About Stephen M. Gower, CSP

If you want to know about the effectiveness of a speaker, ask another member of the National Speakers Association. Dr. Willie Jolley, CSP, CPAE, an icon in the speaking industry has this to say about Stephen: “Stephen is a brilliant man, and one of the most powerful speakers/authors on the planet.”

Stephen is also the best-selling author of over 30 books, including What Do They See When They See You Coming? He has also written countless articles for a variety of magazines and publications, and has produced eight audiobooks and a five-hour DVD/CD Mega-Pack. He has appeared on PBS Television and XM Sirius Satellite Radio. Stephen continues to hold one of the highest invite-back ratios in the speaking profession.

Stephen M. Gower, CSP, MDiv. Born March 5, 1947, in Toccoa, Stephens County, Georgia, and lived most of his life there. He was the son of the late Stephen Macklyn “Mac,” Jr. and India Bond Gower. Survivors include his wife, of 29 years, Lynne Anderson Gower of the home, his sister, Sylvia Lundy of Dahlonega, GA. Stephen is survived by his three children, Carter M. Gower of Gainesville, GA, Stephanie Azzolin of Watkinsville, GA, and Paul Dukes of Brossard, Quebec, Canada. Stephen has eight grandchildren, and he has enjoyed every moment that he had with them.  

Stephen was a graduate of Toccoa High School, where he participated in the first Class of Governor’s Honors Program. He graduated from Mercer College, earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree, continuing his education at Emory University, where he served as president of the Student Government and received his Master’s in Theology.  

Upon returning to Toccoa, he invested much of himself into the community where he received “Outstanding Young Man of the Year.” He was the distinguished president of the Toccoa Kiwanis Club and a distinguished Lieutenant Governor of the Regional Kiwanis. He was selected as one of the five chartered trainers worldwide for the Kiwanis. Stephen was president of the American Cancer Society for Toccoa and in the surrounding region and president of the American Heart Association for Toccoa and president for the region.    

As the owner of The Gower Group, Inc. and Lectern Publishing, he authored 28 books and presented more than 5,000 presentations worldwide. In 2005, Mr. Gower was awarded the highest earned designation from the National Speakers Association — Certified Speaking Professional. He presented for NSA during three conferences and was the host for “Meet the Pros” on several occasions. He has presented in all 50 states and ten countries, he developed a featured series for PBS and was featured on the SiriusXM. During his professional speaking career, he presented for the leadership of 4,200 chapters of the United Chamber of Commerce, the Turkey Human Resources, and the Arabian Human Resources.  

He was a lifelong member of the Toccoa First United Methodist Church, where he served as an Ordained Elder. He also served on the following boards: North Georgia Association of Broadcasting, Atlanta Counsel of Campfire, and the Salvation Army.

Stephen had a full career in broadcasting, starting at age 15 with WNEG. He served several churches through the North Georgia United Methodist Church. He worked many years for WLET and enjoyed serving his home town through radio. His last project was Tic Toc Toccoa on WNEG. Stephen strived to help listeners enjoy the services and events offered to the public.  

In lieu of flowers, make memorials to The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Donation Processing, PO Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014. Stephen battled Parkinson’s Disease for more than 14 years. Mr. Gower’s Memorial Service will be announced at a much later date. 



“Stephen is one of the most powerful speakers on the planet. He is a brilliant man. I am honored to call Stephen Gower a friend and I am proud to say that I have learned a lot from Stephen about perseverance and courage. I am going to ask you to do something that sounds strange in regards to his books. Do Not Read His Books! That’s right, Don’t Read His Books! Rather, I recommend you Study the Books! Mark them up, highlight them, and make notes in the margins. Again, study his books and you will see that it will make you think bigger and bigger! His books will help you find power that you might not have known was in you, and you will be empowered at a new level.”

— Dr. Willie Jolley, CSP, CPAE

“As they say, ‘there is nothing like the real thing’, I love Stephen’s books, and I am always intrigued by his presentations, but one-on-one with Stephen Gower is the real thing. Stephen possesses a unique ability to cater his mentor-ship toward areas you did not know you needed. I have enjoyed watching and listening to Stephen teach me lessons. Later I realized that these areas were exactly where I needed to grow and develop.”

— Matt Love, Fire Chief – Fort Myers Beach Fire Department

Through dynamic delivery and riveting content, through signature stories and “on-target” insights, Stephen services the journey of his audience.

Stephen began speaking in public at age six, his mother insisted on as much, as she was a public speaking teacher. Considered one of the strongest speakers in the industry, Stephen has given more than 5,000 presentations. His 50 years of experience pays huge dividends for his audiences. In 50 states and 10 countries, Stephen is known for his riveting content and mesmerizing delivery. The word “experience” surfaces again and Stephen is respected as one who creates relationships with his audiences. Participants do not merely listen to him, they experience his excitement, his authenticity, and vulnerability. Universities, organizations, and individuals benefit from Stephen’s educational material.

Stephen talks about different ways that professionals can work with people and shares some insights on bettering those encounters.

“I just finished watching Stephen’s video in it’s entirety. Knowing his situation, I was blown away with his speech, how he logically went from point to point..all without any prompts or notes. He is inspiring; he is a treasure to be shared. He lives to speak, and touches the lives of those who will make decisions for our future.”
— Joyce B. Still, Blue Ridge GA

“Your one-on-one time with me was greatly appreciated. Your insight prompted me to view things differently and opened my eyes to new possibilities. I also appreciate your follow-up time, your thoughtfulness, and your interest in my continued professional development.

As I continue to work my way through the Gower library of books, I admire how direct and well-thought out your books are. Your material holds my attention, and I look forward to the next book. Your contributions to our staff have been extremely valuable. I look forward to the next time our paths cross.”

Jeff Tate

Chief of Police, Shakopee Police Department

Stephen’s Educational Background
Governor’s Honors Program Toccoa High School
Bachelor’s from Mercer University
Law Studies at Emory University
Master’s from Emory University – Candler
President of Student Government
Post Graduate Studies at Emory University – Candler

Career Experience
Outstanding Young Man of Toccoa, GA
Who’s Who Among American’s Teachers
Over 5,000 Presentations in 50 States & 10 Countries
Written & Published 28 Books, and numerous articles
Published “Leadership Dock” Magazine
For 10 years Conducted the Youth Leadership Institute for eight SW GA High School Student Leadership
Continues to hold one of the highest invite back ratios for Professional Speakers
Speaking Anniversary of 50 Years
Member National Speakers Association
Highest Speaking Professional Certified Earned Destination 

National Association Fire Chiefs
D.A.R.E. International
Crime Stoppers International
International Sales & Marketing Executives
Turkey SHRM
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
US Jaycees Leaders from 4200 Chapters
45 State Law Enforcement Conferences

Volunteer Programs
President –  Toccoa Kiwanis – Distinguished
Georgia Regional Kiwanis Lieutenant Governor – Distinguished
Selected one of five Worldwide Kiwanis Trainers
Salvation Army Board of Directors
Atlanta Campfire Council – Board of Directors
Georgia Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors
Toccoa American Heart Association – President
Georgia American Heart Association – Regional President
Toccoa American Cancer Association – President
Georgia American Cancer Association – Regional President
National Speaker’s Association Workshops & Meet the Pros
Toccoa First United Methodist Church Lay Leader Twice
United Methodist Church Elder

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Stephen’s clients include:

  • The International Sales and Marketing Executives Conference
  • The National Society of Human Resource Management
  • The International Association of Chiefs of Police (9 times)
  • The National Sheriffs Association (4 times)
  • The Arabian Human Resource Conference
  • State Health Care Organizations in 46 states
  • State Law Enforcement Organizations in 44 states
  • The American Association of Community Colleges
  • American Health Care Administrators
  • Federal Aviation Agency
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • The Veterans Administration
  • Boeing
  • John Deere
  • The Turkey Human Resource Conference
  • AT&T
  • The International Fire Chiefs Association (4 times)
  • Volunteer Combination Officers Section (3 times)
  • State Fire Organizations in 36 states
  • Institute Of Internal Auditors (5 times)