Kevin Biggar

New Zealand

Specialty Areas

Kevin Biggar is a modern day adventurer, author and an award winning speaker with a passion for sharing the insights from him experiences.  Drawing on learnings from his adventures and professional career Kevin shares proven tips and techniques for fearlessly facing challenges, energising and uniting teams and taking peformance to the next level.

Kevin was a strategy consultant with The Boston Consulting Group when he decided to take part in the world's toughest endurance event - the Trans-Atlantic Rowing Race. This requires rowing a 7m plywood dinghy, 5000 km between the Canary Islands and Barbados. An unusual choice for anyone but particularly someone who had never rowed before and was prone to sea sickness.

Kevin used his business skills to great effect, analysing and innovating on the most critical elements of the preparations. However, plans went awry just six weeks before the start when his rowing partner pulled out and 22 year old Jamie Fitzgerald signed on as a last minute replacement.

They encountered storms, curious whales, sleep deprivation, breakages, hallucinations, stinging jellyfish and were dramatically thrown out of their boat in a night time capsize just 130 miles from Barbados, leading to a desperate and thrilling sprint to the finish. In the end, the rookie crew not only won the race they also set a new world record.

Throughout the preparations and the journey Kevin learned valuable lessons about goal setting, determination, teamwork under pressure, persevering through adversity and maximising performance.

The incredible story of Kevin's transformation from couch potato to world record holder is told in 'The Oarsome Adventures of a Fat Boy Rower' published by Random House and awarded the Sunday Star Times 'Sports Book of the Year'.

Kevin then took on an even more audacious challenge - the first ever unsupported trek from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back. Starting with very limited experience (Jamie had never seen snow falling) they spent months researching, consulting with their patron Sir Edmund Hillary, training in the Arctic and rehearsing the skills they would need to survive in the highest, driest, windiest and coldest place on Earth.

The skills learned in the Atlantic were tested again and this time taken to another level. Pulling loads that started at 160kg and temperatures as cold as -40oC, they battled frostbite, injury, whiteouts, crevasses , gear failure and slow starvation. In the 52 days it took to get to the Pole Kevin lost 50 pounds.

Kevin's professional career has included working in problem solving, consulting and strategy roles at The NZ Treasury and large multinationals like The Boston Consulting Group, as well as small businesses and more recently as the CEO of a software startup. This varied background combined with the universal appeal of his adventure stories means that his able to relate to a wide variety of audiences, ages and at all levels from the Board, to CEOs to frontline staff.

Whether it's to a small group of senior management at an executive retreat, a team off-site, or a keynote to 1800 sales staff, his advice about how to unleash your potential - shared in highly visual and entertaining presentations or dynamic interactive workshops have made a lasting impact on thousands of people.

Kevin is the rare combination of someone who not only knows the theory but has lived it, tested it, and can present it to your staff or delegates in a way that sticks.

Fearlessly Facing Challenges
Is your team under pressure to deliver major results?

Few things stay the same in business. Competitors get faster and smarter. Consumers want more for less. To take your organisation to the next level of performance will often  require setting and achieving audacious goals.  This presentation assumes that the audience already has had exposure to the basics of goal setting and instead focuses on confronting the five main obstacles that stop people from successfully achieving their challenges. These include how to take action and break the grip of inertia, deal with the perception of excessive risk, and maintain motivation through the inevitable times when progress is slow.

This presentation provides tips, tools and realistic strategies to help people refocus on what they can control, build resilience, create  momentum and achieve success.

Taking Performance to the Next Level
Are you looking to reinvigorate your culture?

Every organisation faces periods where performance plateaus, when the workforce is cruising within their comfort zone. At these times what is needed is a bit of a circuit breaker, something to knock the problems and challenges back into perspective. Something to get people excited about how much more there is to achieve!

This presentation goes over the main misperceptions about increasing performance. It covers the real purpose of goal setting as well as the importance of the 'winning' attitude - its benefits but also its limitations and how to overcome them. It takes your sta! through the techniques of mental toughness and o!ers ways to eliminate certain constraining attitudes and perceptions. Kevin's story from couch potato to South Pole will leave your sta! freshly inspired to set and take on their own stretching challenges.

Energising and Uniting Teams
Are your teams working as efectively as they could be?

There is plenty of evidence that shows that teams produce better results than individuals - but only when a team is functioning well! Everyone has experienced the frustration, aggravation and productivity loss of being in team that is dysfunctional.

This presentation is about improving the culture within a team, about setting up the ground rules for behavior and heading of problems before they become serious issues. It looks at the five main dysfunctions of a team and how to avoid or repair them and provides a tangible set of skills and attitudes to help individuals function better as a group.

Ensuring your presentation objectives are met Whether you want a conference buzzing, staff energised or clients wowed you want a presenter because you want results. You want your audience to come away with specific new understandings and attitudes, or have certain existing ones reinforced.  Your requirements are unique. So before any presentation Kevin will always work together with you to understand what you want to achieve and why, the background of the occasion, the make-up of the audience
and any potential sensitivities.


Kevin held 300 people spellbound at our recent Leadership College. We live our lives by our on-time performance but frankly he could have carried on for another hour and no one would have minded! He is a remarkable speaker and a remarkable man.
- Air NZ

Kevin was excellent, his presentation was right on the mark. It was thoroughly entertaining and he was very inspiring. We received nothing but positive feedback from our delegates.
- Contact Energy

Wow! Feedback from our Conference was 100% positive and Kevin was the highlight of the whole event. Thanks Kevin, I knew you would be a great choice!
- Packaging House

Kevin did a great job for us both meeting our brief and receiving rave reviews from the team when they gave feedback on our conference. Using fascinating and inspirational stories from his personal experiences he kept the audience captivated for a full hour.
- CEO, Kimberly-Clark

The presentation was excellent and fulfilled all of our required criteria. The audience took away a sense of what real achievement is and it has helped in some 'defining' conversations on where people see their futures.
- IBM NZ Ltd

Kevin Biggar speaker

Speaker Video

Other speakers you might like:

Tim Gard

Tim’s down-to-earth style and real-life humor leaves a lasting impression that audiences will benefit from for years to come. His skillful use of ordinary items in extraordinary ways and extraordinary items in everyday ways make him one of the most popular main stage speakers on the platform today. Becoming more resilient is not about telling jokes or laughing at everything. Instead of making light of serious issues, Tim shines a light on unseen possibilities for solutions to difficult situations. He demonstrates how to be professional, yet light-hearted throughout all his programs.

John Waters

John Waters is one of Australia's most recognised and respected film and theatre actors. Son of Scottish actor Russell Waters, John’s childhood was spent around film studios and appearing in minor roles. Arriving in Australia in 1968 he was cast in the US film Adam's Woman, landed the lead role of Claude in the 1969 production of rock musical, Hair alongside Marcia Hines, and later the role of Judas in Godspell. This quickly led to a flourishing career on stage, film, and television with ABC TV's Rush in 1974 earning him a Logie Award for Best New Talent, and quickly followed by films such as End Play, Summerfield, Breaker Morant, All the Rivers Run, Nancy Wake and Alice to Nowhere. From 1972 he hosted the children’s ABC program Play School for a decade, and regularly appeared until 1991, endearing him to generations.

Rael Bricker

As a seasoned entrepreneur who turned a health scare into motivation, Rael Bricker leverages his diverse experiences from finance to education, on two continents and two listed companies. He serves businesses globally, having navigated challenges from starting companies to managing billions in loans. His partnerships are a blend of real-world experience with academic qualifications (MBA, MSc, CSP) to guide people and companies towards excellence.

Inbal Rodnay

Inbal Rodnay is a former programmer, entrepreneur, and innovator who helps businesses create effective technology strategies and thriving cultures of innovation. She co-hosts the Agents of Change show and is the CEO of Theory and Motion.

Murray Altham

With relentless optimism, Murray's presentations are an exhilarating mix of expertise, empathy, humour and drive. He partners with organisations to inspire fresh thinking, lift energy and bring new potential to life.

He has worked in extreme scenarios of confronting challenge and change, bringing to life an uplifting, solution focussed skillset he shares with your audience to help bring their best to the surface. Murray empowers your team to ignite their A-game and contribute that to every room they're in, at work and at home.

Back to Top