"I would like to help you transform your audience members to become better teammates and more effective communicators."

"I want to help you make your next meeting, conference or retreat to be the best one yet."

Using stories from my many years playing elite sports of challenging norms and breaking down barriers, I connect with the audience through storytelling, humour and shared experiences. Audience members will leave with a better sense of how to support the team mission, be more compassionate leaders and feel valued in their role or contribution to the success of the group.

As a professional speaker for 20+ years one of only a select number of CSP's (Certified Speaking Professional) in North America, I have had the privilege to speak to thousands of audiences. Have any questions? Feel free to reach out.

Speaker Video TedX Video

Keynote Speech

"It's Not About the Medal"

I use storytelling to exemplify many aspects of developing more successful teams and leave the audience with concrete ways to support the people and the teams around them. In often changing business environments, I teach how to stay the course and how to focus on the big picture while still taking care of details. Through a unique stories of perseverance and drive, I encourage the audience members not only seek out advice from others but to also share their knowledge and expertise as mentors. I share stories from my life to demonstrate that we all have value in various different ways and are all capable of contributing and finding value. Ultimately, I strive to help you build a cohesive team capable of taking on the world.

I'd love to chat with you about how I can tailor my speech to fit your audience and make the presentation a success for you.


Generally lasting 1 hour in length, this speech can be tailored to fit the time frame of the meeting or conference. The speech consists of 5 min segments that can be sequenced to fit anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour and a half.

Autographs & Medals

Of course, I love connecting with audience and look forward to chatting with them after the presentation. I always give the audience a opportunity post-speech to take pictures with an Olympic Gold medal and the opportunity to leave with autograph cards.

How can Sami Jo Add more value to your event or conference?

Dynamic Duo

I am married to one of Canada's most successful Paralympians, Billy Bridges www.billybridges.com Have us speak together at your next event as we share different perspectives on the same goals. As the all time leader in points in all the world in the sport of sledge hockey, Billy adds a unique perspective. Growing up with Spina Bifida and being in a wheelchair has meant he has had to overcome many obstacles in pursuit of his goals. Have us both at your next event. Inquire as to how to make that happen.

Master of Ceremonies/Emcee

Do you need a master of ceremonies at your next event? I would love the opportunity to elevate your event to the next level. I can combine positivity and energy with humour to make a memorable evening for your audience.

Panel Discussions

Whether it's a panel on leadership, women in sport, hockey, or catalysts for change, I'd love to help make your next panel a lively and energetic affair. Do you need help finding others to fill out your panels, let me know and I can be of assistance reaching into my vast array of network to find suitable panel members for your event.

Breakout sessions

I can take a deeper dive into creating a culture of a successful team. We can chat further about specific topics that would add value to the conference.

Team Building Workshops

From a few hours to a full day, I can transform the audience into better teammates. A highly interactive sessions, we go through specific ways to build team members more willing to sacrifice for the goals of the team. Whether you are looking to build a better team or looking to build better team members, I take the audience through a series of engaging exercises that will leave them feeling valued with the team and wanting to up their contributions to the success of the organization. Please reach out so I can make this program work for your group.

Media PR

I can help you boost attendance or drive registration at your next event by utilizing my media relations skills. Whether it's on social media or I'm needed to promote your event on TV or radio, I'd love to assist you in making your conference or event a huge hit. Inquire how to make this happen.

Sami Jo is a highly sought after teamwork and change expert

Through her keynote address, she focuses on helping you help the individuals in the crowd be motivated and inspired to help those around them. She'll help your group become a better "team", whether that's in the workplace, at home or in relationships, and inspire the group to want to work harder for a common goal. Sami Jo has worked with many diverse groups over her speaking career including

  • Associations
  • Banking/Financial
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Government
  • Hospitality
  • Insurance
  • Medical/Pharmaceutical
  • Real Estate
  • Retail
  • Technology


"The power of belonging to a team really shone through as Sami Jo shared her life challenges. I've seen a lot of speakers and few compare with what she delivered. Sami Jo moved me to tears through her authenticity. The message was powerful and I recommend Sami Jo Small as a professional keynote speaker."

Connie Bird

Life is Sales

"I would recommend all corporations looking to re-invigorate the spirit or cultures of their organizations have Sami Jo speak."

Benjamin H Lee

Nissan Canada

"Sami was a total professional from start to finish and was personable, funny, and highly engaging."

Erika Campbell

Canadian Olympic Committee

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Sami Jo Small kicked off our seminar with an energetic and inspirational keynote on how to beat the odds and achieve success despite adversity. Her remarks could not have been more tailored to our seminar's theme, and our clients were thoroughly engaged and motivated during her speech. Sami Jo was very professional on and off the stage with our clients, partners and colleagues.

C. Richard Donnelly

Global Principal Consultant - Dams and Waterpower

We kicked off our multi-day company offsite with Sami Jo Small's terrific keynote speech, and days later the team was still talking about how inspired and moved they were by her story. Sami Jo's message put everyone in the right frame of mind to tackle goals as a team, and her warmth and down-to-earth attitude set the tone for a positive, productive meeting.

Susan Catto

Head of Content & Publishing, Canada

Sami Jo was awesome and exceeded our expectations.She is very real, compassionate, delightful and inspirational.You could feel the buzz in the room following her keynote address.

Lois Irvine

Community Development Coordinator
North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation

The power of belonging to a team really shone through as Sami Jo shared her life challenges. I've seen a lot of speakers and few compare with what she delivered. The speech was well constructed and Sami Jo connected with the audience during her delivery. I was most impressed by her vulnerability and sharing of the not so glamorous struggle in making a decision to put the needs of the team ahead of her own. Sami Jo moved me to tears through her authenticity. The message was powerful. I recommend Sami Jo Small as a professional keynote speaker.

Connie Bird

Life is Sales

We were honored to have Sami Jo and Billy join us as our special guest speakers during our annual national dealer tour. Their stories on how to keep fighting through adversity and reaching your goals was very touching and made every one remember the power of resilience. Their professionalism and going the extra step to sign autographs and speak with our teams, right until the last guest had left, was something that I'll never forget. I would recommend all corporations looking to re-invigorate the spirit or cultures of their organizations have Sami Jo and Billy speak - their words will truly make a difference.

Benjamin H Lee

Senior Manager, Marketing and Sales
Nissan Canada Finance

Sami was a total professional from start to finish - she was very prepared to speak to the group of coaches at our event on her Olympic experiences, insights to coaching, and how leadership has affected her career. She was personable, funny, and highly engaging.

Erika Campbell

Manager, Marketing Partnerships
Canadian Olympic Committee

Sami's keynote presentation to our group of luxury real estate professionals was a smashing success! The audience was inspired and moved by Sami's Olympic story. Her underlying message of teamwork inspired our group to think beyond the individual and focus on the team behind each transaction. Her keynote ended with a standing ovation. I would strongly recommend Sami! She's a true pleasure! Thanks so much!!

Kate Ledbetter

Director of Marketing and Events
Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate

Sami Jo was absolutely amazing. She was great to work with and really kept everyone engaged. Her speech really hit home for many of our attendees at our AGM and Awards Banquet. Her message of how you play your role created a lasting impression on the audience. Sami Jo's story succeeded in uplifting the audience and creating a positive look on given roles, although not always the role you choose. Sami Jo shows you that you can flourish in your own role, you just need play that role positively. It was a true pleasure working with Sami Jo.

Melanie Kornacki

Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Sport North

The Conference was a GREAT Success! Sami Jo was fantastic and got a standing "O". Fantastic personal story of hard work and determination.


SCORE Statistical Consulting Inc.

Our meeting went exceptionally well and Sami Jo was a big hit with our group. I would definitely recommend her as a speaker for any group. She speaks very well, and she is very inspirational and insightful. She speaks with a great deal of passion and truly has an amazing message to pass on.

Geoff Jones

Sales Director
Sylvite Sales Burlington Ontario

Many people have commented that in the 10 years of this event, you were the best speaker we have ever had! Your message was perfect and you presentation entertaining and fun - and then you finished it off by signing autographs and having pictures taken with, it seems, almost everyone in attendance!

Skip Crosby

Community Service Coordinator
Clarington Community Services

Sami's talk was highly motivational and as a leader, she embodied the three C's of Character, Competence and Commitment we had discussed in class. She shows high commitment, energy and a commitment to always improve.

Dr. Gerard Seijts

Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour
Executive Director Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership
Faculty Scholar, The University of Western Ontario

You words have taught us that it is not only important to envision and set goals but to be prepared for the unexpected - and - when the unexpected occurs - to remember that there are choices for moving forward - pushing our limits, even in times of emotional discomfort. You are a true inspiration and touch the very core of being human. You have left us with the understanding that as individuals we are all members of a team and therefore rely on one another for support - beyond solo gains. Although we all have a unique set of life experiences - what we do have in common is the ability to pick each other up when we fall down. In following your motto, "try to do to better today than yesterday". Finally, thank you for reminding us to grab hold of our dreams and "light the fire within us"!

Lisa Amati

Education Officer, English Language
Education Quality and Accountability Office

Sami Jo's presentation was truly inspiring. She was able to craft a message for our audience that combined her experiences into their needs. The audience left feeling inspired and motivated to get a little better every day. Sami is such a dynamic, engaging and versatile speaker that we felt lucky to have on stage.
- Coaches Association of Ontario

Eric McLoughlin

Events & Partner Development
Coaches Association

Thank you so much for speaking at our annual conference! Your message of doing your utmost best no matter what role you're playing on the team really resonated well with our group! As any company, there are many different roles that make up our day to day work, and this was an amazing reminder that each and every single team player is just as important as the next in reaching the common team goal, whatever that might be! Thanks so much!

Alexa Niemi

Lumon Canada Inc

Want to find out if Sami Jo is the right fit for your next event?

Email or call her directly and she'd love to chat about how she can help. If she's not the right fit, she'll help you find someone who is.