Liezel van der Westhuizen is an award-winning international corporate trainer, master of ceremonies and renowned radio and television presenter.. As a sought-after personal branding expert, Liezel has already partnered with corporates such as Palladium, Playstation and Ster-Kinekor; and offers one-on-one personal branding coaching too.

Over and above her multiple groundbreaking achievements, it is Liezel’s radiant personality and uncompromising determination to impact lives that truly draws in audiences. A talented public speaker, Liezel remains passionate about helping people to reach their full potential. Her calling therefore involves travelling around South Africa – and flying internationally – so as to deliver motivational talks and keynote addresses on topics that her audiences describe as valuable and up to the minute.

A few of her most popular talks are listed, and elaborated on, below:

  • Employers – don’t be scared of your employees’ personal brand;
  • Future-proof yourself with your personal brand;
  • Every pedal stroke counts;
  • Beat the bully;
  • Empower the nation, empower our women; and
  • Find your inner strength.

Employers, don’t be scared of your employees’ personal brand

Bosses and managers want to hire great talent for their teams. It makes their lives easier and allows them to look good in front of their own superiors in the office. But what if the entrepreneurial streak of a hotshot employee is of concern? In this keynote address, Liezel says astute managers will encourage staff as they set about developing their own personal brands, knowing these can serve to create a win-win for both the company they’re running and their most valued employees.

Key takeaways:

  • employees with strong personal brands will create interest and draw customers
  • there is a way that an employee’s personal brand and the permanent job they are doing can co-exist; that the two can be highly beneficial to each other
  • trust is essential, so embracing those tough conversations is vital

Future-proof yourself with your personal brand

The pace of change we are party to right now is unparalleled and mind-boggling. AI is already being used to evaluate the suitability of candidates before and after they are interviewed, and is able to trawl the internet with a fine toothcomb, which helps the recruitment “bots” to narrow down to a shortlist the most viable applicants for any given job or contract.

Apparently, the ideal job candidate of the future has an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, a website with a professional blog, and leaves other titbits here and there in cyberspace that indicate how skilled and experienced they really are. Essentially, job-search technology, automation and AI make it vital to be out there more professionally and powerfully than your peers to secure that research funding or to land the next big contract. The luxuy of procrastination – and the desire to hide behind the scenes – will no longer serve you if you want to have a vibrant career tomorrow, the next day, and in the future as the bots increasingly “control” our career-search platforms.

Key takeaways:

  • create a CV that is comprehensive, clear and professional
  • capitalise on the reach of your Facebook Business Page
  • add reviews and network as much as you can on LinkedIn
  • update bios and photos across all your profiles
  • post articles and blogs that position you as a leader in your niche; or invest in the services of a skilled copywriter to help you
  • self-promotion is key when it comes to your personal brand in cyberspace

Every pedal stroke counts

Global speaker Liezel van der Westhuizen took on her greatest sporting and personal challenge yet, in August 2018, when she and Cindy Jacobsz endeavoured to cycle 500km across the mighty Himalayas. In this keynote address about the #M2k2018 Cycle Tour, Liezel talks about Jacobsz’s visual impairment and how her Himalayan cycling buddy has gone on to achieve great things – including National Colours for Cycling; gives details of the two medical charities, Operation Smile South Africa and OneSight, which benefited from their massive achievement; and goes into how the experience has unexpectedly added clout to her personal branding business, The Giraffe Brand Academy.

“This ride [was] about more than ourselves,” says Liezel. “Cindy and I wanted to find a way to make a real difference, so it was a natural decision to support these two incredible charities that essentially give people their smiles and help others to see them,” she enthuses.

Key takeaways:

  • how these two athletes faced innumerable challenges – including strong winds, rain, sleet, sub-zero temperatures and every imaginable technical problem – but never gave in
  • how such tenacity and endurance in sport is testament to incredible character-building and wisdom, which Liezel now puts into use in her personal brand coaching

Finding your inner strength

How many times have you let a secret dream go, just because it seemed unreachable? And when you actually took the brave step to tell someone what you wanted to do, they agreed it was completely crazy. Well, it’s time you took a different approach, says Liezel in the motivational address.
She goes on to draw on her personal experiences to help others avoid both naysayers and niggling self-doubt; in this way, she demonstrates that those impossible-seeming ambitions are in fact fully within reach. “Set your goals and work at them, each and every day,” says Liezel. “And, don’t stop until you have conquered them and experienced that immense pride in yourself.”

Key takeaways:

  • how extreme sporting adventures unleash mental and physical strength
  • how to set your work goals and make working towards them a daily joy
  • how to conquer the Ironman in just 12 weeks
  • how to conquer the Unlimited Dusi in just nine weeks

Empower our women, empower our nation

Guided by the phrase ‘empower our women, empower our nation’, this talk unpacks the importance of claiming your right to be a powerful feminine force. Having conquered many physical and mental feats to get where she is today, Liezel van der Westhuizen – who has a Bcom Degree (Human Resources and Industrial Psychology), and both a Bcom Honours and a Masters degree (Communication Business Management) – understands the underlying challenges facing women today and strives to help others overcome them.
“The glass ceiling imposed by the traditional workplace is not the only thing that holds women back. Often we hold ourselves back. An inferiority complex, family commitments and a fear of failure can be at the root of this self-inflicted stagnation.”

Key takeaways:

  • globally and locally, women are still in the minority in leadership positions
  • while many challenges still face women in the workplace and society today, we still set out to change the world
  • we need to speak out about gender-based violence and educational discrepancies
  • we can work our way out of external and internal prejudices
  • companies with more female senior managers have better financial performance

Beat the Bully

Taking a stance on bullying in the workplace, Liezel shares tips in this keynote address on how to spot the office tyrant from a mile away; and how to avoid becoming the target of their meanness. In essence, she helps victims find their voice again to get the recognition they deserve. “The Office Bully is a genius: it’s all smoke and mirrors… from a great fake relationship with the boss, knowing the minimal amount to be done to get away with it, and thriving on your pain. But, inside the bully, lives a very insecure personality whose only real success is their ability to take everything out on others.”

Key takeaways:

  • recognise the school or office bully
  • unleash your confidence and beat the bully
  • get the recognition you deserve
  • create an anti-bullying corporate culture 





We only had positive feedback from client.

Mish Hicks (Event Organisation)

I would just like to thank you so so much for MCing our Mercedes event yesterday. You were fantastic, and I have been receiving rave comments from early morning.

Beverley Horrell, Rola Motor marketing manager

Liezel was terrific, as always.

Riaan Kleinsmith, Makro

Always great working with Liezel; thank you for your empowering talk.

Mish Hicks, event organisation

Please can you personally pass on my gratitude to Liezel, who was the consummate professional and by far one of the best MCs I have worked with ever. Liezel certainly took [our] event to another level.

Sean, The Rainbow Team

Working with you was one of the favourite things about my job.

Caron Isaacs, Associated Media

Please extend my thanks to Liezel. She was incredible and, having a speaker of her calibre at our Awards, added to the entire experience.

Robyn Hey, BWA

The event was a great success and Liezel was brilliant, as always!

Candice Burgess, Greater Than

Liezel did an amazing job.

Jade Campbell, Top Events

Liezel was such a pleasure to work with – professional, articulate, inspiring. She really was great.

Bianca Church, Century City Property Owners’ Association

Liezel was awesome! She just knows our brand so well. We were exceptionally happy with the gig on Friday, and will be very keen to make use of Liezel’s services again in future, when the need arises. She handled everything superbly.

Fatima Borez, Cape Town Tourism

On behalf of the Fearless 14 and the BWA I would really like to thank you for your incredible presentation last night – your energy is infectious. You have set the tone for the FAST TRACK2SUCCESS programme and the candidates are super excited – and so eager – to make it work for them. Your presentation was warm, engaging and filled with little gems that stick in one’s mind. You made setting your goals and living your dream something that is so worth the highs and lows along each journey. Thank you from all of us! You are an exceptional BWA ambassador.

Cheryl Steyn, Businesswomen’s Association CT

Bronwyn, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about my experience of working with Liezel as a guest speaker. As you know, we deal with many speakers for our events. The fact of the matter is that each speaker is different and has different requirements. In my three years as chair of the BWA, I have never worked with a speaker who has been as professional as Liezel. In preparation for her keynote address for RBAA, Liezel asked for and complied perfectly with the brief on what we wanted her to talk on. Liezel also asked for the names of the people who would be at her table and researched each of those people so that she knew their names and a little bit about their business. Given that she was sitting at a table with our sponsors, this approach went a long way towards impressing them and making everyone at the table feel welcome. She also went the extra mile and attended the pre-drinks and photo session (even though this was not required of her), and put all the finalists and sponsors at ease. After all of this, she gave a talk which, as you know, was on point and really well presented. I cannot recommend Liezel highly enough as a speaker and I wanted to give you this feedback because I know she is one of your speakers and I am sure that feedback like this is invaluable.

Robin Hey, BWA

Dear Liezel, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude to you for joining the OKFD as the master of ceremonies on our island adventure. Your energetic and entertaining contribution to the success of our 2016 conference in Bali is greatly valued and appreciated. Best regards

OKFD Management

Was really awesome working with you; you did such a great job.

Kim Pearce, The Insurance Institute of the Cape of Good Hope

Thank you, best emcee ever.

Sean Hough, Pentravel