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Peter Brandl

travels from Germany

Commercial pilot, author, and international speaker sharing tools to overcome challenges in entertaining keynotes

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About Peter

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Keynote speaker Peter Brandl, CSP, is a very experienced and professional speaker with more than 3.000 speaking events in two decades in 15 countries around the globe. As a commercial pilot, flight instructor, and speaker Peter Brandl knows how to engage an audience and keep them on their toes. Peter’s keynotes will give you the tools to overcome challenges and set future goals in a professional and realistic manner for yourself or your business.

Peter Brandl is a professional pilot, flight instructor, author, entrepreneur and an international speaker. With more than 3.000 speaking events in two decades in 15 countries around the globe, you definitely can call him one of the most experienced and versatile professionals on the market.

Brandl sees life from a maximum flight level. As a commercial pilot, he trains cockpit crews in crew resource management and the effects of human limitations in aircraft operation. In his books, Peter makes this knowledge accessible and usable for business people. Crash Communication – Why Pilots Fail and Managers Make Mistakes, his first book, is already published in the 4th edition. His latest book, Hudson River – The Art of Making Tough Decisions, was selected as one of the best career books in 2013.

Peter Brandl’s speaking engagements will give you the tools to overcome challenges and set future goals in a professional and realistic manner for yourself or your business. Brandl understands business leaders and management groups  and will help you answer questions such as; Why do you struggle with hard decisions? How do you make good decisions? How do you tear down communication barriers and establish lasting motivation and loyalty? and  What can managers and entrepreneurs learn from a professional German pilot?

Brandl is also a great entertainer. He puts his audiences on an emotional roller coaster while taking them on a memorable ride with his messages. His client list includes Airbus, Audi, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, IBM, Microsoft, Credit Suisse and many more.

See keynotes with Peter Brandl

    Keynote by Speaker Peter Brandl

    “Communication at Maximum Flight Level”

    • Discover the astonishing parallels between professional aviation and business life. Through an exciting and rousing talk, learn how you can transfer strategies of professional pilots to the communication in your teams. Learn how closed loops and rescue questions can help you to communicate better and more efficiently and avoid conflicts.


    Keynote by Speaker Peter Brandl

    “Hurricane Management – Leadership When The Going Gets Tough”

    • Customers’ demands are changing; employees’ attitudes and expectations are changing; management styles are changing. A change in interpersonal communication calls for new thinking around management.
    • While technological know-how can be bought at a low price abroad, management of the future is built on the foundations of communication. Better communication means moving from a blame culture to a gain culture, from glider to jet pilot mode.
    • What knowledge does the employee of tomorrow bring with them to a company? How can the management make use of this? Gain culture or Guilt finder radar? How we should handle mistakes in the 21st century and what you can do to make your team a “learning organisation”.


    Keynote by Speaker Peter Brandl

    “Hudson River – The Art of Making Tough Decisions”

    • Transfer the strategies of professional pilots to your projects and your life. Learn the three steps of navigation to get back onto the route to success. Find out how you can get optimal use from the power of your engine and what holds you back again and again. Discover what it takes to turn a ground potato into a jet pilot in life or business. Learn the art of making tough decisions!

Interview with Peter Brandl

How do you prepare for speaking engagements?

The first and most important step is a profound briefing. Thereafter each presentation is customized to meet the client’s needs and expectation. To do this right it is crucial to know which key messages the client wants to get across. Also I care about what kind of event I will speak at and if there is a theme of the event.

Being a pilot I have the ability to deliver my content in a metaphorical form what means I can clearly mark the costumers issues without using the moral pointing finger. This makes it possible to address messages in an emotional, positive and really effective way.

The final preparation are two steps: 1st is the selection of the umbrella topic. This could be a range from leadership, sales, team management, communication, decision-making up to life fulfillment. 2nd, I take the costumers main issues find stories and examples for them and then put everything together. For me it is important to adjust every presentation exactly to the client’s needs and to his/her specific business.

How are your keynote presentations unique?

Aviation is a fascinating business and it always was. Also, everyone has to fly. Often many of the audience used a plane to come to the event and have to use one to get back home. This produces a huge connectivity between the presentation, the audience and the event.

But besides the connectivity it is clear that the content is relevant: Flight crews are requested to communicate perfectly at all times. They have to manage complex and challenging situations and to make the right decisions at the right time. In the corporate world it is no different and so it is obvious that the parallels between these two worlds are remarkable.

My presentations take the audience on an exciting journey between airplane cockpits and business challenges. The leadership and communication strategies I present are easy to understand, hands on advise that can easily be put into practice right away. My clear messages I combine with great stories, unique material and lots of humor.

There are a few other speaker pilots. But most of them are military pilots with nearly non corporate experience. Besides Chesley B. Sullenberger, the captain of the spectacular Hudson River landing, I am the only airline pilot and speaker.

Who or what inspires you most?

Everybody who does or did something extraordinary inspires me. That can be an outstanding athlete as well as a courageous mother who raises her children alone or one of the great thinkers of our days. Of course children are a special resource for inspiration for me. Just look at children’s approach to learning or how they deal with mistakes.

Last but not least I am inspired by my job as a professional pilot. Many ideas I also get out of my crew resource management courses. These are special training for pilots, which deal with the human factor in the cockpit where we deeply analyze accidents and what we can learn from them. I´m licensed by the authorities to give these training. There are lots of incidents in aviation like the famous landing on the Hudson River that are fascinating to study, from the pilot’s view as well as from the communication expert’s view.

Can you for provide 3 tips for successful communication?

  • No. 1: Listen! The main reason for communication problems is the fact that we don’t listen well enough.
  • No. 2: Stop Assuming! Often people think they know what the other one wants even before he opens his mouth. What would you think if your pilot tells you that he assumes to have enough fuel? Don´t assume – ask and check!.
  • No. 3: Better double check! Please ask yourself: How much would I bet that I really understood what the other person meant? Especially in critical situations: If you wouldn’t set a high bet amount, you better double check what the other person really meant.

Do you have a favorite experience from your speaking career?

Oh, there are many great lessons I have learned in the last 20 years of training and speaking. Of course, there were highlights like the first time I had more than 3000 people in the audience. And – like for every speaker – getting Standing Ovations for a presentation are very special moments.

Another fascinating part of my speaking business is the possibility to present in many other countries, in many different cultures, and to meet and learn from people from around the world. But also it could be just an email that makes my day and touches me deeply: “Peter, your keynote changed my life”.

See keynotes with Peter Brandl
Non-binding request for Peter Brandl

Send a simple request. You’ll get a quick reply with fees and availability

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Keynote topics with Peter Brandl