Michelle Ray


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  • Change, Communication and Leadership Speaker
  • Experience Michelle’s 3-step process to managing change
  • Talks about: Develop a repertoire of communication skills to achieve buy-in and build rapport & Transform your perspective from negative to positive in the face of change & Recognize the difference between reacting vs. responding to change
  • Learn to anticipate disruption and shifting business trends

About Michelle Ray - Change, Communication and Leadership Speaker:

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, change, accountability, communication 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.

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 a regular contributor for the Globe and Mail’s Leadership Lab Column.

Why Michelle Ray can add value to your conference:

  • Proven track record as a seasoned presenter at corporate and association meetings throughout North America as well as internationally since 1995
  • Renowned business motivational speaker for numerous annual conferences and professional development events
  • Qualified as a “Certified Speaking Professional”, the National Speakers Association’s highest – earned designation held by less than 10% of members
  • From thousands of entries received, Michelle Ray reached the Top Ten Finals of “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” Contest.
  • Undertakes due diligence with in-depth research prior to every engagement
  • Consistently engages audiences with humor, passion and a powerful message
  • Delivers a return on investment with solid content; tailored for each client

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What Michelle Ray Talks About:

How to Lead a Diverse Workforce: Building an Outstanding, Collaborative Culture
Organizations of every description are now facing new challenges regarding their workplaces. In addition to managing the increasing numbers of retiring baby boomers, building a culture that draws 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? How are we leading in order to attract a diverse workforce?”

If you are able to answer these questions, then the process of creating a collaborative, diverse and high performing culture becomes easier.

The new generation of talent pays close attention to a prospective employer’s reputation when assessing career opportunities. They are mindful of the character and composition of your leadership, organizational structure and above all, your values. A workplace culture that supports and encourages diversity and equal opportunity holds great appeal. Leaders who understand the significance of open-mindedness, building professional relationships at all levels while upholding core values of respect and understanding are ideally positioned to attract and retain the best and brightest against a backdrop of intense global competition for their skills.

During this dynamic, interactive keynote presentation, your audience of leaders will be reminded of the power of developing core relational skills required to build an outstanding workplace culture. When individual values are aligned with your organizational objectives, teams are ideally positioned to support the mission and values of your business. Consequently, as leaders, you are better positioned to lead, engage and inspire your people. Your leadership mindset can positively impact employee motivation and talent retention.

Teams thrive in an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual respect; ultimately benefiting the external clients they serve. As leaders, we can profoundly affect the atmosphere of our workplaces and opportunities for growth by being the best version of ourselves. Individuals and organizations need to be reminded more than ever that through our own demeanor and the lens we use to view the world, we impact how our current and future workforce sees us.

By attending this session with Michelle Ray, your leaders will discover the key components for building a dynamic culture that focuses on diversity, outstanding workplace relationships, engaged employees and energized leadership.

Sample of learning benefits for your audience:

  • Build an employee-centric vision for your organization
  • Apply positive communication & influence to give support all team members and clientele; regardless of age and background
  • Master the art of appreciate similarities and celebrating diversity
  • Gain understanding of the value of collective wisdom as it applies to teamwork, motivation and engagement
  • Grasp the meaning of “push” and “pull” (employee disengagement) factors
  • Empower yourself and others to create outstanding relationship outcomes
  • Position your organization for long-term success with your workforce

Leadership: It Starts with Me – Take The Lead, Embrace Change, Own Your Future
Michelle challenges individuals, as well as clients and audiences, to take charge of themselves, shift perspectives and discover their greatest potential. Her refreshing, uplifting and common-sense message has inspired thousands of audiences with her simple yet powerful premise: Leadership is first and foremost a state of mind.

We all possess the ability to profoundly impact another person by the manner in which we conduct ourselves. When we go out in the world with a happier disposition, we impact others positively. By our own demeanor, we create an energy force that has the power to change attitudes and change lives. We should never underestimate our own personal power!

This humorous, highly energized and insightful presentation offers a deeper understanding of the power of positive thinking and personal initiative, as well as specific tools to implement when faced with our own negative thinking. Whether your group needs an attitude adjustment, tune-up or makeover, audience members experience a memorable, popular keynote as they learn to practice personal leadership, as well as the true meaning of making a difference!

Expected Outcomes for Attendees:

  • Implement immediate solutions with lasting impact
  • Decrease workplace stress and increase morale
  • Reverse negativity and improve productivity
  • Realign values to those of your organization
  • Re-energize attitudes to co-workers and management
  • Discover how to influence others with outstanding communication skills
  • Master the art of personal leadership

No More Drama! – Ditch the Dysfunction and Engage Your Workplace
The existence of people challenges has multiple 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.

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 passion and insight, this exciting, fun keynote 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 benefits for your audience:

  • Learn the difference between people who have problems and people who are problems
  • Practice objectivity and put the “small stuff” into perspective
  • Detach from the dysfunction and drama to be a better “you”
  • Take a stand in the face of “the blame game” and other theatrics
  • 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 self 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.
Sample of learning benefits for your audience:
  • Experience Michelle’s 7-step process to managing change
  • Develop a repertoire of communication skills to build rapport and achieve buy-in
  • Address the fear of change and the fear of failure
  • Adopt a “can-do” mindset and rise above the naysayers
  • Learn to respond vs react to change and uncertainty
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 culture
  • Discover the “push” and “pull” factors regarding employees’ decisions to stay or leave
  • Create a work environment that fosters talent retention through higher engagement levels
  • Educate managers and leaders in accountability being a two-way street
  • Understand the difference between tangible and intangible workplace motivators in the overall engagement equation


1. Leadership – It Starts with Me
Harness the Power of Personal Leadership

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. When we take the initiative and lead ourselves with greater confidence, we are better equipped to strengthen relationships with leaders, co-workers and customers.

Delivering her message with insight, wit and humor, Michelle’s energizing, informative and popular presentation will remind audiences of the power of personal leadership. They will learn accountability strategies they can use long after the event ends to take the lead, embrace challenges and create their own realities.

2. 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 cataclysmic 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.

During this dynamic presentation, your attendees will learn the core reasons behind resistance, discover strategies to move beyond the “status quo” and anticipate the positive when disruption occurs.

3. Staying Power!
Success Strategies for Resilient Leadership

One can never diminish the influence and impact of great leadership. During uncertain times, people need inspiring leaders who demonstrate confidence, steadiness and genuine interest in the wellbeing of others.

When people are thrown into a new reality, they look to their leaders for hope, encouragement and stability. A leader who is able to role model resilience and share his or her experiences of overcoming adversity can make an immediate, significant difference.

If you are seeking new strategies to help your yourself, your team and your organization, Michelle’s Staying Power presentation will provide a resiliency reboot with practical, engaging, thought-provoking content!

4. Leading In Real Time
How to Drive Success in a Radically Changing World

The world of work is changing. Tech disruptors, generational change, remote work, and the gig economy are creating a world where leaders are no longer revered or feared by their workforce.

If employees are to perceive leaders as trustworthy and effective, leaders must lead in real time rather than fixating on how they led people in the past. Nor can they afford to worry about a future that they cannot control.

Based on innovative teachings from Michelle’s upcoming book, Leading in Real Time, your leaders will learn to expand their thinking from fixed to flexible so they can be ready and relevant to succeed right now!

5. Home Alone
How to Lead, Inspire and Engage Your Remote Team

Working from home has undergone a revolution in the last two decades. However, we are witnessing an even more profound shift in the world of work since the COVID-19 Pandemic. Millions of people are now working remotely out of necessity, not desire. This will become the new norm for many, impacting your culture and permanently changing work patterns.

As you navigate this altered landscape, your leaders will need to be even more prepared and attuned to the wants and needs of remote teams. Attendees will learn the importance of exceptional, real-time communication, high trust and strategies to build strong relationships in a virtual world.

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 Recent Publications

You really WOW-ed everyone with your personal, passionate, and effective take on Customer Service! Many thanks for making such a fantastic first impression on our team here at RBC.

RBC Financial Group

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