Most Requested Keynotes


How Human Nature Spoils Everything (and how to counteract it)


Unpleasantness in professional and personal relationships comes almost entirely from two aspects of the human condition, which unfortunately work like curses.  The Curse of Me is the temptation to think that others are like you. Thus, with the best intentions, we use techniques that would work on us and then wonder why others remain unappreciative and unmoved. This idiosyncrasy impacts everyone all the time in how we motivate, persuade, compliment, collaborate, and teach. The Curse of Knowledge is the tendency to assume that what I know, everyone knows. This causes us to remain silent when we should speak. This error is especially insidious because we don’t explain our motives to others. Nature hates a vacuum and will fill it: if I do not explain my behavior, I create a void that your human nature cannot abide, and you will fill that vacuum with assumptions. While you may jump to unwarranted conclusions, the fault is mine because I created an environment of silence which I should have known you would fill. 

This is the most fascinating, engaging, and impactful keynote you will ever hear because it is so immediately applicable to every personal and professional situation. It rings true and provides simple instant remedies for starting, maintaining, and repairing personal and professional interactions. Great for leaders, teams, salespeople, anyone who wants to influence others! Human interaction need not be toleration and frustration; it can be an abiding wellspring of connection and worth.


You’re Three Questions Away from Great Relationships

We don’t have the easy and dynamic relationships we want because we don’t ask questions up front that would provide us with the insight needed to engage easily and transparently with each other. Knowing others’ answers to a few specific questions allows us to persuade, motivate, teach, coach, and work with just about anyone. Topics include preferred learning style, recognition style, prime working time, pet peeves, persuasive arguments, motivators, and even detail-level for conversations, among other important issues. A highly interactive program, participants experience for themselves how easy it is to discuss “elephants in the room” which may have impacted teamwork negatively and how to ease assimilation for new teams.


This program is phenomenal for:

  • Making informed recruitment decisions 
  • Jump starting employee and leader development
  • Creating more synergetic teams 
  • Quickly troubleshooting problems on existing teams
  • Impacting the motivation of a group or individual
  • Easing tensions in strained relationships
  • Developing immediate trust and credibility

This program can be presented either with or without copies of the book upon which this program is based (Instant Insight: 15 Questions to Great Relationships). Bulk-rate pricing is available.

SWAB the Deck

Clearing Your Life of Stress, Weakness, Attention-pirates, and that Bloated Feeling

Laugh as you learn how to put away the mindsets and habits that get in the way of living an abundant, meaningful life. Stress is the product of feeling you are out of control or not dealing with weaknesses and obstacles. In this humorous down-to-earth program, you’ll see how often things about yourself you view as negative actually can be positioned as strengths, how to quickly rid yourself of activities that are sapping time and energy, and the fastest way to prioritize for immediate success. Success is not only about what you DO but also what you STOP doing! So, prepare yourself for an engaging program that isn't a To-Do List but rather a Don't-Do List that will energize and invigorate your professional and personal life! You’ll learn why it is great to be the chubby speaker and the fat fairy, why you should always leave revenge in the hands of an expert, and that your bloated feeling must always be the first thing you throw overboard in order to sail your ship through calmer waters!


Perceptions that undermine Leadership

Using hilarious photos and stories, this program highlights the most critical mistakes leaders make that undercut their credibility and likeability. This is likely the funniest yet most meaningful program on leadership you’ll ever see. Filled with easy-to-implement strategies to avoid these insidious errors and tactics to use to recover from them if they happen, this is a keynote that delivers substantive content in a charming way. It gets things said that need to be said in a way that is motivating to new leaders and palatable to even the most seasoned veteran leader. A hit every time!


The Art and Science of Leading Thought

Leadership is influence. We cut to the chase in this highly interactive and insightful keynote. Learn how to get crystal clarity about how those whom you most want to influence currently perceive you and how you need to be viewed. Then plan interactions to ensure those people feel comfortable allowing you to influence and lead them. Participants learn a mnemonic about giving people what they need and want: credibility, relevance/respect, authenticity, and clarity. Discover different types of influencers, the advantages and disadvantages of each style, and how to position oneself to be the kind of influencer that will be the most impactful for a given issue. Explore how to avoid the Curse of Me and the Curse of Knowledge, two foibles of the human condition that undermine effective communication. Master how to “feed the need” of each audience and persuade according to the three styles of persuasion put forward by the ancient Greek orators: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos. Discover how most stories can be classified into one of eight plot lines and why slogans and mottos are effective calls to action.

Leave with unheard-of confidence to be the thought-leader you are called to be as you adapt your arguments, examples, and interaction to the audience you most want to influence. Your credibility can be instantly increased and your audience waiting on (and agreeing with) your every word. Interactive activities throughout make this a workshop where you will leave with approaches you can immediately use in your most crucial discussion.



Any moment, activity or conversation that does not intentionally impact our most important goal is wasted. That is what it means to think, speak, and act strategically. But is that actually possible? Yes, it is! But it takes the courage to be ruthlessly curious and follow root causes to their true source, to articulate priorities with absolute clarity, and to be relentless in follow-through. None of this is inherent in human DNA nor is it particularly fun sounding. But it can be! Because success is fun! This interactive presentation is particularly good for mid-level leadership and human resource professionals whose multiple obligations can diminish their credibility as a strategic thinker. This presentation will help those who are expected to prioritize, crystallize, synthesize, establish accountability, and perform without excuses.



Gratitude and Resilience

Mindful gratitude significantly improves our ability to cope with the present and improve the future. Since our minds have a subconscious, automatic survival reflex that predisposes us to focus on the wrong or out-of-place, we must trick our brains into deliberate habits.

“Aloha” is much more than a word of greeting or farewell. It is a gift – namely the gift of awareness and recognition of someone as a meaningful person worthy of interest and interaction. The appropriate response, therefore, is actually not “aloha,” but rather “mahalo” or “thank you.” The most healthy and productive mindset is one that views everything – even challenges and conflicts – as gifts that will provoke growth, understanding, and empathy. “Aloha” and the body language that accompanies that greeting combine in a powerful, interactive symbol of gratitude and resilience.

In this thought-provoking presentation, you’ll learn strategies for making gratitude a habit, including establishing attitude checkpoints, dealing with pet peeves, and fostering an attention to detail that elicits gratitude for over-looked blessings. Perceive your current situation as a season with its own unique harvest fruits, keep a balanced picture of situations and people, overcome the natural fight or flight to appreciate and even embrace in less-than-optimal environments, and discover how to create a culture of gratitude in others.

Brainstorming with others and

when yours is the only brain in the room

An innovative mind is the most desired trait because it has the most direct impact on strategic goals. In today’s world, where change is the new normalcy, the only way to remain competitive and relevant is to envision radically different products, services, and processes. Yet, many of our best practices and conventional wisdom actually diminish the creative spark! We’ll think contrarian in this interactive program in which we put standard practices to the test and explore methods which will result in great ideas. Taking our cue from history, modern business successes, and behavioral science, it’s a wild walk on the creative side with a toolkit of innovation-generating techniques that can be used instantly. Fascinating and applicable in every environment.


Take the Wheel

Leadership is a journey, and the path is different for everyone. In this highly interactive program, discover seven distinct leadership styles, their pros and cons, how they work in real life and not just theoretically, and how EACH of them has a place in the repertoire of a great leader. Participants will uncover the blind spots their preferred leadership style causes them to have and how to protect themselves from their own misperceptions and others’ misunderstanding of their motives and plans. Discover why we tend to lean on some leadership styles rather than others and what possibilities open up by increasing our leadership range. A great program for leaders of all levels, and particularly those with considerable management experience, this presentation is essential for any leader who understands that in order to develop other people’s skills, one must constantly upgrade one’s own!


Being a Legacy Leader

“Servant leadership” is a concept modeled by leaders throughout the centuries, but sometimes things impede a person’s ability to act as a servant-leader. This presentation causes deep introspection as participants are asked to consider what they personally believe is the most important aspect of leadership, explore what factors have gone into that belief, and discover how their actions are or are not consistent with servant-leadership. Organizational culture can impact one’s preferred way of interacting with employees and peers, so obstacles must be identified and dealt with. Human nature must be fearlessly addressed including our own fear, jealousy, and a lack of self-efficacy, as well as organizational hallmarks like compensation and recognition criteria, policies and procedures, and span of control and chain of command issues.

It has been said that servant-leaders are a paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will. They are ambitious for others but not for themselves. Ask yourself what does this look like in real life and what are you going to do to better model servant leadership? Inspiring and empowering for both new and seasoned leaders.


How do you reach work-life balance? You have to see it first –with laser-like clarity. In this highly engaging program, consider questions that will reveal exactly where you are, how you got here, and where you would rather be. Then, it is a relatively easy step to know what to do next. You’ll laugh your way through a consideration of questions that group themselves in the following categories:

  1. What are the most impactful shifts that would for “success?”
  2. What should you avoid or have LESS of?
  3. How are your mindset and habits being impacted by your chosen environment?
  4. What in three words do you really want?
  5. How can you maximize strengths rather than concentrate on the usually more challenging and often less rewarding minimalization of supposed weaknesses.

Using a self-assessment tool, you’ll be able to move from feeling “vaguely discontented” to pinpointing the root cause, and thus, how to begin immediate improvement.

IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE: The Five Faces of Conflict

Conflict can be helpful when the cnflict is about the task at hand rather than interpersonal differences. Conflict is like the jungle – a place of potential danger and even fatal consequences, but also a place where new discoveries and even healing can be had. Success in conflict, as in the jungle, depends on preparedness and having the right resources at your disposal.

In this fascinating and interactive keynote, participants learn the four default conflict styles and how to become a fifth style able to deal with the other four to maximize success. In conflict resolution, one size does not fit all! An easy four-step framework allows us to work through our own real-life conflicts to prepare for a confrontation discussion. Learn a simple formula for opening conversations in a way that will not put recipients on the defensive and play a game about the top “escalators” of a conflict. The audience will emerge confident and eager to take on the challenges and opportunities of conflict.