Keynote & Corporate Event Speaker

I work closely with my clients to understand their goals for their event, who their audience is and how best to deliver the message that will leave them feeling empowered and inspired when they leave the event.

Mental Health | Resilience | Leadership | Technology and Energy Industry | STEM careers | Health & Wellbeing | Fitness: Healthy Body & Mind


At the age of 34, Sonja’s entire life changed in just 56 seconds she survived a life changing harrowing experience. Her story of perseverance against all the odds is an inspirational message of determination and resilience that will encourage the audience to overcome self limiting beliefs, and help them to delve into their own inner strength & resilience, to leave with helpful practical tools to feel more empowered to meet daily challenges in a new light and unleash their inner potential.

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  • Inspirational Life Stories
  • Resilience
Politics & Advocacy
  • Leadership
  • Intergenerational Leadership
Health & Well Being
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Endometriosis
  • Mind Body Fitness
  • Healing Journey
  • Science & Technology
  • Creativity
  • Digital
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Future of Work
  • Shared Value

Talking Points

At the age of 34, Sonja Basson was blissfully happy – married to the man of her dreams, planning to start a family, making good progress in her career as an engineer, and surrounded with love and laughter. Until one night only four months after getting married, she and her husband were attacked in their driveway of their home in Johannesburg, South Africa, and her dreams turned to the worst nightmare she could ever have imagined.

Sonja developed helpful tools and a roadmap to help her through this major life changing event to not only survive but conquer a lot of her fears, these principles can be applied to the changes in life, careers and relationships.

Sonja will discuss:

  • The pace of recovery after change
  • Helpful techniques to manage multiple stressors
  • Useful thought process when everything feels out of control
  • A daily dose of a helpful attitude and approach to help you cope
  • Measuring progress in a way that it doesn’t create more stress
  • Measuring impact of what to deal with first
  • Finding support when you need it most

Health & Well Being
Sonja Basson is an endo (endometriosis) warrior, she had her first surgery in her early twenties. After more than a decade with her partner they tied the knot in March 2016, they planned to start a family through IVF. She was scheduled for her next Endometriosis surgery in August 2016 to start the first steps for IVF to make her husband and her dreams of having a family together come true.

Sadly only four months after getting married life would deal them a fatal blow after surviving a hijacking in July 2016 at her home in Johannesburg, during which her husband was shot and later succumbed to his wounds. Sonja was left with the decision whether she would continue with IVF. She still had to deal with the Endo symptoms and also was juggling her career as a Professional Engineer at the same time. With her life thrown into chaos she found an anchor in her career. She shares her story of hope and resilience to help other women that might be dealing with loss, grief, well being, endo and the challenges of starting a family while having a career.

Sonja will discuss:

  • What she learnt through this life changing event
  • How to use your inner strength and resilience to find hope
  • How she dealt with the huge disappointment of how life changed so rapidly
  • Where to find support – you are not alone

How to nurture a culture of inclusion and diversity

Sonja Basson grew up in a country that has 11 official languages and is a hot pot of cultures and diversity. She has worked on international projects that included diverse multi cultural teams and across different backgrounds. One of her first jobs was to tell the highly experienced lead Civil Engineer on a major power station project that he had to redo all the floors in all the equipment and control rooms on site as he had not followed the standards for control room design as set out, she was 22 years old at the time. It would be the first time she came face to face with dealing with differences in equality, rank and labels being assigned. She has often been the only woman in a room filled with men because of the ratio of women to men in the industry. She has learnt a huge amount about what she will and won’t accept in her career. With practical experience in stepping into the director roles from technical roles to managing teams. She brings a pragmatic approach to how to create and improve on making the world of STEM a more inclusive and diverse environment.

Sonja will discuss:

  • The empathetic authentic leader – legacy vs followers
  • Be a knowledge Shepard not a knowledge Hog
  • Job shadowing not just shadow casting

The bait then switch phenomena – job description & reporting

Change your mindset to a result driven focused mindset. Learn how to create productive teams and Increase the motivation and output performance of your teams.

New and Existing managers and leaders in STEM that are looking to enhance their team performance

The class will give you tools to help you negotiate your next role

Support to help you transition from a design role without leading a team to stepping into being a team or project leader

Shares insight in how to leave a lasting legacy and not just followers

Improves your ability to delegate and provide meaningful guidance to grow and develop talent

Helps you communicate what outcomes are required and to determine practical performance measures

Empowers future leaders across diverse and inclusive teams to understand how to get the most out of the team

Technique to listen to understand with empathy and then look for an create opportunities for your team to excel

The MASTERCLASS includes:

  • A full 1/2-day workshop facilitated by Sonja Basson
  • Quick Reference Notes
  • Morning tea, afternoon tea and lunch
  • Investment $550 inclusive GST pp
  • Maximum of 25 people
  • Signature Keynote Just a Minute – A message of Resilience with practical tools to help overcome challenges
  • Corporate speaking engagements Business Leadership Own your journey engineer the way – Topics: Resilience, Diversity and Inclusion, Mental Health in the Workplace, Women’s day keynote, Women’s health keynote, Endometriosis awareness talks and Retaining Talent.
  • Educators and Schools Grade learners: Practical Survival Guide to STEM studies and launching your career
  • Tertiary education Under Grad & Graduates: Build your Brand Linkedin Workshops – the Global Engineer
  • Women in STEM Masterclasses Leadership 1 Day workshops Negotiation techniques, Leadership Tools, Influence & Lead, transitioning into a leadership role for the first time or taking on a more senior role in your organization.

For more information on upcoming Masterclasses click here

One on One Coaching sessions suited to Graduates and Professionals in Engineering Local & International build your brand. Express your interest here

For Graduate – Practical Survival Guide to STEM studies and launching your career
Continuing the journey into Uni and making it past year 1 and 2 wondering if you have made the right decision can be scary. Should I quit or change course? Where to find your first graduate work if you don’t make the cut for grad intakes at all the top firms. Where am I going to find work when I graduate? How to move yourself out of obscurity and build a following and create opportunities for yourself to flourish. How can I share and grow my skills & talent? These are all good questions but can be unnerving if they go unanswered and are stressing you out.

Sonja will discuss:

  • How to find Scholarships
  • How to practically build your brand on Linkedin
  • How to compliment your STEM skills with other skills that can give you an edge

For Learners – Maths & Science the door to unlimited opportunities
Making the decision to study Maths or Science in high school can be a tricky decision to make. Why studying Maths & Science can open a world of opportunities for you.

Sonja will discuss:

  • Practical ways in which you can know if you are drawn to study Maths & Science
  • The types of opportunities you can grow into
  • How to overcome self doubt

Download images of Sonja Basson for your event

Book Sonja For Your Next Event