Steve Whitby Photo

Steve Whitby is a speaker of unique style and substance — unlike any other speaker on our team.

He is a storyteller, conveying critical lessons about student leadership and human potential through stories of normal people facing extraordinary opportunities.

Steve is best used in smaller settings like president academies, retreats, emerging leader seminars, and training conferences — usually groups of 300 or less. He does best with self-selected leaders with high levels of commitment to their campuses and organizations. Whether speaking to students or the higher ed professionals working with them, Steve gives his audiences new ways of thinking about old, entrenched challenges.

Steve wants to challenge your leaders—even the best of them who already “get it”—to act. He believes they should act now on the choices in front of them, instead of complaining about how hard, complex or un-winnable they think those problems are.

Some basic tenets define each of Steve’s keynotes. He believes that human dignity is easily discarded when students buy into someone else’s idea of the perfect college experience. He believes that when we learn how to empower others, we learn about trust and great things happen. He believes that radical change is possible when we stop listening to the rules others have put on us and use our imagination and learned skills to tackle challenges in smart ways.

He believes that very small choices can change everything.

If you bring Steve in to keynote your leadership event, he will choose stories and approaches that fit beautifully with your mission, theme and purpose. His approach is based on each individual’s enormous energy and potential, and your participants will leave feeling inspired and free to think differently.

When you need a keynote speaker to set a tone of possibility and potential, Steve is the speaker we most enthusiastically recommend.


He is one of, if not the, best speaker we have had. Period. From any agency. He appealed to students, alumni, and administrators alike, and I think we have a tough crowd.

Kara Miller, Cornell University

...Outstanding. I've worked with Steve for the past year and he tailors his program to fit the needs of our campus. He engages with our students year-round, not just annually when he visits.

Allison Swick-Duttine, SUNY Plattsburgh

Shaving the Yak

Sometimes, our leaders and our groups get stuck on things that simply aren’t important. A particular campus tradition, campus expectation or habit might feel critical, but it’s actually holding us back from what we could be doing. Shaving the Yak is about readjusting our focus, rediscovering our purpose, and making those critical first steps toward something new and meaningful. Themes of this keynote include communicating a vision, thinking at a higher level, being a servant leader and facing critical change.

Building Backdrops and Understanding the Bottom Line
Steve helps participants understand how communicating a simple, defining vision drives every decision we make as individuals and in groups. Steve shows your audience how choices rooted in human dignity inevitably help our communities thrive.

Empowering Every Member
You can’t be an effective leader if you’re stuck in lower level tasks and squabbling over who gets credit. Steve helps organization officers understand how moving their group forward often means working relentlessly to build thriving organizations while harboring no desire for personal recognition. When we value our role in the organization’s success, we thrive personally.

Experiencing Paqod
Do you know what Paqod is? Yeah, neither do we. Yet Steve somehow makes it perfectly understandable as he discussed the risks needed to affect change. Your students have the talent and the opportunity to stop the madness in your campus culture, but they need a place to begin. They need to understand why stepping outside the comfort zone and spending their social capital will lead to something great.


Get More!

Our speakers provide value items to our customers every time they book a program at full price. These can be used as giveaways to students who attend the program, or as gifts to your hardworking student leaders.

With Steve Whitby choose from one of the following:

Restrictions apply for additional programming and speaker value items. Please call CAMPUSPEAK for more information.