“Barbara May has an appeal and likeability that can move an audience into a space we rarely see... inspiring!”

Bob Angeli, Owner, The Comedy Factory

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About Barbara May, B.Ed 

Barbara May has spent a lifetime knowing how to get up after a fall. But she figures doing that and getting a laugh at the same time is a lot more fun. She is a former national-level gymnast, award-winning coach, aspiring drummer and mother of two who joked her way into the Guinness World Records by performing in the longest stand-up comedy show in history.

With more than three decades of work experience behind her in fields as diverse as sport and recreation, education, not-for-profit management, entertainment and government, Barbara brings a uniquely powerful mix of personal stories, humorous examples, and real-world insight to her programs and clients. By talking openly about her struggles and triumphs, Barbara helps people see and get past their stumbling blocks and be happy, motivated and productive at work. 

Barbara May has a great deal of experience and first-hand information to share about overcoming stumbling blocks at work. She has interviewed business owners on the Learning & Job News, hosted Access Television’s May We Talk, and facilitated more than 500 career and employment workshops. She draws upon this experience to help people discover new ways of solving problems in the workplace such as dealing and communicating with co-workers and bouncing back from mistakes with confidence.

It was a health crisis that prompted Barbara May to build her business, Stumbling Blocks Team Building Seminars. At age 46, she suffered life-threatening pulmonary emboli—blood clots in her lungs. Every moment felt like a hurdle, like a trial, as she experienced it, so every moment looked like a victory as she looked back at it. That health crisis was what lit her light bulb and showed her her unifying purpose: helping people get past their stumbling blocks.


At every one of her team building sessions, Barbara shares and teaches the “Stumbling Blocks” philosophythe belief that you can get past your stumbling blocks—to help people in the audience understand and embrace her key message: If you get back up, anything is possible.

Barbara May is a Leadership Communication Expert, Team Building Facilitator and Award-Winning Coach 

“Barbara's willingness to share her story has impacted me in a very remarkable way. It has impacted our journey as a hospital." 


Dr. Curtis Johnston, Chief Medical Officer, Royal Alexandra Hospital


“Barbara helped propel me towards my goal of representing Canada at the 2015 Pan American Games. Her loyalty, ongoing encouragement and support not only helped me but helped all of Alberta Racquetball.” 


Coby Iwassa, 4 Time Canadian National Racquetball Champion and Pan American Games Bronze Medalist