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Dave Keeling

"Make ‘em laugh, make ‘em think – that’s the way to do it."

It has to be said, 'stand-up educationalist' and self-confessed ginger, Dave Keeling is one of Independent Thinking’s longest serving, most in-demand and funniest speakers.

He has quite simply honed the art of making them laugh, making then think and, in this way, making everything different to a very fine art indeed. In doing so, has transformed so many lives. And usually for the better too.

Whether it’s leading a session for a hall-full of recalcitrant teenagers, a full hall of equally recalcitrant teachers or a keynote session for school leaders looking for the cure to recalcitrance in their school, Dave never fails to leave delegates happy, moved, less stressed and feeling a great deal more happy and motivated by the job in front of them.

He has an acting background and first came to our attention many years ago through the work he was doing with fellow Independent Thinking Associate Roy Leighton in schools nationally. Here they were using what is called Forum Theatre to work with young people who were presenting difficult behaviours in school. It was very powerful, life-changing stuff. It still is.

Since that time Dave has remained in our best-selling Associate list, often going back to schools year after year to work with young people on learning, motivation and making the most of their time at school as well as wowing new audiences of teachers, school leaders, parents and governors.

As well as contributing to a number of our collaborative books for the Independent Thinking Press, Dave has also written The Little Book of Laughter in the Classroom detailing the many things we can learn from the worlds of stand-up and improv to help improve our teaching, as well as A Rocket Up Your Class, a book full of practical ideas to bring energy, humour and laughter to any classroom in a way that advocates of traditional ‘back-to-basics’ teaching would hate with a passion.

Dave combines thought provoking concepts with a good deal of humour, without diminishing the importance of his message. Quite brilliant!

David Keeling was fabulous, awe inspiring, what a livewire! We need more inspirational people like him in schools

The students thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and left the hall buzzing with enthusiasm

Fabulous, highly motivated, cannot help but be moved by this speaker. Inspired me to make much greater effort at including fun in future lessons

Very animated, funny speaker – reminded me of how important laughter is in schools

Dave's sessions were an absolute breath of fresh air. It was great to see him engage the Year 11's so well and drop in so many key messages without them even realising

We refer to Mr Keeling as the Pizza Man as he always delivers!! Students and staff always respond brilliantly to him and personally I find him a joy to work with - organised and goes the extra mile

Thank you again for the great after dinner speech. There were certainly a lot of smiles on people’s faces and the room filled with laughter... just what I wanted. Thank you for helping to make the evening go so well

Apart from being six foot two and ginger (although, in his own words, ‘the flame is going out’ these days), what makes Dave stand out is the way in which he can cause people to change their attitudes, behaviours and habits when it comes to teaching, learning and leadership by simply being incredibly funny.

He combines this lightening mind with wisdom about human nature, relationships and learning in a way that wins over 99.9% of all audiences. (There was that one teacher who commented on his feedback form that Dave ‘had a face I would never tire of slapping').

Talking of faces, Dave has one that you might recognise from such adverts as the 2013 Asda Easter commercial (he was 'the dad') or the 2014 Sainsbury's Christmas commercial (again, 'the dad', safe pair of hands and all that). He’s also one of the very few people we know who has been in Coronation Street, EastEnders and Downton Abbey.

On top of this acting career which also takes in stage (Blood Brothers) and screen (London to Brighton), Dave is also a stand-up comedian and a versatile performer last seen with a mullet at various 02 venues across the country playing an 80s ‘wheels of steel’ hitlist to large groups of drunken hen parties celebrating the bride's second wedding.

If you are looking for a thoroughly memorable and entertaining speaker with an important message and track record of taking people’s brains for a walk, then Dave Keeling is the six foot ginger stand up-comic you have been looking for all your life. Seriously.

  • Dave has been with Independent Thinking for nearly 20 years
  • You'll find him in our Teaching and Learning and Well-Being topic areas
  • You might also want to consider Stephanie Davies or Roy Leighton
  • Ask us about Dave's prices and current availability and for details on how to save money when you book, click here.

Make a booking, ask a question or just say hello.

Give us a call on +44 (0)1267 211432, drop us a line at learn@independentthinking.co.uk or hit the button.

Our office in lovely West Wales will then get in touch before you can say 'meddylwyr annibynnol'.