Born and raised in Eureka, South Dakota, Holly Hoffman was the last remaining member of the Espada Tribe and the last woman standing on Season 21 of CBS’ hit reality show “Survivor Nicaragua.” Through that experience and others throughout her life, Holly was inspired to share her message of positivity, determination and confidence with business leaders, teachers and students across the nation.
A professional motivational speaker and the author of Your Winner Within, Holly acknowledges that life is made up of challenges, and we are oftentimes faced with situations that seem insurmountable. But within each of us is an ability to focus our thoughts, emotions and energy to succeed—if only we have the knowledge, tools and discipline to do so.
Holly’s writing and speaking not only offer encouragement and optimism but a road-map for self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment. Her methods—the ones she uses every day in her own life—are intuitive, honest and adaptable to nearly any situation. Readers and audience members alike walk away inspired to light the fire of successful living within themselves.
A lifelong resident of America’s heartland, Holly graduated from her hometown high school in Eureka, South Dakota, and then attended Northern State University. Holly is the proud mother of three wonderful children, who have each gone on to inspired and successful careers. Her oldest, Austin, is married to his wife, Megan, and is a lawyer in his hometown of Eureka, South Dakota. Holly is a very proud grandmother to their two boys. Alexandra—a former Miss South Dakota and top 15 finalist at the Miss America pageant—is married to her husband John, and is a graduate of South Dakota State University graduating with a degree in broadcast journalist. She and her husband live in Mitchell, South Dakota, with their son. Her youngest, Elizabeth and her husband, Robert, are both physicians in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Holly is a member of the National Speakers Association and travels across the country, speaking to schools and universities, healthcare organizations, women’s organizations, community leaders and business professionals. In her years of speaking, she has traveled to 30 states and over 150 high schools. Holly inspires her audiences to take opportunities and focus on attitude, determination, confidence, desire, faith and perseverance.
“Never Give Up—The Survivor Way”
As we survive life’s challenges, we come face to face with fear and uncertainty. Challenges may allow us to step out of our comfort zone and push ourselves above and beyond our own self-limitations. What makes us is how we choose to overcome challenges. It is our strength in times of difficulty that prove our character and self-worth. As I share my experience of being on a reality show, I encourage audiences to think about how they decide to survive on a daily basis. I encourage people to think about six words to develop their survival skills. With my six simple words, people can take on any challenge with which they are faced.
Everyone can be a leader. Leadership fosters creativity. Leadership is about solving problems. Leadership creates contribution. Leadership acts on people’s feelings. Leadership empowers. Leadership is an ability, meaning a leader has the capacity to do something using talent and skill. How are you being a leader?
“Cross the Line”
One Line — Two Sides — One Choice
“Write Yourself a Note”
We all need to make a conscious effort to bring ourselves back to center and refocus. The desire to live focused every day may take a daily reminder to write yourself a note.
Your Winner Within is a book that not only offers encouragement and optimism but is a road-map for self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment. Holly’s methods are intuitive, honest and adaptable to nearly any situation. Best of all, the methods and ideas presented in this book are the very ones she uses herself to achieve success.
“Holly nailed it! The audience rated her 4.84 out of 5. She was a delight to work with, incorporated our convention goals and personalized the presentation. She’s low-maintenance and a crowd-pleaser; an incredible value. Fully self-aware that someone who spent a month on a reality TV show doesn’t automatically have the expertise to serve as a life-coach, Holly crafted an interesting and engaging story for fans and non-fans of Survivor, and connected her life lessons to our industry.”
Clint R. Armistead, Director of Training & Events, Heartland Credit Union Association
“Holly Hoffman was the talk of our convention! I personally thought she was a fantastic speaker! The make-up of our audience was approximately 20% female and 80% male. I was pleasantly surprised that Holly appealed to everyone. After her presentation, I was in the spouse program and the women all shared how much they enjoyed Holly’s presentation. Thursday evening and Friday, when I was able to speak with the entire membership, they were all saying what a great presentation it was. It was obvious Holly touched the entire room. I would wholeheartedly recommend her. Thank you, Barry and Tyler, for suggesting Holly for our convention!”
Rochelle Hitz, Nebraska Concrete & Aggregates Association
“Impressive person! Her story of the obstacles she overcame in her life and on the CBS show ‘Survivor’ will give you a glimpse of her strong character. A true survivor, a great person and someone you need to know. What a treasure her message is!”
Phillip Larabee, Lions Club, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
“Thank you, Barry and Tyler, for helping us to coordinate schedules with Holly Hoffman so that she could speak at our Unity leadership event in Chandler, AZ. Her presentation was a big hit with everyone, as I could see people nodding their heads in agreement with her, scribbling down notes as fast as they could, and were even moved to tears as Holly shared some personal struggles from her childhood. She answered many of the audience’s questions afterward, and stayed to talk with people – she is so genuine and engaging that when you see her with people she just met, you would think they were lifelong friends. I especially liked that she went to our website to gain some more information about our company, our opportunities for women and about the Unity group in particular, and she spoke to that on several points. She is truly a wonderful person with a very inspiring message and we loved having her back for a second time!”
Lauren Balleweg, PayPal
“Holly is a high-energy, awe-inspiring speaker. She is able to bring her personal life experiences to fruition on her platform from “Survivor.” Holly is capable of reaching the audience on a deep and emotional level. I’ve seen her speak twice now and would see her again if the opportunity arose!”
Jill Vermeire, J.V. Events and Consulting, LLC
“Holly, thank you for being so personable and inspiring! Your message of not giving up in the face of challenge was delivered in a way that REALLY hit home. I have never seen so many of our members line up and hang around for such a long time after a talk. Your evaluation rating of 4.97 out of 5 was the highest we have ever had for a speaker!”
Alison Deelstra, Director of Education and Communication, Minnesota Rural Electric Association
“Holly spoke at our annual Women’s Brunch which is held to coincide with our major farm show. Holly’s presentation was both engaging and inspirational. She captures your attention and makes you want to hear more. Our audience adored her and she received rave reviews from all in attendance – and she had lines swarming around her afterward too! Holly was great to work with and was very deliberate in making sure her message was going to resonate and connect with the audience we were bringing in.”
Rebecca Zabel, Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce
“The Rushmore Chapter of AAHAM was honored to have Holly speak at our spring meeting in Chamberlain. Our group laughed and we cried but we loved the connection that Holly made with every single person in the room. What a strong and amazing women; she is a mentor and leader for all to admire.”
Margie Gettel, President, Fergus Falls Kiwanis Club
“Energizing…captivating…inspiring…Holly Hoffman provides a moving, dynamic and faith-filled account of her life’s experiences and journey as a contestant on the hit television series ‘Survivor.’ Her message of renewed determination to make the most of each day and hope for the future is a ‘MUST HEAR’ for every type of audience.”
Heather M. Bode, MHA, CRCS-I, Business Office Manager, Faulkton Area Medical Center
“I was very pleased with Holly’s presentation and her ‘REAL’ message to kick-off our school year for our staff. Many of the teachers were grabbing me on the way out of the high school, thanking me for contacting Holly and sharing their positive feedback!! She delivered the perfect balance of humor, inspiration and ‘relate-ability.’ We definitely give her two thumbs up!”
Kim Johnson, Austin Elementary Principal, Vermillion, SD
Sioux Falls, South Dakota