From the NFL to the Speaking Podium - How Seizing Opportunities Leads to Success

JJ Birden football Speaker leadership opportunity

As one of the smallest wide receivers in the NFL, JJ knew he would have to seize all the opportunities that came his way. Drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1988, he played nine seasons in a profession where the average player's career lasts an average of 3.2 years. During his 9 years, he also played for the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs (with Joe Montana at quarterback), and the Atlanta Falcons.

His time in the NFL helped shape the messages that he delivers to audiences around the world. After seeing the successes and failures of others at the highest level, he developed a set of principles that others can follow to achieve their own greatness, no matter how they define it or what they are pursuing. 

It doesn't matter who is in the audience - from K-12 youth, college students to adults in the athletic and business world. Every presentation is tailored to each audience and your attendees will walk away with tools, strategies, and principles that they can immediately apply.

JJ empowers his audiences with the knowledge that it is never too late to be great. It just requires saying yes to opportunities and putting in the work to improve each day. 


Why We Work With JJ

OK, I'm not going to lie. I love football. And I especially love the Dallas Cowboys. Even though JJ played longer for other teams, it was his time with Dallas that initially caught my eye. But as soon as I learned more about him I knew that he would be a tremendous asset to the AFS Speaker family. He is an excellent communicator and can reach a wide variety of audiences - from elementary school kids to high-level financial advisors.  I was impressed by his commitment to family that led him to raise 5 of his nieces & nephews. 

His stories showcase his business acumen as well as his humor. There's no "jock" mentality here; he brings real solutions and helps his audiences lead and perform at their highest level. 

What People are Saying about JJ

In my 16 years in sales leadership, I have heard from some of the best motivational speakers in the world. JJ Birden was by far one of the best motivational speakers I have ever heard. His passion, content, and stories were so relevant to any sales-person or leader. His passion and storytelling had my team of 300 Aflac associates and managers laser focused on every word. JJ is a true professional who took the time to speak to me the week before my meeting to understand our company and culture.

MICHAEL T. REYES, Market Director

JJ spoke at my Client Recognition Event. He was genuine and tailored his presentation to the audience. I received great feedback from my clients as he was personable and shared the story of his journey and challenges in the NFL. I would recommend his to anyone that wants to inspire and motivate a group of people.

Raymond James


JJ recently spoke to our group about his story and how to seize opportunities, even in the face of adversity. JJ Birden is a highly effective speaker who captivates his audience with his infectious positivity, poise, and seamless delivery of his life story. Although his past struggles and setbacks are plentiful, his relentless perseverance is admirable. His story takes place in the NFL, but his message is universal. Sports enthusiasts or not, your audience will connect with JJ's story on a personal level and will hopefully siphon some of his "can do" attitude!

Astro Box Corporation

JJ Birden was excellent to work with and did a great job learning about our company and the audience he would be presenting to. He tailored his personal experiences to our audience in a way that they would relate to and learn from.

JEAN BRODERS, Sr. Brand Manager
Kent Pet Group

JJ's Booking Information

Preferred Airport: Phoenix  (PHX)
Fee: $7,500
Expenses: Round-trip coach airfare (if domestic), ground transportation, parking, up to 2 nights hotel and meals for 1 

Some of the Clients JJ has Spoken For

Ascensus Investment Service
Astro Box Corporation
Boys Team Charity
Institute of Internal Auditors
Ivy Investments
Merrill Lynch
Morgan Stanley
Orangetheory Fitness
Pension Advisors
Raymond James
University of Oregon
Wells Fargo

Industries That Fit Best With JJ's Topics

Athletic Associations
Colleges & Universities; Junior & High Schools
Public & Government Agencies
Sales Organizations
Sports Clinics
Technical & Software Systems
Youth Organizations

JJ's Speaking Topics and Book

Speaking Topics:

Seize Your Opportunities - Keynote or Breakout
Can also be tailored for a Youth audience

"Seize Your Opportunities" focuses on the individual and what one must do for success. As a former NFL wide receiver, JJ knows what it takes to reach the highest level of performance and have the capacity to maintain it. Many of the success principles he learned as a professional athlete have helped him make the transition into the business world.

Plain and straightforward, if you have goals, dreams you desire to seize in your life, you have to get them. Success is not going to be given to you. You have to achieve success. JJ Birden explains how.

How to Lead & Perform at the Highest Level - Keynote or Breakout

Every day we are faced with decisions that affect our performance, confidence, our belief, and our ability to keep moving forward. JJ's job is not to tell you how to do your job, but to give you principles to help you decide and act in a way that you can always lead and perform at the highest level. In this presentation, JJ shares his 8 Ps of Leadership & High Performance, actionable steps that can immediately improve your relationships, self-confidence, and ability to make the most out of life's opportunities.



When Opportunity Knocks; 8 Surefire Ways to Take Advantage

 We all have opportunities in life. It doesn't matter who we are, what our background is or our personal circumstances. JJ's questions for the reader are:

Do you recognize them?
Do you seize them?
Do you take advantage of them?

Throughout his life, JJ has used the 8 principles that he shares in his book, principles that have helped him find success in multiple areas. If you follow these principles, nothing will stop you from making a touchdown!

JJ Birden - Beyond the Platform

JJ Birden success and opportunity speaker
JJ Birden catches a Joe Montana Pass
JJ Birden Success and Opportunity Speaker
Working out - even with a boot!
Birden Family
Birden Family