Bacon delivers speeches to corporations, universities and other groups nationally and abroad. In 2011, the Michigan Chapter of Meeting Planners International (MMPI) named him “Speaker of the Year.”

Each booking includes a planning meeting or call, a presentation tailored to your needs, time for Q&A, and a book signing afterward, if you want, for as long as you like. 

Video sample available upon request.


The needs of our clients are paramount, so you will not receive a canned speech, but rather a tailor-made presentation based on your needs.  After taking the time to learn about your company and culture, John will craft a program that combines principle themes, his unique stories (from a library of hundreds), and a practical application to your situation. Subject matter is applicable across a wide range of vocations and accessible to a broad audience. The following is a brief list of the most requested presentation topics. Themes and stories are often mixed and matched to create the best program for your group.


Interested in booking Bacon for a speech or event? Please take a moment to fill out our short inquiry form.


John draws lessons from a variety of sources,his own experiences, and his best-selling book, Bo’s Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership, which Warren Buffett himself endorsed.  John tells stories to underscore how great leaders listen, communicate, and make decisions.  In this fast-moving and fun speech, John gives specific, direct advice leaders can use the next day.  Bo Schembechler impersonation guaranteed.


In this popular presentation, John describes how the best companies – from Zingerman’s famed deli to the Michigan football team to Walgreens  – spend a lot more time, effort and thought hiring their people, and much less dealing with mediocre performers, and firing them.  John lays out a practical guide – supported by fascinating stories -- for searching, interviewing, “auditioning,” and ultimately hiring the right people.


Every company today must innovate to stay ahead of the pack.  But how do you open the floodgates for creativity – and still make sure the trains run on time?  John explains how some of our best organizations do it, and conducts several fun, fast-moving exercises of his own creation to make lasting points – points the participants can put to use immediately to be more creative, without losing the discipline necessary to be effective. 


In this frank and refreshing discussion, John challenges us to face our fears, shines a spotlight on what we need to understand about each other, and makes it clear why expanding opportunities to more people makes us stronger. John’s ideas on diversity come from his research and writing about sports, from Jackie Robinson to Title IX to the NFL's Rooney Rule, which requires all teams to interview at least one minority candidate for any head coaching vacancy. His speech is surprisingly, but appropriately, funny -- often at his own expense. The bottom line is simple, however: we don’t seek to diversify to be charitable, but to be more successful.


Bacon derives the material for his talk on Generation Y from his experience leading the Ann Arbor Huron hockey team from the school's worst to best in three years (despite being the worst player in school history -- and he can prove that!) and teaching them at Northwestern and the University of Michigan, where he had received the highest evaluations on campus E (4.9/5.0) AND only SIX late papers out of 1700 students.  Managing them should not be a mystery, and shouldn't be a headache.  They unfairly get a bad rap, when the responsibility to lead them is ours.work.



  • Ameriprise Financial – Multiple events in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and national sales annual meeting, Palm Springs, CA
  • Bosch Automotive - Birmingham, Michigan
  • Dykema Gosset – Detroit, MI
  • Edward Jones – Multiple events, including St. Louis, MO, Detroit, MI, Boyne Falls, MI, Ypsilanti, MI, Perrysburg, OH
  • FireKeepers Casino Hotel – Battle Creek, MI
  • Google – Ann Arbor, MI
  • Hylant Corporation – Multiple events, including national leadership meeting, Cleveland, OH
  • InsightGlobal – Atlanta, GA
  • InStadium – Chicago, IL
  • John Hancock - Michigan
  • Merill Lynch – Michigan
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development – Ann Arbor, MI
  • North Central Ohio Educational Service Center – Tiffin, OH
  • Smith Barney - Michigan
  • Society for Human Resource Management – New Orleans, LA
  • Stryker Corporation – Kalamazoo, MI
  • TEDx – Ann Arbor, Detroit, Traverse City, MI
  • University of Michigan Hospital, Ross Business School, Law School, and more – Ann Arbor, MI
  • Victory Automotive Group – Multiple events, including Laguna Beach, CA, Nashville, TN, Richmond VA
  • Volvo North America – Denver, CO
  • Zingerman’s – Ann Arbor, MI


  • Chrysler - Taipei, Taiwan
  • Copersucar Brazil – Foz de Igaucu, Brazil
  • Ipiranga Petroleum, Brazil – Las Vegas, NV
  • ManagEvents – Multiple events, including Lima, Peru, Santiago, Chile, Colon, Colombia, Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • Microsoft Brazil - Sao Paolo, Brazil
  • Volkswagon Brazil – Sao Paolo, Brazil


“Thanks again for being a part of our annual Branch Team Conference for Region 14. I wanted to provide you a few comments from one of our associates: ‘John U. Bacon was superb! I can't fully express in words how much his speech resonated with me. I wish I could have him talk to my kids and their coaches and teachers. More people need to hear his stories.’”
–Robert E. Heisler, AAMS, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones – Region 14 Branch Team Conference 2014

“I have received dozens of messages about the CHRC conference being a huge success and in particular your presentation. It really hit home with great lessons and memorable stories…I can't thank you enough for making the conference so special.”
–Dr. Valerie Opipari, Chair, University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Department of Pediatrics – Child Health Research Center Annual Retreat 2015

“John, thanks again for presenting at our program. Your presentation was excellent and it definitely was a hit with our team. I’ve heard nothing but positive comments!”
–Frank Tecumseh, Vice President, Human Resources, FireKeepers Casino Hotel - LEAD Management Conference 2015

 “Looking at your evaluations, I have to ask: Did you pay these people off when I wasn’t looking? They’re the best I’ve ever seen.”
–Andy Dolich, President, Memphis Grizzles

“I wanted to let you know your evaluation score was a 4.9 out of 5.0 —the highest of all the events!  And with all of the compliments I got from alumni – including the written comments, too -- I couldn’t have been more pleased.  You are a wonderful speaker, and it was a pleasure to work with you.”
–Cynthia Silveri - University of Michigan Executive MBA Reunion

“Undoubtedly John Bacon was the best speaker we’ve ever had.”
–Glenn Johnson, Founder and CEO, Insight Global - National Sales Meeting

"John Bacon was amazing!  Glad you saved the best for last. He was funny but he was also practical and drove the point home."

"Very entertaining and thought provoking."

"Outstanding! Need him for the national sales meeting!"

"He rocked it!  Totally motivated me."
–Stryker Corporation - Evaluations from the Conference On Diversity and Inclusion



Bacon delivers speeches to corporations, universities and other groups drawing on the themes and stories from his books. Interested in having him speak at your event?

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