Erik Vermeulen – Keynote Speaker

Global Business Consultant and Keynote Speaker, specialising in Corporate Behaviour Strategies

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Specialist Subjects

  • “There’s a Shark in the Vending Machine” – Behavioural Economics
  • The Adventure of Leadership
  • “The Adventure of Change” – Change, Culture, Mergers & Acquisitions
  • “The Adventure of Teamwork” – Employee Engagement and team work
  • “Cordialism – How the best companies lose their flavour.” – Corporate culture, employee engagement, Brand development, customer experience


  • English


Erik Vermeulen has been a business consultant and on the International Speaking circuit since 1999. He explores trends and behaviours that have shaped the business world and guides leaders to motivate and improve performance in the business world by combining insights from both corporate consulting experience and as an expedition leader guiding people to some of the highest summits.

His strategies allow leaders to create more profitable behaviours by examining how their teams work and how they interact with their employees as well as their customers Erik is a high energy presenter, effortlessly adding humour and entertainment to his powerful business messages. He’s often singled out for his passion and zest as well as his business insight.

Erik Vermeulen believes that you cannot motivate people, rather he takes a highly effective behavioural approach to leadership that allows him to influence what people are motivated to do! He shows companies how to build “virtual” teams that include both their employees and their customers, making a significant impact on the bottom-line. He has helped a global mobile phone company sell 60 000 units in a saturated market in under 3 weeks. He has served long-term consulting contracts with some of the world’s largest companies and leaders in the global marketplace.

His clients have found that Erik has the ability to put plenty of real-life business issues into perspective and offer realistic alternatives to team and leadership issues. He is frequently singled out for his enthusiasm, down to earth attitude and refreshing approach to people. In 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Erik co-created The Brightrock Battle of the Sports which saw him walk 800km over four expeditions with some of South Africa’s sporting heroes to raise much needed funds in support vulnerable communities battling COVID.

Popular Talks by Erik Vermeulen

“There’s a Shark in the Vending Machine” – Behavioural Economics

Behavioural Economics Strategist Erik Vermeulen uses his engaging style and unique insights into behaviour and decision-making to illustrate and explore the biases that skew our perception of the world around us. He has a 21 year consulting track record and sits on the Faculty of the Johannesburg Business School as lecturer in the Executive Education track on Behavioural Economics. We all think of ourselves as rational human beings making reasonable decisions in our daily lives. But social scientists assert that this is seldom the case – that our decisions (with our time, our money, our attention, our relationships) are indeed truly rational. Rather, we make emotional decisions and then try to rationalise them after the fact. When we’re faced with complex decisions, our brains are wired to take shortcuts and our feelings get in the way. Tailor-made for each audience, Erik looks at the Cognitive and Emotional biases that affect our seemingly rational decision-making and shape our behaviour. He examines these from the viewpoints of both consumer and producer of information and applies these principles to Marketing, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience as well as Sales and even Employee Engagement. Understanding the power of Behavioural Economics in shaping behaviour and results is more important than ever in providing insights into your company’s approach to marketing, sales, customer experience and internal culture.

The Adventure of Leadership

The biggest challenge facing leaders in a post pandemic economy is not to manage balance sheets, but to manage their people and their attitudes. Uncertainty is the very essence of adventure, and at the essence of leadership is the mitigation of uncertainty and creating certainty within the context of the business environment. This makes leadership a most compelling adventure. In this presentation, Erik Vermeulen addresses the essential skills and dashboards that modern leaders need to be concerned with in order to create an environment in which people can thrive while meeting business objectives. His insights and audience take aways are a careful blend of research, behavioural science and personal experience blended from business and adventure leadership. In this presentation he guides the audience through the challenges they face and how to meet them head on with practical examples, vivid stories from his own experience and poignant behavioural strategies for leaders to build teams, drive performance and lead in turbulent times.

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