Doug Manuel – Keynote Speaker

Documentary and Stage Show Producer and Performer with 25+ years of experience of delivering keynotes on purpose driven engagement and collaboration

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Specialist Subjects

  • Do you Speak Djembe?
  • The Soul of Business
  • Engagement and Collaboration
  • Culture Change
  • Purpose Driven


Doug Manuel is a keynote speaker, workshop leader and performer and is known for fostering purpose driven engagement and collaboration. Creator of the internationally acclaimed stage show ‘Do You Speak Djembe?’ nominated for two JEFF awards, for more than 25 years, Doug has been delivering keynotes and leading learning laboratories for multinationals, sports teams, leading business schools and NGOs – not to mention TEDx, TED Global and Oprah Winfrey. His talks, workshops and breakout sessions use stories, music, and rhythm to break down barriers and create an interactive, multi-sensory learning experiences.

In 1995 Doug’s love of Africa was born. At that time he was working on BBC documentary about African elephants, and in parallel he attended a djembe (drumming) workshop. In 1997 he gave up his 8 year career as a BBC documentary producer to travel to West Africa to study the djembe. What began as corporate drumming workshops aimed to boost team effectiveness has evolved and developed into a deep dive into the wisdom of West African indigenous culture and the positive effects that these philosophies can have in our Western boardrooms.

He is currently making a documentary on this subject entitled ‘Beats As One’ which is due to be released in October 2023. Doug Manuel also leads his charity ‘Lighting Up Lives’, whose pilot project partners with the villagers of Abéné in Senegal, inspiring and supporting local action to solve local problems such as energy, health, sanitation and education. The charity builds bridges between Africa and the occident, fostering collaboration and putting words into action.

Doug Manuel’s methodology has been endorsed by IMD Business school in Lausanne, Switzerland and he continues to work with clients in every sector to help teams connect purpose to performance. Whether it be tired and disengaged virtual teams, or reuniting fragmented teams in person post pandemic with meaning and purpose, Doug’s programs and keynotes drive energy and passion and enhance active listening, communication, empathy and ultimately performance.

Popular Talks by Doug Manuel

Do you Speak Djembe?

Described as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Action, this is a ground breaking and immersive experience for corporate teams. Chosen by Oprah to open her 3rd SuperSoul Sessions and by TedX Hollywood and TED Global to explore how technology can enhance humanity, this award nominated stage show is now a unique corporate keynote. With a whole band on stage, and each audience member with an African djembe drum, your teams will take a deep dive into engagement and performance unlocking their collaborative potential with THE ULTIMATE unifying experience.

The Soul of Business

At a time when employee engagement and talent retention is at an all time low THE SOUL OF BUSINESS leads audiences to a renewed sense of vitality, purpose and passion.  This interactive and immersive keynote allows participants to explore their personal purpose, and to tie that to the purpose of their organization. With immediately actionable take-aways, through personal reflection, small group sharing, and collective music making (body percussion), audiences bring engagement and collaboration to life in new and dynamic ways.

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