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Denise Ryan

Denise specializes in enthusiasm – she will inject it into your meeting and combine it with actionable takeaways for an experience participants will not soon forget.

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Raleigh, North Carolina based professional speaker Denise Ryan is a motivational pyromaniac. Her infectious energy, humor, and enthusiasm set a room ablaze.

A magna cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina with a master’s degree in business, what she really specializes in is lighting fires.

After earning millions for clients in the corporate world, Denise realized she had a talent for firing people up. She turned this gift into FireStar, a company specializing in enthusiasm. Twenty years later, Denise motivates and energizes audiences across the US and Canada at conferences, virtual events, and annual meetings. Her engaging delivery partnered with her business savvy and humor leave audiences not only laughing, but with actionable tips.

Not your typical “motivational speaker,” Denise is genuine and real. But also highly skilled – she holds the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a designation awarded to fewer than 10 percent of professional speakers. She is also a certified Financial Education Instructor and Health Coach.  She is an author, keynote speaker and most notably, a fire starter extraordinaire. FireStar’s unique programs are relevant, uplifting and informative, addressing workplace issues such as dealing with change, effective communication, staying motivated and motivating others. Denise’s infectious enthusiasm motivates the unmotivated and challenges the challenged. Consider yourself warned: FireStar programs are five-alarm scorchers.

Build a man a fire and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.
~ Terry Pratchett, English writer

Denise Ryan's Programs

Pink Prep – A Woman’s Roadmap to Preparing for the Worst

The pandemic turned the world upside down and most of us were unprepared. Women have been hit harder than men financially and had the added burden of being primary caregivers. It should serve as a wake-up call.

80% of women will outlive their spouses and only 20% of women feel very prepared to make major financial decisions. Heart disease kills 647,000 Americans a year and is the number one killer of women. These challenges can be mitigated – if we prepare.

This program covers five key areas women need to address:

  • Relationships
  • Finances
  • Health
  • Travel
  • Emergencies

And is packed with strategies that can be easily implemented right away. There is a 100% chance the future will be different. This program will make sure you are too.

Great Balls of Fire! (Also called Keeping the Flame)

One of the greatest challenges we all face is keeping ourselves motivated. This is particularly difficult and extremely important with our fast-paced high responsibility jobs today. It’s easy to lose enthusiasm and get burned out, stressed out, and finally – checked out. This high-energy session gives attendees six steps for getting the fire back in their lives professionally and personally. It’s not just a motivational speech; it’s a method participants can apply long after the speech.

Motivation by Chocolate

This keynote features two things everyone likes – chocolate and motivation! It teaches nine key concepts to help participants get more out of work and life. They’ll learn about persistence, passion, effective allocation of resources, the law of diminishing returns, and much more! The session includes a chocolate tasting to demonstrate not only how to appreciate chocolate, but also life itself. Give them chocolate and bring down the house!

How to Communicate with Everyone Who Isn’t You

Life would be so easy if everyone we interacted with was just like us. They would understand our cryptic e-mail messages, forgive our bizarre text messages, and understand why we unfriended them on Facebook. There would be no hard feelings, no conflict, and clearly, world peace. Unfortunately, no one else is exactly like you and to succeed in life and business, you have to work with the confusing, the angry, the silly, and yes, even the smarter and more articulate. This session will help you do just that. You will learn about barriers to communication and how to remove them. You’ll take a communication styles quiz and find out just how different a large portion of the world really is and how to get along with them. People won’t stop being different; this session will help you understand them.

Setting Your Followers on Fire!

This session opens with a discussion of the traits great leaders possess. Then we move on to the common mistakes that leaders make (micromanaging, failing to define expectations, criticizing rather than coaching and more) and how to avoid them. Then we get to the juicy stuff – what really motivates people (let go of Maslow’s Hierarchy – we’ve got something better!).  If you want to get more from your employees, if you want to raise morale (without raising pay), or if you just want to be a better boss, this keynote is for you.

Communication and Power for Women

Often women have to walk the fine line between being effective and being perceived as a witch. This keynote will help you stay on the right side of the line!  You’ll learn how to communicate powerfully (even when you might not feel powerful), things that can weaken women professionally and how to avoid them, and 10 power tactics that work for women.  Stop waiting to get what you want and start making it happen!

Denise Ryan's Books