Posts Tagged ‘entertaining uplifting keynote speaker’

You & George Clooney: Heart Throb or Heart Stroke?

February 20, 2013

Go Red for Women Montana standing front audience smiling

The American Heart Association’s fundraiser in Montana was a day to remember. Who needs 50 Shades of Grey? This was 350 Shades of Red!

February is heart healthy month. Did you know heart disease/stroke is the #1 killer of women in America – more so than cancer?

Being the keynote speaker for the annual Go Red For Women Go Red for Women logoluncheon in Billings recently was a real eye opener. The audience ranged from late 20′s – 50′s working professionals in banking, healthcare and the oil industry. The eye opener was how young the survivors were that shared their story of having a stroke.

Thirty-something year-old’s with babies aren’t supposed to have strokes.

We talked about being fearless: using passion and fear as tools to live a more fulfilling successful life NOW vs someday in the future. I shared the story of the worst day of my life laid off from my office job and how scary it was for a young womanTheresa at piano blue sequin jkt croppedliving far away from home. After grabbing an opportunity to play piano in a hotel for two weeks with no experience, a limited repertoire and a tummy full of nerves, I discovered a passion for performance that motivated me to tour the world on a piano bench ending at the 2006 Olympics.       Olympic Rings small                     

The worst day of my life became the best thing
that ever happened.

The young women that survived the strokes now have a passion for life like never before. They learned a big lesson: Take care of yourself first so you can take care of others.
          
What makes your heart throb? (besides George Clooney) George Clooney
Is there a small business you want to start? A destination you’d love to explore? A class you’d like to take?
Have you taken a step towards it? If not, why not?

All things come to those who wait.

So does death.

 

“Theresa made our Go Red For Women Luncheon a HUGE success with her energetic enthusiasm & uplifting performance!  Our attendees left feeling inspired about taking risks to succeed and really happy they attended our event.”

– Nina Hernandez,  American Heart Association

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Watch This At Work

July 16, 2012
team
 
Can you pick me out of this line up?
 
These are some members of Team Toto. They’re a great group of people from all walks of life and we enjoy playing tennis Tuesday nights at Memorial Park in Houston. Toto is the team captain pictured in the green shirt and is named such  ‘coz he’s an immigrant from Kansas with a great sense of humor (at least he did until he reads this).
 
I belong to four different tennis groups and play five times a week. You could say I’m addicted to the game. Ya’ think?
 
One time I was playing doubles opposite a man who is extremely competitive and hates to lose. Ten minutes into the game he began yelling at his partner about how to play, berating her for a lost point, putting her down and arguing scores with all of us.
 
And just like that the atmosphere changed from fun to dread.
 
Have you ever experienced that yukky awkward feeling in the pit of your stomach? Watch this at work. One person’s attitude can totally change the dynamics of a team/meeting/office. Organizations wanting to build a strong team culture need to nip these kind of energy-suckers in the bud by enforcing a ‘shape up or ship out’ policy.
 
2012 picAs a professional speaker on High Performance in the workplace, I talk about how a positive can-do attitude boosts teamwork, builds great relationships, increases productivity and elevates customer service that ultimately impacts the bottom line.
 
Everybody wins.
 
Tennis continues to be a ton of fun……I just don’t play with HIM any more.
 
His loss.
 
 
 

The Power of Passion

July 2, 2012

As a professional keynote speaker I’m used to being on a stage motivating people to be the best in their field by raising their work performance level. It’s cool, it’s fun, it’s fulfilling and I absolutely LOVE what I do. Put me on a stage in front of thousands of adults and I’m right at home.

BUT……… put me in front of 100  kids and I’m terrified.

Last week I walked my talk of stepping outside your comfort zone to be  successful  in today’s world….I was asked to speak to Landrum Middle School by the Brilliant Lecture Series who recently bought George Clooney to Houston to talk about his humanitarian work as well as his life (pant, pant, he’s so-o-o hot!)

The children, aged 10 – 13 years old, were mostly Hispanic from under-privileged homes. More scary. My entire Spanish vocabulary consists of: “Another margerita please”. How to connect with this group?

Anticipation is often worse than realization…

Since I’m an Aussie living in Houston I talk kinda sorta funny (although I think you all LISTEN funny). After asking if anyone had learnt about Australia I was amazed how much these  kids knew and how eager they were to participate in my presentation. When I played the piano to emphasize my point about doing whatever it takes to realize your dream, they were mesmerized – and I was relieved.

Music is a universal language and passion is a powerful tool to influence others. I am passionate about speaking, motivating,  inspiring and uplifting people and these delightful children totally got it.

What are YOU passionate about? Passion is contagious. People that are passionate about their work/product/life are more attractive to employers/buyers/everyone.

Passion pays.

Woo hoo!

It’s All About Performance

June 19, 2012
meAs a professional speaker on high performance in the workplace I’m always on the look out for relevant examples on my topic. I believe it takes being extraordinary to get the job/keep the job, get the client/keep the client in today’s economy.
 
Apparently it also applies to attracting a mate…
 
Recently I was watching the Discovery/BBC series ‘Life’ – a documentary about our planet’s birds, animals and fish behavior. Stunning photography. Amazing information.
 
In the world of pelicans, did you know it’s the male who dances best that gets the girl? Yep, he’s gotta have the moves like Jagger. For hippos it’s the guy with the biggest jaw and the most muscle that gets to do the matress mambo with ALL the ladies in the herd. Hmmm…a hippo harem? For birds of a feather it’s the male with the most colorful plummage that can put on the best show.
 
And the difference between these facts and dating today would be……..???
 
Last week I performed a special program for a Fathers Day luncheon at Brazos Towers in Houston.standingThis group of seniors were amazing. They were all dressed to the nines, manicures & bling, suits & ties, hair done Daaahling. When we played musical trivia they guessed the answers so fast I had to keep up by adding to and changing questions (normally they take 60+ seconds to respond). They clapped in tempo, sang along, laughed alot and participated the whole hour.

Always critical of my own performance, I listened intently to comments afterwards. One cute little lady came up to me and said “You were a HUGE success…my husband actually stayed awake!”  

It’s all about performance. 

What could YOU do today that would qualify as extraordinary performance?

Young workers, Old Dogs, New Tricks

June 5, 2012

Doing the Gaga thing!

Whassup with this piano-playing motivational speaker? Why is she standing up playing with her foot on the piano edge? Doesn’t she know there’s a seat?
 
Not very lady-like. Not a flattering photo. But there was a method to my madness and the 300+ staff and faculty of  Texas A & M Corpus Christi totally got it.
 
As the lunchtime keynoter for this great group at their Employee Development Conference, I was scheduled to speak right after the red velvet cake…
 
My topic is all about improving workplace performance and the speech title is “Learn from Lady Gaga: Extraordinary is the New Norm!”  One of the points is about the four generations in the workforce today and how each generation has the attitude they know it all. The A & M audience ages ranged from eighteen to sixty something years old and this SO hit a home run ‘coz they laughed at themselves a whole lot. Cool group.                      
 
To demonstrate how each generation needs to learn new ways of working to succeed in today’s economy, I told the story of how I had to learn new kinds of music to raise my performance level and stay employed when I was touring the world on a piano bench….in Germany I had to learn how to play the blues, in Japan I had to learn Spanish music (who knew?) and now today in America it’s all about Lady Gaga. That’s when I played the song ‘Paparazzi’ and stuck my leg up on the piano the way she does.
 
After the shock and laughter subsided the point sank into their minds at this unique university by the sea where employee education is just as important as student learning. Go Islanders! You rock!
 
 
Baby Boomers & Traditionalists need to stay current with new technology. Gen X & Y need better communication skills and improved work ethics.
 
What new ways of working have YOU implemented in the past year?
Keep up or get left behind.

Healthcare, Resilience and All That Jazz

May 15, 2012
 
 Speaking to the New Orleans Association of Health Underwriters  was cool on many levels…
NOAHU hosts an annual Benefits Expo for their members with  sponsors like United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield at exhibition booths providing all the latest in health care info. Industry speakers in the morning spouted stats ‘n’ facts relevant to this group and I learned some alarming news on obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in this country and how it will affect health care costs for us all moving forward.
 
Needless to say these folks are not happy campers in the Obama Care field.
 
But…
 
After my lunchtime keynote on “Learn from Lady Gaga: Extraordinary is the New Norm!”  they WERE happy campers feeling glad they attended the expo and leaving with new ideas & fresh motivation
(OMG! such shameless self promotion)
 
Cool Level # 1.
 
NOAHU’s President Rina Tikia & Treasurer Jennifer Toupes were two fine examples of New Orleans southern hospitality at its best. Monday night they took me and another speaker from Baltimore out to dinner at The Palace Cafe in the heart of downtown. I was amazed and delighted how crowded and lively the whole place was after the double whammy of Katrina followed by the BP spill. People were still coming in for dinner at 10 p.m. when we left! (Houston is such a snooze fest on Mondays – what about your city?)
 
Cool Level # 2.
 
I was taken on a whirlwind daytime tour by an old friend Marc Lenoir who has been working there for the past 8 years. Marc is from Belgium and drives like Batman in a BMW (ergo the word ‘whirlwind’) We drove throughout the city and surrounding areas at the speed of lightening but I was once again struck by the number of people I saw on Bourbon Street and around Jackson Square. Tourism is alive and well and once again thriving in New Orleans. Let the good times roll on!
 
Cool Level # 3.
 
From healthcare underwriters & major companies to shopkeepers & small businesses, ‘Nawlins adds a new image to its renowned brand of jazz and food – RESILIENCE.
 
Your success depends on the ability to persevere through the storms of competitive  chaos and the spillover effect of economic turbulence.
 
 Oh When The Saints Come Marchin’ In…………Who Dat???

Why you need fans GaGa over you

March 12, 2012

As a motivational speaker at conferences around the country I need to stand out from the crowded speakers circuit to be in demand. I do that by playing the piano during my presentations on peak performance  and since music is a universal language that energizes people of all ages and cultures, I’m usually booked as the opening keynote.

The five principles of learning to master the piano are the same ones that apply to be successful at work: Passion, Persistence, Attitude, People and Focus.

Ready to rock?

Passion

The beginning of all motivation. Every rock star, athlete and billionaire  started out with one thing in common – they had a passion for what they do.  Fear and money are both great motivators and perceived obstacles. Taking small steps outside your comfort zone towards that dream job/new business can open up a world of opportunities.  

Persistence

Most people give up too easily… at the first sign of difficulty they’re outta there. In Malcolm Gladwell‘s book ‘Outliers’ he writes how Bill Gates and The Beatles each took 10,000 hours worth of practice to reach the levels of excellence they did.  Think Lady Gaga was an overnight success? Not! She started playing piano when she was four. It took 10 years for me to play pop music worth listening to without sounding like a total dweeb.

Attitude

In today’s economy you have to be extraordinary to get the job/client and keep the job/client. This means constantly learning new ways of working. Translation: stay teachable. The days of managers that Know-It-All and We’ve-Always-Done-It-This-Way are SO over. Baby Boomers and Traditionalists need to learn about the latest gizmos from Gen X & Y who in turn need to learn about professional communications. Multi-millionaire Lady Gaga has the ultimate attitude of being willing to change by re-inventing herself almost every week with outrageous costumes, creative videos and spectacular sets. (You gotta get a load of this boomer standing up with one foot on the piano playing ‘Paparazzi’ during her keynotes!)

Stay humble and likeable. Mark Pincus CEO of Zynga a hugely successful online game company, says the main attribute he looks for when hiring is humility because it means someone is both approachable and open to new ideas. Managers that recognize employees for a job well done boost productivity, teamwork and morale. Lady Gaga is constantly thanking her fans that she affectionately calls ‘little monsters’. People buy from people they like. Having peeps gaga over you = cha ching!

People

Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Trump and Lady Gaga realized early on they needed other people to help them be successful so they each had mentors. For your organization to achieve goals great teamwork is essential and mentoring the younger generations is key. For your small business to thrive, brainstorm with peers in the industry for fresh ideas and solutions to challenges. Join group discussions on Linked In to stay current in your field, create a buzz about your biz on Facebook and post Tweets of value to your Twibe.

Focus

When I was offered the opportunity to audition for Coca Cola to perform at the 2006 Winter Olympics, I did nothing else for three days but focus on  winning. Through research I found out who was going to be in the audience in Italy and practiced piano relentlessly to WOW the judges in Houston within 30 seconds. To stay ahead of your competition today pay attention to changing market trends and keep up with technology to provide speedier customer service.  Focus on goals but stay open to new ideas.

I’m honored to say I bought home the Olympic gold (OK, so it’s a chocolate medal).

Got goals?

Get fans.