An accomplished public speaker, Dean has delivered talks at academic, cultural and social events around the world.

With a CV that includes invitations to the House of Commons in London, as well as Twickenham, the home of the English Rugby Union, his fascinating take on sport, culture and history has impressed audiences throughout Europe, Australia, North America and the Far East. Dean’s media work includes TV consultancy and appearances  (for BBC, ITV, SABC and KykNET) and radio (Fine Music Radio, SAfm; Classic FM, Power FM, Radio 2000 and Radio Today, South Africa and the BBC World Service, BBC Radio 2 and talkSPORT in the United Kingdom and Worldwide).

A specialist in South African affairs, Dean regularly gives talks and lectures throughout the country. In recent years, his keynote addresses have both educated and entertained a wide variety of local schools, clubs and associations. Dean is also a popular choice for MC roles and after dinner speaking. His content is always finely tuned and aligned to the audience, and his delivery energetic, engaging and motivational.

To book Dean for an event, please mail the details to

A selection of speaking topics and themes

  • Sports in business – embracing effective teamwork by valuing the contribution of others
  • The business of sport – have we sold our souls? A look back to when sport was a passion, not a pay cheque
  • Teamwork or synergy – is sport changing?
  • Sports history in South Africa
  • How world history has been shaped by sport
  • Sport and Empires
  • Sport and empowerment – what disadvantaged communities can teach us
  • Then and now – sport’s role in rebuilding post-Apartheid South Africa



“The man who brings history to life.”

Bath Rotary Club

“I just have to write and compliment you on organising the lecture today by
Dr. Dean Allen. It was compelling listening and viewing and he made the
subject so interesting. I’m not a football or even a sporting fan but the
whole subject was so interesting. Quite one of the best lectures I’ve ever
attended and so well structured and clear to understand.”

Ron White, Johannesburg U3A, July 2020

“Dear Dean, I wish to thank you for the amazing story about Matjiesfontein and the entertaining presentation. I clung to your lips as I last did with the legendary David Rattray at Isandhlwana.
I shall certainly ‘tune in’ to all your upcoming lectures. A fan for life.”

Cassie Badenhorst, July 2020

“I was blown away by your presentation!”

Carla Silverman, Regional Sales Executive, Gearhouse SA Ltd. February 2020

“It was a real pleasure having Dean Allen speak our recent Business Travel industry event. I loved how he took our brief and tailored his talk to suit the theme, speaking to the local tourism industry from an international perspective. His presentation was to the point and he managed to get quite a few laughs from the room! We look forward to using Dean’s skills and insights at our future events.”

Tes M. Proos, President, SITE Africa. January 2020

“We really enjoyed your talk”

Leonie Andereya, Curator, Radisson Hotels, South Africa.

“Thank you for your passionate South African insights.”

Peter-John Mitrovich, CEO, Grosvenor Tours.

“After listening to your talk I found I was revitalised and re-energised.”

Yasmin Johnson, CEO, Discover Cape Town.

“It was an absolute pleasure having you as our guest speaker at our events. My work is so much more enjoyable when working with professional people like yourself!”

Suzette Ehlers, Communications Manager, Netto Invest. August 2019

“Dean as a human being has three of the essential bones in his make up: A wish bone; a back bone and a funny bone! I was blown away by his connection with the audience. May he share his experiences for future generations.”

Brenda Falconer, Knysna U3A, April 2018

“What a fantastic story delivered with such passion, inspiration and humour.”

Les Christiansen, President, Exe Valley Rotary Club, February 2018

“During my life, both professional and personal, I have been fortunate to be in attendance when famous and not so famous have given speeches and / or insights into their lives. Without a doubt the contribution you made last night towards my education of South African history, culture, cricket, war and politics was immense. Your personal style of presentation was for me, and I am sure all those attending, a revelation, not only for the command of your subject, but also done without notes. Your passion was clearly evident and this was demonstrated by everyone there giving the loudest and longest applause for your speech, certainly in my time as a member.”

Stuart Pemberton, Leicester Cricket Society, November 2017

“Fascinating historical content. Excellent delivery – clear voice and confident and no use of notes. Dean has enthusiasm and great presence.”

Sue Hazlerigg, Purbeck U3A, October 2017

“Your presentation was nothing short of outstanding.”

St Francis Bay Breakfast Club

“We have had such positive feedback from so many people that your talk will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the highlights of the year.”

Cape Town U3A, March 2017

“Thanks so much for your brilliant talk last night. Just as impressive were your answers to some very good questions. I have had many congratulatory messages. Thank you again for a splendid evening.”

Barry Rickson, Chairman, Lancashire and Cheshire Cricket Society, February 2017

“I attended one of Dean’s speaking engagements and was hugely impressed. The content was not only factually accurate, but the anecdotes and his delivery are without exception, riveting. As a speaker, he has a natural ability to entertain the audience with his ‘more about this later’ hook. A myriad of clues takes the audience through a labyrinth of well researched evidence, telling an important and as yet, relatively unknown story. I found the talk hugely interesting … If I may quote my colleague, with whom I attended the event, “Dean is a speaker from whom many would do well to emulate.”

Laurence Dann, Hampshire Cricket Society, November 2016

“Thank you for a wonderful evening. Everyone who spoke to me afterwards described your talk as one our best ever. You certainly have a real gift for conveying a complex story – with a setting and cast largely unfamiliar here – and enthusing your audience with your presenting style.”

Maggie Sumner, Secretary, East Riding Cricket Society, November 2016

  • “It was great to meet you and hear your excellent talk this evening … Your presentation has set a new benchmark.”
  • “Dean is a dynamic and passionate speaker. I was completely swept along.”
  • “Thank you for an outstanding seminar & good, old-fashioned storytelling Dr Dean Allen! What a super project & perspective. You have presented an interesting slice of South African history very well indeed.”
  • “What a superb evening! We really enjoyed it and Dean’s story-telling was gripping.”

Audience feedback – members of the South African Chamber of Commerce, London, February 2016

“Thank you Dean for your time, expertise and experience and your awesome ability to inspire our students.”

Sally Lee, Campus Director, ETA College, Cape Town

“I really enjoyed your speech– Thank you! Please come back and inspire us again in the future.”

Sheena Crawford-Kempster, Director, Reddam House Schools, South Africa

  • “Dean, your talk was a treat. So well delivered, lots of fantastic facts, humour and drama. Thank you so much.”
  • “Thank you for a wonderfully entertaining presentation delivered with so much enthusiasm.”
  • “I wish you great success with the launch of your book. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy which apart from being hugely entertaining will be a great reference book.”
  • “Having visited Matjiesfontein several times, I am sure your book will encourage many others to visit and experience this extraordinary little space in the Karoo.”

 Audience feedback – members of the South African Tour Guide Association, Cape Town, May 2014

  • “Great talk – I enjoyed it thoroughly and learned so much. I nearly didn’t come because I had no interest in cricket!”
  • “Your talk was one of the best we have had. You can relate your knowledge so well. You made it all come alive! Thank you. Please come again and tell us more”

Audience feedback – South African Military History Society, March 2014

“Thank you so much for entertaining us to your fantastic talk … What wonderful characters, and situations – and so elegantly told”

Jennifer Day, Emeritus Associate Professor, UCT & President, Probus Club Cape Town