John Watkis


He is the author of Speaking Notes: The Eight Essential Elements to Make Your Speech Music to Their Ears, a salsa dancing champion, and the first Canadian-born actor to play Mufasa onstage in the Disney musical, The Lion King.

In addition to more than two decades of performing and delivering keynote speeches and workshops for clients in six countries and on three continents, he has written speeches for corporations, government officials, non-profits, professional speakers, and hall-of-fame athletes.

Whether your event is an anniversary celebration, awards ceremony, or annual conference, John will make you look like a star when he stands in the spotlight and takes center stage.

Capture and Keep attention.

  1. Lessons in the circle of life

    Based on his experiences in the award-winning Disney musical production, The Lion King, John Watkis takes the audience on an entertaining and enlightening journey that allows them to temporarily suspend reality while reflecting on where they are and where they want to go. He provides timely, practical insights that leave the audience feeling energized, inspired, and eager to make a positive impact in the Circle of Life.

    • Influence others regardless of title, status or position
    • Prevent burnout
    • Overcome past failures and achieve future success
    • Discover their true potential and purpose
    • Shift perspective to improve performance
  2. How to Make Your Speech Sound Like Music to Their Ears

    In this informative, interactive and inspiring session, John Watkis reveals the eight essential elements that make music memorable and moving - then he shows you "How to Make Your Speech Sound Like Music to Their Ears" so your audiences will remember, repeat and respond to your speeches.

    In this session, you’ll learn to:

    • Immediately create connection with your audience
    • Make your main message memorable by using a time-tested, fail-proof technique.
    • Influence the overall mood of your audience
    • Organize your speech with ease
    • Discover the most common mistakes presenters make…and avoid making them when you prepare speeches
  3. Telling Secrets from the Stage

    Led by John Watkis, the first Canadian-born actor to play Mufasa onstage in the Disney musical, The Lion King, Storytelling Secrets from the Stage pulls back the curtain on the time-tested strategies used by the best storytellers, and shows you how to use the techniques when you tell stories so that people lean in, listen, and sit on the edge of their seats to hear what you’re going to say next.

“I have had the pleasure of hearing John Watkis speak twice now: once on how to create a speech with impact and once on leadership lessons. I was beyond impressed on both occasions! I, a compulsive note-taker, actually put down my pen, listened with rapt attention, and could easily share bullet points and highlights from the presentations with others weeks later. John uses his presence, voice, poignant anecdotes, and eloquent story-building skills to craft a message that consistently has the whole audience nodding along, maybe wiping away a few tears, and discussing it afterwards. Whether you are looking to develop as a speaker or grow as a leader, he is an excellent choice for providing strategies, guidance, and a fantastic learning experience!”

Dr. Serena Fisher, PMP, SPHR, SHRM-SCP Owner, Optimizing Insight Coaching & Consulting Services

“John Watkis is a unique and innovative leader who has been able to share his gifts on some of the top stages as Mufasa in The Lion King. Just as he played the Lion King, he now teaches others how to bring out the legal aspects of their talents and become the King or Queen of their stages. Listen to him, learn from him, and let him help you to grow the greatness that you have inside you.”

Dr. Willie Jollie Hall of Fame Speaker Best-Selling Author of “A Setback Is a Setup for a Comeback” and “An Attitude of Excellence”

“Working with John has given me the ability to address multiple layers of my keynotes – from content and stories, to delivery and blocking. Part of the value is his expertise and experience; another part is in his energy – patience and calmness. That energy brings out my best and makes for a powerful collaboration.”

Dr. Simone Ahuja Keynote Speaking and Best-Selling Author of “Jugged innovation” and “Disrupt It Yourself”

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