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Michelle Ray

Founder, Lead Yourself First Institute

Michelle Ray is a highly sought-after international business keynote speaker, author and educator who demonstrates a deep understanding of the consequences of low morale and ineffective leadership in the workplace. She speaks passionately about self – actualization, the importance of outstanding leadership in the multigenerational workplace and the responsibility of positive communication and influence.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


The Power of Personal Leadership
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 “stinkin’ thinking”. Whether your group needs an attitude adjustment, tune-up or makeover, audience members experience a memorable, popular keynote as they learn what lies behind a s.m.i.l.e as well as the true meaning of making a difference!

Leading a Team of One
Is leadership the influence you have on others? The respect you get from your peers? Your ability to implement a business strategy? The number of sales you make? Or the number of friends you have on Facebook? Over the course of her professional career, Michelle got hit with two deep recessions that brought her face to face with the true meaning of leadership….the challenge of leading oneself. From starting out as an administrative assistant during the first recession and working her way up to management for 23 regional radio and TV stations…to helping the largest cinema complex in the southern hemisphere increase revenue when everyone else’s budgets were shrinking… to dressing up as Cat Woman to teach her team what it really takes to win business during an economic downturn… Michelle learned that the true test of leadership is how you lead a team of one. Michelle now challenges you to be the leader in your own work and life. Are you tapping into your own innovative potential? Are you leading yourself by demonstrating unwavering confidence in your personal and career decisions in an unpredictable economy? Are you ready to lead the team of one? It all comes back to YOU. Are you ready?

Operation Cooperation: How to lead yourself at work
In these volatile times, teams within every type of organization are grappling with the challenges presented by the different values, attitudes and expectations present in today’s business climate. “Operation Cooperation” offers you a winning strategy to build an outstanding workplace culture where everyone is empowered to communicate, collaborate and connect. In this interactive presentation, the concept of cooperation will be reinforced with an emphasis on the importance of successful internal workplace relationships to achieve an atmosphere of camaraderie and respect. Our external professional relationships are compromised when the spirit of a unified team is lacking. Participants will have the opportunity to refocus, re-energize and be reminded of the value of collective wisdom… prerequisites for outstanding team relationships. Take the lead with your customers The Customer Service revolution is still in full swing! Is your front line staff committed to an “attitude of gratitude” for the business your customers provide? Are they giving a gold-medal performance with every customer experience? The first point of contact can make or break customer relationships within seconds.  Is your team set up to win the seven second challenge with customers? The theme of this exciting keynote address or workshop is based on the reality that almost 70% of customers take their business elsewhere due to an attitude of indifference!

Leading the Generations
The notion of having one job and having it for life does not hold any appeal for the new generation of workers. Those days are gone forever and unless organizations are willing to invest in their people emotionally and financially, the best and brightest will unashamedly seek opportunities elsewhere, leaving you scrambling to replace them. In this context, employers must be willing to rethink existing hiring, mentoring and training practices and let go of old ideas that shaped the traditional organizational structures. In this fun and informative presentation, participants learn how to adjust attitudes regarding the secret to motivating and retaining our workforce to create outstanding intergenerational workplaces. Developing an unbiased viewpoint and flexible approach, coupled with exceptional interpersonal skills and specific methods to keep all team members engaged, productive and satisfied. These are prerequisites for leadership success in managing our human capital.

  • The accolades about your positive and inspirational message are still arriving daily in our mailbox, and it reinforces our feeling that we made a wise speaker selection. We greatly appreciate that you took the time to understand our audience and our needs. This personalization made your impact so much greater to our audience.Your keynote speech was highly energetic, uplifting and dynamic. I have a feeling that your appearance will be hard to top as we begin planning for next year! With your personality, masterful speaking skills and business savvy, you are a rising star and I have no doubt that we will hear your name and see your face many times in the future.

    - Provincial Government HR conference
  • To put it simply, Ms.Ray surpassed all of our expectations. Her presentation was interactive, humorous, fast-paced, informative and deeply moving. Several of our long term employees have mentioned that this was the best presentation they have ever attended at a business meeting. I have received many expressions of heartfelt thanks for her selection. All have indicated that they received "take-aways" that will resonate with them for the remainder of their personal and professional lives. I cannot recommend Ms. Ray more strongly for any organization looking for someone to stimulate both the mind and the heart.

    - Insurance Sector
  • Her commitment to meeting the client's needs has no limit. The delivery of her presentation to an eclectic audience of almost 700 at a time was electric. She presented in a large auditorium, on a large stage that she easily filled with her dynamic personality, high energy, genuine caring and well researched information. The audience ...[was] fully engaged and impressed. The feedback received was excellent. Michelle is a world class professional speaker that I would highly recommend to anyone, anytime.

    - Leadership and Employee Annual Conference, Provincial Healthcare
  • Thank-you again for your efforts in making the closing keynote relevant, inspiring and memorable for the conference attendees. I will remember how being 'cat-woman' is important to breaking out of our natural tendency to be caught up in the day-to-day as well as the reminder to everyone about the importance of considering perspective (apple) when you are speaking to someone.

    - Conference Organizer, WorldatWork

Summary Profile

Michelle Ray is a highly sought-after international business keynote speaker, consultant, author and educator who demonstrates a deep understanding of the importance of self-leadership in business and in life. Born in Australia, Michelle began her career in the media industry during the recession of the early 80’s. She was once told by management that she “didn’t have what it takes” to succeed in the business world. despite a lack of mentors, Michelle was inspired to move up the management ladder to self-employment; creating her own successful international business. She believes that leadership is  a state of mind and helps individuals at any stage of their career to master personal leadership…the ability to take charge of oneself in any situation.

Michelle speaks passionately about self – actualization, the importance of outstanding leadership in the workplace and the responsibility of positive communication and influence. Michelle uses an interactive approach to inspire and captivate the imagination of her audiences.

Michelle’s first training, speaking and consulting company was established in 1995. She subsequently established the Lead Yourself First Institute to help individuals and organizations take the initiative in the face of change and economic uncertainty. Her company’s array of educational training and keynote topics specialize in areas she describes as high demand essentials for professional growth. Michelle also offers in-house business seminars and consulting for leadership development, understanding changing demographics, communication and improving workplace relationships.

Michelle’s book: Lead Yourself First! Breakthrough Strategies to Live the Life You Want is now available. Michelle is a “Certified Speaking Professional” (CSP), the highest-earned designation in the speaking industry. Less than 600 people worldwide have earned this distinction after meeting rigorous criteria established by the National Speakers’ Association. She has been listed in the Who’s Who of Professional Speakers and has worked with a myriad of clientele providing in house seminars and conference presentations.

Her style has been described as refreshing, uplifting, entertaining, informative and amusing with a common sense message. Michelle has received standing ovations for her keynote presentations on personal accountability and workplace morale. Her energy is not limited to the speaking arena. Michelle loves to run and has completed the Vancouver International Marathon.

By hiring Michelle Ray, your organization will bring profound benefits to an individual’s ability to realize his or her full potential; professionally and personally. Her energy, dynamic presentation style and masterful use of humour will motivate your team to reach higher heights and positively impact the “bottom line.” A greater sense of purpose, job satisfaction, and customer retention are “must haves” to survive in today’s work climate. Michelle’s depth of knowledge and powerful message is guaranteed to energize, inform and inspire workplaces across the globe.