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Speaker Michelle Ray

Michelle Ray

Inspiring People & Organizations to Succeed & Take the Lead


According to a recent Gallop survey, only thirteen percent of employees are actively engaged and satisfied in their chosen vocation. High levels of disenchantment and frustration impact productivity and performance, as many seek a greater connection to their work and life purpose. For more than twenty years leadership speaker Michelle Ray has helped thousands of audiences as well as organizations of every description to take the lead, get out of their comfort zones and develop the willingness to risk. Delivering her powerful message on self-leadership with insight, humour, and passion, Michelle’s engaging, interactive, presentations resonate with a diverse clientele who are seeking to inspire their teams and take personal responsibility for creating their own reality at work, in business and in life.

Michelle began her career in the media industry with one of Australia’s leading broadcasting networks. She worked her way up the management ladder and was responsible for the sales revenues of 25 radio and television affiliate stations, and was subsequently hired by one of the world’s largest cinema advertising contractors to lead the company’s sales team and was also responsible for successfully generating record–breaking revenues during a severely depressed economic climate.

In addition to her corporate background, Michelle broadened her leadership experience during her tenure as a program director with Junior Achievement, an internationally renowned non-profit organization committed to educating future generations about business. She secured financial commitments and volunteer support from an array of corporations, facilitating enduring partnerships between youth, entrepreneurs and educators.

Michelle has delivered her powerful messages on leadership, accountability and engaged workplaces to the “C-Suites” of global corporations, academia, diverse associations, government groups, as well as front-line staff. Her client list includes notable brands such as Proctor and Gamble, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Shell, Xerox, PayPal, Qantas Airways, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Playboy Enterprises and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Having addressed thousands of audiences across five continents, Michelle’s combination of wit, masterful humor, practical content and an engaging, interactive style resonates with a diverse clientele seeking to inspire, educate and captivate the imagination of their leaders and teams.

Michelle is the author of Lead Yourself First! Indispensable Lessons in Business and in Life. She has appeared as a guest on numerous news and current affairs programs including CBC Radio, CTV, Global TV and was featured in esteemed publications such as Investor’s Business Daily, The National Post, Huffington Post, BC Business and Inc Magazine. Michelle is a regular contributor for The Globe and Mail’s Leadership Lab Column.


Change / Disruption
Corporate Culture
Customer Service/Customer Loyalty
Generational Issues
Impostor Syndrome

Why Speaker Michelle Ray adds value to your conference:

  • Proven track record as a seasoned presenter at corporate and association meetings throughout North America as well as internationally since 1995

  • Renowned business motivational speaker for numerous annual conferences and professional development day events

  • Qualified as a “Certified Speaking Professional”, the National Speakers Association’s highest – earned designation held by less than 10% of members

  • Undertakes due diligence with in-depth research prior to every engagement

  • Consistently engages audiences with humour, passion and a powerful message

  • Delivers a return on investment with solid content; tailored for each client

Michelle Ray's Speaking Presentations:

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.

Expected outcomes for attendees

  • 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

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 or breakout session offers practical solutions to the most common workplace problems…helping your audience to put a stop to the drama…once and for all.

Learning objectives and benefits for attendees:

  • 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

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.

Expected learning outcomes for attendees:

  • 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

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?

Expected learning outcomes for attendees:

  • 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

Michelle Ray is represented by K&M Productions. To inquire about Michelle Ray's speaking schedule, fees & booking speaker Michelle Ray, contact us.

What Clients are Saying

You really WOW-ed everyone with your personal, passionate, and effective take on Customer Service! Many thanks for making such a fantastic first impression on our team here at RBC.

–RBC Financial Group


You really WOW-ed everyone with your personal, passionate, and effective take on Customer Service! Many thanks for making such a fantastic first impression on our team here at RBC.

–RBC Financial Group

We LOVED Michelle!! Her “No More Drama” workshop was exactly what our members needed. Michelle is an amazing lady and so warm and sincere. We didn’t want to see her leave.

–Beverly Leavitt, CEO Canada East Equipment Dealers' Association

To put it simply, Michelle surpassed all of our expectations. Her presentation was interactive, humorous, fast-paced, informative and deeply moving. I cannot recommend Michelle more strongly to any organization looking for someone to stimulate and move both the mind and the heart.

–Michael Hancock, Director, Employee Relations ICBC

Michelle provided our audience with a wealth of powerful tools to take back to their staff that was positive, uplifting and overwhelmingly engaging.

–Paul Myers, Director of Education HBMA

You have a wonderful ability to connect with your audience in a way that holds their attention throughout. Your presentation style, vocabulary and props all aid in delivering a powerful message - one of personal leadership where we are each individually responsible for the attitudes in the workplace and we all have the ability to control our own environment. Our group, comprised of the 70+ senior partners and managers of our firm, attended this retreat with a view to looking ahead and planning, strategically, to grow our business. Your presentation gave them a very valuable piece of the puzzle. We all know how important and valuable staff is to any business success; you emphasized this message while giving these partners and managers some very simple tools in the way of delegation and feedback that they can easily implement to reward and retain their key people.

–BDO Dunwoody

We really enjoyed your presentation. I especially liked how your presentation fit so well with our conference theme. Great job. Thank you so much for starting our conference off in such a positive way and for helping us make it a great success.

–Health & Safety Conference Society of Alberta (HSCSA)

She held her audience of 180+ captive with her high energy, blunt honesty, witty observations and pertinent advice. I have received scores of emails and phone calls from consultants telling me what a positive impact Michelle had on them and how her message was just what was needed. We definitely ended our weekend on a high note by having Michelle energize and re-focus our people!

–Flight Centre

Michelle's presentation was very engaging, well delivered and highly motivating. Loved the 7 steps to managing change - very practical and spot on! Michelle was excellent and we really enjoyed her. She was a great close for our conference!

–Ontario Hospital Association

Michelle takes the time to really understand her audience and frame her remarks in a manner that is meaningful and specific to them. Our team came away from her keynote speech feeling heard and understood.

–Tim Manning Regional VP, Commercial Financial Services Royal Bank of Canada

Your keynote session “The Power of Personal Leadership” was certainly humorous, engaging, energized, and reinforced the importance of positive thinking in today’s work landscape, a truly wonderful way to start any conference.

–Shannon Hunter Strategic Marketing Consultant - Group Marketing Medavie Blue Cross

The content of your material was very relevant. There was a buzz around the room throughout the session. You have exceeded our expectations.


Ms. Ray presented at ICBC's Annual Human Resource and Corporate Law Business Meeting on the topic of Personal Leadership in the Multigenerational Workplace. As Ms. Ray was following a series of speakers addressing 'nuts and bolts' issues for the Corporation, we were looking for a speaker who would be both fun and relevant to our everyday work. To put it simply, Ms. Ray surpassed all of our expectations. Her presentation was interactive, humorous, fast paced, informative and deeply moving. As a organizer of the meeting, I have received many heartfelt expressions of thanks for her selection. Our feedback has been uniformly and overwhelmingly positive. Several of our long-term employees have mentioned that this was the best presentation they have ever attended at a business related meeting. All have indicated that they received 'take-aways' which will resonate with them for the remainder of their professional and personal lives. I cannot recommend Ms. Ray more strongly for any organization looking for someone to stimulate and move both the mind and the heart.

–Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

Our departmental training team spent a lot of time researching and then selecting a speaker for our annual session and did it ever pay off! We've already noticed a more positive attitude from staff, and that is thanks to you.

–City of Victoria



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