Doug Manuel

Motivational speaker, workshop leader and musician with a deep understanding of business processes and dynamics.

Doug Manuel is a motivational speaker, workshop leader and musician with a deep understanding of business processes and dynamics and a special talent for bringing people together, fostering connections and establishing true collaboration. To meet the challenges of our times, his impact talks and interactive experiences are designed to energize and keep people connected at both virtual or hybrid as well as live events.

He has an extraordinary ability to read and feel into his audiences and connect with them even from afar. With his natural empathy and deep understanding of the human being, he guides them to a place of active listening, building up emotions and energy: the ideal opener to any event format and the perfect re-energizer and connector throughout the programme.

Creator of the internationally acclaimed ‘Djembe! The Show’ nominated for two JEFF awards, for over more than 20 years, Doug Manuel has collaborated with multinationals, sports teams, leading business schools and NGOs – not to mention TEDx, TED Global and Oprah Winfrey. In his keynote speeches, workshops and breakout sessions he uses stories, music, and rhythm to boost energy, break down barriers and create an interactive, multi-sensory experience. Delivered in his native English or fluent French, Doug Manuel’s presentations have a lasting impact on audiences large or small.

In 1995, Doug Manuel attended a drumming workshop and his love of Africa was born. The following year he set off for the mother continent to film elephants for a BBC documentary, and to West Africa to study the music of the Djembe. He eventually gave up his career as a BBC documentary producer to pursue and share his passion for the Djembe, and to focus on his personal development work and extensive coaching. During this journey, he acquired the skills, insights and understanding which today enable him to empower people to connect with themselves, each other and their work.

With a strong focus on empathy, his topics range from resilience to help embrace change, enhancing purpose and collaboration to drive success, developing leadership and personal growth to expand careers, through to mindfulness and managing stress to overcome challenges.

Delivered in leading business schools and Fortune 500 companies, Leadership Development and Team Building are the focus of Doug’s much-praised interactive workshops and live learning laboratories. Leading by example, he generously shares his expertise and personal techniques to bring out the best in teams and put leadership theory into action.

Doug also leads his charity ‘Lighting Up Lives’, whose pilot project partners with the villagers of Abéné in Senegal, inspiring and supporting local action to solve local problems such as energy, health, sanitation and education. The charity builds bridges between Africa and the occident, fostering collaboration and putting words into action.

What people say about Doug Manuel

“When I hear about anything that’s good, I love to share it.”

“Doug became an integral part of our 2 day Enlarged Management meeting.
Not only did he provide an excellent experience and demonstration of team work and cohesion, he also helped us address some critical elements of project management in particular the importance of clear communication. I would like to thank him for his intervention and would certainly not hesitate in recommending him and his work!”

“We’ve worked with Doug several times now and he keeps coming up with the goods. The feedback from my staff after a session is hugely satisfying. We all feel that the sessions break down barriers between management and employees allowing for a new experience that helps us to look at business issues from a different angle. I will continue to work with Doug on a regular basis.”



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  • Resilience
  • Empathy
  • Purpose
  • Stress Management / Mindfulness
  • Leadership / Collaboration