Public speaking can be terrorizing for some … but for over 25 years, I’ve been a student of the most powerful techniques to deliver practical strategies that your audience can easily understand and immediately put to work.
It’s not always easy … and complex subjects are even more challenging to simplify … and they’re often flubbed by a speaker who is trying to do too much … too many slides, bullets read verbatim to the audience, narrative components are snooze-worthy, etc.
My presentations include compelling slides that have rich visual content, variety and tasteful humor.
I use a variety of powerful images, pictures and video and audio clips to enrich the audience experience and drive home the key points in a practical and memorable way.
I have had the privilege of speaking in venues across the country, and am currently expanding my public speaking schedule.
In general, these topics have been developed for middle market businesses, most often defined as companies that range in size from $5 – $200 million in annual revenue.
The topics are equally relevant to groups of smaller businesses who are devoted to growth, leadership development and superior performance.
As you can see from the detail below, the subject matter fits the Exkalibur mission, which promotes Excellence at the Intersection of Strategy, Finance & Leadership.
All of these topics can be modified or integrated in a variety of ways for your audience.
What follows is an overview of the topics on which I have spoken at private and public events, including nationally-sponsored events in which I have participated.
Presentations about Leadership Lessons cover a wide range of issues. Some of them have focused on Key Leadership Indicators to help business executives be the best leaders they can be.
I have spoken to commercial banks and their clients on a broad range of subjects. Two of the most powerful presentations included Practical Strategies for Turbulent Times, focusing on the Double V of Big Volatility and small visibility to discuss 5 valuable concepts to help business leaders deal with this challenging economy. A follow up presentation, Planning for Success in Turbulent Times, was focused in helping companies organize an Action Plan to take charge of the things they can control and not be distracted by the vagaries of the national economy.
I have also organized and lead several national webinars. Over 200 people attended our Free Live Webcast in 2009, Hope is not a Strategy: Driving Success in Turbulent Times. You can check out the Podcast and find a summary of those slides here.
For Success Factors, a strategy execution software firm with over 6 million users, and their Thought Leader Series, I was the featured speaker for their national webinar, Are the Right Things Getting Done: Promoting Accountability in the Workplace, in March 2010. It was focused on how to promote personal and organizational accountability by setting clear expectations, using the S.M.A.R.T. acronym and creating a high performance environment.
You’ll find additional resources and public speaking examples by visiting the Cornerstone of Accountability page.
I have spoken frequently over the last 25 years on a variety of business and corporate finance subjects. We often focus on the term Business FinanceWe describe Business Finance as the core of business finance principles that drive superior performance and that can be integrated into your everyday business decision making. because we believe that a specific focus on the strategic elements of business finance is the primary driver of improved business performance.
In the Spring, 2011, I conducted a half-day Cash Flow Workshop, It’s Almost Midnight. Do You Know Where Your Cash Is? to educate non-finance executives in the middle market about Cash Flow … how to measure it, manage it … and most importantly, how to increase it. We benefited from a great group of prominent North Bay companies who sponsored this event, and with our Extended Learning program, helped a lot of middle market companies understand some of the practical strategies and techniques to significantly improve cash flow.
During the Annual Wine Industry Financial Symposium, I presented a 90 minute workshop, Practical Strategies to Improve Cash Flow, at the Wine Industry Financial Symposium in Napa ,California in September 2010. Although it is very difficult to convert our full-motion and interactive presentations to a text-based document, we have provided this simplified How to Build a High Performance business file as a visual summary. Some of that material may also be seen in our Financial Adrenaline video series. You’ll also find this summary of one of the primary financial themes at this Symposium.
Much of our focus today is exemplified by our Financial Adrenaline video series. You can also visit our Strategic Finance page to view the extensive audio, video and written materials on this subject.
In the throes of the most devastating recession in our lifetimes, and mine is longer than most, I organized the North Bay Business Journal conference in the Fall, 2008. The deeply experienced experts on our panel addressed the importance of strategy and forecasting; key financial drivers, metrics and cost-reduction approaches; how to minimize and manage financial risk; and access points and parameters for various types of capital.
At Exkalibur, we use the term “Strategery” (thanks, SNL) to poke a little fun at the stodgy term Strategic Planning. It sounds like it requires either an Ivy League education or a GE auditorium to make it work. We want to make it more accessible because, at it’s heart, it’s really very simple.
It’s important to develop a business strategy to accelerate business growth, and the action plan to implement it. Our seasoned experience in formulating and implementing practical business strategy – using a clear Action Plan - is critical to fueling superior business performance. You can read more here.
You’ll find several Sword Tips articles on this topic, ranging from Can You Say Your Strategery to Why Planning is Critical and Why You Don’t Do It … to Where are you headed now? Several of my newspaper columns which have not yet made it to the Sword Tips blog, published by the New York Times affiliate, the North Bay Business Journal, include Putting ‘Strategery into your Business Strategy“, How to Evaluate all of Your Opportunities and How to Assess the Competitive Landscape.
While I don’t consider myself a wine industry expert, I have deep relationships with many of its prominent members … and I have earned a lot of experience on paid consulting gigs with many wineries and other professionals in a wide variety of activities.
Most recently, I presented a 90 minute workshop, Practical Strategies to Improve Cash Flow, at the Wine Industry Financial Symposium in Napa, California in September 2010.
Earlier, I organized and really enjoyed a panel I moderated for Moss Adams, LLP and their terrific Wine Industry Round Table program under the leadership of Jeff Gutsch, Partner and Leader of their Wine Industry Practice. The Brand Strategy panel brought together two luminaries of the wine industry, Dan Duckhorn of the Duckhorn Wine Company, Napa, California and Jack Cakebread, Chairman of Cakebread Cellars, Napa, California. It was a unique opportunity to observe some the interesting similarities in the development of these two great wineries while learning of some of the remarkable differences in their approach to business building, fund-raising and family ownership.
I also organized and moderated a panel, “Planning for the Future: What Should We Do with the Company?“, with Tim Wallace, President of Benziger Winery; Simon Inman, Partner, Carle, Mackie, Power & Ross LLP; George Coope of Akrell Capital; and Reed Foster, Chairman Emeritus of Ravenswood Winery, which was acquired by Constellation Brands in 2001. You can see an excerpt from that presentation here. of and another panel, “Restructuring in the Wine Industry“.
Integrating shareholder objectives with the key factors in the business landscape is critical to a successful exit strategy. Business owners must account for the financial, tax and legal issues as well as estate and personal planning and valuation to produce a realistically achievable plan.
This topic may take many forms, as in the presentation I made, “Planning for the Future: What do we do now?“, for Moss Adams, LLP: Wine Industry Roundtable, or “Exit Strategies for Privately Owned Businesses” at the Sonoma State University: Entrepreneurship Boot Camp.