A vibrant keynote speaker, Jeff Ponders II brings his unique experiences as a marketing executive, tech entrepreneur, and jazz musician to help organizations and individuals unlock their best performance. Using a mix of live performance, real world stories, and techniques from jazz masters, your team will develop underutilized talents, boldly tackle challenges, and collaborate more effectively to discover big ideas and achieve immediate results. 

“Every time I’m around Jeff I feel more creative and inspired to change the world.”
— Bill Henrie, Director - General Motors


The Jazz Master’s Guide to Epic Performance

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In today’s business climate, overcrowded markets have shifted the power to customers. Subsequently, professionals from all industries are forced to dig through the crates in search of insights to outshine the competition. In this dynamic keynote, Ponders will leverage his experience as a business leader and professional jazz saxophonist to unlock show-stopping lessons to help professionals develop their unique voice, enhance their skills, and unlock game-changing advantages to outperform the competition.

Improvise to Innovate: Overcoming Challenges with Creativity

Jazz musicians never fail. They face challenges everyday, yet they leverage the art of improvisation to turn inevitable calamity into epic performances. Pulling from 20 years experience as a professional jazz musician, Ponders will break down the secrets of jazz improv to help organizations break free from “how we’ve always done it.” Ponders shows leaders how to meet critical challenges with creativity and style to create memorable moments and successful, sustainable performance.

The Jam Session: Perform Like a World-Class Jazz Band

Teamwork makes the dream work. But what happens when the team isn’t working well? Complex dynamics, oversized egos, and misaligned objectives amongst teams can kill productivity and profitability. With experience ranging from Broadway to boardrooms, this interactive session with Ponders will help teams overcome internal conflict and competition to foster greater collaboration and co-creation. Ponders shares his lessons from the bandstand to help organizations evolve from behaving like big brands to big bands.


“Jeff always helps us understand the evolving landscape and discover new ways to reach our customers and grow our business.”
— Eric Cunningham, Executive Director - General Motors
“I want to thank you for working with our class. The students and my graduate assistant loved your session and got a lot out of it. Again, thank you for your support of our students.”
— Jeff Degraff, Professor - University of Michigan, Ross School of Business