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speaker

Cam
Calkoen

Overcoming challenges through the pursuit of excellence

Dream big, achieve more.
Profile

Cam Calkoen dreams of a world where everyone is inspired to embrace their opportunity and our physical being is no barrier to succeeding in our dreams and aspirations. It is dreams that have brought the world to what we see today and our aspirations that will propel it into the future.

No one can walk and talk at birth. Some people like Cam, are presented with this likelihood for the rest of their lives. He chose to defy the odds, and now showcases what can be achieved when we identify a challenge, leverage our opportunities and uniqueness, and indeed live for awesome!

Background
Born with Cerebral Palsy Cam was told that his biggest challenges would be the way he walks and talks, he dreamed big becoming an athletic gold medalist, highly effective charitable fundraiser, social entrepreneur and now a globally renowned inspirational speaker who ignites a connection and clarity between inspiration, dreams and people.

Through strength of human attitude and potential Cam chose to embrace the challenges he was born with, and harnesses his gifts to live in the pursuit of excellence and make life as awesome as it can be.

Current work
He is a living example that life is what we make it, and the values needed to achieve awesomeness are simple - we need to believe! In doing so, we leave no stone unturned. Through charisma, stories and artistic flair Cams presence sees people identify the unturned stones on the path, he ignites, inspires, enlightens and delights others by modeling what it looks like to dream big and achieve more!

Expertise
Talking Points

Dream big achieve more (Goal setting | Confidence | Resilience)

Often when we start a dream, we think that our most desired outcome is a successful result and while that’s certainly something to celebrate it often leads us to so much more. It is through the process of attempting the seemingly impossible that the most extraordinary outcomes are achieved!

The only constant in this world is change and we need to embrace everything we’ve learnt from previous challenges and understand the value and growth that comes from being outside our comfort zone. From this resilience we learn persistence and we achieve great things!

Confidence is also a huge factor to achieving goals. Everyone has a dream but some of us let our perceived reality get in the way, we stop taking risks, we stop doing what’s different. Let’s ignite the power that comes from confidence and a success mindset.

Diversity and Inclusion

There is a well-known Maori Proverb which translated is says, “What is the most important thing in the World? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people!”
In having Cerebral Palsy Cam could have been a victim of exclusion on all levels but chose to look for what is common where most people look for what is different. Cam shows that difference is an important and wonderful thing once we connect on similarities, we can appreciate the value in difference, and use that value to improve our businesses and personal lives.

Living for Awesome - Excellence | Attitude | Giving Back

To exceed expectations we need to be stepping outside of our comfort zone and striving towards a personal best each and every day.
By standing on the shoulders of giants - the people that we look up to - we can see something that we can (and should) all strive to become!
When you become a giant yourself, you get the opportunity to reflect on your own journey. Often, journeys are so future focused but it’s through reflection that we gain great strengths and our success in life.
Cam’s story shows that it is not about what we achieve individually, but from how we can learn from others so that we can continue to inspire and maintain excellence.
Topics
  • Mastering Leadership
  • Change Management
  • Challenge & Adventure
  • Inspiring Stories
  • Leadership
Media
Feedback
Cam was incredible - he not only has a powerful story to share but his passion, energy and humour are infectious. Our team was captured by Cam and he made many fans through his electrifying presentation. Yes we were awe struck - and as you describe it Cam, it was awesome! With many thanks from all at ChildFund New Zealand. ChildFund New Zealand

I had heard how motivating Cam Calkoen’s presentation at the Leadership Summit for Ministry of Social Development was and was looking forward to hearing him at the Managers Workshops in Auckland and Wellington. My expectations were far exceeded. The aftermath of Cam’s presentations was so positive, staff were lining up to meet him and obtain contact details for future speaking engagements.

Ministry of Social Development

Cam is a role model New Zealander who proves that any obstacle can be overcome if you are willing to dream big and back yourself with hard work and determination. Cam’s life story is awe inspiring. He is a powerful communicator who connects with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Cam is a regular presenter at Vodafone events and I am proud to recommend him as a speaker of the highest quality.

Vodafone New Zealand

In the corporate environment Cam is able to use the example of his own experience to challenge people to be the best they can be in their chosen roles and to stretch themselves to achieve more. He encourages people to look ahead and to believe they can achieve more than they may think possible. A strength of Cam’s presentations is the message of looking out for others and helping them to their goals. His presentations are entertaining as well as imparting a simple and strong message.

ANZIIF

Cam presented to over 400 of our residential salespeople at the Bayleys National Sales Conference. Cam is a truly inspirational speaker who engages his audience with his positivity, amazing smile and AWESOME personality. He is a great role model and ambassador for New Zealand, and certainly proof that any obstacle can be overcome if you dream big, are willing to work hard and have a determination to succeed. We have all been touched by Cam’s story… dream it, believe it, achieve it.

Bayleys

Cam quickly captured the attention of the audience and kept them engaged for the entire time!

New Zealand Steel

Cam was AMAZING! Everyone loved him and found his speech incredibly engaging and interesting.

Debitsuccess

We were looking for an engaging, entertaining, stimulating and informative presentation which is geared to challenging and lifting everyone's performance and helping them achieve their goals and maximise their potential. Cam’s “dream BIG, because with big dreams comes a big life” presentation delivered everything we asked for and heaps more. He was absolutely sensational as he told his gut-wrenching story of how he pushed through his physical limitations, set his own goals and achieved more at a young age than most able bodied people do in a whole lifetime. His raw and honest example is truly inspirational and he presented a real challenge to everyone who heard him. Cam is absolutely “awesome” and should be seen and heard by everyone, from the very young to the very old, as he is truly a living example of how to live each and every day to the max.

BrokerWeb Conference

Cam not only shared his unique story, he managed to connect his experience and his learning from these experiences, to a wide and diverse range of delegates. He had us shedding tears of laughter one moment then tears of sadness and empathy for his struggles the next. Cam was the consummate professional and the most polished speaker that I have heard in decades. His ability to read the audience and take them on a journey was outstanding.

Physical Health & Outdoor Education

It’s always a little daunting booking a speaker for your national conference, hoping they hit the spot, connect to the theme of the conference and endorse the message you want your team to take away. I needn’t have worried as Cam smashed it out of the park! He was literally AWESOME! He connected his message with ours and our team were totally engaged. I always judge the engagement of a speaker by how many of the audience want to speak to the presenter after their session and Cam was swamped! The feedback from the network and several suppliers we had invited into the session was tremendous - they were all buzzing!

Kitchen Studio Group

Cam was so inspiring and engaging. His messages in his speech were very relevant to our audience (which was a wide audience) and he made them laugh, almost cry and gave our audience a number of “ah ha” moments. The feedback we have received from our staff and community has been overwhelmingly positive. Such a nice guy that not only did a professional and inspiring presentation/speech but also engaged with the audience before and after the speech.

Foodstuffs

He was AWESOME! Such an inspiration, great sense of humour and had everyone in the room interested and captivated.

Matamata-Piako District Council

Cam was engaging, funny, and had the audience fully tracking along with him.

Streetwise Coffee

Cam's ideas and philosophy are so well in tune with what Quest is about... pure awesomeness.

Quest Apartments
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