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Keynote Speaking

2021 Keynote Speaker Presentations

Many of our training programs can also be offered as a 30- to 90-minute keynote. Additionally, we offer these unique keynote presentations that are altogether educational, entertaining, life changing, and inspiring.

Chasing Windmills

by David D. Knapp, PhD

To celebrate turning 50 years old in 2014, Dr. David Knapp ran 52* full marathon races (1,362.40 miles) during the calendar year as a fundraiser for the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. “Chasing Windmills” chronicles that incredible experience for audience members. Based on the imagery of Cervantes’ classic novel Don Quixote and Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey, this presentation will both inspire and entertain audience members – while encouraging them to undergo their own heroic journeys to wisdom and service. During that journey, they will discover their own windmills to chase…even if everyone else calls them crazy for doing so.

* Dr. Knapp originally planned to run 50 full marathons but ran two extra marathons to honor Alzheimer’s caregivers, who “have to go the extra mile each and every day.”

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Forget IQ. It’s EQ That Matters

by Tara Powers, MS

Emotional Intelligence is widely recognized as a key factor in professional – as well as personal—success. Emotional skills are integral to decision making, empathizing with co-workers and friends, communicating vision to staff, overcoming challenging workplace situations, and staying resilient

Key takeaways:

  • Identify areas where they can apply emotional intelligence
  • Evaluate their own emotional strengths and opportunities for growth
  • Generate action steps for improving emotional and social abilities

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From Managing a Machine to Leading in a Living System

by David D. Knapp, PhD

Although we’re now in the second decade of the 21st-century, far too many leaders still run their organizations from a 19th-century perspective. This outdated approach prevents those leaders from effectively dealing with a host of complex challenges, including: a volatile global economy, significant changes in workplace demographics, increased shareholder expectations, and an accelerated rate of technological change that is unparalleled in world history. Deeply profound, but also highly practical, Dr. David Knapp's “From Managing a Machine to Leading in a Living System” encourages audience members to re-examine – and ultimately reframe – their entire mindset and approach to leading their organizations.

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Little Steps. Big Feat.

by Polly Letofsky

Polly Letofsky left her home and headed west across 4 continents and over 14,000 miles – by foot – to become the first woman to walk around the world.

As an awareness campaign for breast cancer, survivors and well-wishers around the world came to walk with her. Every day strangers welcomed her into their homes. But is was never an easy road; Polly struggled with earthquakes, muggings, languages, even religious riots. The ultimate challenge came in the middle of Polly’s journey when September 11 flung us all into a crossroads in world history. Polly suddenly found herself embedded in a vastly changing world and realized she could never retrace her steps home – they’d vanished in a tide of world events.

A natural storyteller, since her return, Polly has been speaking to rapt audiences around the country. She richly details her journey with humor and honest reflection, the good times and the hardships. Sometimes serious, sometimes funny, always inspirational, Polly’s inspiring keynote personifies the spirit of commitment and perseverance that will compel your audience to take on life’s biggest challenges – one step at a time.

Your audiences will walk away with a renewed commitment to achieve the seemingly unachievable, determined to move past the unexpected obstacles and embrace a new spirit towards their lives and work.

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Navigating Stress in Times of Chaos

by Rachel Tenenbaum, MA

Focus: Explores, on a brain-based level, what occurs in moments of chaos and tactical implementations for shifting back into a flow state.

Synopsis: In recent months and over the last years, navigating stress in times of chaos has become a pervasive need. This keynote discusses the relationship between stress and productivity and how this delicate balance impacts performance. Exploring and understanding this stress-productivity relationship, and what is known as the Goldilocks Curve, is foundational to finding one’s “just right” sweet spot. That spot is what enables optimal performance and enhanced productivity.

After laying the foundation to best understand this stress curve and what it means for each participant, strategies are given to first become aware of these situations, and then implement a set of tools and action steps for returning our brains to a balanced state. This enables improved, consistent performance in instances of extreme stress and chaos. Participants have a better understanding of their brains, how they work, and how to leverage that knowledge to increase productivity and elevate overall contentment, both of which, positively impact an organization’s bottom line.

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Put a Fork In It: Employee Engagement is Dead. It’s Time to Focus on Employee Passion.

by Tara Powers, MS

Engaged employees do everything that is expected of them and comply with policies and procedures to the letter. Then there are passionate employees. They don’t just stick to the rulebook – they do whatever it takes to delight customers. These emotionally committed employees are passionate about their work, and the organization they work for. Employee engagement is just the starting point. Passionate employees take your organization to the next level.

Key learning takeaways:

  • Discover how well your organization is doing at creating a passionate team
  • Learn about The Passion Index and the five employee needs that ignite passion; assess how well the organization satisfies these needs
  • Identify the eight Values that Build Trust and how important they are to employees personally

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Tales From the Trenches: An Entrepreneur's Journey and Lessons for Your Own Startup Success

by Michael Gropper, MA

With insight, humor, and awareness, Michael takes audiences on his personal journey – embarked with compassion and hope – of concurrently launching two massive ventures to support his charitable mission of helping homeless veterans in transition.

Not only do audiences get to travel along the ups and downs of his journey of building and running his nonprofit and for-profit ventures, they gather takeaways from Michael's knowledge about the various channels and resources they can navigate as they explore the steps of developing a business plan, funding their capital investments with grants and loans from agencies that support the development of small business startups, and networking with others to form a base of support and resources necessary for their success.

Key takeaways:

  • The importance of developing a fluid and flexible business plan that serves as a guide to an entrepreneur's business creation
  • Illusion vs. the reality of a business plan
  • Understanding the Business Model Canvas (BMC) tool and how entrepreneurs can use it to develop their own business ideas
  • How to determine a company's value propositions
  • The importance of mentorship and building a supportive team
  • Developing constructive attitudes about adapting and overcoming obstacles

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