Leadership Expert, Business Keynote Speaker, Author, Globe & Mail Columnist and Founder, Lead Yourself First institute
Born in Australia and now residing in Vancouver, Canada, leadership expert, Michelle Ray is an award-winning speaker and founder of the Lead Yourself First Institute. Michelle began her career in the media industry with one of Australia’s leading broadcasting networks. She worked her way up the management ladder and was responsible for the sales revenues of 25 radio and television affiliate stations. She was subsequently hired by one of the world’s largest cinema advertising contractors to lead the company’s sales team and was also responsible for successfully generating record–breaking revenues during a severely depressed economic climate.
In addition to her corporate background, Michelle broadened her leadership experience during her tenure as a program director with Junior Achievement, an internationally renowned non-profit organization committed to educating future generations about business. She secured financial commitments and volunteer support from an array of corporations, facilitating enduring partnerships between youth, entrepreneurs and educators.
As an in-demand business conference speaker for the past twenty years, Michelle has delivered her powerful messages on leadership, accountability and engaged workplaces to the “C-Suites” of global corporations, academia, diverse associations, government groups, as well as front-line staff. Her client list includes notable brands such as Proctor and Gamble, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Shell, Xerox, PayPal, Qantas Airways, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Playboy Enterprises and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Having addressed thousands of audiences across five continents, Michelle’s combination of wit, masterful humor, practical content and an engaging, interactive style resonates with a diverse clientele seeking to inspire, educate and captivate the imagination of their leaders and teams. She is a Certified Speaking Professional, the highest-earned designation in the speaking industry, and was awarded the “Presentation Mastery Award” from the Vancouver Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. Earlier in her career, she was recognized as the top speaker in Canada for the world’s largest international public seminar company.
Michelle is the author of Lead Yourself First! Indispensable Lessons in Business and in Life. She has appeared as a guest on numerous news and current affairs programs including CBC Radio, CTV, Global TV and was featured in esteemed publications such as Investor’s Business Daily, The National Post, Huffington Post, BC Business and Inc Magazine. Michelle is also a contributor for the Globe and Mail Leadership Lab Column.
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Leadership: It Starts with Me: Harness the Power of Personal Leadership
We’ve often heard the adage “everyone can be a leader”, but what does this mean? More importantly, how is this relevant to your organization and your people? The most practical answer is to think of leadership in terms of character, not position or title. A leader is someone at any level who has grasped the ability to take charge of their thoughts, and consequently their actions, in any situation.
We are often tested to be the best version of ourselves, regardless of our job function. Our attitudes directly impact the workplace atmosphere and the quality of our business relationships. We should never underestimate our personal power and ability to control our reality.
- How to tap into your own innovative potential
- How to demonstrate unwavering confidence in your interactions with clients, managers and co-workers
- How to take the initiative and lead yourself first
Delivering her message with insight, wit and humor, Michelle’s energizing, informative and dynamic keynote presentation, will remind audiences of the power of personal leadership. They will learn strategies they can use long after the event ends to take the lead, embrace any challenge and create their own outcomes.
Expected Outcomes for Attendees
- Build a leadership blueprint to use in business and in life
- Realize the incredible leverage of modeling a “do what it takes” attitude
- Decrease stress and negativity negativity for greater productivity and positive outcomes
- Realign your core personal values to those of your workplace
- Re-energize attitudes to co-workers and management
- Tap into your innovative potential to bring out the best in yourself
Retain the Best, Confront the Rest: How to Shake Up Your Organization in the War for Talent
The notion of holding one job for life does not hold any appeal for the new generation of talent. Those days are gone forever and unless organizations are willing to invest in them emotionally and financially‚ this savvy group will seize opportunity and leave you scrambling to replace them. They won’t accept complacency in their leaders or teams‚ and neither should you. In order to retain them, organizations and leaders need to focus on creating an outstanding culture that fosters high engagement, high morale and a happier atmosphere.
In addition to managing the increasing numbers of retiring baby boomers, building a culture that draws in new talent and fosters engagement for all team members, regardless of age or culture, is a key priority. Leaders need to ask themselves:
“What is it that people want when they come to our organization? What is appealing about our industry that would attract them to our organization?”
If you are able to answer these questions, then the process of attracting and retaining new talent becomes easier.
As leaders, we also must recognize that our own leadership style impacts employee motivation and talent retention. Leaders at all levels can profoundly impact an individual’s decision to stay or leave. Are you doing your best to communicate, connect and demonstrate genuine interest in your team members?
In this content rich keynote presentation, you will discover the key components for building a dynamic environment where people can thrive and enjoy their work. You will recognize that the intangible (non-financial) motivators often have a major influence on a prospective, or current employee’s perception of your organization. Are you ready?
Sample of learning benefits for your audience:
- Learn the four influencing factors that are critical to talent retention
- Recognize the myths and truths behind a high performing workplace
- Discover the
Staying Power! Success Strategies For Resilient Leadership
What makes a person resilient? Can resiliency be taught or are some people better able to rebound from adversity than others? The answers lie in how we first choose to interpret events that are outside of our control, and the manner in which we respond to the inevitable peaks and valleys of life. In order to rise above challenges of any description, we need to focus on developing a mindset of managing rather than coping.
Resiliency is the cornerstone of our emotional and psychological survival in challenging times. During her Staying Power! Keynote, Michelle teaches the three essential strategies required to hone a resilient mindset.
Stop dwelling on destructive beliefs, and make room to expand possibilities, exercise greater resilience, and move forward.
Learn to adapt to discomfort by responding, rather than reacting. Take a step back and ask yourself, “Is there another way?”
Grow from adversity and become more resilient by recognizing challenges as opportunities for greater insight.
During this thought-provoking and interactive keynote, attendees will learn how to access their resilience “DNA” and will leave the event with new ideas to bounce back with greater confidence in the face of future challenges.
Expected outcomes for attendees:
• Reframe your perspective regarding life’s ups and downs
• Develop a resiliency mindset and tap into your inner strengths
• Learn from setbacks and hone your “bouncebackability” skills
• Approach adversity with clarity, confidence, and composure
• Look forward to the future with positive anticipation
• Become a resiliency role model to others at work and in life
No More Drama! Ditch the Dysfunction and Engage Your Workplace
The existence of people challenges has consequences for your bottom line. Many individuals are working longer hours, spending more time with managers, co-workers, and computers than their own families. Stress levels have accelerated as organizations of every description feel the pressure of delivering results for their clients and shareholders in less time, with fewer resources. Teams are expected to be efficient, engaged and happy. However, the demands of today’s workplace often take a toll on the most important resource of all…your people. Under these conditions, it is not uncommon for drama and chaos to reign. Is your business equipped to deal with personality clashes, emotional explosions, “my way or the highway” mindsets, and other theatrics that undermine productivity and success? Are you ready to manage the high cost of low morale? Delivered with humour and insight, this exciting keynote or breakout session offers practical solutions to the most common workplace problems…helping your audience to put a stop to the drama…once and for all.
Sample of learning objectives and benefits of attending:
- Learn the difference between people who have problems and people who are problems
- Detach from the dysfunction and drama to be a better “you”
- Take a stand in the face of “the blame game” and other theatrics
- Practice objectivity and put the “small stuff” into perspective
- Evict the colleagues, managers and others who are living “rent-free” in your head
Who Moved my Future?™ Demystifying the Fear of Change
“Why is this happening?” “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” “We’ve always done it that way”: Three clichés that have become part of the dialogue when it comes to the topic of change. Learning how to manage ourselves around situations and events that are outside of our control is not as complex as you may think, although the process often necessitates a shift in perspective, readiness to let go of the old and willingness to embrace the new.
Easier said than done.
During volatile economic conditions, it is no wonder many people feel stuck; taking the leap of faith when there is no safety net feels overwhelming. It is during these times that organizations tighten their collective belts and become even more risk-adverse. Adapting to rapidly changing economic conditions is expected, yet many people feel even more afraid.
So, where to start?
The first step is to recognize that change is emotional. Organizations can achieve more success with change initiatives by acknowledging the human side before expecting acceptance of new ideas. When leaders understand what lies behind people’s fears, they will be better equipped to obtain buy-in.
During this dynamic, interactive and content-rich keynote, your attendees will learn the five reasons behind resistance to change, how to achieve greater levels of acceptance in order to move beyond the “status quo” and ultimately, how to implement and communicate new strategies and approaches for long-term results.
Expected learning outcomes for attendees:
- Experience Michelle’s 7-step process to managing change
- Develop a repertoire of communication skills to achieve buy-in and build rapport
- Adopt a “can-do” mindset and rise above the “naysayers”
- Address the fear of change and the fear of failure
- Learn to respond vs. react to change and uncertainty
Elevate your Influence: Increase your Leverage, Strengthen your Impact, & Energize Relationships
There has never been a better time for managers and leaders to elevate their influence. A higher percentage of senior leaders and CEOs now recognize the importance of including leadership perspectives from a variety of departments regarding overall business strategy. By increasing your visibility and impact, your career flourishes and your organization benefits by having your ideas heard, understood and acted upon.
How can you leverage your position of strength and captivate attention and imagination of individuals with whom you have key relationships? The solution lies in demonstrating that you understand their positions, their perspectives and their interests, prior to introducing your own suggestions. By acknowledging others first, you are ideally positioned to make the difference; for yourself and your organization.
When others connect with your ideas, you have achieved “buy-in”. It is much easier to put your own agenda forward by listening to others first. Synchronicity is achieved by acknowledging others, even when we may not agree.
During this informative, interactive and dynamic keynote session, you will learn how to communicate your vision in a way that gets noticed. You add value to your organization and yourself when you are able to demonstrate the bottom line benefits to your leaders and stakeholders by speaking their language. As business necessitates human interaction, articulating you goals purposely and powerfully begins with you. You will leave with new ideas and strategies to raise your profile internally, to energize workplace relationships at all levels…with tangible, long-term results.
Learning benefits for attendees:
- Showcase your ideas for maximum impact during one-on-one or group meetings
- Create a profound impact on organizational performance by harnessing new approaches
- Enlighten leaders, co-workers and stakeholders with compelling reasons to ensure your projects are successful
Women, Leadership and the Strategic Advantage
The contribution of women strengthening team dynamics cannot be underestimated. Recent studies in Harvard Business Review found that a business group’s collective I.Q increased significantly with women on the team. The evidence confirms that the appointment of women to leadership positions contributes to the opportunity for significant business growth. Leaders at every level are uniquely positioned to exert positive, proactive influence. Organizations that are embracing the pace of change by recognizing the strengths of women and the benefits of a collaborative team spirit will continue to be the most sought-after places to work. Savvy businesses recognize that women possess a unique set of skills in critical areas such as decision-making and superior communication. As women leaders, these latest trends represent an opportunity to help others develop a proactive mindset…one that appreciates similarities and celebrates differences. During this dynamic presentation, your audience will learn how to showcase the strategic advantage for women leaders, and leaders as a whole, within their organization.
Expected outcomes for attendees:
- Leverage your influence to capitalize on your unique strengths
- Develop greater confidence in all professional interactions
- Harness a leadership presence to manage inherent organizational gender biases
- Experience first-hand the benefits of a collaborative workplace culture that promotes inclusiveness and opportunity for women
- Take the lead, educate and energize relationships at all levels for tangible, long-term results.
I wanted to follow up with you to express my sincerest gratitude for delivering a tremendous session at our 2013 Benefits3 Leadership, Health and Productivity Conference held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Medavie Blue Cross received rave reviews from delegates. Your Key Note session “The Power of Personal Leadership” was certainly humorous, engaging, energized, and reinforced the importance of positive thinking in today’s work landscape, a truly wonderful way to start any conference.
As well, showcasing your book “Lead Yourself First” during the breaks was a wonderful opportunity for our delegates to easily learn more about how to they can live the life they want.
Your professionalism from our first meeting to your support on-site was very much appreciated and I hope to have the pleasure of working together again in the near future.
– Strategic Marketing Consultant – Group Marketing, Medavie Blue Cross
With an engaging and dynamic presence, Michelle delivered a thought-provoking presentation (at Nova Scotia’s 2013 Silver Economy Summit) about the “power of personal leadership”; i.e. the importance of having a positive mindset and approaching life proactively instead of reactively. Michelle’s message is both relevant and timely; as leaders in multiple sectors, such as government, business and community, are encouraged to be proactive and seize the ever-changing opportunities presented by the demographic shift. She is attuned to, and responsive, to her client’s needs, delivers the content with ease, and has the ability to hold the audience and inspire – long after the message is delivered!
– Senior Policy Analyst, Nova Scotia Department of Seniors
I attended the Silver Economy Summit in Halifax last month. More than that, I was fortunate enough to see you speak for the second time in just eight months (I also saw you speak at the Canadian Home Care Summit last fall in Vancouver).
I just wanted to say thanks for your inspiring words – you are a wonderful speaker and I could listen to you for hours.
All the best!
– Business Development Manager,, Careforce Home Care Worker Co-operative Ltd.
“With a unique combination of passion, energy and empathy, along with masterful presentation skills, you did an awesome job at setting the tone for the conference with your keynote and delivering useful and actionable tips in your workshop on day two. Both sessions — Lead Yourself First and Leading Your Team were extremely well received by all attendees.
It has been a pleasure working with you Michelle. Thank you for bringing such a person-centric perspective to topics that impact our business at the core. You embodied our conference theme It Starts with You and you brought it to life in engaging and memorable ways. At Pita Pit, we REFUSE TO SETTLE for anything that is ordinary . . . and you were anything but!”
– Senior Director of Special Projects, Pita Pit Canada
Not only was I personally moved to action by your presentation, I was really pleased by all the positive feedback that I received from the attendees. This is an annual event and some of the old-timers have become hyper-critical about the speakers so to receive only praise over my selection was an indicator of just how great you were.
It seemed like you were having some success at the book sales table, another indicator of how well you were received!
Congratulations Michelle and please feel free to add me to your list of satisfied clients. If you have prospects looking for a personal reference, they can contact me anytime.
– Manager, Prudential Sussex Real Estate
The feedback from the workshops was excellent. It was truly a pleasure to work with you over the two full days and I hope we can again! The discussions that followed on Day Three also centered on some of the discussions from your sessions on Days One and Two.
Michelle, your efforts are so much appreciated. The managers of the CSOs were bombarded with great reviews. They, as well as the rest of the team here, want to thank you so much for the time you spent in getting to know our staff to ensure successful workshops.
– Trainer, Income Security Programs, Education, Culture and Employment
Thank you for coming to speak to our staff in University Services on the topic “Service Excellence & Personal Leadership”
You are an energetic and engaging speaker and your presentation was dynamic, inspirational and funny! Thank you for bringing your stories and experiences to our staff, and for helping us realize that we can all make a difference in our division’s ability to achieve our vision.
– Manager, Administrative Services, MacEwan University
June 10, 2009
RE: Testimonial for Michelle Ray, Certified Speaking Professional
Your presentation and workshop were exceptional. I am thrilled you were able to attend the BBQ and dance as well.
You certainly made the somewhat heavy topic of interpersonal communication and coping skills fun, easy to understand, non-threatening and useful. I would be happy to speak to prospective clients looking for a speaker and seeking opinions.
It’s been an absolute pleasure and honour to have worked with you and to get to know you just a little bit. Congratulations on your current success and I wish you much joy as you continue on a path that is sure to be highly rewarding.
I have enclosed Robert’s testimonial below. With Much Gratitude and Thanks,
Anitra A. Singh
Senior Communications Advisor, RCMP
Michelle Ray is a talented, gifted speaker. She immediately connected with close to 200 attendees and held their attention from start to finish. The leadership team and employees experienced a very positive, fun, engaging, and valuable session. We learned skills that will enhance our professional and personal lives. Michelle’s exceptional professional standards were evident in her research prior to the event and in the content delivered at the event.
Executive Director, Corporate Management Branch Pacific Region, RCMP
– Executive Director, Corporate Management Branch Pacific Region, RCMP, RCMP Testimonial
￼—– Original Message —–
From: Michael Hancock
To: Michelle Ray
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2007 9:51 AM Subject: RE: Thank you from Michelle Ray
Your session was wonderful. I have had many, many heartfelt thank you’s from people – they were moved, inspired and entertained. It could not have gone better. I would be happy to act as a reference for any prospective clients looking to talk to a satisfied customer.
Here is a testimonial:
Ms. Ray presented at ICBC’s 2007 Annual Human Resource and Corporate Law Business Meeting on the topic of Personal Leadership in the Multigenerational Workplace. As Ms. Ray was following a series of speakers addressing “nuts and bolts” issues for the Corporation, we were looking for a speaker who would be both fun and relevant to our everyday work. To put it simply, Ms. Ray surpassed all of our expectations.
Her presentation was interactive, humorous, fast paced, informative and deeply moving. As an organizer of the meeting, I have received many heartfelt expressions of thanks for her selection. Our feedback has been uniformly and overwhelmingly positive. Several of our long-term employees have mentioned that this was the best presentation they have ever attended at a business related meeting. All have indicated that they received “take-aways” which will resonate with them for the remainder of their professional and personal lives. I cannot recommend Ms. Ray more strongly for any organization looking for someone to stimulate and move both the mind and the heart.
– Director of Employee Relations, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
Thanks for the photos and the kind words. It was wonderful to have you as a part of our event.
I enjoyed our discussions before and after your presentation as well.
I thought that your presentation was not only engaging but thought provoking. Your energy is contagious and you really are in touch with your audience.
Thank you again and I know we will cross paths again.
– Fire Chief/Chair, FCABC Conference Committee
June 18, 2012
I want to thank you for a great presentation at the TD Corporate Visible Minorities Networking
Event on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 – your very personable style and your weaving into your
presentation the TD leadership profile really made a difference; and coming from a Chinese
background who is very family oriented, I was also touched by the story (and the determination)
of your father taking care of your mother. Thanks to your presentation, I was able to link it to
some of Riaz’s points during the fireside Q&A with him. All in all, you have contributed
tremendously to the success of our last Tuesday event – THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
Hope all is well on the West Coast; and hope to see you perhaps at other future TD events -
your message of “Leadership starts with me” would resonate with other groups at TD as well.
– Senior Vice President & Chief Accountant, TD Bank
August 26, 2011
Testimonial for Michelle Ray
We highly recommend Michelle to any organization; she gets her message across in a humorous and positive fashion. The feedback I have received was very positive and
during her address you could feel the energy in the auditorium. Michelle’s message of practicing personal leadership is clear, relevant and ‘doable’. Michelle is a dynamic and enthusiastic presenter and leaves a positive message and memory for employees to take back with them. She will exceed your expectations.
– Saskatchewan Rivers School Division
Again, thanks very much for a job done exceedingly well.
– Superintendent of Schools, Saskatchewan Rivers School Division
May 19, 2011
Workplace Relationships & Personal Leadership Expert
Certified Speaking Professional
Re: Professional Development Day April 8th, 2011:
Halton Catholic District School Board & CUPE Local 5200
I wanted to follow up with you to express my sincerest thanks for an absolutely fabulous presentation
at our recent Professional Development Day!
I received an overwhelming amount of feedback that raved about not only the relevance of addressing
the topic of the leader within, but also the engaging and meaningful delivery that you presented!
As I write this letter, I am noticing Michelle that I am frequently using punctuation that I would not
normally use in a professional letter, but I have to say, even an exclamation point does not seem
enough to capture how truly excited and impressed I was with your message and delivery! You
certainly have a unique way of capturing your audience’s attention allowing us all to have a captivating
I am looking forward to using the tools and message that you presented us with and have to admit
that I immediately took one meaningful point and wrote it on the white board in my office!
I would be thrilled to act as a reference for you Michelle! Please feel free to use my letter or to
forward my contact information as you see fit!
I wish you all the success that your future holds and hope that our paths cross again soon!
With warmest regards,
– President, CUPE Local 5200, Educational Assistants & Early Childhood Educators
16 September 2010
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
At the recommendation of a colleague, I engaged Michelle Ray to present keynote sessions on The Power of Professional Leadership at both our Melbourne and Sydney ‘Business Analyst World’ conferences in 2010.
After an initial briefing session, Michelle prepared meticulously for the event, researching the
industry and interviewing a number of consultants to ensure she understood some of the key
issues of a business analyst role and the terminology that would resonate with the audience.
The delegates responded with exceptional feedback – Michelle was our top rating speaker at both events, with a score of 4.8 (out of 5) for her presentation style, and 4.6 for the overall presentation experience.
It was a delight to work with Michelle prior to and during the conferences, and I sincerely
hope we have the opportunity to work with her again.
– Conference Manager, Diversified Exhibitions Australia
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
To Whom lt May Concern:
The leadership team of Business Analysts Pty Ltd; Peter Ebborn, Michael Augello and Tim Coventry recently had the pleasure of meeting and listening to Michelle Ray. Business Analysts Pty Ltd supports BA World through the leadership team participating in the advisory board and it was through this engagement we were introduced to Michelle Ray, the keynote speaker for 20L0.
The feedback from delegates regarding the keynote presentation from both Sydney and Melbourne was excellent. Formal feedback from the conference review forms resulted in the top percentile of the grading scale and all of our informal surveying with delegates provided the same positive rating.
Michelle’s presentation “The Power of Personal Leadership: Attitude Makes the Difference” inspired us as
leaders within our company to do things differently within our business, one of the team now has the 1-0 leadership tips pinned in a prominent position next to his desk. Her clear, energetic, inspiring and honest presentation style lifted most delegates and challenged them to think about how their attitude can make a major difference in most situations.
A key to her success at BA World was Michelle’s ability to add the value of her expertise within personal leadership and attitude tuning while not pretending to be an experienced practitioner of a Business Analysis.
Her example of how perception is contextual by using several personas viewing an “apple” has become ingrained into our discussion with our BA consultants.
It gives us great pleasure to recommend Michelle Ray as an engaging and interesting presenter and someone who would be a valuable conference keynote speaker.
Business Analysts Pty Ltd
– leadership team, Business Analysts Pty Ltd
October 20, 2010
I hope you made it back safe and sound to Vancouver and that you had an enjoyable flight.
I just wanted to send you a letter to say thank you again on behalf of the GTA East Managers
for an incredible hour you gave us on customer service and attitude adjustment. The managers
have had nothing but incredible things to say about you and today they are still talking about
you; which is very powerful. Your messages were motivational, inspirational and I know our
managers are looking forward to sharing their DVDs with their service teams.
Your messages were fun and were things that we all can relate to either at work or at home, so
thank you for that.
I am sure you will hear more from Scotiabank.
Thank you again,
– District Banking Manager, GTA East, Scotiabank
March 5, 2009
Re: Michelle Ray, Speaker
It was indeed a pleasure and a privilege to have you as our Keynote Speaker for our HROntario Symposium 2009.
The accolades about your positive and inspirational message are still arriving daily in our mailbox, and it reinforces our feeling that we made a wise speaker selection.
Thank you again for being part of a successful day with an audience of more than 700 HROntario employees. We greatly appreciated that you took the time to understand our organization and our needs, in order to tailor your remarks to fit our audience. This
personalization made your impact so much greater to our audience. Your keynote speech was highly energetic, up-lifting and dynamic. I have a feeling that your appearance will be hard to top, as we begin planning for next year! With your personality, masterful speaking ability and business savvy, you are a rising star and I am sure that we will hear your name and see your face many times in the future.
Your enthusiasm and compassion allows you to touch so many people not only at a working level but at a personal level. After reviewing our evaluation forms, the participants unanimously agreed that you were one of the best speakers they have seen in a while.
Thank you again for making a difference in the lives of our employees and the members of our HROntario community.
– , HROntario
November 1, 2007
To whom it may concern: Michelle Ray
Our recent Directorate day was based on the theme of “Making a Difference” and the address by Michelle meshed ideally. Michelle uses an interesting combination of humour and energy to get her points across about how one’s attitude makes the difference. It was evident from the nodding of the audience members that Michelle’s real world examples struck a chord with them. It seemed that they were able to
relate her experiences with their own. Here are a couple of comments that I have received.
“Michelle Ray was definitely one of the best speakers I have had the pleasure to listen to and I got a lot out of what she had to say. (I will be travelling with a magic wand, I think, in the future.) Whoever found this gem of a speaker, well, you sure should be commended.”
“When I looked on the Agenda and saw that the keynote address was going to be 75 minutes, I cringed. However, the time flew by and I loved the speech and could have listened to Michelle for longer.”
I would not hesitate to recommend Michelle to other event planners in either the public or private sectors. Michelle’s message is universal.
– Manager/Gestionnaire, Matching and Internal Referrals Section Section du rapprochement
RE: 2007 Beacon Awards – January 30th, 2008
On behalf of the Ministry of Transportation’s Corporate Services Division, we would like to extend our sincerest thanks to you for presenting an excellent keynote speech at our 2007 Beacon Awards at the Four Points Hotel in Thorold.
From our first meeting, the organizing committee was highly impressed with your desire to learn so much about our organization. You were always available to meet with us and discuss your presentation. We really appreciated you going out of your way to tailor your
presentation in order to meet our expectations.
Your presentation titled “The Power of Personal Leadership… How to Communicate, Collaborate and Connect for Outstanding Workplace Relationships” was delivered to approximately 150 participants and aligned perfectly with our vision, mission and values. Furthermore, it was well put together and very humorous.
Your keynote speech was highly energetic, up-lifting and dynamic. As I scanned the audience, it was abundantly clear to me that the audience was highly engaged within one minute of you taking the stage. I personally enjoyed when you shared your personal stories in order to deliver the message. Your enthusiasm and compassion allows you to touch so
many people not only at a working level but at a personal level.
After reviewing our evaluation forms, the participants unanimously agreed that you were one of the best speakers they have seen in a while. Here are some of the comments we received:
~ “very engaging and entertaining – good blend of humour, relevance and reality”
~ “excellent motivational speaker who did the job well with humour & compassion”
~ “very knowledgeable, great speaker, honest, excellent communicator”
~ “very relevant to all of our daily encounters”
~ “one of the best speakers I’ve heard”
– Client and Change Management Consultant, Walkabout Seminars International Inc.
From: Diana Krimmer
Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 10:38 AM
To: Michelle Ray
Subject: Testimonial – Michelle Ray Speaker
Michelle, I would like to thank you for your participation as the lunchtime Keynote speaker on
April 29/09 at the EPICC Forum, which took place at the Delta Hotel in Richmond. Each year the planning committee looks for dynamic speakers, not only in the field of Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity, but also those that will inspire us to recognize our differences and how we can capitalize on those differences and work together. Your topic
“Operation Cooperation: Attitude Makes the Difference” was bang on! You definitely did not disappoint, as is shown in the evaluations filled out by the participants. In this field there is a lot of seriousness and having a bit of humour revitalizes our batteries.
I hope we get the opportunity to have you present again in the future.
Thanks and warmest regards.
– , Emergency Preparedness for Industry and Commerce Council (EPICC)
October 28th, 2009
Michelle Ray – “The Attitude Adjustor”
We would like to thank you for your presentation on ‘Power of Personal Leadership – Attitude Makes The Difference’ at our 4th Annual CAPT Vancouver Conference on October 17th, 2009. The conference attracted 127 participants.
Out of the 71 participants completing evaluations, we received positive ratings of the conference. The overall rating of your presentation was 4.9 on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent).
Thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your expertise. We fully recognize that we would not receive such positive feedback from conference participants without the excellent presentations and stimulating discussions provided by
talented individuals such as you. Please refer to the detailed conference evaluation below for your presentation. Thank you once again, for the time and effort you put into making this session so successful. We look forward to your participation in future
– CAPT Vancouver REOC – Chair Conference Coordinator, CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF PHARMACY TECHNICIANS
Re: National Payroll Week 2008
On September 11th, 2008, 50 members of the Canadian Payroll Association had the pleasure of
hearing Michelle Ray give an inspiring presentation on ‘Building Trust in the Workplace’.
Speaking with thorough knowledge of the subject, Michelle was able to convey her thoughts and
experiences to all in the room – with no microphone even! It is rare to see someone give a forty
five minute presentation and not use any notes, nor sound overly rehearsed.
Two devices that Michelle used to really enhance her presentation were the use of humour and emotion. Using funny personal stories and incorporating the use of some amusing props, she was able to keep the audience involved and entertained. Emotion was incorporated by getting the audience to voice their thoughts and through a very touching anecdote that Michelle used to close her presentation. Many audience members were wiping away tears by the end of her
I would highly recommend Michelle Ray to a company or association that is looking to motivate their audience. Michelle has presented for National Payroll Week for the past three years in various locations in Canada. For 2008, over 400 people heard Michelle during our series of breakfast and lunch events. In her speaking, she was professional, intelligent, and very humorous. She helped make National Payroll Week in Kelowna a very successful event!
– Marketing Assistant, The Canadian Payroll Association
June 9, 2008
Re: Michelle Ray at the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region’s Annual Employee and Leadership
Seminars May 27 and 28, 2008
Recently I had the immense pleasure to work with Michelle Ray in preparation for the Annual Employee
and Leadership seminars organized by our Health Region and presented in Regina at the Conexus Arts
Centre. We booked Michelle Ray with Belinda Miller-Foey at Speakers’ Spotlight and we were once again
impressed with the highly professional service they provided.
Michelle delivered a 2.5 hour seminar on intergenerational communication and personal accountability to over 1400 participants from within and around the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region and area. She presented this session twice in the same day to accommodate as many shift workers as possible.
The next day Michelle delivered a 3 hour workshop to an audience of about 300 leaders on the same topic and with a focus on applications for leaders.
Michelle’s presentation was well researched and highly customized to meet the needs of our organization.
Michelle took the time to consult with us several times during the process, she was willing to discuss
content and revise handout materials as per our feedback a few times. Michelle’s commitment to meeting the client’s needs has no limit. The night before the Leadership presentation we thought a change in activities would be beneficial to the leadership audience and Michelle immediately accommodated our request. I can confidently say that Michelle Ray goes above and beyond that which is expected of her to meet her client’s needs.
The delivery of her presentation to an eclectic audience of almost 700 at a time was electric. She presented
in a large auditorium, on a large stage that she easily filled with her dynamic personality, high energy,
genuine caring and well researched information. She engaged people from the audience in dialogue and
activities on stage.
– Education Consultant Learning and Development, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region
FBI Los Angeles
June 6, 2007
Re: Ms. Michelle Ray, Professional Speaker
Feedback from attendees …
“Ms. Ray is an outstanding, articulate, contemporaneous speaker. She possesses and excellent command presence, controlling the discussion and provoked in – depth dialogue. Michelle was extremely well – prepared, knew her material and related subject matter. Great stories! “
…Special Agent, FBI
“High energy, educational, professional and spectacular presenter”
…Surveillance Specialist, FBI
“Michelle is an exceptional speaker & motivator. I really plan to use what I learned. Thank you!”
….Investigative Support Specialist, FBI
“Fantastic speaker! The content was presented in a manner that was interesting and conducive to a
positive learning environment”
……Special Agent, FBI
– , FBI
From: Yolanda Moran
Sent: November 6, 2007 6:43 PM
To: Joanna Van Viegen
Cc: Tanya Pocuca.bc
Subject: Michelle Ray
Tanya Pocuca asked me to send you some feedback regarding Michelle Ray.
Michelle spoke our Western Canada Consultant Conference this past weekend in Parksville. She held her audience of 180+ captive with her high energy, blunt honesty, witty observations and pertinent advice. I have received scores of emails and phone calls from consultants telling me what a positive impact
Michelle had on them and how her message was just what was needed. We definitely ended our weekend on a high note by having Michelle energize and refocus
– , Western Canada Retail Leader
Thank you for presenting two sessions at our 64th Annual Conference in Reno, NV. The education program was a success and your direct personal involvement helped make that a reality. I enjoyed working with you and appreciate the time that you took to get to know our Delegates.
Our Institute’s primary purpose is the professional and personal development of our members. Please know that your contributions to our Conference programs were a significant part of this effort.
We very much appreciate your caring about learning and sharing your best with our Delegates. We wish you continuing personal and professional success and fulfillment.
– Associate Director of Education, International Institute of Municipal Clerks
April 14, 2010
On behalf of the Manager’s Conference Committee at Arctic Co-operatives Limited, please accept our thanks for your very entertaining presentation The Power of Personal Leadership “Attitude Makes the Difference” to our General Managers, on Sunday, March 14th in Winnipeg.
Your presentation generated a lot of interest, and the feedback received indicated that the information provided would be very useful to our General Managers in their day-to-day handling of human resource issues. They also found the presentation to be very refreshing and enjoyed your enthusiasm in sharing related stories.
– Manager, Communications Department, Arctic Co-Operatives Limited.
January 9, 2010
On behalf of all our members, the CAW Local 2458 Office, Clerical and Technical union committee would like to express our thanks to you!
Your presentation, “How to Manage Conflict and Develop Win/Win Relationships”, delivered to nearly two hundred staff members of the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board was an overwhelming success. Your expert advice, combined with humorous anecdotes and entertaining props held our attention throughout the entire day. This was evidenced by the standing ovation you received at the end of your presentation. In fact, over a month has passed, and we are still receiving compliments about the Professional Development Day sponsored by the PDT (Provincial Discussion Table).
Thank you for providing such timely and pertinent advice on a topic that affects everyone in our organization. Continued success to you and your team! You deserve the best!
– , CAW Local 2458 Office, Clerical and Technical union committee
November 28, 2007
Just a quick note to thank you ever so much for being a part of our Management Retreat last month in Whistler, BC. Your presentation “The Power of Personal Leadership … Attitude makes the Difference”, delivered on October 19, was absolutely spot on. Our staff talked for days afterward about your presentation and how much it hit home.
You have a wonderful ability to connect with your audience in a way that holds their attention throughout. Your presentation style, vocabulary and props all aid in delivering a powerful message — one of personal leadership where we are each individually responsible for the attitudes in the workplace and we all have the ability to control our own environment.
Our group, comprised of the 70+ senior partners and managers of our firm, attended this retreat with a view to looking ahead and planning, strategically, to grow our business. Your presentation gave them a very valuable piece to the puzzle. We all know how important and valuable staff is to any business success; you re-emphasized this message while giving these partners and managers some very simple tools in the way of delegation and feedback that they can easily implement to reward and retain their key people.
Again, thank you for being a part of our annual management retreat and we look forward to opportunities to work with you again in the future.
– Director, Human Resources, BDO Dunwoody
December 9, 2003
As you know, once a year we organize a special training day for the members of our Greater Vancouver Finance and Administration function.
This is a very important event for them as it is the only time a year the entire group gets together for a nine hour session which includes training, team building and social components.
The Committee who organized the event reviewed several options and candidates for the keynote address. The decision to select you was clearly the correct one.
Well, on November 6, 2003, you had the task of presenting the topic “I’m-So-Happy.Com” to approximately 100 members of KPMG.
From your opening remarks to your conclusions, some 150 minutes later, you kept the audience interested, entertained, energized and happy. The content of your material was very relevant. The variety of exercises, your interaction with the audience, your audio, handout materials and the slides were appropriate and effective. There was a “buzz” around the room throughout the session.
For a number of days subsequent to the session people were still talking about how much they have enjoyed and learned from your presentation.
In summary, you have exceeded our expectations and we will consider engaging you in the future.
The formal feedback from the participants indicates that this has been the best seminar (Annual Admin Conference) that they have attended.
Once again, thank for helping our members collectively and individually grow professionally.
We would be glad to be used as a reference for your presentation and public speaking skills.
– Partner, KPMG
January 7, 2005
Please accept this letter of reference for Ms. Michelle Ray. We have used Michelle for two of our conferences and have found her to be exceptional and well received each time by both staff and attendees. Following are the details of the conferences:
October 15-17, 2001 on the topic “How to build enthusiasm, cohesiveness and teamwork between trainers and managers”; and using humour to drive home your training messages. This session rated at 96% satisfaction.
October 17-18, 2004 on the topic “How to Excel at Managing and Supervising People”. This session received a response rate of 185 attendees, and a satisfaction rating of 92%. Out of the 7 sessions offered at this conference, Michelle’s was the session that was chosen most when the delegates were asked what information they were going to bring back and use immediately in their restaurants.
– Training and Development Coordinator, Boston Pizza International
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- VIDEO NEW! Manage The Disruption: Anticipate Change
- VIDEO Michelle Ray 2016 Speaker Demo Video Reel
- VIDEO Elevate Your Influence! Increase your Impact & Energize Relationships
- VIDEO Who Moved My Future? Demystifying the Fear of Change
- VIDEO Women, Leadership and the Strategic Advantage
- PHOTO Publicity Shot 1 / Cropped Headshot
- PHOTO Publicity Shot 2
- PHOTO Publicity Shot 3
- PHOTO Michelle Ray Headshot NEW
- JACKET Lead Yourself First! Indispensable Lessons in Business and in Life
- JACKET Book – Expert Women Who Speak Vol. 3
- JACKET Michelle Ray CD Six – Pack
- DOC IIMCTestimonial
- DOC Department of NS Seniors, Testimonial
- DOC 2012 Published Article
- DOC Michelle Ray – Speaker Introduction
- DOC Michelle Ray AV Requirements and Conference Bio Document