JJ Birden is an engaging communicator and a leading expert at helping individuals seize their opportunities in life.
Born and raised in Portland Oregon, JJ went to the University of Oregon where he was a two sport star in Football and Track and Field. A 5’10”, 157-pound wide receiver, JJ was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 1988 NFL Draft and played nine seasons (Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, and Atlanta Falcons). He played two years with Hall of Fame Quarterback Joe Montana. He certainly was not the biggest, strongest, or fastest guy on the field, but he knew how to seize his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and maximize his success through dedication and hard work. In his presentations, JJ shares lessons from his experience as a small man in a big man’s game. JJ’s time in the NFL helped shape the message that he now delivers to audiences around the world. After seeing the successes and failures of others at the highest level, he developed a set of principles that others could follow to achieve greatness, no matter how they defined it or what they’re pursuing.
JJ’s winning philosophy also helped him succeed in an arena with equally staggering odds: the business world. He’s been an entrepreneur and a business partner, as well as the guy at the bottom of the organizational totem pole who had to work his way up. And when you hear him say that the only difference between sports and the business world is the physicality of the game. The same mindset he had in the NFL helped him achieve success in the business world and this same mindset can help you perform at the highest levels in your personal and professional life. You can believe he’s speaking from experience. Whether it’s a promotion at work, a big sale, or a new business idea, JJ teaches his audience how to maximize and seize the opportunities in their lives to achieve more, do more, and be more.
After years of professional speaking engagements, JJ knows how to deliver his message in a way that will resonate with anyone in the audience, regardless of their background or job title. He has spoken in front of all types of audiences, from K-12, college students to adults in the athletic and business world. Each presentation is tailored to the audience in attendance, which means your group will walk away with tools, strategies, and principles that will help them excel in their roles and achieve greatness at work, at school, in sports, and most importantly, in life. It doesn’t matter who’s in the audience if someone has the desire to be the best and achieve what’s most important for their future, JJ’s message will empower them to win. He reminds his audience that it’s never too late to be great—it just requires saying yes to opportunities and putting in the work to improve each day.
JJ is now a best-selling author with the release of his first book, When Opportunity Knocks 8 Surefire Ways to Take Advantage. He also takes pleasure in being married to his college sweetheart of 28 years, Raina and a father to their 8 children (3 biological and 5 nieces/nephews) while residing in the Phoenix Area.