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9 Top Speakers Transforming Crisis into Opportunity As the U.S. shifts to virtual events, these professional speakers are playing new roles.

By Cheryl Snapp Conner Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Ozgur Donmaz | Getty Images

The time has come to be frank: The year 2020 is leaving a mark. On many levels, the impact of the world we're currently navigating will be lasting and deep. We're living in the perfect storm of a global health crisis, record unemployment, racial injustice, income inequality, and climate change. New emergencies are colliding with long-smoldering conditions, and there's no sign of a "return to normal," whatever that even was, any time soon.

It would be easy to succumb to negativity and toss up our hands, or hide our heads in the sand. Indifference can seem easier than feelings of shock, anger, and helplessness.

Galvanizing people to innovate, focus and serve in the midst of a global pandemic is a team sport that tests the bounds of anyone's leadership. The message emerging most clearly, however, is that for every ounce of uncertainty, there's an equal amount of new opportunity to find. Under great adversity our greatest potential can rise. But it requires a new level of focus and perseverance to innovate in the midst of fear, anxiety, ego, bias and incivility organizations are facing today.

Related: How to Become a Master Speaker and Presenter

Follow the leader(s)

Entire sectors such as tourism, live performance, in-depth training and conferences are either frozen in time or have fallen entirely away. We must invent the new paths beneath our feet as we go. But there are some innovators forging the way, and whose lead we can follow.

With the help of my friends in leadership training I've identified a set of presenters who are transforming crisis into opportunity and moving participants to find their strengths and make positive changes in these challenging times. Each of them is equipped to inspire listeners to achieve more than they think possibl, and to build amazing teams and companies for right now. Their expert advice can shave seasons of frustration and false starts off your journey toward newly defined goals.

Legendary accomplishments aren't reserved for only elite military forces or "rock stars" in business or sports. Whether you're looking to create a change in yourself or your team, these presenters can offer a message-and-media-rich experience for virtual conferences and interactive webinars when organizations are dispersed geographically or working from home, as they've mastered the art of reaching mass numbers of participants while facilitating two-way communication in real-time and expanding the potential for on-demand participation.

I acknowledge each these individuals for transitioning well and moving fast to meet the needs of our "new normal" in meaningful and powerful ways.

Related: How to Keep a Virtual Audience Captivated

Leaders stepping into the void

1. Alden Mills

This 3-time Navy SEAL platoon commander, Inc 500 CEO, and author of Be Unstoppable and Unstoppable Teams shares true-life stories and frameworks that have real power to drive change.

2. Risha Grant

Edgy, educational, and motivational speaker Risha Grant is an internationally-renowned diversity expert who speaks passionately about reducing bias, building inclusive cultures, and retaining top talent.

3. Steve Farber

Founder of The Extreme Leadership Institute, bestselling author, and originator of the Radical LEAP framework (Love, Energy, Audacity, and Proof). Farber redefines what it means to be a leader of substance and significance.

4. Maresa Friedman

A business strategist, marketing expert, and Executive Cat Herder, Maresa works with people and brands that want to think differently.

5. Greg Reid

Published in more than 45 books, 28 best sellers, five motion pictures, and featured in countless magazines, Greg shares with audiences that the most valuable lessons we learn are also the easiest ones to apply.

6. David Corbin

Two-time Wall Street Journal best-selling author, keynote speaker, business adviser, award winning inventor and president of private and public corporations and 'mentor to mentors'; David M. Corbin has been referred to as "Robin Williams with an MBA."

7. Britt Andreatta, Ph.D.

Former executive and LinkedIn consultant in leadership, neuroscience, psychology, and learning reveals how brain-based learning brings out the best in you and your organization.

8. Amy Jen Su

Seasoned C-level coach advises CEOs, executives, and rising stars in biotechnology, private equity, software, technology, and media on how to sustain and scale their "highest and best."

9. Dane Jensen

Expert on strategy and leadership, and a furious cross-pollinator between the podium and boardroom, he advises CEOs and senior leaders in both sport and business.

As you plan best format and use of your next event or leadership training, my advice to all is: "Why wait?" The time is now to heal, to learn, and to prepare to meet a new horizon in 2021.

Related: Why You Fear Public Speaking and How to Overcome It

Cheryl Snapp Conner

CEO of SnappConner PR

Cheryl Snapp Conner is founder and CEO of SnappConner PR and creator of Content University™. She is a speaker, author and national columnist and a specialist in public-relations strategy, crisis communications, thought leadership, entrepreneurship and business communications.

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