What Student Leadership Conference Planners Are Saying

“Kent Julian was outstanding! The number of positive comments we received from both our students and adults about his keynote was more than any other speaker we have used in the past.
—Walt Roetter, Texas-Oklahoma Key Club, Administrator

Part stand-up comedian. Part dynamic story-teller. Totally-incredible motivational speaker who makes his audience the hero of his presentation. Kent Julian is the master of inviting his audience on a journey of laughter, encouragement, intensity, and inspiration while communicating clearly that each of us can be 100% responsible for our success in both life and leadership by living E+R=O!”
—Lisa Firestone, SkillsUSA Indiana, State Officer Coordinator

“Need an energetic and captivating speaker? Call Kent! Want a powerful, yet simple message to positively empower an audience of any age? Call Kent!! Want to work with someone who is organized, prepared, and ready to serve? CALL KENT!!!
—Allison Faircloth, Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation, Executive Director

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“Outstanding job! Kent Julian was the perfect person to kick off the opening session of our State Conference for an audience of over 7,000, and all I heard was positive comments from our advisers, students, and guests. He grabbed our attention right from the start (standing on a chair in the middle of the audience and singing will do that), his message was very open and honest, and his main point was so clear and easy to understand. As a result, our students walked out with an unforgettable principle to live by: Direction Determines Destiny. What’s more, everyone loved Kent’s personal stories and the way he interacted with us from the stage. His timing is great, his message is relevant, he is one of the easy youth motivational speakers you will work with, and it’s obvious he personally walks his talk.”
—Denise Morris, Oklahoma FCCLA State Adviser

“Kent did an amazing job at our Fall Leadership Conference! His keynote presented core keys to success in a very fresh and inspiring way. He was such a hit with our students, and they talked about specific ideas and strategies he shared throughout the entire year! And then he over-delivered throughout the year via his social media shout-outs to Washington DECA reminding them of his key teaching points. He is more than a motivational speaker, he’s a motivational person!”
—Candice Caldwell, Washington DECA State Officer Advisor

Kent Julian is one of the best speakers I have ever worked with! Here’s what he did exceedingly well: 1) rapport with our audience both onstage and offstage, 2) relevance of his message, and 3) follow-up.  First, Kent has an amazing ability to relate to an audience. He quickly developed rapport with our students and advisers. Even more, what made him stand out from other keynote speakers is he took the time to meet with students both before the event and afterwards. Our students greatly appreciated Kent’s taking an interest in them!  Secondly, Kent’s message is so relevant to students and adults alike. He takes a very serious topic and shares how a simple, new way of looking at it can create a much different and positive outcome. His message really hit home with our students. In fact, I know one student took the time to reached out extensively through email to Kent to let him know just how much his words impacted her. Lastly, Kent is exceptional at follow-up. As mentioned previously, he takes time after being onstage to meet and interact with students. I was amazed at how many students came up and talked to him; it was incredible to watch the exchange!!  To summarize, Kent Julian stands out from other speakers as he really does goes the extra mile to brilliantly connect with his audience onstage and then authentically connect with them offstage as well. It was an exceptional experience from start to finish! We will definitely have him back in the future!”
—Brenda Merkel, South Dakota FBLA State Adviser

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“We received nothing but positive comments about Kent’s opening and closing keynotes at our State Conference! He is a master at reading his audience, authentically connecting with them, interjecting humor even in the most serious moments, and keeping everyone engaged from start to finished. We’ll definitely rebook him!”
—Andrea Vail, Virginia Association of Student Councils Executive Director

“We loved Kent’s message, excitement, enthusiasm, his theme and stories, his interactive experiences with our audience, how he related to our students off-stage, and the fact that he was PRESENT throughout our entire Spring Leadership Conference. It’s hard to find a youth motivational speaker who wants to be involved throughout the conference. He kept reminding us he was there to serve us and it’s obvious he meant it…and our students LOVED it. We will definitely have Kent back to Iowa FCCLA in years to come!”
—Jenn Callahan, Iowa FCCLA Executive Director

“This year was a super year in NH FBLA, and the feedback from chapters about Kent Julian has been awesome! They loved his stories and honesty. Leading them in Simon Says, singing in the crowd, and drinking the chocolate milk and lemonade together were great too. Kent definitely delivers the excitement and energy needed to energize any group.  Additionally, he is very easy to work with and will arrange his presentation to fit your event theme. Add to all of this the fact that he and his team are very professional and quick to answer questions/emails. In the evaluation Kent sent us, he ask what he could change or do definitely to improve his program. My answer was, ‘Wow, I can’t think of anything!’ We’ll definitely use him again.”
—Mina Ayers, New Hampshire FBLA State Chairperson

“Kent Julian is one of the most engaging speakers we’ve ever hired and rehired. He starts his presentation in the middle of the audience singing a fun and creative song, which is engaging, dynamic, and gets a lot of laughs. He also plays Simon Says and lives up to his claim of being the greatest Simon Says leader in the world. Finally, like any great speaker, he connects with his audience through personal stories and experiences. But he goes further…he doesn’t just talk to audience members, he causes them to think, reflect, and take personal ownership of the success principles he shares.”
—Jane Donahue Davis, SkillsUSA Vermont, Executive Director

“I was unable to get a chance to thank you in person at the Georgia TSA Fall Leadership Conference because my students kept me busy. I just wanted to say: ‘That was the best keynote I have ever attended!’ (And I’ve attended over two dozen.) You made it all about and for the kids! Thank you, sir, for what you do!”
—Kevin Seymour, TSA Advisor, Central Gwinnett High School

“In my role, I look for three attributes in a youth speaker: (1) a great message, (2) someone who is easy to work with, and (3) someone the audience can relate to. KENT IS ALL THREE! He is a very genuine speaker and did an awesome job connecting with our DECA members and providing an outstanding motivational message that set the tone for our entire conference!”
—Chris Young, Director of High School Division, DECA Inc.

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“Kent Julian’s dynamic keynote was a great kick-off to our Fall Leadership Conference. It created an excitement for the rest of the conference that helped students engage with other workshops as well as our March of Dimes fundraiser. Because of this excitement, I think students who had not joined FBLA this year were given a great reason to join. In fact, talk about excitement, I visited a high school recently and in their business room Kent’s I Love Wa-Wa t-shirt was hanging on the wall with E+R=O in bright red letters painted right above it (both were memorable teaching points in his presentation)! Kent has a great message, and he definitely believes in what he says. I heard nothing but positive comments about his keynote and workshops. With all that said, the thing I most liked about Kent is he came in the night before and had dinner with our state officers, and he was available throughout the entire time he was with us to visit with our members and advisers.”
—Barb Frates, Wyoming FBLA State Chairperson

“We thoroughly enjoyed having Kent Julian keynote at our state leadership conference. He was authentic, personable, and enthusiastic both onstage and offstage. Onstage, Kent was fun and entertaining, he engaged our audience with group participation, and he inspired our members with a simple and memorable E+R=O strategy. This strategy equipped our members to better shape the outcomes they experience in life by taking 100% ownership of their responses to the events they face rather than letting the events control them.”
—Stacie Elwood, South Carolina HOSA Chairperson

“Kent Julian’s positive energy and personal interest in today’s youth was constant from his keynote to his interaction with attendees throughout our conference. I told him to keep doing exactly what he is doing because what impressed me most about Kent is how real he is. He doesn’t just talk the talk; he walks the walk. As far as his skills as a youth motivational speaker, he is outstanding! His balance of humor and seriousness was great. And the way he presents his ideas is so memorable. Everyone was talking about his keynote, specifically the E+R=O equation and the I Love Wa-Wa story. His teaching points about personal responsibility and how to achieve goals will be remembered for years to come by our attendees.”
—Nadine Standley, Pennsylvania FCCLA State Facilitator

“Kent Julian is high energy, he engages with his audience, and he’s hilarious. He’s also a very professional speaker and easy to work with. Our students and teachers alike LOVED his keynote and workshops! He showed our members how to take control of their RESPONSES to the events in their lives in order to positively determine their outcomes. E+R=O!
—Christine Phipps, New Mexico DECA and BPA State Advisor

“I wanted to take a moment to thank you for keynoting at our state-wide HOSA conference. You touched so many young people that night! Many came up to me and told me how the things you said about taking personal responsibility touched them. The story about your daughter really hit home with lots of students because they can relate to a story about someone who is just like them. Thank you for bringing such a positive message to our HOSA students…we were all touched and learned so much!”
—Shirlene Bender, Louisiana HOSA State Advisor

His keynote was excellent, and I was told his workshops were amazing too! Even better, Kent was easy to work with and very accommodating to our needs. Students walked away knowing how to tackle any barrier that is keeping them from their goals by living E+R=O. I would highly recommend Kent and have already shared his contact information with several state advisers!
—Sandy Mills, Virginia FBLA State Adviser

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What amazing energy! Kent has the ability to immediately engage an auditorium full of students first with his charming wit and then capture their emotions with the incredible stories and life lessons he shares. Our gymnasium-filled, middle school assembly was mesmerized by Kent and all our students were 10o percent engaged through his entire 45-minute presentation. Because of Kent’s program, each student walked away with a clear understanding of how to apply E+R=O to their lives and decision making. Kent Julian is one of the most personable people I have ever met, and I absolutely loved his ability to capture a room! You would be FOOLISH not to hire Kent to share his “Direction Determines Destiny” message with your organization!
—Tawanna Vickers, Program Director, Liberty Learning Foundation

Kent’s presentations are captivating—he got the attention of our audience and keep it! And the strategies he shares are so relevant, useful, and memorable. Our leaders continue to remind team members how to own their responses to the events in their lives (aka E+R=O), and our team members are passing that message along to those they mentor and support.
—Allison Faircloth, Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation, Executive Director

“If you are looking for a great motivational speaker for you next CTSO conference, the one thing I would say to convince you to hire Kent Julian is this: ‘Talk to student who have already participated in one of his keynotes or workshops.’ That’s what convinced us and we were delighted with our decision to hire Kent. Our students absolutely loved him—both his inspiring message and the extra time he spent with them after coming off stage. It was our extreme pleasure to have Kent keynote at our Spring Leadership Conference!”
—Susan Ladd, Vermont CTSO Coordinator

Engaging! Humorous! Memorable! Kent’s real life stories added so much humor and highlighted the importance of his message. And his message connected with our entire audience—parents, teachers, coaches, and teachers. I was very impressed with the level of speaking expertise: the message flowed, the stories were endearing, the main points were constantly reviewed and memorable. GREAT JOB!”
—Gina Holloman, High School Teacher

“Not only is Kent an engaging and dynamic motivational speaker who is able to inspire and equip students to SHOW UP AND SHINE in their life and leadership, he is also very flexible and easy to work with. As an event planner, I found him low maintenance, yet clear about his needs and expectations.”
—Kevin Hearne, Director of Teen Leadership Conference, Pacific Northwest

“Kent is a seasoned youth speaker who delivers on what you ask of him. He works well with the theme of an event and is excellent at reading an audience and their needs.”
—Rebecca Mitchell, Program Director at Camp Berea, New England

“Our Student Leadership Conference was successful because of YOU! I can’t remember a year when I received so many positive comments from audience members about connecting so well with a youth speaker. Thanks a ton!”
—Steve Straw, Eastern PA Student Leadership Conference

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“Mr. Julian is a very outstanding and professional youth speaker.  He motivates his audience to think about real life experiences and how to parallel the experiences to improve their life. What’s more, his stage presence was top notch! I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND him to other schools and event planners!!”
—Wanda Ireland, Assistant Principal

Kent Julian’s use of effective tools to connect with his audience is amazing. Through the engaging application of story, illustrations, and props, he draws his listener in and deftly guides them to the point of his message. His success as a communicator can also be seen in the audience interaction throughout his talks, as well as in his openness to answer questions and continue to instruct even after he has left the stage.”
—Nate Parks, Director of Camp Berea

“With a natural ability to immediately grab his audience’s attention, Kent shares great stories whose deeper meanings are easily understood. And amazingly, he held the attention of middle schoolers for an entire hour. He is entertaining. He is funny. And he has great content. Both students and adults enjoyed every minute!!”
—Elaine Crowell, Middle School Math Teacher

“I love that we know what we’re getting when we ask Kent to speak. We know his message will be clearly communicated with strong key points that students can grab onto and most importantly, take home!
—Tracy Irvine, Director, Youth Leadership Conference, Pacific Northwest Region 

“Kent is a seasoned youth speaker who always knows his audience and captures their attention. He came to our middle school and spoke in the gymnasium three times to audiences of 6th, 7th,and 8th graders. Amazingly, Kent captivated over 600 students in each setting. He was equally effective with each grade level. Our teachers were astounded at Kent’s ability to reach into the students’ lives. Kent is a grand slam youth motivational speaker!!
—Mark McCain, Principal, Richards Middle School

The top three things I enjoyed most about Kent’s presentation are: (1) his energy, (2) how he surprised us and grabbed our attention by starting his talk in the middle of the crowd singing a song, and (3) his ability as a Simon Says leader (amazing!). Simply put, Kent was energetic and creative. And I really enjoyed hearing his life story and how he learned to SHOW UP AND SHINE in spit of the challenges he faced.”
—Julia Osborne, Assistant Principal, Berkmar High School 

“Kent Julian’s presentation was very motivational, positive, and engaging. The message lives up to his motto of SHOW UP AND SHINE. Students were excited and encouraged by what he said. I felt like his presentation was right on target for our audience of 11th grade students. His timing was perfect and the periods of time between him talking to students and the engaging, interactive activities he did with the crowd was spot on. I would recommend him as one of the best motivational youth speakers I’ve heard to any school, group, or CTSO. THANKS!!”
—Eric Spoto, Director of Strategic Support, Gwinnett County Public Schools

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