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“Imagine your whole world
grinding to a stand-still
because a cow was late for work.”

“Welcome to day five of shooting Napoleon Dynamite.
That was one of the easiest problems we had to solve!”

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Sean’s presentations are designed to give your event a jolt of entertainment and a flash of insight. He starts with hilarious stories about growing up in small-town South Dakota, and quickly evolves into behind-the-scenes trivia of making Napoleon Dynamite.

All the while he is setting the framework for an “Ah Ha” moment about how we think, how to focus leaders & teams and how to  make things happen

while also improving the lives of everyone they meet. 

As a movie producer, educator and storyteller, Sean abides by one philosophy: “Make ‘em laugh and you can shove a bunch of information into their brains while their mouths are open!

Audiences leave Sean’s presentations with excitement, focus, and the tools to empower staff and change the mindset of those around them. …Along with some pretty great stories to tell their friends back home.

We all want to break our brain noise, set goals that make us more productive, and fulfill our lives.

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This 60-minute presentation inspires audiences to find the genius in their teams, in their students, and in themselves. 

The job of a Movie Producer is to lead diverse groups of people toward a single goal.  You must align the vision of creatives, such as actors and cinematographers. You must work within tight schedules and strict budget constraints.  The goal is to create an experience that entertains, educates, and enlightens.


The very same is true for educators!

The result of this presentation is fresh thinking in building teams, new methods of problem-solving, and renewed excitement for conquering the challenges ahead.

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"Your talk really got us off to a great start. You have both great style and delivery. Your message was spot on and your remarks peppered with just the right amount of humor."


"The talk truly set the framework for a great week of learning. Thank you.”


“It was a fantastic way to start the year… Humor mixed
with relevant food for thought. I have been struggling
with coming back this year in a way I haven’t ever
before (this is my 33rd year teaching). You said just
what I needed to hear.”


“Our teachers stopped focusing on the “What.”

Now they focus on the “HOW.”


“It was a highlight of my summer.
Engaging, interesting and fun.”


“We’ve never had a line to

meet the speaker before!”

“We are huge Napoleon Dynamite fans so it was neat to get behind the scenes! I’ve taken your message into the school by putting an H and a W on both sides of my clock. It keeps me on track with helping my students and teachers, and guides them to solve problems on their own. Thank you for a great conference.”

“I’ve been thinking about your talk since last week and wanted to send a note of thanks. So many great lessons to take away, and all of them start with the word “How.” PS – I sent my son the picture we took. His reply was 'GOSH-THAT’S FLIPPIN AWESOME!' Thanks again."

“You had me laughing, and crying at the end because as someone outside the industry, you truly understand what makes us tick. Thank you for sharing your story and know you are making a difference in the lives of others.”

“I saw the hotel staff sneak into the back to hear your talk –Maybe they’ll give us a discount on the conference room!”


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Sean Covel is a Keynote Speaker, Writer, and Movie Producer who grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Covel’s credits include Beneath for Paramount Pictures, The 12 Dogs of Christmas directed by Academy Award Winner, Keith Merrill, and the iconic independent film, Napoleon Dynamite. Together, Covel’s films have won multiple awards, generated over one-quarter billion dollars in revenue internationally, and gotten nerds prom dates across the globe. He very much wishes that would’ve been the case when he was in high school.

Covel travels the globe on various film shoots, but maintains close ties to his 
small-town midwestern roots. In 2015 he founded 
The 12 Days of Pizza charitable program, which supplies underprivileged families of elementary school-age children consistent meals across the Christmas break. In its first year, the program provided 144 meals to Black Hills area families. Just 3 years later, the program grew to provide over 12,000 meals across the midwest.

Covel is also a best-selling children’s book writer. His latest book series, Porter the Hoarder, has become a centerpiece of a family engagement project created by the United Way. As part of the project, 15,000 first graders receive a free copy of the book each year, along with the tools to inspire reading at home. The program began in South Dakota and is now expanding nationally.

​As a keynote speaker, Covel has helped hundreds of business professionals and educators reframe thinking to “build castles in the clouds, and put foundations under them.”

Covel enjoys keynote speaking, traveling, and lecturing at the University of Southern California each spring. He hangs his nunchucks in Boulder, CO.

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Sean is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and workshops. 

To book email

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