Change Management Keynote Speaker
Unless you’re segueing into a David Bowie sing-a-long (“Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!”), your team probably isn’t thrilled when you say, “We’re going to be making some changes.”
Sure, we all know change can be a good thing. Without it, Walmart would still be a 5 and Dime, Amazon would just be a rainforest, and Keanu Reeves would still be trapped in the Matrix.
In business and in life, change is an exciting and necessary part of staying ahead of the competition.
But transition can also be frightening and frustrating. We tend to assume the worst, even when we know why shifts are happening and how carefully they were planned.
A change in processes can improve performance and streamline workload. But for many team members who are comfortable with the old process, the time and energy needed to learn a new way of doing things can seem to outweigh the benefits of the change.
Changes in personnel are part of doing business—maybe you’re growing and need to expand, or your long-time CEO is retiring. In either case, many team members and investors will feel more nervous than excited about the transition.
A change in systems is a semi-annual occurrence for many businesses. Software is constantly evolving, and companies often host huge user conferences to help roll out updates or new systems. Software is a part of our everyday lives, and a big change can be like waking up in someone else’s pajamas: confusing and uncomfortable.
Change happens in every industry. Sometimes you’re leading the charge. Other times you’re more of a liaison, implementing someone else’s recommendations or policies. In either case, chances are you’re the one who will hear about it if people aren’t happy with the shifts.
Whatever transition is taking place, the real challenge is managing the emotional response of the people who are affected. You want to maintain and grow the confidence of your staff and shareholders, and that means getting them to buy into the changes you’re making.
As a professional keynote speaker, I address the human element of change. I know that the fastest way to get someone to accept a transition is to recognize and respond to their emotional output.
I also know that there’s no better place to engage people than a fun, face-to-face setting. Your next conference or meeting is an opportunity to address change and introduce a new perspective. Even if you’re just looking for a lighthearted message to unify your team or raise the energy in the room after a long lunch or particularly dry presentation (The Science of Shipping Fruit: E=mc Pears, for example), finding an engaging speaker shows your audience you appreciate and understand their concerns.
What Kind of Speaker Do You Need?
Change can be especially hard in industries which are constantly in states of flux, like healthcare, pharmaceuticals, insurance, finance, and digital marketing (to name just a few). There’s always a new process or system to learn. And like Superman with a calculator, it can quickly add up.
To help facilitate change and get the buy-in of your users, investors, and team members, you need a keynote speaker who can deliver a fun, entertaining message.
It’s not possible for any speaker to completely shift a company’s culture in an hour-long keynote. But the right speaker can help even the most reluctant group engage with the topic and think about it in a new way. And when everyone is working toward the same goal, you can get there faster.
Tim O’Shea: The Agent of Change
I help organizations overcome resistance to change by providing entertaining and valuable insights on why we behave in certain ways and why we respond to change the way we do.
Specifically, I talk about the reactions and thought patterns we’re all hard-wired to have during times of change, and how those thinking habits can interfere with our ability to stay focused and make good decisions.
Of course, I’d be the target of snarling looks aplenty if I just came in and told your audience they’re thinking wrong…that would just be foolish (and as John Cleese said, “I may be an idiot, but I’m no fool.”). That’s why I use audience engagement to show your audience how maladaptive thinking habits can work their way into how we react and respond to change.
I then provide a practical, applicable method people can use to navigate and reframe worrisome or defensive thoughts and emotions. Instead of telling your team to look at things differently, I show them how to do it and why it’s so important (both for the organization and in their own lives).
When we can see how we react to small changes in a fun setting, we can apply those learnings to our professional communication and performance.
Why am I qualified to speak about change?
First, I’ve experienced change myself, both personally and professionally…everything from surviving agonizing, drawn-out company mergers to simply having to decide it’s time for new socks. On top of that, I’m a human behavior specialist with 17 years of corporate experience (nearly a decade of those in HR, management, and organizational psychology), with additional certifications and training in tactical, intelligence, and law enforcement techniques.
I’ve been a professional speaker since the early 2OOOs. I’ve spent the last decade in particular researching and studying change—why it happens, how people react to it, and the best ways to implement it.
Change is a normal part of business—why should we hire an outside speaker?
You’re absolutely right: change is a part of business! Just look at the results from the latest U.S. CEO Survey conducted by KPMG:
- 2 out of 3 CEOs are worried their business isn’t doing enough to disrupt current business models.
- 9 out of 10 CEOs are concerned about customer loyalty, but less than half believe they’re adapting quickly enough to keep up with customer expectations.
- 2 out of 3 CEOs are turning to new partnerships for a competitive edge, with a similar number looking to acquire new technologies.
- 4 out of 10 CEOs believe their organization is going to transition into a significantly different entity.
These aren’t small adjustments, like a new coffee pot or building renovations. These are big ideas which require changes to processes, personnel, and the systems your team uses every day.
Investing in change management now can reduce costs and boost revenue by increasing the speed and effectiveness of a transition and ensuring you meet projected goals. With the right strategy, you can:
- Increase productivity and quality of work
- Reduce loss of valued personnel and customers
- Establish a history of successfully implemented changes to increase confidence
- Boost morale and reduce stress or fatigue
- Keep projects or roll-outs on schedule
- Reach efficiency, revenue, and market-share goals
Projects with “excellent” change management in place are six times more likely to meet objectives than projects with “poor” strategies and guidance in place, according to an analysis of 2,700 change practitioners.
How do you tailor your presentation to fit different industries?
While my messaging and content remains consistent with each audience to whom I present, I will acknowledge certain issues of significance to a particular group if it is appropriate to do so. Most importantly, I address the human component and how we respond to change; I have found these dynamics are universal, regardless of the specific shifts taking place. Whichever the case, I always do a pre-conference phone call to see what you need and what changes have been taking place in your organization and industry.
In some cases, I may even recommend one of my other keynotes as a way to address specific changes or groups within your organization:
Booking Your Event
Do you need a funny, engaging, reliable keynote speaker to help address change in your organization or industry?
I’ve presented for audiences of all sizes, from small conferences of 100-200 people to large conventions with 1500-2000 in the crowd.