Speaking engagements

David Whyte’s talks weave poetry, story and commentary into a moving, almost physical experience of the themes that run through every human life: joy and loss, vulnerability and vitality, courage and despair, beauty and heartbreak.

He draws from hundreds of memorized poems, his own and those of other beloved poets such as William Wordsworth, Anna Ahkmatova, Pablo Neruda, Fleur Adcock and the sonnets of Shakespeare.

Keynotes, retreats and executive education

David Whyte’s work in organizations takes many different forms, from formal dinner talks and conference keynotes to retreats and seminars.

His sessions have been woven into long term executive leadership programs with organizations such as Mattel, Standard Chartered Bank, The Gap, The Boeing Company, Thames Water, Novartis, AstraZenica, RWE and the Royal Air Force. He is an associate faculty member of Said Business School at the University of Oxford.

His collaborations include work with Richard Olivier, using Shakespeare’s plays, especially Hamlet, as a template for the exploration of some of the difficult dynamics of contemporary leadership. His work has been featured in Leader to Leader, Fast Company, and The Harvard Business Review.

To invite David to speak, please contact
Thomas Crocker.

Conversational Leadership

Most executives are promoted out of their original core technical competency and into the field of key human relationships, relationships that are mostly sustained through holding necessary and courageous conversations. Drawing from a body of work developed over 25 years in his work with organizations, David Whyte brings the insights, focus and courage in the poetic tradition to bear on these necessary conversations and lays out the steps to begin a real conversation and keep it alive through time and tide in the life of an organization.

Conversational Leadership requires a private but courageous self-examination and self-knowledge, a foundational interior conversation enabling those in positions of responsibility to make sense of the hundreds of public conversations that can besiege them.

The practice of Conversational Leadership sustains and nourishes individuals irrespective of the organization for which they work, bringing a fresh perspective and language to their endeavors.

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Psychological and theological conferences

David Whyte brings the understandings of the poetic tradition to bear on many of the great cyclical questions of existence.

David Whyte brings the understandings of the poetic tradition to bear on many of the great cyclical questions of existence: how we see our lives, and our deaths; how we view others and their presence or absence; and, perhaps most importantly, what we dare to believe and what we are afraid of believing: an honest appraisal of our relationship to God, the natural world, darkness, the appearance and disappearance of form and friendship and the difficult apprenticeship to our own disappearance.
He has been featured at literary gatherings in the US and the UK such as the Oxford, Ledbury, Wenlock, Ashville and Ojai festivals, as well as the San Miguel writer's conference.

To invite David to speak, please contact Thomas Crocker.

Literary gatherings

David Whyte's ability to memorize poetry, his own and others, and bring it to bear on the questions that compel human beings make him as much a philosopher as a literary figure.

Although he works in the organizational world, he has almost no poetry written directly about the workplace - his poetry stands independent of any context in which he works.


“Probably the most inspirational session of the whole course. Whoever decided to include this in the program should be congratulated. David’s view of life and business was a brilliant complement to the rest of the program.”

Participant, Novartis Leadership Program

"David Whyte just gave our firm the best presentation I have ever heard in a television and PR career of 23 years. The feedback has been phenomenal."

Head of Corporate Affairs, Standard Chartered Bank

"Short of a Biblical Miracle, I cannot imagine one human being having a deeper impact on an audience of 3,000 ... than you had at this year's event."

Rich Simon, Psychotherapy Networker Symposium

"I've been designing and leading [leadership] programs for over twenty years and find David to be a truly rare jewel of a leadership teacher: one who fully embodies, conveys and can share his craft while inviting others powerfully to find their own voice, values, vision and hope. I recommend him with the strongest possible endorsement."

Amy Elizabeht Fox, MA, CEO Mobius Executive Leadership

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