tailored his advice/ideas to the various different groups in the business
was very impressive.

Seamus Conlan, Managing Director www.cruise.co.uk


The most useful session we ever had as a company event.

Mairead Griffin, Head of Sales – Grunenthal Pharma


Just to reiterate my thanks for your extremely professional, engaging and thoroughly
enjoyable sessions over the past 3 days. Your participation and delivery made the events very
special and the attendees clearly had a great experience as commented by many. Please
accept my sincere gratitude for your brilliant contribution.

Mark Reddy – Reddy Advisory (Business Trainers to the Insurance Industry)


Gerry Duffy presented to my Global Operations and Supply Chain leadership team in
December 2015. A fascinating, thought provoking evening was achieved in no small part by
Gerry’s preparation in advance. He reached out to understand the purpose of the meeting,
what we were trying to achieve and how he could best assist and tailored his presentation
accordingly to meet our needs. He managed to engage an entire room of people on how we
could raise our standards to achieve “the best of our ability” and what that actually meant
from his personal perspective. His own story gives him huge personal credibility to be able to
deliver a message like this and shows clearly that “what separates do’ers from dreamers is
commitment”. Some great practical advice as to how to turn this personal commitment into focused actions
to deliver on what we are required. I could not recommend Gerry highly enough – his delivery
style meant he made his extraordinary achievements sound possible and gave the audience
the feeling that our aspirations were within our grasp also if we follow his suggested approach.

James Winters, Vice President, Manufacturing, Global Joint Reconstruction, DePuy
Orthopaedics Worldwide


We invited Gerry to visit two of our US facilities to spend time with our leadership teams. All I
can say is WOW!! He has a remarkable way of describing his journey and transformation from
an average office worker. His message speaks to how and why he corrected his life’s focus –
not on the achievements themselves. We were all moved and inspired by what he has
achieved both personally and professionally.
The content and messages are delivered for the benefit of the people sitting in the room –
each one taking away a personal message. You could hear a pin drop. He has inspired our
team to raise our personal expectations in incremental ways. Days later you will still be thinking
about your time with him.

Kristen Parr, VP General Manager, Alkermes plc, Wilmington, Ohio, USA


Thank you for an amazing presentation yesterday. Everyone was so inspired by your words,
team building exercises and videos. I really appreciated the amount of preparation you put
into this. It showed! We simply have to do this again.

Pat O Brien, Managing Director, Dental Medical Ireland


​Thank you for your presentation to our team in London yesterday. I found your talk nothing
short of fantastic. I loved the ease at which you translated your remarkable achievements into
such a simple, practical and ‘can do’ approach. The concepts you presented were so easy to
grasp and relate to from a personal or business perspective – the examples for each concept
are as powerful as the credibility your experiences have brought to them. I gathered feedback
from many people following yesterday’s talk and all I can say is keep up the great work as it
was all glowing positive remarks. I hope we will use your valued input again in the future.

Mark Treanor, Director of ICT Operations and Customer Services, Leaseplan Information


As part of Smurfit Kappa Group head office’s Continuing Professional Development
Programme, we invited Gerry Duffy to our office to show us the hidden well of self-motivation
that lies within us all. On first meeting Gerry, he appears just like any other unassuming, easy-
going guy. However, once he began to speak, his captivating and intelligent presentation had
everyone in the room absorbed in his story. The Q&A session was the longest we have had at
any event we have organised. During the course of his presentation you know you are listening
to a truly extraordinary man.

David Dawson, Group Accountant, Smurfit Kappa Group PLC


I just wanted to say how much everyone enjoyed your presentation. The business messages
you delivered were absolutely appropriate for our key conference theme of looking into
ourselves as individuals. Your experiences were a fantastic metaphor to get the point
over to our entire management team. Your presentation was emotional, inspiring and
highly motivational and I will certainly recommend you to other business associates.

Andy Bruce, Managing Director, Lookers plc UK


Gerry’s motivational talk was amazing; in fact, it was the highlight of the day. I am getting
emails from people since Friday, stating it was the best motivational speech they have ever
heard. I think our staff and sales colleagues have been given a major motivational boost that
they can strive for. From a personal standpoint it has me majorly pumped to achieve greater
things in my working career and personal life.

Russell, Managing Director, Oakley Ireland


Gerry delivery style is warm, genuine and above all humble. He has a rare talent to make
extraordinary achievements sound very ordinary and within the grasp of anyone who
implements the ‘Ultimate Success’ formula. The entire team got a huge amount from the
presentation and the energy in the room after he left was amazing.

Nigel Monaghan, Head of Sales, Standard Life


Gerry gave a fabulous presentation to over 150 business owners at our “Maximising Your
potential through Wellbeing” event which was part of Donegal County Enterprise Board’s
Enterprising Donegal Business Week. His presentation was well tailored to the audience and
was very well received by all. It had both intellectual and emotional content that both
engaged and motivated the audience. What I particularly liked about working with him was his
preparation in advance of the event and his commitment to getting it right – a reflection of his
philosophy on proper preparation. We would definitely have him back in Donegal.”

Michael Tunney, Chief Executive, Donegal Enterprise Board


“From the outset Gerry was keen to not just turn up and tell stories of his wonderful
achievements, he enquired about the organisation and more importantly the key messages
that we were trying to deliver at our conference. This was highly professional and refreshing on
Gerry’s behalf. The delivery was excellent and you could have heard a pin drop in the room.”

Jim McAuliffe, Group Financial Controller, United Drug


2013 will go down as Dublin hurling’s finest season in 52 years. Definitely the best decision I
made in the whole year, was to invite Gerry Duffy to present to the players and my backroom
team. In my time as an inter-county manager (9 years) and as a player (12 years) I have
listened to many motivational speakers. I have found that even the really good ones find it
difficult to hold the attention span of a group of players. To say that Gerry captured the room
from 9pm to 11pm is an understatement. An amazing experience.

Anthony Daly, Manager, Dublin Senior Hurling


It takes a lot to impress a National Swimming Team who are so dedicated to their sport and
that is exactly what Gerry did. His presentation to our National Team was delivered in a very
simple and relatable manner in which every athlete left the room feeling that the possibilities
of their talent was yet to be explored. I hope to work with Gerry again in the future as I believe
he is a piece of the puzzle in our pursuit of excellence

Peter Banks, National Performance Director, Swim Ireland


Your talk last night at GAA headquarters was superb. It was entertaining, thought provoking,
beneficial and inspiring. To be honest, it was the best I have ever heard.

Barry Kelly, All Ireland Senior Hurling Final Referee 2006/2008/2012/2014


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© Gerry Duffy Academy 2020

© Gerry Duffy Academy 2020