Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly is an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker and authority on the success principles underpinning entrepreneurship, leadership, sales and motivation for which he has developed the cutting edge methodology of Xceptional Execution.

Kevin’s most popular speech topics:

  • The art of Xceptional Selling – how to engage a goldfish
  • How an ordinary idea is the new WOW … if you execute
  • Lead like you live it
  • The Innovation Fairy Tale
  • Have no fear … the future is no different than the pastDo_Kevin Kelly
  • The paranoid’s guide to Xceptional Customer Service

About Kevin Kelly

In his keynotes, masterclasses and training modules, Kevin talks about Sales, Motivation, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial thinking, Customer Service and How to Xceptionalise your Business.

Upon initially discovering academic research studies that showed 88% of company breakthroughs were the result of exceptional execution of an ordinary idea, Kevin has single-mindedly explored this remarkably simple idea. This research culminated in the development of his unique XE methodology – Xceptional Execution. Built on four key principles Kevin inspires, challenges and shows how to bring your business to the next level.

Kevin was raised among a small entrepreneurial family retail business. From a very young age he was selling and negotiating, listening to and serving customers. In this time he developed a great passion for human behavior. After graduating from University College Galway with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1987, he proceeded to break sales records in each of the companies he worked for in the construction and manufacturing industries. In 1990 he started his company Advanced Marketing Ltd and lectured International Marketing and Management at the Sligo Institute of Technology in Ireland. Over the years Kevin worked with several SME’s across industries and helped them to build and grow their businesses from ambulances, staircases, wrought iron gates, to hotels, crystal, adventure parks and more.

Nowadays Kevin speaks about his expertise in his keynotes, masterclasses and training modules at corporate meetings and conferences throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. From Fortune 500 companies to prestigious associations, he has addressed a long list of major organizations, including The Million Dollar Round Table, Microsoft, Globant, HSBC, KPMG, Scania, Coca-Cola, Pfizer and Lane Crawford.

Kevin is also a prolific writer, in the past years he has written five books. In his latest, “DO! the pursuit of Xceptional Execution,”  described by Tom Peters as the book he would loved to have written, he interviewed nine CEO’s from some of the biggest break-through start-ups, a.o. Dwolla, Globant, Balsamiq, Blo Blo Dry Bars and Outfit 7. In it Kevin delved into the DNA of the CEO’s of these startups, who he called the ‘Xceptionalists’, highlighting the thinking behind those who live and breathe the Xceptional Execution mindset and approach to business and life.

Kevin’s interactive cocktail of the most up to date research, stories and unique exercises guarantees maximum audience engagement. He mixes insight, inspiration and information in a way that always leaves an audience feeling energized and inspired.

Kevin presents in English and divides his time between public speaking, consulting and writing.

Keynote Topics

In his keynotes and masterclasses, Kevin Kelly speaks on the methodology of Xceptional Execution and the success principles of entrepreneurship, leadership, sales and motivation. His keynotes and masterclasses may vary between 45 minutes and 2 days.

The art of Xceptional Selling – how to engage a goldfish !
The latest research shows that the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds, of an individual it is 8 seconds. Engaging and building brand loyalty is becoming an extreme challenge. Using his methodology of Xceptional Execution, that draws on over 2 decades of breaking sales records in client companies, Kevin Kelly highlights the secrets to dramatically increasing your sales and developing long term sustainable relationships with customers.


  • The 4 E’s of Effective selling.
  • Just how distracted are we – Attention deficit society breakdown.
  • How canned can’t? How and why a canned sales approach doesn’t work with the modern
  • How to build friendships, not customer relationships – Goodbye sales person, hello business
  • How to close a sale? You don’t!

How an ordinary idea is the new WOW … if you execute

Aspiring entrepreneurs face many challenges before taking that vital first step, not least the intimidating myths that they must be a stand-out visionary, have a unique idea and work to a detailed, all-worked-out-in-advance business plan. Another factor, according to the Global Entrepreneurial Monitor, is that everyone deep inside has a fear of failure, cited as the number one reason why people fail to act upon their entrepreneurial dreams and ideas. In this keynote using his methodology of Xceptional Execution, Kevin Kelly highlights what makes startups and their leaders – which he dubs the “Xceptionalists” – succeed beyond all odds. Kevin uses cutting edge business cases such as Dwolla, Globant, Outfit 7 and Balsamiq to show that success doesn’t depend on the normal factors, moreover, it depends on your ability to execute with Xception.


  • How the Xceptionalists faced and moved with their fears to create compelling businesses
    and brands.
  • Why self development is the key to attracting the right team.
  • Why knowledge can sometimes stand in the way of progress.
  • The customer is no longer – focus on building friendships, not customer relationships.
  • How to craft and deliver a winning pitch.

Lead like you live it

In the leadership vacuum that exists around the world, it’s a challenge to find an Xceptional role model. In this keynote Kevin Kelly challenges future leaders to be the message, not just to communicate one. Using his methodology of Xceptional Execution, Kevin highlights how to mirror the mindset, attitudes and success strategies of the outstanding Xceptionalists he interviewed for his book “Do: the pursuit of Xceptional Execution.” From these exclusive interviews and over two decades working with companies, Kevin distils the attributes of the modern leader and shows how to create leaders at all levels.


  • How the creation of an empowering culture starts with yourself? And how it is the key to
    developing, attracting and retaining top talent.
  • How to get your message across in an attention deficit society?
  • How the power of friendships can help build your business?
  • ROI – Return on Intuition – why you shouldn’t dismiss the entrepreneur’s language?
  • Why you should see value in values and show patience in vision?

The Innovation Fairy Tale …

When people use the word innovation in corporate circles too often it conjures up the image of a Yogi levitating or a giant apple falling on someone’s head. This myth has helped to put innovation and creativity into the margins of business – as “their job!” The reality is that innovation/creativity comes through Xceptional Execution of an ordinary idea – no AHA moment, no levitating, oftentimes no WOW. Drawing on Kevin’s research with some of the most compelling new brands on the planet, participants will see that the new innovation is no more than incremental improvement of an existing idea; and in all modern organizations, everybody can contribute.


  • What is Xceptional Execution?
  • What made the difference in the Xceptionalist’s businesses?
  • How creativity and innovation is everybody’s business?
  • How culture is key to unleashing the creative juices of your organization?
  • The power of communication in the creativity process.

Have no fear … the future is no different than the past

The future tends to be positioned as a mini Armageddon – the general wisdom is that things will be different … dramatically different. Well actually NO! The facts are two key variables critical to the success of your business remain the same. The challenges continue to be around people, how to leverage their potential, and the ever decreasing window to engage them. And secondly, the need for change to be part of the corporate culture, interwoven into the fabric of the organization.


  • No need to predict the future, it is now!
  • The challenges and opportunities of an attention deficit society.
  • DNA – the building block of customer and employee engagement.
  • Lead like you live it and create an Xceptional culture.
  • How to address the fear factor in the long term?
  • Seeing beyond the chaos – the need for vision.

The paranoid’s guide to Xceptional Customer Service

Customer retention is the challenge for most businesses. A more informed and distracted customer requires a new approach to service if you want to build a more sustainable business. In this keynote Kevin highlights the elements behind a successful and Xceptional customer service culture.


  • 10bn brain cells yet people are predictable – how to connect.
  • The importance of building friendships, not customer relationships.
  • Become a paranoid – every moment counts.
  • Think consultant, not customer service rep.
  • Why you should get them complaining or watch them leave!
  • If you are good, guarantee it!


Now I can retire in peace. Kevin Kelly has written the book I always wanted to write. And he’s done it to the point of perfection–call it Xceptional Execution. Even the all-time best title: Do! Ah, Kevin, what a gift!
~ Tom Peters, Co-author of the international best seller “In Search of Excellence”

Polished speaker, great audience control, great content – ’Xceptional Execution of ordinary ideas’ is a great core message.
~Joseph W. Jordan, National Sales Organization Met Life USA

What a Fantastic Flip thinking session with Kevin! He kept the audience engaged with practical Xceptional Execution exercises. I highly recommend DO! and Kevin as an inspirational speaker for the entrepreneur inside us.
~ Guillermo Bodnar, Chief Technology Officer, Globant

Much like the audience he presented to during our events, I have to admit to being unsure of exactly what we’d signed up to when we confirmed Kevin as our keynote speaker. What we were sure of was that we wanted something different. We knew we wanted to challenge and inspire our audience to think differently about themselves and their businesses. Now, looking back at our events, I can say that Kevin more than delivered on that goal for us. His keynotes were not only challenging but highly impactful and we’ve had fantastic feedback from attendees across all of the events!
~ Neil Hetherington, Partner Business & Development Lead, Microsoft Ireland

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