What I Like to talk About

Smiley helps companies attract, retain, and engage their employees. He is one of the top millennial workplace experts in the world, and has spoken at hundreds of events, in over 15 countries, reaching more than 50,000 people. 

Smiley helps organizations: 

Increase employee engagement

Empower millennials in the workplace

Understand generational differences

Improve multigenerational collaboration and leadership

Innovate HR and talent operations

Build a purpose-driven workplace


In Smiley's keynote presenations, participants will learn: 

Proven strategies to engage employees of all ages, as well as how to attract, retain, and empower top talent.

The similarities and differences between what Gen-Z, Millennials, Gen-X, and Baby Boomers want in the workplace, and ways to foster intergenerational collaboration.

Tangible HR management tools, technologies, and examples for creating a purpose-driven workplace that participants can implement in their own teams.

Insights on the future of work, building an inclusive company culture, and creating a community of mentorship and learning.

My Background

Adam Smiley Poswolsky is a millennial workplace expert, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of The Quarter-Life Breakthrough (Penguin Random House) and The Breakthrough Speaker.

Smiley helps companies attract, retain, and empower millennial talent, and he has inspired thousands of professionals to be more engaged at work, through speaking at companies like Unilever, IDEO, Salesforce, Genentech, Deloitte, SAP, Pinterest, MailChimp, and TED. An internationally renowned motivational speaker, Smiley speaks about millennials, employee engagement, and intergenerational collaboration at Fortune 500 companies, business conferences, leadership trainings, and universities. His TEDx talk has been viewed over 1 million times, and he has done hundreds of speaking engagements, reaching over 50,000 people in 15 countries.

Smiley’s work has been featured in The New YorkerThe Washington PostUSA Today, Fast CompanyForbesInc.EntrepreneurCNN, and the World Economic Forum, among many others. He is on the faculty at Esalen Institute and General Assembly, a mentor for StartingBloc Institute for Social Innovation, and a camp counselor at Camp Grounded: Summer Camp for Adults.

Previously, Smiley worked as special assistant to the director of global operations at the U.S. Peace Corps in Washington, D.C.

In 2017, Smiley launched The Women Speaker Initiative, a community that aims to increase the number of women and people of color speaking at conferences and companies, as well as ensure that women and POC speakers are paid competitively as compared to their colleagues. The group now has over 2,000 members.

Smiley is a proud graduate of Wesleyan University, and can usually be found dancing in Oakland, California.


“Smiley is entertaining, high-energy, engaging, motivational, thought-provoking, behavior changing and an expert on millennial workplace issues. His presentation was delivered with humor and authenticity. Smiley spoke at two HR Leadership events in the Bay Area and had stellar reviews.”

-Gina Ayllon, CAE, SHRM Executive Director Northern California


“Smiley provided key takeaways on the cross-generational workforce and engagement for the future in a clear, actionable way. One of our best speakers on this topic!”

-Tina Marie Wehmeir, CMP, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, AMC Institute


"Smiley was a great speaker! He was energetic, motivational, and was able to engage with a room of over 100 people of all ages and levels of experience. As a company that is scaling fast, it was great to have Smiley help us all think a little bit more about our individual sense of purpose and how we can most effectively collaborate across generational groups."

-Brett Chereskin, Chief of Staff to the Chief Revenue Officer, Affirm



"We invited Adam Smiley to give a presentation to SAP Silicon Valley's executives and senior managers on new ways to engage early talent. He ended up staying at SAP for the whole day. His participation helped our team come up with new and exciting ideas for how to recruit and retain top talent.

-Scott Leatherman, Vice President SAP Silicon Valley



"Adam's talk on understating and retaining millennials in the workforce, as well as the impact that a mission-driven business has on its employees, was a highlight of our Harvard Business School reunion. Many of us reflected on the inspirational and thought-provoking takeaways he left us with. Adam delivered a great talk, and is an engaging, energetic, and dynamic speaker!"

-Richard S., Harvard Business School


Smiley was booked by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits - West Region, HR leadership team. The focus was on navigating inter-generational differences in the workplace as our talent landscape is shifting with incredible pace and intensity. The response was overwhelming positive and the team acquired practical and tactical recommendations for immediate implementation. We look forward to a continued relationship and remain drawn to Smiley’s ability to connect with a diverse audience through his expertise and genuine approachability.

-Suzi Potts, Director of Talent Acquisition/Diversity & Inclusion, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits



"Smiley gave a standout keynote at our Vision 2016 Conference. The audience was very engaged and we received lots of positive feedback from our customers, partners and WorkForce employees about his presentation on millennials and the future of work. Everyone wants meaningful and impactful work, beyond the millennial generation." 

-Denise Broady, Chief Marketing Officer, WorkForce Software


"Adam's seminar on Engaging Millennials was a standout hit at PBWC 2017 Conference. Dozens of attendees said Adam left them inspired, with tangible takeways to empower their employees." 

-Stephanie Heishman, Program Director, Professional BusinessWoman of California


"After hearing Smiley’s presentation at another industry event, we invited him to join our annual RedBrick Health Client Summit. Both our clients and attending team members appreciated his fresh perspective and his energy—it was one of their favorite sessions of the day, and he was a dream to work with throughout the event."

-Manda Bertrand, Marketing & Communications Specialist, RedBrick Health


Smiley’s dynamic presentation and enthusiasm brought energy to our company's annual meeting! His message centered around purposeful culture, the theme of our meeting.  Smiley provided specific examples and tangible takeaways which our team really appreciated. We saw great value in bringing Smiley in and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him.

-Rhonda Ries, President, OsbornBarr


"Adam was the keynote speaker at our annual Symposium, and provided a lot of insights about the millennial generation to our multi-generational audience. These insights will help our bank directors and executives ignite their new employees, attract new customers, and build on their bank's community presence in the regions where they serve."

-Lisa Livingstone, Program Director, Symposium for Community Bank Directors

Previous Speech Topics

Creating a Purpose-Driven Workforce

California Assisted Living Association
Monterey , California
Jun, 3 2019

Engaging Millennial Talent

Banco Popular
San Juan , Puerto Rico
May, 17 2019

Fostering Intergenerational Collaboration in the Workplace

Great Place to Work FOR ALL Summit 2019
San Francisco , California
Feb, 27 2019

Creating a Purpose-Driven Workplace

National Institute of Government Purchasing
Austin , Texas
Aug, 28 2019

Managing Millennials: How to Foster Intergenerational Collaboration in the Workplace

SHRM Northern California
San Francisco , California
Jan, 23 2019

The Future of Community

ASAE Great Ideas Conference
Colorado Springs , Colorado
Mar, 12 2018

Engagement Across Generations

AMCI 2019 Annual Meeting
Austin, Texas
Feb, 7 2019



San Francisco, California


$10,000 +


Smiley helps companies attract, retain, and empower millennial talent, and he’s inspired thousands of professionals to be more engaged at work. An internationally renowned motivational speaker, Smiley speaks about millennials, Gen-Z, company culture, employee engagement, and fostering intergenerational collaboration.

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