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Michelle Ray

Adopt winning strategies to manage talent, take the lead and transform their workplace culture

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Michelle Ray: Adopt winning strategies to manage talent, take the lead and transform their workplace culture Michelle Ray speaks on Creating Engaged Workplaces, Developing Exceptional Leaders and Implementing Practical Strategies to Revitalize Your Workplace Culture.  Michelle challenges her clients and audiences to take charge of themselves, shift perspectives and discover their greatest potential.

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Michelle Ray is a highly sought-after international leadership keynote speaker, entrepreneur, author and educator who advocates the importance of developing leadership and accountability skills, regardless of one’s title. She is committed to helping her clients create engaged workplaces, develop exceptional leaders and implement practical strategies to revitalize their cultures.

Michelle began her career in Australia in media and advertising. From increasing sales revenues of 25 leading Australian radio and television affiliate stations, Michelle helped generate record-breaking revenues for the sales team of the world’s largest cinema advertising contractor in the midst of a severe recessionary climate. With a proven background in achieving outstanding results as a business leader, Michelle has since worked with leaders and teams in diverse industries including finance, insurance, retail, food services, construction, mining, oil and gas, as well as many government, healthcare, education and public sector groups.

In addition to her corporate background, Michelle broadened her leadership experience during her tenure as a program director with Junior Achievement. Michelle secured financial commitments and volunteer support from an array of corporations, facilitating enduring partnerships between youth, entrepreneurs and educators that helped educate future generations about business.
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.

Learning Takeaways:
  • 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.

  • 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

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.

  • 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

No More Drama! Ditch the Dysfunction and Engage Your Workplace
The existence of people challenges of any description 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 offers practical solutions to the most common workplace problems…helping your audience to put a stop to the drama…once and for all.

  • 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
  • Learn the difference between people who have problems and people who are problems
  • Evict the colleagues, managers and others who are living “rent-free” in your head

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?

  • 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

Elevate Your Influence! How to Increase Your Leverage, Strengthen Your Impact and Energize Your Business 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.

  • 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 and supported
  • Apply the power of positive influence with managers and colleagues alike
  • Discover the seven key result areas that are top of mind for every senior executive

Staying Power! Success Strategies for Resilient Leadership
Rethink, Respond, Rebound:
Three Essential Strategies for Success
What makes a person resilient? Can resiliency be taught or are some people better able to rebound from adversity than others? The answers lay 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. 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.

"Thank you for speaking so brilliantly at our summitt in Edmonton.  Your message was the perfect fit for our organization at this time when we are committed to 'being better'.  I am very grateful to you!"
Alberta Pensions Services Corporation

"Michelle spent the day sharing life-skills for problem solving during disagreement, and my only sorrow is that she wasn't there to teach me those skills 25 years ago. Michelle is charismatic, easy to listen to, and FUN! She is hands-down the best speaker I've heard, and her message resonates with me still - it has been of benefit to me in every interpersonal relationship I have."
Northern Alberta Operating Room Nurses Association

"Her interactive, upbeat speech kept the audience on the edge of their seats throughout the entire keynote address. We would not hesitate to contact Michelle Ray again should we require a speaker at any future events."
National Leasing

"A very thought - provoking presentation. This completely changed my perception of issues within my workplace. Now I will make efforts to expend energy positively; not negatively."
Davis & Co. LLP

"What I liked the most was her enthusiasm and passion for the topic of leadership...Her interaction with us... Excellent that she spent time with us the previous night so she had a good perspective on our group"
Safeway Inc.

" I just wanted to say again how much I enjoyed your session at the conference and how so much of it made sense. I feel motivated to take this information back to my co-workers and try to implement it on the front line with our customer interactions."
TD Canada Trust

"Motivating, inspiring and humorous, Michelle's style stimulates introspection and creates a desire to become a better leader for those around you...and for yourself"
Simon Fraser University Co-Op Education Department

"Michelle Ray is a truly professional, engaging and inspirational speaker. She responds very well to the needs of the audience and is well prepared."
Environment Canada
Airlines/ Airlines Services/ Transportation
American Airlines
Cara International
Qantas Airways Ltd
Queensland Department of Transport
Reimer Express Lines
Sunstate Airlines
TT Line
Abbotsford School District
Australian National University
Bellevue Community College
BC Teachers Federation
Camosun College
Coquitlam School District
Everett Community College
Melbourne Girls Grammar
Motorola University
OPS Centre for Leadership and Learning
Simon Fraser University
University of British Columbia
University of Lethbridge
University of Western Sydney
Vancouver School Board

Alberta Environment
Australian Industry Group
BC Assessment
Canada Customs & Revenue Agency
Canada School of Public Service
City of Vernon
City of Victoria
Crown Counsel Office
Department of Indian and Northern Affairs
Federal Department of Justice
Ministry of Community & Social Services
Ministry of Employment & Income Assistance
Ministry of Labor and Citizens' Services
Ministry of Property Assessment Corporation
Ministry of Public Works & Government Services
Ministry of Small Business
Office of the Attorney General
Ontario Mnistry of Transportation
Ontario Public Service
Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
Health Canada
Provincial Health Services Authority
Service Canada
Superior Courts Judiciary

Food and Beverage
Boston Pizza International
Cara Operations Ltd.
Omni Foods
Smith Snack Food Company
SouthCorp Wines
De Bortoli Wines
Liberty Wine Merchants
McDonalds Australia
Safeway Inc.

Flight Centre
Fountain Tire
Metropolis - Metrotown
Lush Cosmetics

Oil and Gas
Ledcor Pipeline
Quicksilver Resources
Shell Canada
HealthCare/ Medical/Dental
Aurum Group
Baxter Healthcare
BBraun Australia
BC Financial Healthcare Professionals
Calgary Health Region
Cairns Base Hospital
Canadian Mental Health Association
Capital Health Halifax
Chinook Health Region
Credit Valley Hospital
David Thompson Health Region
Eye Surgery Foundation
Family Insurance Agency
Health Canada
Laser Sight Australasia
Mater Hospital
Orion Health
Nursing Links Canada
Regina Qu'Appelle health Region
Peace Country Health
Platinum Professional Development
Residence at Belvedere
Royal Brisbane Hospital
Worksafe BC
Yaletown Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Centre
Financial Services/ Insurance/ Legal
BDO Dunwoody
Coast Capital Savings
CIBC Wealth Management
Criminal Justice Branch
Davis LLP
EFTS Financial
Gainsworth Mortgages
Royal Bank
TD Bank
Standard Life Insurance
Gilbert & Tobin
Grant Thornton LLP
Insurance Corporation of BC
KPMG Vancouver
OPSEU Pension Trust
State Super Financial Services

Miscellaneous Associations
Association of Image Consultants International
Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Government
Australian Customer Service Association
Australian Society of Refractive & Cataract Surgeons
Canadian Association of Professional Speakers
Canadian Association of Petroleum & Land Administration
Canadian Banner Users Association
Canadian Payroll Association
Cerified General Accountant's Association of BC
Connecting Environmental Professionals
Healthcare Support Services Association of Alberta
HR Management Association of Manitoba
International Association of Administrative Assistants
Legal Services Society
Local Government Management Association
National Association of Orthopedic Nurses
NZ Retailer Association
NZ Retail Meat
Meeting Industry Association of Australia
Pedorthic Association of Canada
Project Management Institute
Operating Room Nurses Association of Alberta
Operating Room Nurses Association of Northern Alberta
US Society of Human Resource Management Association
Vancouver Island Economic Development Fund
Woman's Business Network