“Saya is a wonderfully engaging speaker… enthusiastic while down to earth; entertaining yet insightful; relatable, thought-provoking and real.  When she shared her dream job wish-list and how she turned that list into a reality I found it not only inspiring, but motivating in a way that made me say to myself, “What a great idea!  That’s a roadmap I can actually follow myself.”
 Diane Tarshis, Startup Distillery

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Saya is memorable, resonates universally, and someone you want to immediately spread to others. Through the power of voice and vulnerability, she is a master at getting others to “Me too!”, and after years of hiding in the shadows, now embraces her literal and figurative stretch marks — a real person with everyday experiences who is proud to share her stumbles and her triumphs.

She gets wheels to turn, hearts to race, and excitement levels to rise, encourages you to leap and to believe whilst keeping realism nearby, and helps you (re)discover what makes you wonderful.

She reframes adulthood and workplace; in place of the grind, competition, and fear of the unknown exists play, collaboration, and excitement for the unknown. She has you laughing and nodding, no matter how different you are from her.

Saya keynotes and facilitates, just as comfortable on a stage at a mic in front of a listening audience as she is walking amongst tables of chattering participants.

An accessible speaker, not one who hides in the green room or leaves as soon as they finish their time under the lights, Saya is happy to interact with attendees and participate in post-event conversation.

She’s an ideal brand ambassador, sharing her clients and their qualities, services, and products to her expansive network before, during, and post-engagement.

She pinches herself everyday that she leads the life she does and she loves infecting others with her Life of Yes℠ philosophies and actions.

For big-picture ways she can help your organization, head here.



  • Life of Yes℠ — Live Your Dream, Not The Dream: steps to creating a fulfilled, balanced, productive, and engaging life for yourself, framed through Saya’s personal experiences — if you’re looking for inspiration, this is it
  • Productivity: resources and tips to help you be as productive as possible, with a focus on tech tools and best practices
  • How to Network Better: “networking” doesn’t have to be painful — not only is Saya good at it, she enjoys it and wants to show you that it doesn’t have to be the worst thing ever
  • Event Curation: how to create successful, memorable, low-stress, well-attended events
  • Something you’d like Saya to speak about that you don’t see above? Let her know and we’ll see what we can do!
  • Saya collaborates with her husband, Pete of TeamPete, as they combine Life of Yes’ness with Workplace Improv, to create a memorable inspirational and educational experience for groups that are interested in team-building and professional development. Interested in their 1-2 punch? Let Saya know via the form below.

If you’re interested in Saya being more of a discussion-leader and/or activity-facilitator rather than someone on stage, say at your company off-site, check out her Facilitator services.

Book Saya as Your Speaker

Saya would be honored to speak to speak to your group. She is based in Chicago but loves to travel especially if the reason for the travel is to share her Life of Yes℠.

Real Experiences

“Saya Hillman spoke to our very diverse group of over 120 business owners in Illinois. She was not only able to hold their attention, with people rapidly taking notes, hanging on every word, but after the event we had many guests tell us she was the most relatable person they have ever heard speak to them before. We are still receiving positive feedback from the event we invited Saya to give the keynote presentation at and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Saya has cultivated her relatable real life experiences into presentations that can benefit all walks of life. She comes highly recommended.” — Lauren Davis, Winnebago Buy Local

“Saya presented the Life of Yes workshop to a packed room of our members. After the session, the attendees were abuzz discussing the exciting projects they planned to start based on the LOY philosophy. I’m included in that – I went back to my desk and got the ball rolling on a creative project I’ve been putting off for years! Thank you Saya!” — Alison Hanold, Partnerships Director, The Chicago Literacy Alliance

“Saya was our opening speaker at the International Special Event Society’s Day of Education Event.  She made us laugh, made us think, and inspired us all to be the best version of ourselves!” — Barb Siska, International Special Events Society

“Saya Hillman is natural born storyteller. She practices what she preaches in her ‘Life of Yes’ approach to living by being vulnerable and generous with her audiences and by taking risks to share what she’s discovering about the world and herself in a way that hands others along just a little further in their journey toward self-understanding. And she does all of this with a great sense of humor. She inspires us to want to live more boldly.” — Kirk Kicklighter, Producer and Host, Flick Lit: Reel-to-Real Storytelling for Movie Lovers

“Saya Hillman’s class on Productivity was top notch! She took what could have been several weeks of material and was able to condense it into a very informative and eye opening four hour course. I walk away with a number of new tools that I am implementing right away. Totally recommend this course!” — Eric, Coldwell Banker

“Without a doubt, your talk was my (and many others’) most memorable and favorite. Priceless!”—Joan Julian, CUSP Conference

“Just a beautiful, honest, open and warm presentation of a designed life.”—Dave Mason, CUSP Conference

“Saya has a very informal and confident presentation style, and is more non-traditional in her approach to entrepreneurship, which I think gave attendees another viewpoint on entrepreneurship in general. Also, there was a very effective exercise at the end of the session that got everyone talking with people they didn’t already know in a way that we didn’t have in any of the other sessions.”—Paul Wu, University of Chicago’s SeedCon

“The minute after Saya Hillman finishes her talk on Living a Life of Yes, you feel like you are ready to take on the world with all your amazingness (good and bad). Through her passion, drive, and personal success story, Saya breaks down her secrets for living a happy and fulfilled life into bite-size pieces we can all implement. Between the stories and laughs you will be sure to have a couple of those ‘aha’ moments where the wheels in your head begin to turn and you feel like you now have gained needed tools to success.”—Alexandra Eidenberg, eWomenNetwork

“Saya and Pete were great at the Ideation Conference. They had attendees at our intensive lab get out of their chairs for improv breakout sessions. Each session called on participants to break from their shells and get creative. Improv sessions are a great way to get conference attendees out of their comfort zone and find a commonality with other attendees. We can’t wait to work with them again.”—Jessica Schultz, Groupon

Upcoming Engagements

Check out the calendar page for upcoming chances to see Saya speak

Sample of Past Engagements|Clients

All in the Chicagoland area, unless otherwise noted

  • Keynote Speaker, Annual Meeting — MIRMA
  • Featured Speaker, Client Forum — Genesis Insurance Company
  • Featured Storyteller, Chicago Women’s Funny Festival
  • Keynote Speaker, Day of Education — The International Special Events Society
  • Featured Speaker, Business Event — Winnebago Buy Local
  • Keynote Speaker, Annual Conference: ‘Mindfulness’ — The Association of Premier Nanny Agencies
  • Emcee, ‘Always an Eagle’ — Boston College Alumni Association
  • Featured Speaker, National Public Library Week — Skokie Public Library
  • Featured Storyteller, Listen To Your Mother
  • Featured Speaker, ‘A Better You’ Workshop — Groupon
  • Keynote Speaker, Elevate Conference — BizBash and Eventbrite, New York City
  • Featured Speaker, TEDx — Bloomington, Indiana
  • Featured Speaker, SeedCon: Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Conference — University of Chicago
  • Featured Speaker, ‘A Life of Yes’ Workshop — College of Lake County
  • Featured Speaker, Staff Retreat — Tru Sweets
  • Featured Speaker, CUSP Conference