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Ted Burk - Puhuja

Communication & Performance Specialist | Fighter Pilot

Ted Burk’s passion for developing high-performance teams began as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot. Flying high-performance jets into combat and returning to land them on the rolling, pitching deck of an aircraft carrier requires more than steady nerves. In the same way that navigating our lives and careers requires more than knowledge and experience.

Ted’s Navy career took him around the world from the flight deck to the Pentagon. Each assignment revealing different clues to understanding the secrets of high-performance. How does TOPGUN produce world-class pilots year after year for over half a century? Under pressure and against all odds, how do some teams consistently out-perform others and maintain a culture that produces high-performance? More importantly, how can we develop a culture like that?

Ted answers those questions with his insights and experience as a fighter pilot, coach and communications expert. He unpacks the secrets behind high-performing teams, and explains why leaders need to focus on communication. Whether identifying or closing gaps in performance and culture, communication lies at the heart of the challenge. Narrative strategy, messaging and storytelling are “must-have” skills enabling leaders to empower their teams and harness their potential. But knowing this is not the same as knowing how.

In a keynote address, Ted shares a framework and actionable ideas to improve the performance of teams and leaders alike. In workshops, Ted develops these concepts further and guides teams through applying these tools to meet their challenges.


“Ted Burk’s lecture was an interesting and captivating experience! His background is inspiring and he truly has the gift of storytelling which creates engagement in the audience. The lecture gave several insights about leadership, personal development and achieving one’s goals. I can highly recommend Mr. Burk as a speaker.” – Jakob Frick / Stockholm, Sweden


As a speaker Ted Burk is immensely captivating, insightful and warmhearted. Whether delivering a keynote speech or workshop, or advising a team on narrative strategy, his passion to inspire and develop a culture of high-performance is infectious.


”Ted is a very kind and pleasant presenter and interesting to listen to. He had the audience in a firm grip during his presentation from start to finish. Although he had talked about pilots and test teams, everyone understood that these different groups served as metaphors for our department and the different cultures/conditions that apply to different personnel groups.”


As a public speaker, Ted shares vivid, engaging stories from the cockpit to the boardroom: unpacking the hidden keys of high-performance. He guides teams through workshops developing their narrative intelligence and equipping them with the tools to leverage the power of storytelling and narrative strategy.


Ted’s most sought-after keynotes and workshops:
A Culture of High Performance

This presentation starts on the flight deck, exploring the challenge of landing fighter jets on an aircraft carrier – in the middle of the ocean and ends up with presenting the keys to unlocking high performance in your team.


Leading with Story

This workshop unpacks the importance of narrative intelligence in leadership and explores how we can improve at leading with stories. Ted will guide the audience through a journey of understanding the narrative challenges your team faces and how to overcome them to take your team or organisation to the next level in authentic and effective ways.


Shaping Culture with Story

They say that culture eats strategy for breakfast, but what do we do with that? This workshop explores the connection between narratives and culture. We know how important culture is, but how do we cultivate it? In this session, we’ll explore your team’s stories and what they reveal about values, identity and purpose. You’ll discover methods for aligning team stories with a narrative strategy to shape your culture. You’ll begin to develop a team culture that supports strategy and eats challenges for breakfast.


Getting Results with Story

Strengthening culture and enabling strategy is critical to success & stories can do just that. This workshop focuses on achieving results in competitive environments by leveraging the power of story throughout & across your business. In this session we’ll examine your team’s external challenges and how to create narrative strategies and storytelling campaigns that optimize your competitive advantage.


Teemat: A Culture of High Performance | Leading with Story | Shaping Culture with Story | Getting Results with Story

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