RCGS Speaker

Mike Shoreman

First Athlete with Disabilities to Cross all 5 Great Lakes ~ Athlete ~ Speaker ~ Author ~ Mental Wellness/Disability Advocate

Helping companies leverage their strengths to gain the winning advantage excites Mike Shoreman.

Mike is a best-selling author, advocate, educator and the subject of the Montreal International Film Festival’s 2023 Best Documentary ‘When Hope Breaks Through,’ directed by Matthew Wagner.

As an adventurer and former athlete with a neurological disorder, Mike Shoreman overcame the physical and mental challenges to become the first person with disabilities to paddleboard across the five Great Lakes, raising critical awareness and funding for mental health. In creating, building and executing this nationally recognized mental health awareness campaign Mike learned how to focus on his strengths and abilities and the strengths of his team, rather than focus on his disabilities, creating his team’s winning advantage. Mike built a team of 38 people that included coaches, nutritionists, boat captains, support crews, logistics coordinators, website developers, content writers, and weather and navigation specialists to help him accomplish his goal.

Mike works with audiences globally to help them reframe their mindset so that they too can turn their challenges into strengths and become part of a winning team.

Keynote Presentations

Bet on Yourself Even When the Chips are Down: Innovative Sales Strategies to Win the Hand

Betting on oneself, even when facing obstacles or setbacks holds significant importance for sales teams and leaders. If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that life will continue to throw curveballs. It’s in how we rise to meet those challenges that defines our success. At the heart of everything is confidence, the secret ingredient to outperform even in the most trying of times.

In this engaging and interactive keynote, Mike shares his journey that gave him the skills needed to rise above all challenges.

Learning Outcomes

  • Increase Resilience: Bounce back from setbacks and persevere through tough times. This mindset encourages learning from failures and how to use failures as stepping stones towards success.
  • Boost Confidence: Approach prospects, negotiations and challenges with assertiveness and conviction, leading to better deliveries and outcomes.
  • Innovation: Think outside the box, explore new strategies, and adapt to changing market dynamics effectively.

Leverage, Leverage, Leverage: How to STACK Your Wins for MASSIVE Success

Everyone wants to work with a winning team. Mike shows your employees how to leverage their wins to attract clients and multiply sales. Effective leveraging provides a competitive advantage by allowing businesses to outperform competitors in terms of efficiency, innovation, customer service and market reach.

Mike has received the great honour of having his paddleboard displayed at The Canadian Canoe Museum, to be used as an educational resource for hundreds of thousands of annual visitors. Mike used the art of leverage, by showcasing the achievements of the Great Lakes Crossing team, establishing credibility, attracting the attention of various Museum Institutions and by investing in strategic relationships with Museum curating teams to achieve this goal.

In this engaging talk Mike will share valuable insights around:

  • The importance of sharing wins
  • Strategic relationship building (and nurturing)
  • Enrolling people in the vision
  • Demonstrate the win-win
  • Embracing Innovation
  • Staying grateful

Create a Winning Hand So that EVERY employee has the ADVANTAGE: The 1 in 5 Statistic

If there was a formula for success that would inspire your employees to transform your entire company culture, wouldn’t you want to know about it?

With 1 in 5 people facing mental health issues and/or disabilities, fostering an inclusive environment isn’t just a moral imperative, it’s a strategic advantage.

By focusing on strengths rather than challenges, breaking down barriers to seeking help and support, and fostering a supportive environment, your employees will become a winning team.

Mike is an athlete and adventurer who overcame a neurological disorder to become the first person with disabilities to cross the five Great Lakes on a paddleboard, receiving numerous awards and accolades for his accomplishments. This experience taught him to focus on strengths over disabilities and to focus on his advantages over disadvantages.

Mike can help improve employee resilience and enhance collaboration, ultimately leading to a more positive and productive workplace. Creating a workplace where inclusivity, collaboration, and innovation equals success for all.

Documentary Screening of ‘When Hope Breaks Through’ and Q&A

A 90 minute documentary screening followed by a 15-20-minute Q&A/Interview “In Conversation With Mike Shoreman” by an interviewer-host of the client’s choice, plus a 10-20 minute moderated Q&A with the audience.

‘When Hope Breaks Through’ by Director Matthew Wagner is the inspiring story of Mike Shoreman, who was diagnosed with a neurological condition that left him paralyzed, with vertigo, hearing loss and vision challenges, ultimately leading to depression and a mental health breakdown. The film explores the mental health crisis and our relationships with our own mental health as it immerses the audience in Mike’s epic five crossings of the Great Lakes, encompassing over 300 kilometers of open water paddling with his dedicated crossings team. Together these strangers come together and form an inseparable bond as they face and conquer obstacles from boats breaking down, medical emergencies to hallucinations and everything in between.


“We thoroughly enjoyed working with Mike, who was a keynote speaker at one of our events with the Inclusive Workplace Supply Council of Canada. I have highly recommended Mike to many of our partners and will continue to do so. His message is important and needs to be heard by all.” – Diedre Guy, Founder and CEO IWSCC

“Mike is an engaging and passionate speaker and storyteller whose ‘voice’ is authentic and crystal-clear about the struggles that people living with mental health live with daily. If you are looking for inspiration, motivation and insight into mental illness, wellness, overcoming and hope, Mike’s story is one that you need to hear.” – Shauna Moore, DEI Lead, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

“It was truly a privilege having Mike to speak to our teams. His documentary on disability awareness and the mental health crisis was eye-opening and inspiring to say the least. I believe everyone took something of value away from his screenings and Q and A as they or someone they know are dealing with injury or illness, physical or mental. Truly inspiring.” – Commander Keith Fugger, Ministry of National Defence

Trailer | When Hope Breaks Through 

Crossing Lake Ontario

Overcoming Chronic Illness | Mike Shoreman

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By booking through RCGS Speakers, you have chosen to be inspired by an incredible storyteller with brilliant visuals and with a portion of revenue being reinvested back into Society programs, you're also supporting the next generation of Canadian and Indigenous geographers, scientists and storytellers.

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