Keynote Speaker & MC

Keynote Speaker & Master of Ceremonies

Keynote Speaker & Master of Ceremonies

Dr Kirstin Ferguson is a sought after Keynote Speaker and Master of Ceremonies. She has opened conferences in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand as well as spoken on panels, led boardroom events, facilitated professional seminars and delivered workshops/webinars. Dr Ferguson is also frequently asked to provide media commentary and expert opinion.

Dr Ferguson will tailor her presentation to the specific needs of the event or audience. Please click on the categories below for examples of speaking topics Dr Ferguson has previously given.

Kirstin is managed exclusively by Saxton Speakers Bureau and speaking enquiries can be made directly to Karen Gilbert at

Show Reel

Audience Feedback

“…engaging & inspiring…”

“…she fills the room with energy and passionate commitment…”

“Inspiring & down to earth!”

“We need more smart, emotionally intelligent speakers like Kirstin”

“… she inspires leadership teams…”

“You spoke to each & every one of us which made it so special”

“… spectacular job as MC…”

“Love your sense of humour and humility”

“Your manner and style as our MC simply exuded positive inspiration and professionalism. Your involvement with Ozwater’18 so helped set the tone for the conference’s Evolution, Revolution theme and perfectly reflected the professionalism of (conference organiser) Kirsty Blades’ overall delivery of the event. Having an MC with your communication skills and direct experience in the water sector gave the conference a special polish not often seen at such events. Thank you so much for your work – it was truly appreciated by all of us at the Association and importantly by our delegates.” Australian Water Association

Speeches & Videos

Example Speaking Topics

  • Inspirational Leadership Speeches

    Leading from the front: From the parade ground to the boardroom

    Dr Ferguson was one of only a small percentage of women who went through the Australian Defence Force Academy in the early 1990s, a period which has come under wide criticism for its treatment of female cadets at the time. Yet Dr Ferguson was able to succeed in that challenging environment, and went on to be awarded the highest prize on graduation of her Air Force class before serving as an Officer in the Air Force at an F-111 Squadron.

    In this presentation, Dr Ferguson draws on her experience in those early years in the military to discuss how it can be applied in a corporate context. Dr Ferguson is uniquely positioned as one of only a handful of senior Australian business leaders who started their careers in the military and have gone on to have highly successful careers in the corporate world. Dr Ferguson also uses this speech to talk about the importance of leading with influence and leading authentically.

    Lessons from leadership – Advice to my younger self

    Dr Ferguson has had a diverse career joining the military when she was only 17, then studying law and working in professional services, before leading a global consultancy in the mining and resources industry. She has degrees in military history, law and business, is an avid user of social media and writes and speaks widely.

    In this presentation, Dr Ferguson puts some of her ‘gut’ career choices into context and discusses lessons she has learnt along the way. Dr Ferguson inspires those in the audience to consider how they might look back on the advice they would have given themselves 10 years ago and prompts them to think about the advice they hope they have listened to from themselves 10 years from now.

    Leading through influence

    As a company director, Dr Ferguson no longer leads in the traditional sense of having employees or staff. Company directors lead through influence every day in the boardroom through the questions they ask, the information they seek, the behaviours they role model.

    In this presentation, Dr Ferguson advocates the view that every person, regardless of their formal title, has the ability to lead through influence. Everyone is a role model and the way that power of influence is used can have a significant impact on the people around them and will ultimately lead to the success, or not, of an organisation. Dr Ferguson uses her personal experience and anecdotes to discuss the art of leading through influence and how it can be demonstrated every day.

  • #CelebratingWomen

    Demonstrating leadership through social media: #CelebratingWomen

    At the start of 2017, Dr Ferguson made a very public commitment to see more celebration and less denigration of women online. Using social media platforms, Dr Ferguson committed to celebrating two women, from all walks of life and from anywhere in the world, every single day in 2017. The response to the campaign was overwhelming with women from more than 25 countries around the world participating in the project. The #CelebratingWomen campaign has been widely recognised for demonstrating the positive power of social media while making visible women as role models who may not otherwise have been seen.

    In this presentation Dr Ferguson explains how #CelebratingWomen became a viral phenomenon, including her motivations and the subsequent personal impact such a rewarding initiative has led to. Dr Ferguson uses her leadership experience ‘in the real world’ to show how we can also demonstrate leadership ‘in the virtual world’ and highlights examples of how all leaders can use social media effectively.

  • Safety Governance & Leadership

    Dr Ferguson is an expert in safety governance and safety leadership having completed a PhD in the field, written widely and spoken a numerous international conferences on the topic. She is also the Founder of Orbitas Group which provides specialised consulting services in safety governance and leadership. Dr Ferguson was awarded the Dr Eric Wigglesworth Medal by Safety Institute of Australia and the QUT Colin Brain Corporate Governance Fellowship for her contributions to the field of health and safety, and corporate governance, respectively. Dr Ferguson is unique in that as well as her academic credentials in this field, she has been CEO of a global health and safety organisation and is a professional company director where she is frequently able to apply this deep expertise.

    Beyond compliance: Leading safety in the boardroom

    In this presentation, Dr Ferguson adapts her advice depending on the audience are health and safety professionals, senior executives or board members. The message however is consistent and focuses on moving organisations and leaders from thinking about health and safety in compliance terms to how safety leadership, and effective safety governance, can be demonstrated. Using her PhD research in a down-to-earth and very practical way, Dr Ferguson provides the necessary tools to determine the level of safety governance maturity of an organisation. Dr Ferguson then explains her four criteria of safety leadership and how that can be demonstrated by the most senior leaders of an organisation.

    Successfully Engaging Boards on key issues

    While Dr Ferguson has most frequently spoken about how to engage boards from the perspective of health and safety, she can adapt this presentation for providing advice to senior executives on how to engage boards more generally, or on a specific issue such as cyber security, diversity, mental health and wellbeing etc. Often senior executives can find it challenging to engage their boards, or boards they consult to, amidst the myriad of issues any one board is always confronting. Dr Ferguson provides practical advice and examples on how boards can best be engaged in the face of competing priorities and pressures.

    Increasing visibility in the boardroom: Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing

    Dr Ferguson is frequently sought as a commentator on how mental health awareness can be raised inside the boardroom. Too often the focus is on the physical, tangible safety risks with much less attention paid to the health and wellbeing of an organisations most important asset, their people. Using her own experience as a company director, combined with her PhD research in the field, Dr Ferguson discusses the practical challenges faced in mental health and wellbeing being discussed in boardrooms and provides some suggested approaches for the future. Dr Ferguson argues that it is essential that these issues achieve a similar level of focus in boardrooms as physical safety and suggests some ways in which that may be achieved.

  • Master of Ceremonies

    Dr Ferguson is an experienced MC and can also provide the additional advantage of presenting a keynote, or shortened keynote, throughout the event as well if desired.

    Dr Ferguson has experience leading Q&A panels or ‘firesides chats’ on stage, as well as the usual MC tasks. Dr Ferguson also uses her military background to ensure an event always runs on time!