Gail's Speech Menu

An impassioned, inspirational, and witty speaker, Gail customizes her presentations for each audience, ranging from inspiring keynotes to candid, moderated discussions. Connecting with audience members, she can provide breakout discussions following her main presentation.

For 2019-20, Gail offers two new speeches, in addition to her regular selection of topics:

NEW MILLENNIAL MEN: Daring to Be Emotionally Present

MILLENNIAL WARRIOR WOMEN: Daring to Save Democracy

DARING: My Passages

One woman inspirational show: how Gail embraced her fears, took risks, learned from failures, and grew into a daring writer brave enough to marry the love of her life without forfeiting her independence. Includes video and dramatic elements. Gail has performed this show more than 70 times.


Who says geeky white males have all the great ideas for digital startups? This lively speech showcases the strategies used by successful women, corporate innovators, and female entrepreneurs: Passion, Persistence, Purse Strings, and the Power of the Tribe to launch and scale multi-million-dollar companies.

Women come to this speech hoping to find a new purpose in their 30s, 40s, or 50s  They are successful but not fulfilled. They often become so entrapped in the responsibilities of their lives, they don’t sit back to think,  Why do I feel empty inside? What could I contribute to making the world a little bit better?

Meeting with other women in a safe, intimate setting, they can risk being vulnerable. Fears and guilts surface. They walk away feeling a bit exposed, but listened to with compassion, closer to other women like themselves, and committed to get up one more time than they’re pushed down.  

Target Demographic: Professional women’s groups, book festivals, executive leadership conferences, women's corporate affinity groups, and town halls. This speech has been received enthusiastically in more than 50 venues.

testimonials for gail’s speeches

“Gail Sheehy is one of the best and most engaging speakers I have had the privilege of hearing at the Library! She is an incredible woman and all said they could have listened to her for another hour!!! Her presentation was a show stopper.”
— Jocelyn Glatthorn, Community Engagement Librarian, New Canaan Library
What made your talk unique –you encouraged women in an intimate setting to admit to their vulnerability and commit to daring –to risk, to fail, to cultivate gratitude for what they do have, and get up one more time than they’re pushed down. Most of us walked away feeling a bit exposed, but rewarded, and closer to other women like ourselves.
— Sarah Prinsloo, Young Women YPO Presidents, Santa, Monica, CA
“You were beyond an engaging speaker – you were a mensch!! The outpouring from the audience which numbered close to 150 (a huge turnout in ABQ) has been nothing short of spectacular in their reviews of you and your talk.”
— Phyllis Wolf, Arts & Culture Program Director, JCC of Greater Albuquerque
“You have been one of the highlights of my experience with the JBC, Gail! I am so glad you are sharing your story with our Network!”
— Joyce Lit, JBC Network Associate
Gail went beyond the typical book presentation by providing video and dramatic readings. This was wonderful!
— Audience member, JCC of Greater Albuquerque

Secrets of Daring Women

Target Demographic: Women 20-80

A world-renowned writer, Gail Sheehy is known for changing the way millions of women have looked at their lives. Now offering her valuable wisdom and expertise to college students and professional women's audiences, she is helping to usher in a new era of empowered, fearless, and successful females.

Drawing from personal interviews with such influential women as Arianna Huffington and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Gail probes audiences to think about when they have been most daring in life, asserting that such moments—when one looks fear or apprehension straight in the eye—are when one becomes brave.  Brave enough to believe you are enough. Brave enough to brush off failures and move on.

Sheehy shares stories of everyday women in their 20s-70s who are discovering a new self in their second adulthood. She also shares often amusing stories about determined Millennials who have dared to challenge parental and societal expectations, and mighty girls who are already rehearsing dares in their teens to prepare for changing the world later. Gail presents tangible tools for cultivating innovative ideas and building a meaningful life.

Passages In Caregiving

The population of caregivers is exploding. They come in all ages, struggle to cope with the needs of ill loved ones, and attempt to navigate their way through the often complicated maze of our healthcare system—all while trying to maintaining careers and personal lives. Having acted as her husband's caregiver for 17 years, Gail Sheehy—who has chronicled every major cultural turning point for 20th-century Americans—understands firsthand the fears and frustrations of caregiving. In this fascinating and empowering speech based on her best-selling book, Passages in Caregiving, Gail draws from personal experience and shows inspiring videos of caregivers she interviewed as AARP’s Caregiving Ambassador. Audiences will leave with proven strategies for managing what Gail identifies as the eight crucial stages of the caregiving journey.

Intimately familiar with the emotional and financial burdens caregivers face, she also candidly discusses such difficult topics as how to involve siblings and friends in a circle of care, how to turn your doctor into your medical quarterback, and how to use the magic code words that get fast action from health professionals. You will learn how to engage a loved one—even one with Alzheimer’s—in the pleasurable and purposeful project of creating a picture-and-audio legacy online. With unique insights, she presents down-to-earth solutions to help turn stressful, life-altering situations into special moments from which everyone can benefit.

Target Demographic: Sandwich generation, medical professionals, hospital administrators, social workers, senior housing providers, Alzheimer's groups

Please accept our thanks and deep appreciation for your willingness to serve as a presenter of ‘Passages in Caregiving’ during the 2011 Aging in America Conference. I was delighted to hear glowing reports about your overflowing, well-received Critical Issue in Aging session. The excellent program, as well as your one-on-one attention to attendees after the event, was much appreciated.
— Robert Stein, President and CEO of American Society on Aging