Michael McGrath MBE

Michael McGrath MBE

Michael McGrath made history in 2004 by becoming the first disabled person to lead expeditions to both the north and south poles – what makes this achievement all the more remarkable is that in 1984, aged just 18yrs, Michael was diagnosed with the muscle wasting disease muscular dystrophy (MD).

The journey gave rise to a new life plan, inspiring Michael to embark on a career as an internationally recognised motivational business speaker. He has built an enviable list of clients, providing carefully tailored speeches for organisations including HMRC, PwC, Shell, Hilton Hotels and the NHS.

Leadership, courage, and trust combined with resolute self-belief, confidence, teamwork and a singularly focused obsession towards achieving desired outcomes were critical success factors – Michael McGrath draws on these experiences, giving wider business and life lessons.

Michael was made an MBE in the King’s first Birthday Honours List in 2023.

Michael McGrath’s Keynote Talks:

Whilst Michael’s talks are always individually crafted around different client objectives and by default different themes, his talks are laced with anecdotes from his polar achievements (including life lessons) and insights from his own life experiences are used to reinforce key business messages – Michael also takes time to actually speak to and learn about an organisation as part of the briefing process which underpins his own research and presentation preparation – this is one of Michael’s key points of difference and something that clients value greatly.

Contact Great British Speakers today to book muscular dystrophy (MD), diversity & inclusion motivational speaker Michael McGrath to speak at your next live or virtual event or call +44 1753 439289.

Type Of Speaker


“Michael McGrath is an outstanding and inspiring speaker. He recently joined our 2017 Top Leaders Conference (at Aston Villa FC) and delivered a powerful, inspiring and thought provoking address. We were captivated by his journey, the way he navigated and thought about the (often huge) difficulties he faced and the adversity he has overcome. He really challenged us all to think outside of the box about the journey we face together and how we will achieve our goals. His story really resonated with our leaders; it was witty, imaginative and often emotional – and presented with panache. The standing ovation was simply testament to the emotion and connection he reached with all of the audience”

– Mike Baker, CBE, Director Personal Tax, HM Revenue & Customs

“I would just like to say a huge THANK YOU to Michael for attending and supporting our FF15 event on 12 May 2017 at the Hotel Café Royal in London. Michael is a powerful motivational speaker. He has a unique ability to engage different audiences both intellectually and emotionally. Versatile, thoughtful and on-message, his talk resonated with the FF15 graduates, event professionals, trainers, agencies and corporates present. His blend of humour, authenticity in talking about his own adversity and sharing his life lessons provided a fascinating insight into his world. Many guests were moved and we’ve received some brilliant feedback. If your business is looking for an inspiring and memorable speaker, I’d have no hesitation in recommending Michael”

– Fay Sharpe, VP, BCD Meetings & Events, Founder FF15, Founder Shareholder Zibrant

“Michael’s May 2017 presentation was the culmination and highlight of a day laced with inspirational messaging. The delivery of his compelling life story fitted so well and it was clear that he had tailored his FF15 message perfectly to accommodate both his audience and the time in which he had to deliver it. I can highly recommend the imagery, the anecdotes and the incredible story behind Michael’s journey”

– Tony McMurray, Senior Director & Chief Financial Officer, Ingram Micro

“Michael delivered an inspirational keynote at our 2017 Annual Leadership Mission Impossible Conference. He completed extensive research on our business by speaking to a number of our senior executives and fully embraced the conference theme. He talked about leadership, management and his extensive experience in overcoming adversity which was very well received”

– Jamie Lamb, Executive Chairman, Kew Green Hotels

Similar Talent

  • Renowned British Polar Explorer
  • Climate Scientist
  • Expedition Leader
  • Topics: Peak Performance, Goal Setting, Resilience, Mental Health, Leadership
  • On-Screen Diversity Executive
  • Public Speaker
  • Broadcast TV Producer/Director
  • Entrepreneur
  • Award Winning Ospreys, Toulon, Northampton, Rugby Fly Half
  • Wales British and Irish Lions Rugby caps
  • In-Demand Motivational & After Dinner Speaker
  • Leadership, High Performance, Resilience, Adaptability



  • Composer – Blackadder, The Vicar of Dibley, Mr Bean
  • Broadcaster & Presenter
  • After Dinner Speaker
  • Musical Education Speaker