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Inspirational Speakers of the Year Crowned at Speaker Slam's 7th Annual Grand Slam

Nov 21, 2023


Toronto, Canada – November 21st, 2023 – Speaker Slam's 7th Annual Grand Slam, held at the CBC Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, concluded with an electrifying finale as three outstanding speakers were crowned Inspirational Speakers of the Year for 2023. [Recap Video of the Event]

This premier event, renowned for its impactful storytelling and inspirational narratives, saw a remarkable showcase of talent from 14 speakers across North America. [Photos from the Event]

The night's top honor was awarded to Martin Lespérance from Montreal. His winning speech, inspired by his participation in the 1000 km Le Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie cycling challenge, was a moving testament to the power of serving others and finding joy in challenging circumstances.

Lauren Pires, hailing from Mississauga, Ontario, secured a well-deserved second place with her speech that brilliantly intertwined humor and vulnerability. As an Invisible Disability Ambassador, Lauren's narrative resonated deeply with the audience, highlighting her journey with a rare neuromuscular disorder and her indomitable spirit.

In third place, Lindsy Matthews from Aurora, Ontario, captivated the audience with her extraordinary story of finding joy while battling stage 4 cancer. Her unique perspective and profound resilience left a lasting impression on the audience and judges alike.

Dan Shaikh, co-founder of Speaker Slam, expressed his admiration for all the speakers: "This year's Grand Slam was a celebration of the human spirit and the power of storytelling. Our top three speakers - Martin, Lauren, and Lindsy - demonstrated not only exceptional speaking skills but also the profound impact of their personal experiences."

The Grand Slam is the culmination of Speaker Slam's year-long series of contests and serves as a launching pad for many into professional speaking careers, TEDx talks, and other global platforms. Speaker Slam is committed to discovering and nurturing speaking talent and this event was a shining example of their mission.

For more information about Speaker Slam and future events, visit or follow Speaker Slam on Instagram @SpeakerSlam.

For more information about the speakers and the event, click here.



  • Chris Ruden - Florida, USA
  • Karen Agro - Waterdown, Ontario, Canada
  • Claudia Chan - North York, Ontario, Canada
  • Lydia Knorr - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Samantha Plavins - Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
  • Lindsy Matthews - Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • Adrian Leckie - Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
  • Stacey Lynnes - Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  • Martin Lespérance - Quebec, Canada
  • Anu Tähemaa - Tallinn, Estonia
  • Jay Kalryzian - Fonthill, Ontario, Canada
  • Lasaunia Thompson - Washington, D.C., USA
  • Roberto Paez -  Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Lauren Pires - Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

For more information about the judges and prizes, click here.



  • Katie Zeppieri - Founder of MicDrop Agency & Chief Brand Strategist, Pickering, Ontario, Canada.
  • Giovanni Marsico - Business Mentor, Entrepreneur, and 2x EMMY® Award-Winning Producer, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • Shannon Loftus - Senior Content Producer- Breakfast Television, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • Majeed Mogharreban - Professional Speaker & World-Traveling Father, Gatineau, Québec, Canada.
  • Tami Adams - Founder of TA Speakers Management, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • Brian Miller - Core Messaging Consultant, Simsbury, Connecticut, USA.
  • Tabitha Rose - Method-writer, Publisher, and Community-Builder, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • Orlando Bowen - Entrepreneur, Community Champion, Communicator, Dad, Brampton, Ontario, Canada.


About Speaker Slam

The Grand Slam is produced by Speaker Slam Inc., a premier speaker development agency renowned for building speakers and cultivating the next generation of changemakers & thought leaders. The agency is best known for creating North America's largest inspirational speaking competition, where participants share their life stories to inspire & motivate their communities to take meaningful action. 

In its 7-year journey, the Toronto-based organization has had a global impact all around the world with over 500 million views on their speeches. The competitions have a history of launching many speaking careers, including helping speakers get paid speaking gigs, TEDx talks, book deals, press, documentaries, and more.  They've also launched movements and events that have touched countless lives. Click here to see the impact.


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For interview opportunities, please contact:

Speaker Slam – Dan Shaikh, [email protected]