Resource - Keynote Speakers

Speaker Referenced: 
 Kaplan Mobray  Resource Branding

"Live a life by decision, not by default."


Recently, we were paid a visit by personal branding expert Kaplan Mobray. Kaplan stopped by to have lunch with the GSB team and discuss some of the topics he's focusing on with audiences. Kaplan's main goal is to help people focus on their careers and improve all areas of their lives. While this goal seems lofty, one of the rewards Kaplan most often spoke of was the impact he sought to make with his speaking. If an individual attending can walk away with tangible strategies to improve their lives, he counted that as a success.

We learned that Kaplan doesn't use PowerPoint—at all. “I have no slides!” Kaplan shouts to his audiences. The announcement is always met with wild applause. “My style is very loose and very free,” Kaplan explained. His talks are high energy and engaging, and injected with the appearance of his alto saxophone, which he uses to loosen up the crowd and get people out of their seats.

But when he gets down to business, his talks are passionate and inspiring. Kaplan's book, the 10Ks of Personal Branding, walks people through what it takes to be better—at everything. “You are the most important product you can sell and the most important brand you can create,” says Kaplan. His philosophy and passion for speaking is to inspire people to “live a life by decision, not by default.”  Personal branding is about focusing on the person that you know you are, or the person you want to become, he explained.  Personal branding is important not only for personal growth, but career growth as well.  "Know why you are doing what you are doing today and how it shapes where you are headed tomorrow."  Sage advice for business leaders and team members alike.

For Kaplan Mobray's full biography and video clip, click here.

Resource Meeting Planner

Speaker on PlatformSpeakers Don't Always Have to be Famous
This article first appeared in Insurance Meetings Management Magazine
by Diane Goodman, CMP, President and Founder, Goodman Speakers Bureau
(revised for 2013)

Years ago, an industry trend landed in my lap. This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but looking back, it was one of the first times I clearly saw the evolution of a need and desire for insurance and financial businesses to hire "expert speakers" -- industry experts and insiders -- in addition to professional speakers to address their corporate meetings.

How did this trend come to me and my lap? I had noticed that more of the clients at my speakers bureau were becoming overwhelmed by the fast-paced changes in the insurance and financial industries. The status quo - that is, insurance companies selling insurance and financial companies selling investments -- was changing. Both arenas were evolving and crossing over into each other as a result of changes in legislation and mergers and acquisitions. Competitors were now becoming partners. New products and services were entering the marketplace at a rapid clip. And consumer demands were changing to reflect new consumer attitudes, the aging population, and a growth in investor savvy.

Meeting planners were being asked by their internal executives and clients to find more appropriate outside speakers who could address these major shifts and emerging issues in the insurance and financial industries. They needed speakers to be able to educate and inform executives, agents and other professionals about all these new changes that affect their business. One day in the midst of all this, I met with a client -- a meeting planner at a major insurance company -- who asked me to locate speakers who could speak directly and purposefully to her executives about specific industry trends. She did not want a list of traditional professional speakers who could simply tailor their motivational or managerial speeches to vaguely reflect tile insurance field. Instead, she wanted experts in insurance and finance who were on the "front lines" of the industry, knowledgeable of the countless changes, and who were willing and able to speak at internal company meetings.

Mission impossible? Initially, I thought it was. She was asking for something very new, and was creating a lot of up front work for me to tackle. I gave this assignment great thought and after mulling over her request, I realized my client had just verbalized a major shift I had been sensing in the needs of meeting planners. She had helped me uncover a new niche for my speakers bureau - servicing the industry insiders who wanted to hear from other industry insiders.

Moreover, corporate meeting planners also were also becoming mired in all the massive industry changes as well, and were expected to be as informed as their internal executives, if not more so. They were being asked to design meeting agendas to meet extensive objectives, with little guidance from inside. So I immediately saw another business opportunity: assisting planners to expand meeting agendas to include expert speakers to address industry specific issues. These speakers would complement the higher-profile professional speakers and celebrities who focus keynote speeches on broader motivational or business topics.

Expert speakers are industry insiders who are knowledgeable about a variety of topics, including health care, social security, deregulation, changes in legislation, and marketplace trends such as the explosion of new financial products meant to serve an aging population. Their expertise allows them to help others in the field make sense of the large blur that used to clearly defined traditional market segments -- insurance, banking, investing, health care, and financial planning.

Expert speakers are not the same as professional speakers. Not by a long shot. Professional speakers invest a lot of time and money marketing themselves, and building a career entirely around their public speaking talents. They are easy to locate and evaluate to determine if they are appropriate for any given speaking engagement.

Most professional speakers can fill the role of al traditional keynote speaker, or they can tailor a speech to be more meaningful to smaller, specific groups. They can fly across the country, practically at a moment's notice, to take part in meetings, seminars, retreats or other occasions. Professional public speaking is what they do.

Expert speakers, on the other hand, have "day jobs." They work within the industry, are not always easy to locate and do not make public speaking their ultimate priority. It takes research and diligence to uncover expert speakers who can communicate clearly and who can accommodate a specific schedule for meeting planners.

The benefits of using industry experts in addition to professional speakers, however, are numerous. They possess a vast industry knowledge base that can be applied directly to fit a meeting's agenda, and they know the industry "language" and can communicate meaningfully to executives on all levels. Based on their particular expertise, they can address various specific areas of importance to meeting attendees, providing substance to their presentations. In addition, many expert speakers are certified to offer continuing education credits to industry professionals. Since ongoing education is a growing requisite for people at all levels within the
insurance and financial arenas, this is an attractive way to maximize time spent in corporate meetings. And their fees are not necessarily as steep as many professional speakers.

Expert speakers can be found a number of ways. They often speak at industry conferences such as the Life Agency Management Program (LAMP), sponsored by GAMA International; the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), which is a conference as well as an association of life insurance-based financial services sales professionals; and programs hosted by the International Association of Financial Planning. If meeting planners are given the opportunity to attend these conferences, they can meet and screen potential expert speakers for future use.

Also, experts can be found through personal contacts or industry referrals. Meeting planners can ask for expert speaker referrals from consultants their companies may already be using. These consultants may be able to recommend speakers, or they may want to take on the role of expert speaker themselves.

The question remains: Are they any good? Planners need to know that the speaker they hire can perform. Again, this is easy to determine with professional speakers who have promotional videos, books, articles, and other marketing materials. A speakers bureau also can provide testimonials of a professional speaker's performance. Can a bureau do the same with expert speakers? It should. It is indeed more work to invest time to locate potential expert speakers, check references, hear them speak, and ascertain their credentials and areas of expertise. But by adding them to their rosters of professional speakers, bureaus can pursue a full-service approach to their business. In addition to booking the celebrity speaker for a keynote presentation, bureaus can help planners make the overall meeting agenda more relevant, build internal continuing education programs, and improve the role of corporate meetings.

I am confident this "brave new world" of expert speakers provides one refreshing solution for meeting planners to keep on top of the frustrating tidal wave of change within the insurance and financial industries.

Contact Diane Goodman, The Goodman Speakers Bureau, 800.875.2893 or

Resource Meeting Planner

Welcome to our second installment of our vlog series on Successful Meeting Tips, Advice and Insights with President and Founder of The Goodman Speakers Bureau, Diane Goodman, CMP. Diane has more than 30+ years in the meeting business and is a founding member of the IASB. The series asks a single question and viewers receive Diane’s candid response. Diane advises at the highest level of meeting planning, specifically with respect to hiring the right professional speaker for your event.

Today our question is: In what ways can meeting planners maximize their speaker budgets?

How does Diane help meeting planners get the most from their budget? Click for full presentation (1:26min).
How does Diane help meeting planners get the most from their budget? Click for full presentation (1:26min).

Have a question for Diane Goodman, CMP?  To submit your question, contact Diane at 800-875-2893 or Diane and her team go beyond delivering speaker recommendations. As Certified Meeting Professionals, they can offer guidance throughout the meeting planning process, assisting clients with overall meeting success.

Speaker Referenced: 
 Tim and Kris O’Shea  Resource Interview

Diane Goodman caught up with Kris & Tim O'Shea of The O'Shea Report this week during a conference in Las Vegas.

Having attended many company meetings and conferences, they know what it's like to have to sit and listen to someone talk on stage. They found that the speakers they enjoyed the most were the ones who made their presentations not only informative, but also fun and entertaining. Seeing a need for this kind of laughter and engagement at corporate events, they created their programs based on their own experiences in the office environment. Now Tim and Kris work full time as speakers and entertainers at meetings and conventions internationally.

Tim and Kris each trained with The Second City Theater Company at their satellite division in Denver, Colorado. They are accomplished improvisers, stand-ups and comedic actors, and have shared the stage with cast members from Whose Line Is It Anyway and Saturday Night Live.

Check out what the O'Shea's talk about with Diane, and their fun "shout out" at the end of the video.

To book The O'Shea Report call 800-875-2893 or email Diane Goodman at

Speaker Referenced: 
 Josh Linkner  Press Resource Interview

March 6, 2014

Josh Linkner stopped by our offices today to meet with the team and talk about some of the projects he's been working on.  We learned that Josh is releasing a brand new book titled Road to Reinvention based upon the good work he has been doing to rebuild the economy in Detroit, MI through his venture capital firm.  He also talked about how he approaches speaking engagement with that same thoughtful process he uses to approach any venture he is involved with: to impart useful, innovative strategies that people can use to take action.

To book Josh Linkner for your event, contact Diane Goodman at

Speaker Referenced: 
 Chris Bashinelli  Resource Interview

Chris Bashinelli dropped by our offices this week to let us know about some of the projects he's been working on. Chris shares a personal story about his family and how he became inspired to find ways to promote a more compassionate, understanding world by placing himself in another's shoes.

More about Chris:  After a successful acting career, including an appearance on the HBO series The Sopranos, Chris decided to follow his passion. At 20 years old he moved to Tanzania to experience life in the developing world firsthand. Since then, Chris has devoted his life to understanding the life and plight of others. He hasn't looked back since.

As host and executive producer of the internationally recognized series, Bridge the Gap, Chris traverses the globe from Tanzania to Thailand to experience life in someone else's shoes. Bridge the Gap's pilot episode premieres on National PBS Television. Chris has harvested Buffalo with Native Americans, walked miles for clean water in Haiti, run from venomous bees in Uganda, and worked side-by-side with individuals from countless corners of the earth.

As a guest author for award-winning publications such as the Huffington Post and Lonely Planet, Chris shares stories of social activists who are creating positive change in developing regions worldwide; personal stories of self-discovery and growth; and travel guides for the adventurer.

To Book Chris Bashinelli, contact Diane Goodman at

Resource Meeting Planner

Welcome to our third installment of our vlog series on Successful Meeting Tips, Advice and Insights with President and Founder of The Goodman Speakers Bureau, Diane Goodman, CMP. Diane has more than 30+ years in the meeting business and is a founding member of the IASB. The series asks a single question and viewers receive Diane’s candid response. Diane advises at the highest level of meeting planning, specifically with respect to hiring the right professional speaker for your event.

Today our question is: What are some of the trends you are seeing in the speaker industry today?

Have a question for Diane Goodman, CMP? To submit your question, contact Diane at 800-875-2893 or Diane and her team go beyond delivering speaker recommendations. As Certified Meeting Professionals, they can offer guidance throughout the meeting planning process, assisting clients with overall meeting success.

Speaker Referenced: 
 Jack Shaw  Press Resource

heartbleedBusiness and technology strategist, Jack Shaw has spent his career helping companies from many industries, and the providers of their technologies, find better ways to conduct and operate their businesses.  In response to the recent Internet security crisis known as "HeartBleed,"  Jack has designed a brand new talk to address this concern, as well as other Internet security measures.  His talk is titled, HeartBleed – Responding to the Greatest Internet Security Challenge (so far).

In his HeartBleed program, we learn the passwords and data of billions of people around the world using thousands of the most popular Internet websites for more than the past two years have now been compromised.  This puts everything from financial data to personal health information to critical corporate intellectual property at risk. So what should people and organizations do to address this challenge? And even more importantly, what can you do going forward to prevent this kind of threat to your personal data and livelihood in the future. In this program, Jack will discuss Internet and other information technology security issues – in plain English that business people (even non-technical executives!) will understand and be able to act on. What happened? Why? What do we do now? And what should we do to prevent his kind of a problem in the future?   No one is better at translating complex technical subject, like Internet security, into plain understandable English. To book Jack for a critically important session that will help you and your company take the right steps today as well as plan properly for tomorrow, contact us at the Goodman Speakers Bureau: 800-875-2893 or email

Jack Shaw is a business technologist and innovation speaker who speaks on a range of topics including Big Data, Data Analytics, Decision Management, Cloud Computing, e-Commerce, e-Procurement, Intelligent Systems, Mobile Commerce,Social Media and Supply Chain Management.

Resource Meeting Planner

gears-working-togetherHow Does a Speakers Bureau Work?

If you have never worked with a speakers bureau, you may wonder how to approach a bureau. Speakers bureaus exist to assist clients through every step of the speaker booking process, from initial proposal to contact, to the podium. We work on the clients' behalf (that's you!) and the goal is to exceed the client's expectation. We negotiate, facilitate, and communicate on your behalf, saving you time and providing you support. Because we work with so many speakers, we know who can deliver what--we can give you insights to which speakers will go the extra mile for a client, and which speakers aren't so easy to work with.  Because of this insight, working with us can ensure you a successful event.  Here are some commonly asked questions about how a speakers bureau works:

What does a speakers bureau charge?
There is no cost to you for using our services. Our fee is paid by the speaker, through their honorarium. The time we spend personally with you, the materials and resources we employ, and the effort we expend to meet your needs are free of charge. If you choose not to book a speaker, there is still no charge to you.

What is the average cost of hiring a professional keynote speakers?
Hiring a professional speaker will vary based on experience, skill, reputation and notoriety. Additional expenses are separate from the fee. Expenses, such as travel, hotel accommodations, meals, and any out of pocket expenses are usually considered additional to the speaker's fee.

Do I have to arrange travel and hotel accommodations for the professional speaker?
Goodman Speakers Bureau will work with you and the speaker directly to ensure that the right accommodations are found to fit the speaker's needs and to fit within your budget.

There are so many good speakers, how do I choose the one "right" for my event?
There are literally thousands of speakers in the marketplace today, and selecting the right one is difficult.  We help you choose by first getting a basic understanding of your organization and its needs, your budget, and the theme and message you need communicated to your attendees.  Then we select a group of speakers for you to review based on these factors, with accompanying video, biography, head shot, and speech topics they have specific expertise in. One you select a speaker from our proposal, we follow up by spending the following months with you, personally customizing your meeting down to the finest details.

What if I want a speaker and I don't see him or her featured on your website?
Don't worry!  Goodman Speakers Bureau works with many speakers, not just ones listed on our website. If you already know of a speaker you may be interested in, we will get you all of the resources necessary to facilitate your decision and getting you matched up with your speaker.

Do longer presentations cost more?
Generally, yes. Since each speaker sets their own fee, fees vary from speaker to speaker. Some have a flat cost, others will have a 1-hour (keynote), half day, and full day cost.

What kind of budget do I need?  What if I have a limited budget?
Spending a lot of money does not always mean you will get the best speaker for your event. We have relationships with a variety of speakers from which to find you a speaker that best fits your needs, at a price you can afford. Keynote speaker fees generally start at $5000 and up.

Can I speak directly with the speaker before I make a decision?
Most all of our speakers are available before you have made a selection and after you have made your final decision. Since we insist on a personal and customized approach to meeting planning, we will facilitate the best communication between you and your speaker possible. Whatever it takes to make you comfortable and content that your decision is the best, Goodman Speakers Bureau will be there at every step.

Can we make audio or video recordings of the speaker and his and her content at the event?
Speakers vary in regard to the protection of their intellectual property. Your Goodman Speakers Bureau representative will be happy to advise you on a speaker's attitudes about recording.

If you have any questions, give us a call!

We're here to answer your questions and it costs nothing to talk with us.


Since 1979 Goodman Speakers Bureau has taken pride in providing our clients with customized solutions to their professional speaker needs. As the customized service specialists, we believe that Internet searches are the last place anyone should look for a professional speaker. Instead, we believe the first place to begin your search by working one-on-one with us. When you call the Goodman Speakers Bureau you will begin a partnership, which will produce the best product for your organization and event and save you time.

Resource Meeting Planner

Speaker on PlatformYou need a good speaker, no--a great speaker for your company's next conference. Someone who can tie the theme together, deliver valuable content to attendees, and leave everyone with a solid plan.  Where do you turn?

Managing a proposal process and sifting through direct solicitations can be time sinks for organizations. We see an opportunity for speaker bureaus to be strong partners" - Jeff Cobb, Jeff Hurt, Dave Lutz, Sarah Michel, and Celisa Steele - Tagoras and Velvet Chainsaw Consulting

Your first instinct may be to search the Internet.  A quick Google search using the terms "Great Keynote Speaker" returns over 11 million results.  While it may be easy to find a speaker on the Internet, it's very difficult to find the right speaker for your event.  As the meeting planner, a lot is riding on this.  You can't afford the time to sift though millions of search results and you can't afford an unwise choice. Here are some recommendations to point you in the right direction.

1.) Ask your colleagues about their favorite speakers.  Research shows* 84% of you already do this, and with good reason.  Peer recommendations are some of the most reliable sources.

2.) Ask for recommendations from Staff and Members. This is the second highest rated way meeting planners find speakers.

3.)  Ask your speaker's bureau for a list of recommendations based on your needs. Although only* 57% of meeting planners use speakers bureaus as a resource, we (of course) feel it should be higher!  Gathering suggestions from staff and colleagues is an excellent starting point, but here's an opportunity for you to run that list by an independent source who has worked with these speakers before, who know how willing they are to please the client (or not), and which speakers really deliver.  Independent Speakers Bureaus like the Goodman Speakers Bureau have your interests at heart and can make objective recommendations.

If you are new to event planning or have never used a bureau before, don't worry about the cost of using a speakers bureau--because there is none.  Speakers bureaus are paid by the speaker out of their honorarium.  Since we have relationships with thousands of speakers, we can find the right keynote speaker for virtually any meeting.  We also act as your partner through the contractual process. Speakers bureaus deliver high value at no cost to the meeting planner, and act as an extended part of your team from proposal to contract to the moment the speaker leaves the stage.

If you are looking for a great keynote speaker for your next event, given us a call first. We can save you days of research and give you a head start on your planning, as well as assist you with contracts, logistical arrangements and support.  We also handle details like books, media images, speaker bios and headshots.

Contact us at 1-800-875-2893 or email us at for more information.

*Statistics Source:  Velvet Chainsaw The Speaker Report 2013
Resource Meeting Planner

You are planning a conference and you need a great keynote speaker to close out the conference on the final evening of the event. Someone who can engage the audience, drive home the message from the executive team, and fire up the attendees.  You need someone who gets it.  A lot is riding on this conference.  Your company is spending a lot of money and you cannot afford to misstep on the big finale. You start with a simple Internet search but soon realize there are literally thousands of choices.  One speaker home page looks like the next.  How can you know who is going to do not just a good job, but a great job?

The things is, you can't know.  That's the time to talk to a speakers bureau. Speakers bureaus have invested time developing relationships with hundreds of speakers.  They know who delivers, and who might prove inconsistent or risky.  The first step is to pick up the phone and call your speakers bureau and discuss what you need.

Things to know before you call

  • Date and location of  the meeting.
  • Is there a strategic message that you are trying to communicate? Or, program theme?
  • Male/female ratio and average age.
  • Educational background of attendees.
  • Which division/department of the company/organization are they from?

Things the Goodman Speaker Bureau will ask you about your meeting

We will be looking for insights from you. You might be surprised how these questions allow us to recommend the right keynote speaker for your event.

  • What challenges is your industry, organization or audience facing?
  • What personal interests inspire your executive team? Are they fans of a particular sport? Are they strictly business, or do the appreciate humor, music, creative-thinking, or science?
  • What are your expectations of the keynote speaker to help you communicate the message of the meeting?
  • What ideal “take away” would you like the speaker’s presentation to deliver? 
  • Beyond the keynote, are there other expectations of the speaker? (i.e., question & answer session, book signing, reception attendance, follow-up webinar) 
  • How important do you feel the outside speaker is to the overall success of the meeting?
  • What is the budget for the speaker?

After the initial call, we will propose a list of speakers (with biographies, head shots, fee ranges and related video) we feel would be a great fit for your meeting.  But before you choose, allow us to arrange a conference call between your team and the speaker, so you can be sure that keynote speaker can really communicate the message.

Once you have selected a speaker, we go to the contract phase.  At this point, you will want to be sure you account for any requests or details you require of the speaker.  If you want the speaker to play a round of golf with the CEO the morning of the big closing keynote, that should be outlined in the contract.  If the speaker is a former NFL star and you want him to autograph footballs for the leading salespeople of the district, that needs to be stipulated in the contract.  If you need 500 copies of the speakers book for every member of the audience, that too should be outlined in advance.  Yes, last minute changes do happen, and we as the speakers bureau can often amend an agreement after the fact, but it's best to get these details dealt with early and up front, in case an accommodation cannot be made.

Event Logistics

After all the contracts and speaker agreements are signed, the Goodman Speakers Bureau works with your team to provide logistic support.  We act as a liaison between the meeting planner and the professional speaker, communicating transportation details, A/V requirements, providing marketing materials to the meeting planning team for the event, and ensuring both parties have all the necessary logistic information.  We also arrange for pre-event conference calls to ensure the speaker and key members of the executive team are in sync and on message.  Most of our business speakers and thought leaders customize their message for the client, and often act in a consultative role to help companies and organizations communicate the right message.  No two speeches are alike, and whatever your business, we work with some extraordinary speakers who deliver the best speeches to your audience.  Some of our speakers use pre-event questionnaire to ensure the client is getting exactly what they are looking for in a presentation.  Additionally, we are one of the few bureaus who tracks the weather nationwide for possible issues with transportation affecting the arrival of a speaker. We are always looking ahead and planning alternative forms of transportation in case of a snowstorm or other unusual travel delay.

Follow up

After the event is over and our speaker has given a fantastic performance, we follow up with you, the event planner, to see how it went. Customer service and strong positive relationships are paramount to the Goodman Speakers Bureau, and your feedback always helps us deliver the best events.

Need a hand with your next event?  Let the Goodman Speakers Bureau help you select a winning speaker, and see it through to the standing ovation.  Call us at 800-875-2893.  Remember, it costs you nothing!  We only get paid if you book the speaker and we are paid by the speaker.  So what are you waiting for?  Let us help you hit your next event out of the park.

"Image courtesy of stockimages /"

Speaker Referenced: 
 Don Yaeger  Resource Interview

Award-winning keynote speaker, business leadership coach, an eight-time New York Times Best-selling author and longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated, Don Yaeger has fashioned a career as one of America’s most provocative thought leaders.   And today, he stopped by the office with donuts to pay a visit to Diane Goodman and her team.

He is primarily sought to discuss lessons on achieving greatness, learned from first-hand experiences with some of the greatest sports legends in the world.

Diane sat down and chatted with Don.  Watch the interview:

Additionally, Don has been retained by companies and organizations to coach their leaders, management teams and employees on building a culture of greatness by looking at Great Teams in sports and discerning the business lessons we can learn from them.

Throughout his writing career, Don has developed a reputation as a world-class storyteller and has been invited as a guest to every major talk show – from Oprah to Nightline, from CNN to Good Morning America!

To Book Don, call 1-800-875-2893

Weather & Winter Woes: Coming Out Ahead of the Storm Resource Meeting Planner Speakers

Our most recent storm here in the Northeast, which began its trouble earlier in the Midwest, is another reminder how important proactivity and communication are when dealing with speaker travel arrangements. The truth is, it’s not just a winter or a location specific problem. All year long there are a series of independent forces wreaking havoc on the best laid travel plans. Our program managers are always looking at the national weather map, tracking speakers originating and destination cities, looking for any potential problems.

Here’s a case example of a situation here at Goodman Speakers during the Blizzard of 2015.
When forecasters began to up the severity of Juno early Sunday morning, our program managers immediately looked at the calendar and began to see which speakers could potentially have issues. We had one speaker originating from the Qatar in the Middle East, heading to Midwest for a program on Tuesday. The speaker had also hoped to stop at home for a night in New Jersey. After seeing the flight cancellations beginning to pile up, we immediately contacted the speaker’s office and strongly encouraged them to change the flight, bypass home and go straight to the event. Thankfully, they all agreed and the speaker changed his flight that day so that the speaker would arrive at his destination on Monday without too much headache, just 28 hours of travel…

Meanwhile, our team had a backup speaker in mind, on the outside chance the original speaker experienced any more delays or cancellations.

What did and can we all learn from these situations:

  • Be proactive: don’t wait until flights are cancelled
  • Communication: make sure everyone is aware of the potential problem and agree upon a solution, early on.
  • Have a backup plan

Also, don’t forget about any fee or rate increases the speaker and client may incur with the changing schedule, this may include a fare increase, change fees, additional accommodations, etc.

Stay calm, communicate often, and it doesn’t hurt to cross your fingers, because sometimes luck does play a role in having a successful event.

Speaker Referenced: 
 David Romanelli  Resource

At the time of writing this, there are only two people alive today who were born in the 1800s. That makes them 115 years old. Can you imagine? To be that old, it’s part genetic...and part attitude!

I had the great fortune of becoming friends with a lady in New York City who lived to be 111. She had no fancy workout routines or crazy diet regimens. Rather, her secrets to happiness are secrets we can all embrace today!

One thing to note: happiness is not just a feel-good thing.

The research shows that happiness boosts productivity; happy people sleep better which leads to improved health; and happy people are more likable. When one is likable, you want to work with them, you want to support them, you want to be around them.

As Maya Angelou said, “People never remember what you say. They never remember what you do. But they always remember how you made them feel.”

So how can you feel happy (or happier) right this moment?

These are 3 tips from the 111 year old lady who inspired my new book Happy is the New Healthy:

1. Get Back On Your Feet

The 111 year old lady was married five times! That means she got knocked down four times and got back up a fifth. Whether it’s a matter of finances, career, health, love... everybody gets knocked down in life. Some people stay down for years...maybe forever. As the 111 year old teaches, you’ve got to get up. Keep on truckin! It’s not that bad things don’t happen to happy people. HAPPY PEOPLE HAPPEN TO BAD THINGS.

2. Laugh Your Ass Off

When the social worker tried to help the 111 year old lie down because he thought she was tired...she said, “Are you propositioning me?” She was still making x-rated jokes at 111. We all have something happening in our lives that is difficult. If we could come to it with a sense of humor, we’d be so much better off. As Henry Beecher said, “A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs, jolted by every pebble in the road.”

3. Eat More Chocolate

When I asked the 111 year old for her tips on health and longevity, she did NOT say, “Oh, you gotta be gluten free” or “Oh, I’m paleo” or “Low carb all the way!” Rather, her advice was: sex, vodka, and spicy food. JOIE DE VIVRE!

Eat more chocolate. Take more naps. Enjoy your nightly glass of red wine. Such behavior is seen in almost all of the supercentenarians (people 110 or older) alive today. From square dancing to bowling to sipping on homemade brandy, they milk every ounce of life from their epic journeys. The oldest lady of all time, Jeanne Calment, lived to be 122. She ate 2 pounds of chocolate each week!

If we could all find a moment each day to savor, we would be so much happier. I call it The BFD Mantra: A beautiful, funny, and delicious moment each day keeps the stress away!

Dave Romanelli is a bestselling author, wellness innovator, keynote speaker and entrepreneur, who brings a unique, seasoned, and entertaining approach to today’s pressing challenges of work-life balance, stress, information overload, and the overall desire to live a happier, healthier life. He fuses ancient wellness practices with modern passions that give people accessible tools to overcome stress, focus their mind, and improve their relationships at work and home. His new book, Happy is the New Healthy was released in January 2015. He is the keynote speaker, sponsored by Goodman Speakers Bureau for the upcoming SMU meeting in Denver July 8-10th.

If you’re a meeting, incentive, training/conference programs or conventions planner with verifiable meetings history and those with business to book in the Colorado region, you are encouraged to apply!!

Register here for Colorado's best meeting and incentive conference, where you will learn about the diverse selection of exciting meetings venues throughout the state. Join other meeting professionals for three days of networking activities, site inspections, and one-on-one business appointments with representatives from Colorado hotels, resorts, CVBs & DMCs. Bring your RFP for Colorado with you!

Heidi Hanna
Speaker Referenced: 
 Heidi Hanna  Resource

It seems like most people I know poo-poo the idea, but still end up defining some sort of positive habit or change they want to introduce for the upcoming year. For me, this holiday has always been my favorite: a time to reflect on and celebrate what’s passed and an opportunity to really think deeply about how I want to create the life I want in the year ahead.

Considering all we know about the brain and how it works, I took a much different approach to my goal setting this year. In fact, with everything I do now I consider what my brain needs and wants in order to operate at its best. Here are the brain-based tips I came up with – how to train your brain to change your life for the better:

  1. Prioritize downtime. Regardless of your goals, your brain needs time to reset and recharge regularly throughout the day. If you wake up and jolt into autopilot, you will quickly shift back into the old habits that have become comfortable over time. Each morning start with a few minutes of deep breathing and gratitude to put your brain into its optimal state for focus and flexibility.
  2. Start with why. The brain is inspired by emotion, which can be seen in the specific chemicals we release that strengthen neural connections. Although stress can seem motivating short-term, the hormones that fuel the rush are toxic to both the brain and body, and lead to burnout when used chronically. After your breathing and gratitude exercise in the morning, start to reflect on the purpose behind your goals. Try to make your visualization and clear and emotional as possible: imagine yourself feeling energized, picture yourself with the people you love most, feel how it will feel to be living your best life. And then, once your brain is in this elevated state, you can shift to focusing on the specific strategies required to get there. Determine who you want to be before you even consider what you need to do.
  3. Be clear. The brain craves simplicity. It’s important to keep in mind that every change, even positive, is perceived by the brain as a potential threat because it requires energy. If you have the resources you need to change (glucose, oxygen, adequate sleep, regular breaks, social support), then the brain will allocate just enough energy to try out the new behavior or thought pattern. But deplete yourself of energy or make your goals too lofty, and the brain will give you a million reasons why you should start tomorrow.
  4. Commit ahead. Practicing your new healthy habit should be built into your schedule and prioritized higher than any other obligation you have. If not, it will become slippery. Write it down with specific information as to what, when, where, why and how and for added sticking power build in some accountability by telling a friend or colleague what you’re working on. For greatest impact, invite them to join you.
  5. Know your plan B, and C. Even with the best intentions, life often gets in the way. What derails most people who have a clear commitment to their new goal is when they can’t be perfect and throw in the towel. I always make sure to have what I call my B and C plans – Below optimal and Challenging. Below optimal might be when I’m on the road, have company in town or feeling extra tired. Instead of running 5 miles, I may go for a shorter run or do 30 minutes of intervals on the treadmill. Perhaps more important is the plan you have for challenging days. For me, that might be 2 weeks straight on the road, a jam-packed schedule, or having done an event that left my legs extra sore. In which case I have to decide ahead of time – what is enough for me to feel like I made an effort that will keep me on track? I’ve found that moving at least 30-45 minutes allows me to check the box for "enough". Sometimes it’s just walking the hallways of ATL airport for as long as I can, or getting 10,000 steps on my Fitbit. Whatever it is for you, it’s important to have a back up plan so you can still make your best effort in the given circumstances, and not give up on yourself.

Do you want to understand your unique personality? Improve your communication skills? Create better personal and professional relationships?

Scott Schwefel teaches audiences how to "communicate in full color" by understanding their personality. Insights Discovery personality tool helps people be self-aware and improves their communication with others. Scott provides individuals and organizations the knowledge to increase sales, profits, and productivity.

Insights Discovery divides personalities into four main color quadrants. People can usually immediately identify with one color, which is their dominant communication style. Understanding your personality and the personality of others breaks down barriers and decreases miscommunication.

Below are the four different personality colors and adjectives that are generally associated with each different type.

Extroverted Personalities:
Fiery Red- Competitive, strong-willed, demanding, purposeful
Sunshine Yellow- Energetic, optimistic, outgoing, persuasive

Introverted Personalities:
Cool Blue- Cautious, precise, questioning, formal
Earth Green- Amiable, caring, patient, encouraging

You can better understand yourself when you learn which color energy you associate with the most. You also can learn more about co-workers, friends, and family when you learn the color energy that they associate with the most. This knowledge has the potential to improve decision-making, communication, and performance.

Learn more about Scott and how to identify and understand personalities by watching his TEDx Talk.

Speaker Referenced: 
 Scott Schwefel  Resource Meeting Planner
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