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Presentation Topics

Presentations for Leaders, Managers & General Audiences

1. THE POWER OF “YES, AND”

Dr. Ray Smilor is a "yes, and" guy.  He built a remarkable career by saying "yes, and" to opportunity and in the process igniting his own progress.  He said "yes, and" to transitioning his PhD in U.S. History from the University of Texas at Austin to business and became an internationally renowned expert in entrepreneurship.  He said "yes, and" to research and published 15 books, including Daring Visionaries: How Entrepreneurs: Build Companies. Inspire Allegiance, and Create Wealth.  He said "yes, and" to leading organizations and helped to build three--a international research institute, the largest foundation in the world supporting entrepreneurship (the Kauffman Foundation), and an international training company that trained entrepreneurs around the world, including North Africa, the Middle East and Russia. He brings his "yes, and" philosophy to organizations today to help ignite their own progress. 

2. HOW TO BE A MORE CREATIVE PERSON AND MORE INNOVATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVER

Dr. Ray Smilor is a creative and innovative guy.  His tapped his own creative and innovative talents to ignite his progress from a PhD in U.S. history from the University of Texas at Austin to become an award-winning business teacher and an internationally recognized expert in entrepreneurship.  His creativity and innovation shows in his 15 books., including Daring Visionaries: How Entrepreneurs Build Companies, Inspire Allegiance, and Create Wealth. He continually responded to unconventional opportunities by helping to build three outstanding organizations--an international research institute, the largest foundation in the world supporting entrepreneurship (the Kauffman Foundation), and an international training organization that designed and delivered creative and innovative learning programs to entrepreneurs around the world, including North Africa, the Middle East, Russia and Asia.  He brings his approach to creativity and innovation to organizations today to help them ignite their progress by recognizing and utilizing their own creative and innovative talents.

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We encounter the unexpected every day. Plans go astray. Surprises abound. Mistakes happen.  To respond to these developments and to be successful in our personal and professional lives, we need to improvise.  This session enhances our improvisational skills. Through hands-on exercises and peer-to-peer interaction, attendees learn how to: recast their mind-set from “No, but” to “Yes, and”; listen to understand; stay in the moment; and say “Yes, and” to opportunity.

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Each of us is a creative and innovative individual. But we often lose sight of that.  Through an educational system that often discourages our creative juices and through professional experiences that downplay our innovative talents, we forget how remarkably creative and innovative we actually are. This session reignites our own creative and innovative fire. Through experiential exercises and interactive engagement, it focuses on four key factors to make us realize and recognize our innate abilities to be creative and innovative: 1) be willing to be wrong; 2) make unusual connections; 3) learn from mistakes; and 4) see the positive in the negative.

Testimonial >

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Dr Smilor was a fantastic guest presenter at our annual Convention. He really engaged with our audience and made them feel a part of his workshop and they all took something away from his message. Another great piece was how invested he was in his craft, doing research with some attendees before hand to be able to incorporate their efforts into the message. The looks on everyone's faces were great, as they could tell he was fully committed to them during his time there. Everyone who walks away from spending time with Ray Smilor is motivated and ready to tackle what's next.

Michael Larsen

Director, Associations and Membership Operations, United States Bowling Congress

3. BECOMING A BETTER, MORE ACCOMPLISHED AND MORE INSPIRING LEADER

Each of us has the opportunity to make a positive difference in our life and in the lives of others by enhancing our ability to lead.  Leadership is a skill.  It can be honed and improved to increase the chance for success in our personal and professional endeavors. Through a set of interactive worksheets and a self-assessment, this session demonstrates the key elements to become a better leader: 1) be authentic; 2) create trust; and 3) exude optimism.

4. FIVE CRITICAL SKILLS TO BECOME A LUCKIER PERSON

Why do good things seem to happen to some more than others? Why do some have the Midas touch while others do not?  Why are some people luckier than others?  This session makes each attendee a luckier person.  By highlighting practical techniques to increase the chance for success and by demonstrating skills that improve the odds in one’s favor, this session shows attendees how to: connect the unconnectable; be proactive; build networks, know their unique gifts; and master the most-hated skill.

Presentations for Entrepreneurs

 

1. THE DNA OF THE ENTREPRENEUR

 In this session, Ray assess the make-up of the entrepreneur.  Through stories, research and role models, he identifies the elements that crack the entrepreneurial genetic code. His approach to risk, opportunity, passion, proactively and ownership, explains the why and how entrepreneurs upset the status quo, change behavior and alter accepted ways of doing things.

 

2. BORN OR MADE: UNDERSTANDING ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE

Ray confronts the challenge of whether entrepreneurs are born or made, and comes down clearly on the side of "made." With telling examples, wit and wisdom, he emphasizes the roles of entrepreneurs who are necessity-driven or opportunity-driven. He shows how entrepreneurs create new types of organizations, launch new industries, and energetically pursue their own worthy purposes.

3. FIRE IN THE BELLY

What spurs someone to take the calculated risk, to challenge accepted norms and to create something novel and useful? Ray points out the key factors that motivate entrepreneurs to defy the odds, to have the courage to start something new, and to innovate.  With unconventional story-telling, humor and insight, Ray informs and inspires in describing the entrepreneurial process.

4. HOW TO PRESENT TO INVESTORS

Will someone invest in your concept? Will anyone put money into your business? This session details both the form and the content of a really effective presentation to potential investors. It shows how to address the two key questions that every investor has: "Is this a real opportunity? Can I bet on you?" Ray demonstrates how to show customer need and interest on the one hand, and how to effectively communicate your credibility on the other.

5. THE POWERFUL PITCH

 The old adage is that you have one chance to make a first impression. In two minutes, can you spark interest and enthusiasm in you and your venture? Ray shows you how. He emphasizes the essential facts you have to communicate about your enterprise, and he demonstrates how to make your idea stick in the minds of others.  All in two minutes!

Testimonial >

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Our work with Ray was incredibly helpful; he was able to guide our young organization through a stepwise process that provided our entire team a voice and encouraged everyone to participate.  With his expertise, Msomi was able to rework our mission, vision, values, and promise statement quickly and efficiently, all while learning a little about each other and ourselves.  Our team enjoyed our time together and Ray become "one of us" during the workshop; we look forward to continuing our relationship with him into the future and have no qualms recommending his high quality, friendly work to other organizations!

Katherine Fogelberg
Founder/CEO MsoMI Academy for Girls
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