Ian Tyson

Ian Tyson

Since his very first show in 1989, Ian Tyson has strived to entertain and inspire people across North America with his unique brand of “Comedy with a Message”. Ian’s passion is always on full display during his presentations, with high energy, humour and heart-warming relatable stories of overcoming obstacles and making a difference in the lives of others. 

An author, award-winning stand-up comic, master story-teller and insightful entertainer, Ian has performed for millions of people at the middle school, high school, college/university level and corporate clients in his career across the continent and around the world. His keynotes have been creating positive change for hundreds of thousands of people every year.

A 2009 winner of the “Leader of Distinction” Award, Ian served for 4 years on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Student Leadership Association, and was a co-founder of Youth Leadership Camps Canada.

Ian’s book, “Hooray for Everything! The Optimist Manifesto” is a collection of motivational stories, tips, and rants and has been well received across the continent.

Whether he is presenting to a conference or school audience, conducting leadership or team building workshops; Ian will challenge any crowd to look at the world around them differently and make positive changes.

    When Ian isn’t travelling North America to speak, he resides in Southwestern Ontario.

Ian Tyson’s Speech Titles & Descriptions


Ian’s high-octane presentation is sure to keep your school audience in stitches and leave them with words and thoughts to live by. This show is the epitome of “Comedy with a Message”, and has been both entertaining and thought provoking for students of all ages for years. His presentations take your audience on a hilarious journey from childhood through high school and beyond, with observational humour and life lessons along the way. Through his anecdotal tales, the audience will meet the colourful characters that have inspired Ian throughout his life. Ian combines his skills as an award winning stand-up comic with his vibrancy for life to create a presentation that students at your school will not soon forget. 60-65 minutes in length

Ian takes a look deeper into personal attitude and how it affects our day to day lives. By looking back at the unbridled enthusiasm of our youth and contrasting to what we do every day in high school, stark contrasts emerge. Ian looks at how we “statistically” spend our lives and whether that is in fact, living. While not advocating blind optimism; Ian instead looks at a more complete understanding; that while life can throw us curve balls – everyone can get through it with perseverance and the right attitude. By citing humorous personal examples to overcome this, and giving hands on tips, Ian shows how letting go of negativity can really improve our outlook. Capitalizing on his trademark style of storytelling with wit and wisdom intertwined, this presentation will leave audiences with a new mantra for life “Hooray For Everything!”

60-65 minutes in length


Workshop Topics:

“Events That Matter”
Breaking down to the fundamentals of school leadership and how we can create events and programs that will be inclusive and result in more participation and higher school spirit.

“Building Effective Teams”
an a la carte series of team and trust building exercises with built in debriefs that will teach students to work more effectively together. Very effective for school staff programs/meetings/retreats.

“Free Stuff 101”
In this detailed workshop, Ian relates information from his days as an event planner for charities on the best way to get products and services donated for your school events.

“Leadership Sweet 16”
In a bracketed “March Madness” style face off of leadership styles and qualities – this workshop helps students to understand what leadership truly means to them (and defend that position) in order to become a better leader of others.

Other topics include: Time Management, Goal Setting, Conflict Resolution, and many more. Other workshops can be written or adapted based on individual needs of your group. Pleasecontact Ian for more information.

Ideal For:
Student Governments, Clubs, Teams and Charitable Organizations that operate in schools
Student Leadership Conferences, Teacher Conferences and Retreats


  • "Ian I believe gave both our students and advisors motivation to go back to their schools and make a difference for all students. He was passionate, enthusiastic, engaging, and delivered a very positive, uplifting message."Katie Mercadante, Montour High School, Student Council Co-Advisor
  • "You really have motivated me to be the best that I can be, and you also really inspired me to be a better person, and just say hi to the kids that really don't have anyone around them, or are alone in the cafeteria. I feel like I want to turn my life around, and help out people."Lindsey Ambrus, participant, HOBY Leadership Conference
  • "Ian is very sensitive to the needs and concerns of students today and, despite being older than they are, is able to relate to them on their level. He tells stories of his past and the tough decisions he had to make and students readily connect with their personal concerns of today."Barb Sonier, Principal, South Secondary School, London
  • "I thought I would let you know about the lasting impression you have made after hosting and speaking at the Provincial Student Leadership Conference held in Olds, Alberta in May. Your message regarding HEROES has hit home for many Albertans during the recent floods but more importantly your compassion for others and your passion for life has made an impact on all those who attended. Two of my children continue to talk about your keynote address and your session."Janine Becker, Alberta Provincial Leadership Conference

Ian Tyson Videos

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    Canadian Student Leadership Association
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