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Speakers for the Speaker Slam Perseverance Event: Ebi Oginni, Sandra Tadros Guirguis, Sara 'Boz' Boswick, Steve Furtado, Danielle McLeod, Maya Woronicz, Madette Mendoza, Michael Kim, CJ Janzen, Josie Smith.

Speaker Slam® Announces Speaker Lineup for the 4th Competition of the 2024 Season on the theme "Perseverance"

Jun 07, 2024

Join us for an unforgettable evening of inspiration at Speaker Slam's "Perseverance" Competition!

On July 16th, 2024, at the renowned Lula Lounge in Toronto, ten extraordinary individuals will take the stage to share their powerful stories of overcoming adversity. These speakers have faced life’s toughest challenges and emerged stronger, ready to inspire us all with their remarkable journeys. This is an event you won't want to miss!

Meet Your Perseverance Speakers: 



Ebi Oginni

Pediatrician, Coach, Singer-Songwriter

Derby, England, United Kingdom


Meet Ebi Oginni, a pediatrician turned inspirational speaker with a unique twist—she combines powerful speeches with heartfelt music. With professional training from renowned speakers like TED talk coach Holley Mignosi and Tricia Brouke, Ebi delivers "keynote concerts" that are not just inspiring, but truly unforgettable. She's a chart-topping contemporary gospel artist in the UK, an author and the charismatic host of the Fulfilled Musicpreneur Podcast, which regularly breaks into the top 15 in its category. Beyond her individual accomplishments, Ebi is deeply committed to collective well-being. She's currently spearheading a mental health project aimed at arming young people and their families with essential coping skills. With her unique blend of joy, perseverance, and faith, Ebi Oginni is not just a speaker; she's a transformational experience waiting to happen!

I believe words have tremendous power to impact and change lives and it'll be a privilege to share my story at speaker slam bringing a message of the power of resilience and perseverance that' truly needed in the world today.




Sandra Tadros Guirguis

Clinical Pharmacist, Best Selling Author, Holistic Wellness Speaker

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Sandra Tadros Guirguis is a certified inspirational speaker, best seeking author and renowned expert in holistic wellness. As a practicing clinical pharmacist with training in fitness, nutrition and mental health, she expertly integrates holistic health with physical and emotional wellness practices. Featured on CP24, CTV News, Life FM Radio and the cover of Lifestyle Magazine, Sandra's insights into health and wellness have made her a prominent figure in her field.

In the Speaker Slam arena, I celebrate healing through faith and wellness and transforming pain to purpose on a stage that honours perseverance.




Sara “Boz” Boswick

Empowerment Influencer, Confidence Coach, Model, Operational Director, Speaker

Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada

My name is Sara Boswick, folks call me Boz, and my psychology degree is just the beginning of my passion for helping people. As an empowerment influencer and confidence coach, I'm dedicated to inspiring others, especially women, kick self-doubt to the curb and unleash their true potential. As the Operational Director for Canada’s premiere, plus-size exclusive bridal store, I have the privilege of working with a team that's rewriting the rules of the bridal industry. Our mission? To make sure every bride, no matter their size, feels beautiful on their big day. More 2 Love Bridal isn't just a store; it's a revolution in body acceptance and empowerment. In 2022, I cohosted the Body Neutral Bash, an event that centred body liberation and neutrality. Then, in 2023, I strutted my stuff at the Toronto Plus Size Fashion Show, showing the world that confidence and style know no size limits. My mantra? "Freedom lies in being bold - feel the fear and fucking do it anyway." This isn't just a catchy phrase; it's the core of my mission. I’m here to help women flip fear the bird, crush their insecurities, and live life on their terms. My journey is all about embracing boldness, and I'm committed to inspiring others to do the same. 

Taking part in Speaker Slam is my way of proving to myself that even when fear creeps in, I've got what it takes to tackle anything I set my sights on. The community's been amazing, as I’ve made connections and friends on the journey to the competition. The Momentum Meetings are truly that, helping me stay motivated and focused on my message. And listening to everyone's incredible stories? That's like the icing on the cake of this wild, challenging, but totally uplifting ride. I’m pumped to finally throw down my own speech, especially with the theme being all about "perseverance."




Steve Furtado

Entrepreneur, Mindset Mastery & Coherence Expert, Chief Dot Connector

Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Meet Steve Furtado, a beacon of resilience and personal growth. As a successful entrepreneur for 20 years, Steve has leveraged his passion and creativity to thrive in a competitive market. Steve is also a devoted single dad to two children. His role as a father is central to his life, providing unwavering love, guidance, and support to his two sons while expertly managing the demands of running a business. In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavours, Steve is a Certified Elite Mentorship Trainer with expertise in human behaviour, mindset mastery, and coherence. He inspires individuals to overcome personal challenges, redefine their life's purpose, and achieve fulfillment. Steve's mentoring is deeply informed by his own transformative journey, offering invaluable insights and support to those seeking change. Steve Furtado's story exemplifies the balance of entrepreneurial success, dedicated single parenting, and a sincere commitment to helping others connect the dots to their own personal truth, fostering deep inner satisfaction.

"Think like a fighter so you can live like a champion!"





Danielle McLeod

Paralympian, Resiliency Expert, Author, Public Speaker, Humanitarian & Coach

Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Danielle Campo McLeod is a distinguished social worker, coach, motivational speaker, and former Paralympic gold medallist and world record-holding swimmer. Her journey began in childhood when she was diagnosed with a condition initially believed to be muscular dystrophy. This misdiagnosis directed her towards swimming, a sport where she excelled, amassing multiple gold medals at the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Paralympic Games and setting several world records. Her athletic achievements are complemented by her professional endeavors, notably as the Director of Culture and Engagement at Muscular Dystrophy Canada, where she has been instrumental in raising awareness and funds for neuromuscular diseases.

Danielle is the youngest recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Windsor, awarded in recognition of her perseverance, courage, and positive impact on the local, regional, and international community. In 2001, she received the Order of Ontario and was later honored with the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award in 2005. These honors are testament to her significant contributions to both local and national communities.

Her advocacy extends beyond her professional roles into major media platforms, leading to features in outlets like CBC, Global News, and CTV News, which have showcased her achievements and advocacy work. These appearances have helped raise her profile and bring important issues to the forefront of public consciousness, further establishing her as a credible and compelling voice in the spheres of health, wellness, and motivational speaking.

In 2022, Danielle collaborated with Marty Beneteau on her memoir, Resurrections: My Will to Survive is Olympian, documenting her rise to elite international status, the challenge of overcoming a life-threatening medical condition following the birth of her third child, and her journey through the discovery of her actual neuromuscular disorder. Today, she inspires others with her story of courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds and champions resilience, wellness, and empowerment. Danielle lives in Windsor, ON, with her husband Denny and their children Calum, Ella, Corbin, Samson, and Morgan.

Stepping onto this stage is a leap of faith. Where my voice finds its wings and my story takes flight.




Maya Woronicz

Women's Motivational Coach, Entrepreneur

Timmins, Ontario, Canada

Maya is a dedicated women's motivational coach specializing in supporting women facing self-identity challenges in motherhood. As a passionate entrepreneur, she has established herself as a prominent figure in the realm of personal development and empowerment. Through her innovative approach, Maya hosts engaging classes for mothers and children within the community, integrating movement and activities to foster a strong bond between families. Her mission goes beyond mere instruction; she aims to inspire individuals to overcome mental barriers and embrace their true potential. At the core of her work lies a deep commitment to helping others thrive and find joy in their lives. Maya firmly believes in the power of a positive mindset and encourages her clients to prioritize self-discovery and personal growth while having a blast along the way.

I've always had a strong passion for my future in public speaking. Discovering Speaker Slam has opened the door for me to immerse myself in a community of inspiring individuals. I'm thrilled to share my story and connect with the community.


Maya Woronicz LinkedIn



Madette Mendoza

Artist, Music Teacher, Youth Mental Health Speaker

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Born in the Philippines and raised in Toronto, Canada, Madette Mendoza is an artist, music teacher, and youth mental health speaker, who has lived experience with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. The one outlet that helped her turn those experiences into a positive was music. She has taken her performances to notable stages including Nathan Phillips Square, Roy Thompson Hall, and Flato Markham Theatre, and has been featured on Bell Fibe TV and Jewel Radio. Madette’s mission is to inspire her audiences to turn their hardships into masterpieces through self-expression.

I feel so grateful and honored to be a part of Speaker Slam. I have been following Speaker Slam for a couple of years now and it feels so surreal to say that I’m one of the speakers in this year’s competition. The big day is in 2 months and my experience within the community and with my speech prep/coaching has already been life-changing.




Michael Kim

Personal Finance Coach, CPA, Digital Nomad

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Michael Kim is the founder of MICHAELEEKIM coaching, Personal Finance Coach, Certified Professional Accountant (CPA), Digital Nomad, and TEDxSpeaker. Michael is on a mission is to help working young professionals have control over their money and their lives. Using his expertise with money mindset and money management strategies, he has helped over 50 clients learn to use money to build a life they "actually": love, achieve their financial goals, and become financially stress-free.

Success and growth is right outside my comfort-zone.





CJ Janzen

Speaker, Singer, Aspiring Author

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

CJ Janzen is an award-winning speaker renowned for xer dynamic blend of singing and speaking, creating unforgettable experiences for audiences. Known for xer powerful stage presence, CJ delivers messages of resilience, hope, and transformation.

Diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), CJ faces daily challenges but remains committed to living joyously. This chronic illness, characterized by extreme fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and chronic pain, has significantly shaped xer perspective. Despite these challenges, CJ's resilience shines through in xer speaking, offering a powerful testament to overcoming adversity.

With over 25 years of teaching and speaking experience, CJ has made significant contributions in various fields, including as a certified paramedic, master scuba instructor, and ME activist. Xer achievements include multiple awards, such as the distinguished Bernice Adams Award for Communications and winning performances in Toastmasters Division contests. CJ is also the creator and organizer of the CAN Do Garage Sale, showcasing her dedication to community service. Nominated for a YWCA Women of Distinction award, CJ has proven xerself to be an impactful and entertaining speaker.

CJ’s ability to blend personal stories with actionable insights leaves a lasting impact on xer audience. Featured on CTV News, CityNews, and Cambridge Times, CJ's active advocacy for chronic illness awareness and dedication to community initiatives showcase xer commitment to making a positive impact.

I'm so incredibly stoked to work with a knowledgeable, talented, and supportive team as I work towards achieving my dreams of making Speaking my profession! They've got what you need to be successful!




Josie Smith

Soul Leap Life Coach, Communications Expert and Aspiring Speaker

Barries, Ontario, Canada

Josie Smith is a Soul Leap Life Coach, Communications Expert and aspiring speaker certified through the Co-Active Coaches Institute and holds her PCC designation from the ICF. Captivating audiences like the Royal Bank of Canada, Barrick Gold, and Grant Thornton Josie supports organizations and clients alike to bridge the gap between desired relationship outcomes and actual impact, through improved self-awareness and compassionate truth speaking. Over two decades of practice Josie has developed her signature Soul Leap Foundations Coaching Program, a combination of eastern philosophies with western psychology which points her clients to the exact learning they need to connect with their authentic self and align with who they are free from cycles of disharmony. A gifted facilitator Josie has developed and executed over 30 self-awareness retreats locally and internationally evolving participants and their relationships for good. Josie's belief that everything is connected and meant for your learning was tested as a life altering diagnosis in 2018 changed her ability to authentically communicate and pushed her to undergo brain surgery in 2023, which she now calls the story of her miraculous EDGE. 

When we step up to the edge of our greatest fears and we look from the lens of possibility, bravery and grace, we get to learn what we are truly made of.




Mark your calendars for July 16th, 2024, and prepare to be moved by the incredible stories of resilience and determination at Lula Lounge. Our speakers are set to deliver compelling speeches that will ignite your spirit and empower you to overcome your own challenges!

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