NSB Logo Michelle Ray Michelle Ray

Michelle Ray


Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Leadership Expert & Accountability Catalyst

Michelle Ray is the CEO and Founder of the Real Time Leadership Academy and Lead Yourself Enterprises. She is an award- winning business keynote speaker, author and educator who has worked renowned global brands and diverse corporate clientele, including group insurance providers, as well as the government sector and small business.

Michelle has taught leadership skills to the Australian Army, the FBI and the RCMP, and is especially interested in equipping leaders to be the best versions of themselves, so that they can empower their people to blossom and grow into the leaders of tomorrow.

With more than twenty-five years of experience researching leadership, accountability, change and workforce trends, Michelle has a deep understanding of new realities demanding our attention.

Keynote Speeches

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. 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 keynote 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.

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 market conditions, it isn’t unusual for organizations to tighten their collective belts and become even more risk-adverse. Adapting to a rapidly changing business environment is expected, yet many people feel even more afraid. On the other hand, it is equally concerning to lull ourselves into a false sense of security during positive times. Innovative thinking is essential, regardless of the economic climate.

During this dynamic, interactive and content-rich keynote, your attendees will learn the core 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.

The Transformational Leader: Be Bold. Be Real. Be Ready.

Today’s emerging workforce are craving authentic experiences from their employers and preferred brands. In a world driven by rapid technological change, the human factor remains at the core of successful business and consumer relationships. Leaders who are relatable, transparent and real provide a unique, competitive advantage. When teams can openly communicate with their leaders regarding their career path, personal aspirations and direction of the business, they feel appreciated, heard, understood and included.  The capacity of your leaders to lead with vision and transform their thinking are the greatest differentiators in dealing with change, engagement and retention.

Authenticity is an essential character trait that leaders need to develop in order to build trusting relationships with their teams.  Research confirms the direct correlation between leaders who lead with humility and employees’ levels of trust, engagement and productivity. In addition, when leaders demonstrate self-awareness, vision, competency and overall proficiency, employees experience a heightened sense of assurance regarding the future of the enterprise.

Michelle’s presentation helps leaders to meaningfully connect with their diverse teams, forge positive relationships, improve talent retention, boost engagement levels and increase acceptance regarding change initiatives. Attendees will leave the session inspired to become the transformational leader with greater self-awareness; ready to step out of his or her comfort zone and successfully lead the emerging workforce into the future.

Retain The Best. Confront the Rest. | Build a Dynamic Environment Where Employees Can Thrive

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 the opportunity and leave you scrambling to replace them. They won’t accept complacency in their leaders or teams‚ and neither should you.

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 prospect

Elevate Your Influence | Communicate Your Vision in a Way That Gets Noticed

There has never been a better time for leaders and managers in all industry sectors 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 your goals purposely and powerfully begins with you. You will leave with new ideas and strategies to energize workplace relationships at all levels…with tangible, long-term results.

Audience reviews:

  • We don’t have the evals yet, but my sense it that it went very well! The audience seemed very engaged, and she had a good turnout for the book signing. It was great to have her! - Director, Education and Outreach – Canada, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
  • Our HR Leaders were quite impressed with Michelle. She brought great energy to the event and there were lots of laughs as well. She really took the time to understand our audience to ensure the presentation was relevant to them. - Senior Manager, Communications | HR Strategy | Royal Bank of Canada
  • Michelle crafted a customized educational session for our Chapter Meeting that incorporated inspiring stories, interactive elements, and great take-aways for leadership from within and banishing drama from the workplace. She was an absolute joy to work with and the response from the attendees was overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. The board was very happy with the session and I’m glad we achieved our goal with the tight turn around. I would recommend Michelle for any group looking for a dynamic, high-energy educational session.

    - Director of Education & Events, PCMA Canada West
  • You immediately understood exactly where we were going, made sure to adapt to our reality to the point of going to the Vancouver station to meet VIA employees, listened to the presenters before yours, adapted your message to the audience, energized everyone in the room and got them on their feet. You were amazing!
    - Senior Advisor, Organizational Development, VIA Rail Canada
  • You kicked off our event with such an inspiring, motivating, fun and thought provoking keynote address. The ideas you taught us resonated with attendees throughout the day as we discussed the behaviours and attitudes associated with poor and great leadership. Moreover, it set the tone to commit to action plans that will take our organization to the next level.

    - Sr. Business Specialist, Digital Workspace Services, Employee Technology Experience Team Bank of Montreal
  • Thank you for a fabulous keynote!!! The standing ovation was much deserved and you were a huge asset to the event. I look forward to the opportunity to work with you again!

    - External Events Manager, Re/Max Integra
  • Outstanding performance! Super content with great delivery! Many thanks for sharing your talents, your wisdom and your energy.

    - President and CEO, White Spot

Speaker Biography

Born in Australia and now residing in Vancouver, Canada, Michelle Ray is an award-winning leadership business keynote speaker, entrepreneur, author, and educator. With more than twenty-five years of experience researching leadership, change and workforce trends, Michelle has a deep understanding of new realities demanding the attention of leaders. She has worked with renowned global brands and diverse corporate clientele, including group insurance providers, as well as the government sector and small business. Michelle is the author of two books: Lead Yourself First! Indispensable Lessons in Business & in Life and Leading in Real Time: How to Drive Success in a Radically Changing World. She has appeared as a guest on numerous podcasts, TV and current affairs programs. Michelle was inducted into the Canadian Speakers Hall of Fame in December 2021.