Is booking Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner and survivor of a brutal attack for the crime of going to school as a girl, a stretch this year? For some straight talk about how we can help ourselves by helping others, you might consider.

man smiling, wearing dark blue long sleeve button up shirtJames Beck

Profile: James Beck gave away everything he owned and set out on a journey to serve someone in all 50 states. In this social experiment, he asked those he served to pay-it-forward, starting an incredible domino effect in kindness.  He encourages others to live a life of giving, which reveals how a “service mindset” leads to true happiness and relationship fulfillment.

Topics: The power of paying-it-forward, kindness, gratitude and serving others

Agency: Upside Speakers

One thing you hope attendees take away from your time on stage?

The key to optimizing individuals and groups (families, organizations, associations, institutions, and businesses) and turning them into collaborative communities is living by giving.

Right now, we have an identity crisis. Over the pandemic, we have forgotten who we are and joined the cult of the individual—I, me, mine. This detached perspective overrides our awareness of unity and how humanity fits together. The illusion of our separateness prevents us from understanding the truth and necessity of our interdependence. We can’t confront this problem without dealing with our illusions of separation.

Simply put–we forgot how to live with each other. The good news is that ‘Living by Giving’ is a simple tool—a coping mechanism—that is so powerful that it has been proven to increase happiness, innovation and motivation. It improves physical and mental health and strengthens any relationship you choose. This tool leverages the mirror neurons in our brains, positively affecting all observers and growing our community.

Imagine enjoying your work because people work well with one another, coworkers take fewer sick days, your time is appreciated, and you are happy. Living by giving is how we all arrive at the good life together!

How did Covid change your approach to connecting with audiences?

 Over the last decade, I’ve focused on serving military commanders and at-risk youth leaders in helping solve their suicide epidemic. During the pandemic, anxiety and mental wellness issues skyrocketed across the globe. Survival depended on our isolation, which drove us nuts because we are social creatures. Being isolated at home removed our relationships, made us depressed and gave us anxiety. We didn’t know what to do, so we tried everything and made mistakes. Many became bitter because they believed others were too restrictive or not restrictive enough. Rage reigned. Grace and understanding got lost. Blame became the name of the game.

As a society, we forgot how to reconnect and grow a stronger civilization from difficult experiences. The world spiraled out of control and pushed my area of focus throughout mainstream culture and business, which exponentially increased the value of my message. My agent discovered me on a podcast and asked to represent me. All these things together inspired me to turn my part-time passion for public speaking into a full-time profession.

In short, Covid inspired my public speaking career.

What do you want meeting planners to know about working with you?

I aim to serve you and your audience better than anyone will ever serve them.

In 2011, when I gave everything away and set out on a yearlong pay-it-forward journey across America to serve someone in every state, it wasn’t to be seen, known, or understood. I gave up a successful life in Los Angles to see, know, and understand how to be a better man. My journey has been around for thousands of years. It isn’t new; it’s ancient. However, the unique thing I did was record it. I recorded everything so it would be possible for others to believe.

This experience grew me into a person who has words worthy of being listened to. I’ve reviewed the footage (and continued serving) for the past decade to distill the best lessons so that I could offer something priceless to humanity: How to replace anxiety with happiness, connection and creativity.

I’ll go over and above to make your event successful.  You will be proud of hiring me and feel, “That was a great deal!”

woman wearing black sleeveless shirt in front of pink backgroundKate Patay, CPCE

Profile: Event design, production and marketing strategist, international speaker, hospitality and leadership pro, SEARCH chairwoman, Meetings Mean Business ambassador, connector, mentor, travel enthusiast

Topics: Powerful communication tools for women, critical leadership, hard reset, elevating the industry, creating team culture

Agency: Self

One thing you hope attendees take away from your time on stage?

You’re not alone in how you’re feeling. If attendees can take away even one actionable item that helps them to be a better leader, a better employee, a better friend, client or person overall then that means I’ve done my job. Not everyone needs to work on the same pieces of themselves, so if each individual walks away with the tools to implement a change in themselves, I consider it a win.

How did Covid change your approach to connecting with audiences?

As a speaker, you always want to be engaging and include the audience as much as possible, and Covid offered the perfect opportunity to create dialogue and discussion versus just speaking at your audiences. It helped to raise more voices so we could discuss the important matters at hand and give people the tools that they needed to not only survive but to thrive. It opens the door for real conversation…meaningful conversation.

What do you want meeting planners to know about working with you?

Working with me is radically transparent. Sharing event goals and messaging early on to work together towards our common objective helps us to design the perfect presentation that resonates with every single attendee. And if you would like us as speakers to engage throughout the conference at different points to help hear what audiences are looking for and also connect with them one on one, we most likely will say yes. Adding that extra touch point can help attendees to feel heard and included in the overall event.

woman with glasses smilingHolly Duckworth, CAE, CMP, CWMF

Profile: As a contributor to The New York Times, producer and host of the Everyday Mindfulness Show, trainer, speaker and executive director, Holly Duckworth started her career in non-profits and curates experiential events that change hearts, minds and companies using a combination of strategic vision and mindful leadership practices.

Topics: Emotional Intelligence, Mental Health in the Workplace, Workplace Mindfulness, Stress Management, Work/life Balance, Women in Leadership/Business

Agencies: Denver Speakers Bureau, Powell Kohne & Associates (Programs are pre-approved for education credit with ASAE, MPI, EIC, and National Association of REALTORS)


One thing you hope attendees take away from your time on stage?

We never know how stress is going to show up at work and how frequently. I want attendees to feel empowered to use the techniques I teach them in a way that makes them feel less stressed and more successful. “While participating in Holly’s Everyday Mindfulness program and experiential meditation I was able to watch my heartbeats/minute stress go down 20 points. Mindfulness is  a skill I will be integrating into my workday starting tomorrow.” Statements like this, from a recent attendee are why I do what I do.

After experiencing my program, attendees walk away with a sense of calm in the chaos, empowered to take the next step. Attendees gain a toolkit of practical tools they can use to increase their mental well-being and workplace productivity. I want attendees to let go of any stigma or misunderstanding about what mindfulness is and be willing to try it. I inspire attendees to cultivate a positive mindset that helps them adapt to workplace changes unlocking their highest potential.

How did Covid change your approach to connecting with audiences?

Covid increased the urgency and need for my expertise in mindfulness and leadership online and in person. The stress of Covid and its aftermath allows me to connect in a more personalized way with both meeting professionals and their audiences around the world. People are more willing to be vulnerable about what they are feeling and how those feelings are disrupting workplace outcomes. CEOs and meeting professionals desire simple, effective solutions. I educate them on those solutions. Time pressures and multi-tasking are resulting in more varied lengths of sessions from 15 minutes to multi-day sessions.

Covid expanded my access to industries that may not normally talk about wellness from manufacturing, health care and financial services to roofing and real estate. As a result, 100% of my programs infuse real-life stories that are relatable. Each session has an experiential and conversational moment.  While I teach the neuroscience of mindfulness science, it is done in a way that is approachable. My post-Covid programs are less PowerPoint and more power of human connection. Time is more valuable now, so I do not just talk about well-being at work and give participants homework. We start the transformation in the sessions.

What do you want meeting planners to know about working with you? 

Meeting professionals know when booking programs with me connecting with them and delivering outcomes for the audience is my priority. I work with meeting planners to determine exactly what the audience’s current state is (overwhelm, loneliness, frustration, burnout, exhaustion). Then I curate a program that delivers on that promise. Working with the team at Leadership Solutions International is, well, mindful. We are present to your needs without judgment in a way that takes stress off you and delivers on the contract every time.

As a bonus, planner partners tell me all that they like knowing I am a confidential place, that when asked are happy to help them with their own mental health and leadership skills as well. It’s very common to see my clients sneak into the back of one of my chaos-to-calm sessions for their own workplace wellness moment.


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