Hiring an outside speaker can produce anxiety for an event planner, organizational representative and/or committee. You are inviting an unknown entity and putting them on a stage. I’ve experienced various emotions across the spectrum. Some are a little nervous, but still very positive and encouraging, “I’m excited and thrilled to be working with you! I think this is going to be our best all-employee meeting yet!!” And, others decidedly less positive and…well…more threatening in nature.
Our half-hour phone conference was wrapping up. We had discussed the details and plan for the event. This was a national conference for a group of Type-A, workaholic financial consultants whose expertise was to parachute into chaos and restore order in organizations that were on the brink of financial collapse. They make tough decisions quickly and restore order. I asked if there was anything else to discuss. “Yes, one more thing, Neil…you better be good.” I chuckled and good-naturedly assured him I would. “No, Neil, I’m serious. You better be good. No one remembers the bad speaker, they just remember the person who hired the bad speaker.”
I was talking to the group about personality types and I knew that over half the room was made up of personality types that didn’t like to talk about personality types. Being duly motivated to “be good”, I spent about an hour coming up with my opening five minutes. If I didn’t win that audience over in the first few minutes, it was going to be a loooong hour-and-a-half. You can watch the result here.
And here’s the testimonial from that event planner…
Neil is very, very good at what he does. He won over a tough, intelligent crowd through his engaging presentation style and his entertaining storytelling. Neil clearly spent a great deal of time researching our organization, which earned him instant credibility and demonstrated to our group that he had tailored the discussion to our specific interests and needs. Our data-hungry group was impressed with his depth of subject matter expertise and his ability to explain concepts in layman’s terms. He delivered on everything we asked, and more. Well done! – Scott Brubaker, Managing Director, Alvarez & Marsal
My job is to engage the audience, provide great content in a compelling manner, and to make the event planner look good!
But don’t just take my word for it!
Neil doesn’t just deliver great content, he lives it as well. – Dennis Thum, Dean of the Chapel, University of Sioux Falls
I found Neil to be exceptional! He did research on our company and audience well in advance of his presentation. He delivered an outstanding message that was both inspiring and touching. He was a big win for our conference. – Ric Pearson, Senior Manager CUNA Insurance
Fun and engaging…
Neil got our conference off to a great start with his stirring keynote delivery. He connected with our audience and got them involved in the fun. Neil delivered laughter, great content, inspiration, and touching stories. Fantastic job, Neil! – Debbie Carlson, Child Support Manager – Eau Claire County, WCSEA Chair
Delivers practical content…
Neil was very engaging both in content and delivery. He encouraged participation right away and people were eager to share their stories/experiences. He had clearly done his homework regarding our company, products, and initiatives, which impressed management and got their attention from the beginning. With direct references to our organization, he was able to drive his points home and provide useful takeaways. Many people continued the conversations he had started for the rest of the conference! As opposed to some speakers that present unrealistic, lofty goals, Neil’s ideas were received by the audience as attainable and easy to implement in our day-to-day lives. Overall, Neil has a gift for presenting, interacting, and empowering his audience. Thank you! – Sonal Singh, MLP Associate, Discover Financial Services
…and tells stories…
Your message and delivery was perfect! You are a gifted orator and enjoyable to listen to! – Steve Schravesande, Director of Business Development, Imperial Supplies
My favorite thing about Neil is his storytelling as the main way to provide training. It helps me to better relate when I can hear real-life examples. He encourages interaction throughout which makes the training lively and entertaining. The team enjoyed the training and we're looking forward to the opportunity to work with Neil again. – Julie Mooney, Scientist/Microbiologist, Kimberly-Clark
I work with event planners to understand the culture, the audience, the challenges, and the pain points and then work collaboratively to deliver content that is going to deliver changes and results.