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Terry O’Reilly

Host of CBC Radio's Under the Influence

Terry O'Reilly
Emotions in Advertising
Why Customers Have to Feel
Speakers' Spotlight Showcase 2011
Terry O'Reilly
Emotions in Advertising
Why Customers Have to Feel
Speakers' Spotlight Showcase 2011

Terry O’Reilly is the familiar voice behind the hit CBC radio shows O’Reilly on Advertising, The Age of Persuasion, and his current program, Under the Influence, where he explores the business, craft, and promise of promotion. In his intriguing talks, O’Reilly shares his unique insights and solutions as he explores the big and small things organizations must do to create effective marketing, and provides his expertise on branding, campaigns, and more.

Long before he had a radio show, O’Reilly was an award-winning writer at Canada’s top advertising agencies. He has created campaigns for top brands such as Labatt, Pepsi USA, Goodyear Tires, Tim Hortons, Nissan, and The Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1990, Terry co-founded Pirate Radio & Television, a creative audio production company that grew to eight recording studios in Toronto and New York City.

Now, as the host of the CBC Radio One/WBEZ Chicago radio show, Under the Influence, O’Reilly reaches one million listeners a week, while his podcast has been downloaded more than 40 million times. He has been given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Advertising & Design Club of Canada and been granted honorary degrees from three Canadian universities.

O’Reilly is the co-author of the bestselling book The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture. He is also the author of This I know: Marketing Lessons from Under the Influence and his most recent book My Best Mistake: Epic Fails and Silver Linings, which explores how our catastrophic mistakes can actually be the best things to happen to us.

Speaking topics

Presentations listed below include in-person and virtual keynotes, as well as workshops, fireside chats, and other presentation formats.

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Client reviews

  • Terry absolutely captivated the audience with his wit, wisdom and charm. He has inspired a whole community to put more emotion in their marketing. His message has an impact that is lasting. Since the day Terry came into our collective lives, his legacy to our community is such that “what would Terry do?” is oft repeated.


  • It has been a real joy to work with Terry O’Reilly and his team for his participation in The Influence Event. His research and presentation delivery was top notch and our audience loved his thought-provoking wisdom and humour. The ideas and lessons shared were applicable across a wide audience of entrepreneurs and corporate executives – Terry really rocked the stage.


  • Terry delivered an engaging, thoughtful and instructive address to our Summit stakeholders. He clarified the importance of storytelling and demonstrated that meaningful connections are rooted in making your message personal. Terry’s storytelling was inspiring and contagious. He entertained and moved us while demonstrating the powerful effect of “story”. Also, Terry was very generous with his time, making sure all who wanted to greet him or be photographed with him were not disappointed.


  • Terry spoke at the evening banquet of the GrowCanada conference and he was fantastic. Delegates received a copy of his book, and at the end of the night delegates not only made sure they took the book home with them, but they also wanted to get it signed for a chance to talk to Terry. His ability to infuse humour into a powerful message and really tap into how to tell our story was extremely well-received.



  • We are still hearing from people about how much they enjoyed your keynote – you set an incredible energy for the rest of the workshop.



  • I was really impressed with your opening speech at the ADCC awards. I loved how you talked about awards and the perspective on them. I would love to use your speech as an inspirational tool.


  • We had a full house, and everyone loved it – I could see it on their faces. Terry has a highly polished speaking cadence  – he can create pin drop silence in the room with high attention from the audience, and then deliver a “humour break” to refresh the audience for another period of concentration. Watching him in action was highly educational for me. He has an open invitation to return to Rotman through the Student Marketing and New Media Clubs.


  • Just to let you know – they  (LD Exec’s) are now “quoting you” at various functions they had this week. I went to their Awards dinner and heard your name mentioned at least 6 or 7 times. The response continues to be overwhelmingly positive.


  • Again many thanks for your wonderful assistance on our Professional Development series. We have had EXCELLENT feedback on your talk- the vendors got the messages and are now reflecting on how they need to shape future thinking!


  • On behalf of Anne McClelland of the BPC and Jennifer Murray, conference co-coordinator, I would like to thank you so much for your entertaining, informative and provocative presentation at Devices & Desires. I personally believe that our industry needs the prodding you gave us – and the Inspiration to be more creative. The day was a success and your participation helped make it so.



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