LimeLight Group

Michelle Ray

Speaker, Author, and Leadership Expert
Vancouver, British Columbia

What Michelle is Passionate About

It’s Time to Take the Lead: How to Lead Yourself First at Work, in Business and in Life 

Being successful in our careers, workplaces and in life requires the capacity to focus on what we can control. The pressures of everyday life often inhibit the opportunity to be the best version of ourselves. Negative news reports are broadcast daily. Whether we “buy in” and respond in a similar fashion, however, is a choice.

During 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.

In this dynamic presentation, Michelle provides audiences with strategies and solutions for taking the lead, no matter what the economic circumstances or one’s title may be.

Delivering her message with insight, wit and humor, she incorporates the business and life lessons described in her recently-released book: Lead Yourself First, to motivate, educate and inspire your group to move through change, take risk, and create their own reality.

Are you tapping into your own innovative potential? Are you leading yourself by demonstrating the best version of yourself on every occasion? We should never underestimate our own personal power. Are you ready to take charge of your career and your personal destiny? It all begins with you.

No More Drama! How to Build High Engagement, High Morale and a Happier 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 offers practical solutions to the most common workplace problems…helping your audience to put a stop to the drama…once and for all.

The Power of Personal Leadership: Attitude Makes the Difference 

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 negative thinking. Whether your group needs an attitude adjustment, tune-up or makeover, audience members experience a memorable, popular keynote as they learn to practice personal leadership, as well as the true meaning of making a difference!

Elevate Your Influence! How to Increase Your Leverage, Strengthen Your Impact and Energize Your Business Relationships 

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

Women, Leadership and the Strategic Advantage 

The contribution of women strengthening team dynamics cannot be underestimated. Recent studies in Harvard Business Review found that a business group’s collective I.Q increased significantly with women on the team. The evidence confirms that the appointment of women to leadership positions contributes to the opportunity for significant business growth.

Leaders at every level are uniquely positioned to exert positive, proactive influence. Organizations that are embracing the pace of change by recognizing the strengths of women and the benefits of a collaborative team spirit will continue to be the most sought-after places to work. Savvy businesses recognize that women possess a unique set of skills in critical areas such as decision-making and superior communication. As women leaders, these latest trends represent an opportunity to help others develop a proactive mindset…one that appreciates similarities and celebrates differences.

During this dynamic presentation, your audience will learn how to showcase the strategic advantage for women leaders, and leaders as a whole, within their organization.

Leading Yourself Through Change and Uncertainty 

In recent times, the world economy has taken us on an unforgettable rollercoaster ride; the likes of which few of us have ever experienced. We look to our employers hoping for job security and to our leaders for inspiration. We aspire to a prosperous, stable future for ourselves and our families and have an intrinsic desire to remain optimistic in the face of so much uncertainty.

Yet, the stress of doing more than just surviving; financially, professionally and emotionally has become a struggle. We begin doubting ourselves and our capacity to be the leaders of our own lives. We feel powerless in the face of uncertainty. We become overwhelmed by the pressure of taking responsibility for all our decisions. Instead, we opt for the status quo because staying stuck is easier than creating change. We have forgotten how to remain true to ourselves in order to realize a gratifying living experience.

In this powerful keynote presentation, audiences will discover why we overlook this simple truth… We can control our own reality.

Leading The Generations: Adjusting attitudes for outstanding, collaborative workplaces 

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.

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 self 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.

Sample of learning benefits for your audience:

-Experience Michelle’s 7-step process to managing change

-Develop a repertoire of communication skills to build rapport and achieve buy-in

-Address the fear of change and the fear of failure

-Adopt a “can-do” mindset and rise above the naysayers

-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?

Sample of learning benefits for your audience:

-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



Why You Need Michelle

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, and now residing in Vancouver, Canada, 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 helps individuals at any stage of their career to master personal leadership…the ability to take charge of oneself first 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 her training and development division, 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 customized educational training programs specializes in areas she describes as high demand essentials for professional growth. Michelle also offers in-house workshops, as well as consulting and coaching for leadership development, workplace relationships, and personal growth.

Michelle is a “Certified Speaking Professional” (CSP), the highest-earned designation in the speaking industry. Less than 700 people worldwide have earned this distinction after meeting rigorous criteria established by the National Speakers’ Association. She was awarded the “Presentation Mastery Award” from the Vancouver Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. Michelle 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. In 2012 she reached the Top Ten of North America’s Next Greatest Speaker Contest. Earlier in her career, she was recognized as the #1 speaker in Canada for the world’s largest international public seminar company.

Michelle’s refreshing, uplifting and common-sense message has inspired thousands of audiences with her simple yet powerful premise: Leadership is a first and foremost a state of mind. Her 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.

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Why You Will Love Michelle

“Michelle Ray’s presentation was great and she is wonderful in front of a group – very engaging.  Her message was simple and powerful.  Definitely 5 stars.  People loved her breakout session too.  Moreover, she was a great sport – mingled at dinner and even hit the dance floor – people loved that!”

Elaine Leclerc
IBEW Local 37

“Medavie Blue Cross received rave reviews from delegates. 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. Your professionalism from our first meeting to your support on-site was very much appreciated and I hope to have the pleasure of working together again in the near future.”

Shannon Hunter
Strategic Marketing Consultant - Group Marketing Medavie Blue Cross

“With an engaging and dynamic presence, Michelle delivered a thought-provoking presentation at Nova Scotia’s 2013 Silver Economy Summit about the “Power of Personal Leadership’” i.e. the importance of having a positive mindset and approaching life proactively instead of reactively.

Michelle’s message is both relevant and timely – as leaders in multiple sectors, such as government, business and community, are encouraged to be proactive and seize the ever-changing opportunities presented by the demographic shift. She is attuned to, and responsive, to her client’s needs, delivers the content with ease, and has the ability to hold the audience and inspire – long after the message is delivered!”

Margaret Ann Bruhier MSW
RSW Senior Policy Analyst NS Department of Seniors

“For the next few days that we were all together everyone was still talking about how wonderful your presentation was. It wasn’t about fancy slides but just completely about how you own your future. Everyone could so relate to what you were saying. You certainly inspired our team!”

Joanne Wilson-McCallum
Strategic Program Manager, Learning and Development Xerox Canada Ltd

“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

“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

“The positive energy that you brought into that room was infectious and your energetic presentation style and sense of humor had our attendees laughing, (and almost crying at one point) and nodding in agreement!”

Karen Johnston
CMP Canadian Payroll Association, Pacific Region

“After an initial briefing session, Michelle prepared meticulously for our event, research the industry and interviewing a number of consultants to ensure she understood some of the key issues in a business analyst’s role, as well as the terminology that would resonate with our audience.”

Anne Kaiser
Conference Manager Business Analyst World Australia

“When I looked on the agenda and saw that the keynote address was going to be 75 minutes, I cringed. However, the time flew by and I loved the speech! I could have listened to Michelle for longer.”

Canada Revenue Agency

“The positive empowerment that was noticeable in staff at the end of the day has carried forward into our workplace. Many staff are using your ‘hot ideas’. Thank you again for a tremendous workshop.”

Thea Seabrook
Academic Registrar University of Western Sydney

“Michelle Ray is a talented, gifted speaker. She immediately connected with close to 200 attendees and held their attention from start to finish. The leadership team and employees experienced a very positive, fun, engaging, and valuable session. We learned skills that will enhance our professional and personal lives. Michelle’s exceptional professional standards were evident in her research prior to the event and in the content delivered at the event.”

Robert Jorssen
Executive Director, Corporate Management Branch, Pacific Region RCMP


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