Neil O’Brien

‘The Mental Fitness Coach’, Motivational & Performance Speaker and ‘Author of Time to Fly’

why book neil?

  • Over 25 years of success coaching teams on tools to understand and manage mindset
  • Creator of award winning performance programme
  • Gives his audiences practical tools and habits to nurture their potential and stay mentally resilient


A motivational speaker and founder of Time to Fly, Neil O’Brien has built a stellar reputation for helping people, business leaders and their teams through transformation by teaching them to embrace the small steps that lead to big—and lasting—changes.

Neil wants everyone to understand and realise their potential. In order to do this, he first helps them to believe it’s there, irrespective of age or history. And once it’s emerged into their awareness, he provides people and organisations with precisely the tools they need to nurture it into the future, personally and professionally.

For Neil, mindset and mental fitness are the building blocks of potential; they’re the scaffolding that allow us to purposefully build a robust sense of who we are and what we’re capable of. He is clear, however, that ‘potential’ is not just about skills. It’s about using our natural talents and abilities to the fullest. And once we understand our potential—when we start to see what is possible—we make different choices that are better for us and for the organisations we’re part of.

In his talks and courses with companies such as VHI, Google, Zurich and Irish Life, Neil’s empathy, humour and impressive insight win audiences over quickly, but the real impact of his work lies deeper, in the enduring benefits that come from having people and organisations that understand themselves better and work to their strengths. When that happens, Neil believes, it’s transformational at every level.



Decommodifying Human Potential

Potential goes far beyond your ‘skills’. In this highly engaging keynote, Neil helps us to understand that each of us has unique potential. Importantly, he demonstrates that while the workplace might not always be the place to realise that potential, playing to our strengths can only make us happier and more productive at work and at home.

Mental Fitness

Tools and habits to nurture our potential and stay mentally resilient

Neil can tackle this topic in a one-off talk, a series of talks or workshops (virtual or physical) or a masterclass. In all instances, he alerts us to the cumulative power of small changes to effect deeper, more meaningful change in our work and personal lives.

Neil O’Brien


These discussion-based classes are very interactive, with Neil skilfully facilitating the learning and the ‘ah-ha’ moments. Each one concludes with practical homework/tips/ strategies that can be implemented immediately.

There are two options: 90 mins or 180 mins. The 90-minute class is suitable for an audience of up to 40 and is less in-depth than the longer class, which digs deeper into the topic. Below are some samples, but Neil also builds bespoke content based on a specific group’s needs.

You may want to go deeper with your audience. Masterclasses can be tailored and developed to suit your audience needs, be it a 90-minute Masterclass, a half-day or full-day workshop or a full online or face-to-face programme. Please contact one of our expert team to discuss.

Mental Resilience through Times of Turbulence

Author of ‘Time to Fly’ Neil O’Brien specialises in Mental Fitness and Resilience with a particular focus on the unprecedented challenges that the modern world brings.

Wellbeing for All—A masterclass in the mental-fitness approach to health and wellbeing.

This is for individuals who want greater vitality, effortless discipline and easy resilience. It is also for leaders who wish to bring higher levels of health and wellbeing to their teams and organisations. It will cover:

  • Why familiarity is more dangerous than uncertainty
  • What mental fitness is and how to measure it
  • How to have better moods, habits and discipline
  • How to practice resilience before you need it
  • Why a sense of direction is always needed
  • And how to share this with others

Time To Fly!—A masterclass in unlocking people’s potential.

This is for people who feel that they have more talent than they are using. And who would like to be more successful and more fulfilled. It will cover –

  • The cosmic traps of human potential and why ‘seeing is NOT believing’
  • What is human potential and how do you find it
  • How to unearth natural talent and ability
  • How to have a clear sense of direction in times of uncertainty and change
  • Why goal setting is for wimps
  • Why now is time to fly

Stress Happens!—A masterclass in coping with stress and performing brilliantly under pressure.

This is for people and leaders who from time to time feel they are underperforming,  overwhelmed and getting nowhere fast. It will cover –

  • What is the ‘busyness trap’ and why it is so inviting
  • How is stress different to pressure
  • How to build the capacity to move quickly from coping to thriving
  • How to have an early detection system for stress and burnout
  • How to build habits and routines that increase your immunity to distress





“It was key that our website felt personable, credible and trustworthy for our customers and Neil’s content which he provided help us achieve just that. Using his unique mental health and wellbeing expertise, Neil provided us with an array of extremely valuable and adaptable content. Through his videos we were able to engage with our customers more creatively and it really helped bring our website to life.” (The videos provided by Neil were part of his tailored video programmes.)

Annie Shivers, Communications & Brand Specialist.

“I feel bound to share the amazing, and sometimes moving, positive feedback from attendees. One group were HR Directors / Senior Managers and the other were CEO’s, but both shared a view that his authentic engaging delivery fundamentally changed their view on their work (for the better!) and gave practical ideas that they could action immediately to make their performance, their effectiveness and their life better! All delivered with great style and humour. Highly highly recommended”

Adie McGennis, CEO Sigmar Recruitment.

“I thought that Neil’s approach to motivational speaking was innovative and really refreshing. He captured everyone’s attention and the way he described moods and triggers and habits was very original.” &“I thought that he was very entertaining. It’s a topic very important nowadays to look after your mental health and wellbeing to succeed in life and work. there was a take-away after his session to think about and reflect. Personally I thought it was the best part of the whole event.”

Bank of Ireland

“I honestly do not think I will ever forget Neil’s coaching session. What an amazing guy.”


“We asked Neil O’Brien to address our employees as part of the process enhancing this culture, specifically dealing with the topics of motivation and feedback. Neil did an excellent job, engaging the audience with clear, interesting and easy to digest concepts. I believe Festo Ireland is a better company for Neil’s few hours with us.”

Mark Mcardle, Festo

“Neil thank you so much for such a brilliant session. It was so lovely to met you and your session was very inspiring and motivating. Everyone is talking about it.”

Elaine Gallagher, Google Ireland

“Neil’s sessions were of the highest standard on all 3 days. Without exception feedback from the delegates at each session was excellent. Neil’s ability to convey his message in a real world way is exceptional. It was commented by the Senior Management Team how much they took from the sessions and will be revisiting the themes for themselves and their teams. For me personally the sessions were top class each day, sophisticated in delivery and genuinely relatable. I couldn’t speak highly enough of Neil in that respect.”

Gavin Brock, AIB Customer Financial Planning

“Many thanks for yesterday Neil, it was GREAT!! Very entertaining while still getting across the main aim.”

Nichola Flood, Lloyds Pharmacy

“Neil added tremendous value and hit all the right notes in terms of reflections and learnings in a light hearted way.”

Derval McDonagh, Danske Bank

“It all worked extremely well. Neil’s talk proved to be very popular with our members and provided an excellent counterbalance to our typically technical/business focused agenda. Would definitely recommend him.”

Eamonn Burke, Chairman, IT Healthcare Society

“We just finished our event in Germany with 45 very satisfied participants. Thanks a lot for recommending Neil to us. He was fantastic. The feedback from the audience was absolutely positive. Personally I liked in particular his great humour and his presentation style.”

Holger Kirchoff,  Hewlett Packard