Learning In Thin Air Motivational Keynote

Scott Kress


As a keynote and motivational speaker, I need to market myself as any business does. Search engine optimization, social media, blogs, showcase events, trade shows, and writing books are just a few ways to promote me as a speaker. Many of my bookings come from repeat clients and referrals. When this is the case it is usually a pretty easy decision for them to book me as they know me from a past experience or I have been referred by a trusted friend or colleague. In the case of someone who finds me through a Google search or from a speakers bureau, they do not know me from the next speaker.

In today’s world, you have access to so many talented speakers with great stories and messages. I may be considered an adventure based motivational speaker or a team building speaker and there are many speakers that can fit into the same category.

So how do you know who is the right speaker for your event? A speaker’s bio will give you your first insights into who they are, their values, their story, their vision, their mission and so on. How do they differentiate themselves from others? For me, I differentiate myself with my mix of adventure and my occupation as a team building trainer for corporations and universities. I am able to bring the adventure world and the academic world together like few can.

In the speaking world, however, a great bio will only get you so far as the person seeking to hire you wants and needs to know how you perform. What is your stage presence, your energy level, and how do you deliver your message? This is where the video sample comes in. A video sample is a critical tool for marketing and booking a speaker.

As a new speaker, great video is hard to come by, but as you get more experience and deliver more presentations you will have access to some pretty amazing footage. Some speakers go to a studio and talk on a green screen, but I have never been comfortable with this and I have gathered video clips from many presentations over the years, but I was always looking for the great clip and now I think I have found it.

In January of 2016, I was asked to speak at the Hard Rock Resort in Mexico for a leading banking institution. The audience was huge and the screen was enormous. This was no 8×8 meeting room screen. This was an LED screen 50-feet tall and 150-feet long. The resolution was incredible and every one of my slides, photos, and the video popped like never before. It was an amazing event and I was fortunate to receive a copy of my presentation.

I have cut it into a series of small clips here to give you an idea of what you will experience when you book me and my Learning In Thin Air Motivational Keynote for your next event. Enjoy!

What Is My Next Expedition?



A common question people ask me after one of my keynote presentations is “what’s next?”. The options are endless and sometimes it is hard to decide, but this time it was easy.

Since 2012 I have been volunteering with True Patriot Love to help organize, lead and guide their fund raising expeditions. These expeditions take a team of ill and injured soldiers and civilians on a challenging expedition. This trip is part therapy, part fundraising, part transition coaching, and all adventure.

In 2012 we trekked to Everest base camp and climbed Island Peak. In 2014 we skied the last degree to the magnetic North Pole, and in 2016 we climbed the highest peak in Antarctica. I will now be joining TPL for the 2018 Himalayas expedition where we will trek to Everest base camp and then climb Lobuche East.

The team has been assembled and I have just returned from a training camp we ran in Canmore, Alberta. This training camp was designed to focus on technical skill development and team building (as I always say, a relationship is the foundation of any high-performance team).

We spent the camp working on crampon technique, technical ice climbing, roped travel, crevasse rescue, gear review, clothing review and more. In between the adventure we got to know one another and share our motivations for being part of this expedition.

For many of the soldiers, it is about working past the challenges of physical limitations and PTSD and them making a transition out of the military to an unfamiliar civilian world. For the civilians, it is about helping the people who have given so much to our country and culture.

The training camp was very successful in all of these areas and we are now one step closer to making this expedition a reality. We will depart for Nepal at the end of March 2018 and return 3-4 weeks later.
Over the next while I will share with you more about the expedition objectives and the team members.




Clothing and Gear video

This clothing and gear video will help you better understand what you need to bring on the expedition. If you browse through some of the past expedition blogs you will also find some details and video about the trek to Everest base camp.


High Quality Team Development Training Programs


At Summit Team Building we have been known for 20 years for our high quality and applicable team development training programs. Our most commonly delivered training workshops focus on team development, leadership development, conflict management, change management, trust building, emotional intelligence, communication enhancement, SDI Strength Deployment Inventory, polarity management, and 360-degree feedback.

What you might not know is that we can also deliver amazing team development workshops in active listening, appreciative inquiry, coaching and mentoring, creative thinking and innovation, delegation, feedback, goal setting, motivation, NLP, problem-solving, process improvement, public speaking, sales and customer service, strategic planning, stress management, mindfulness, and more.

All our training program are custom designed to meet your learning and development goals. We have no ‘off the shelf’ programs. We take time to understand your team and your needs and we design a program just for you. We draw from our ‘menu’ of programs to combine all the critical elements to help your team meet your objectives.

While we have been known for close to 20 years as team and leadership trainers, we are so much more. The next time you have a training and development need give us a call. You know you can trust us to provide an engaging learning environment and high quality and relevant content.

Everest Expedition Video 6: Summit of Mount Everest

Hi and welcome to the sixth, and last, video in my Everest adventure series. On May 21, 2008, I stood on the summit of Mount Everest. It had taken years of training and almost two months of climbing to achieve this goal. It was an amazingly beautiful day. The temperature was only about -10c, there was very little wind, and the sky was clear of clouds. We spent about 30 minutes on the summit before heading down.

I will be adding more videos from Antarctica, The South Pole, The North Pole, Mount Vinson, Kilimanjaro and from my expeditions with True Patriot Love.


Close 2017 With High Performance



It is hard to believe that the end of 2017 is almost here. The last quarter is critical for most companies to finish strong with goals met. Fall conferences and team meetings play a big part in helping teams maintain their focus and drive to meet their goals. These meetings and conferences usually focus on strategy and goal review. Some teams are even starting to look at 2018 strategy and goals.

While these meetings are important do not let goal and strategy focus allow you to miss out on a critical opportunity to focus on the development of your team. Stephen Covey once said, “the front line produces the bottom line”. Whether this is a leadership meeting, a departmental or project team meeting it is imperative that you keep the team culture strong as it is team culture that drivers team results.

It has been said that “poor culture will eat great strategy for breakfast, and it will consume tools and technology by lunch”. A strong team culture built on a clear high-performance vision with strong relationships and open communication is what will get you to your goals time and time again.

A high-performance team is one that can achieve their goals year after year, in good times and in bad. Almost any team can be successful during good economic times, and even dysfunctional teams get lucky every now and then. But if you want to achieve and maintain high performance on a sustainable level you must focus on the development of your team culture.

In order to develop a high-performance team culture, you need to understand where you currently are. One tool used at Summit Team Building is the Group Styles Inventory. This easy to complete assessment provides your team with valuable insights as to their current team culture in 12 critical areas. We will examine factors such as achievement and collaboration that contribute positively towards team culture and conventional and power that contribute negative elements to team cultures and discuss where your team needs to focus to build and maintain high performance. Combine this with our High-Performance Team or High-Performance Leadership programs, our coaching buddy action planning and our director follow up guide and you can really set your team up for success.

If you do not have time for a workshop keep this in mind for the new year when you have more time, but for now consider bringing in a keynote speaker to inspire and educate the team for their final push to the summit. Summit Team Building provides two inspiring and educational keynote presentations Learning in Thin Air and Achieve The Outrageous. And if a keynote is not the right fit for this event consider a team building program to strengthen the foundation of your team.

We know that you have most likely booked your fall retreat already and are working on the agenda so do not forget to build in some time to develop the people and culture of the team if you want sustained high performance.

Kingbridge Centre

Kingbridge Conference Centre


At Summit Team Building we are constantly growing and developing to meet your team building and training workshop needs. Since 1997 we have been honing our craft and we are now one of the largest team building companies in the country. We have established a great reputation and are sought out by companies from coast to coast.

We have partnered with many leading meeting and conference venues to offer our team building and training programs to their guests. These high-quality venues know they can trust Summit Team Building to enhance their guest’s experience.

Our high-quality programs, professional delivery and stellar reputation have led us to our new and exciting partnership with The Kingbridge Conference Centre.

If you do not know the Kingbridge Conference Centre you should check them out www.kingbridgecentre.com. This beautiful and purpose-built meeting and conference facility are located at HWY400 and King Road just north of Canada’s Wonderland. For small groups and large, this facility has efficient meeting rooms, comfortable accommodation, fantastic dining, and acres of beautiful outdoor grounds with fields, trails and rivers providing great space for exercise and contemplation alike.

One of the unique features of the Kingbridge Centre is their ropes course. Ropes courses are one of my favourite team building tools. Nothing compares to the bonding experience of the ropes course and the personal and team learning opportunities are endless.

At Summit Team Building we have been running ropes course team building programs for 20 years and when Kingbridge needed someone to run their course they naturally turned to Summit. We have now developed an exciting new team development program at Kingbridge that is built on the metaphor of climbing a mountain. We start in the meeting room to lay a solid foundation for learning. The team then embarks on a journey to base camp through the winding trails on the property. Once at the ropes course, we move through the mountain camps on the various low rope team challenges and then climb to the summit on the high ropes course. It is a truly inspiring program and having a debrief beside a gently flowing river makes everything stand out that much more.

Many people think that the ropes course is too physical for their team, and while it is not for all groups, there are roles in a Summit ropes course program for all participants regardless of their ability or desire to climb.

Kingbridge also provides an amazing environment for our other team building programs including our Play it Forward philanthropic scavenger hunt program, our Search and Rescue team building adventure and our Put Your Chef Hat On culinary team building program.

Kingbridge is also a great location to facilitate our team development training workshops. Kingbridge was built for corporate meetings, retreats, and conferences. It is purpose built for this reason. The meeting rooms provide everything we need to deliver a top-notch training workshop and the indoor and outdoor environment provides countless breakout and reflection locations.

If you are looking for a great venue for a one-day or a multi-day meeting or conference check out The Kingbridge Conference Centre and how Summit Team Building can elevate your experience to new heights.

Everest Expedition Video 5: Climbing the Lhotse Face

Hi and welcome to the Fifth video in my Everest adventure series. Moving from camp 3 to camp 4 is a slow and painful process due to the lack of oxygen. The higher we go the harder it will become. Above camp 3 we start to breathe supplemental oxygen, but this does not eliminate all your problems. The oxygen gives you a boost, but climbing is still extremely difficult. In this video, you can see how slowly the climbers are moving. This is pretty much full speed on Everest.


Everest Keynote Update

Keynote Program

When I went climbing Mount Everest I did not go with the intention of developing a keynote or motivational presentation. I went on a personal journey to achieve a goal and to grow as a person. As a bonus, I found my experience, my story, was inspirational to others and could help them climb the mountains in their lives.

After telling my story informally the narrative began to develop into a more formalized keynote presentation with models, tools, strategies and techniques for building high-performance teams, for leadership, for overcoming challenge and change, and for achieving big goals.

Since 2009 I have shared my motivational keynote with over 450 groups and over 75,000 people. I am constantly tweaking and adding to my presentation and earlier this year I felt it was time for a complete refresh.
Working with a graphic designer I clarified my ideas and updated my presentation into a new updated version of Learning In Thin Air. This presentation is even more powerful than the original. As with any professional, I do not believe I can rest on what works today, but I must always be growing for tomorrow.

I am excited to now be using this new presentation and hope to share it with as many teams as possible. So the next time you are looking for a speaker for your next team meeting or conference give me a call and ask how my motivational keynote can add value to your event and help your teams climb their Mount Everest.

Everest Expedition Video 4: Ice Fall

Hi and welcome to the fourth video in my Everest adventure series. After acclimatizing for a few days at base camp we begin to make our way up the Khumbu Ice Fall. This river of ice is constantly shifting and is one of the more dangerous elements to climb as you make your way up Everest. Our first trip to camp 1 may take us 8-10 hours, but we will get faster as our bodies acclimatize. Due to the broken nature of the ice in the icefall, we work with a group of Sherpas called the Ice Fall Doctors who put ladders across the cracks establishing the route from base camp to camp 1.