What makes you different as a person is what makes you better… in your business, your career, your life.

“Your speech on the virtual stage was spellbinding as we received plenty of positive reviews from our advisors afterward. The musical performance at the end was a nice way to cap off the roadshow.”

~ Matthew To, "Director, Business Development - Investments
Beneva Insurance"

Scott Lenet

We loved the sessions and our team definitely is energized about the power of story, how we can use it in our business, and beginning an effort to master its dynamics. We are on our way!

Touchdown Ventures

Speaking: Keynotes & Workshops

The greatest motivational speakers do more than just offer deep subject matter expertise — they also use their energy and passion to touch the audience’s heart, mind, and funny bone. That’s how we create a truly profound experience that moves people to take on new ways of thinking, feeling and acting.

More than just higher sales or increased productivity, (as if that weren’t enough), people say my presentations give them the confidence, resilience and motivation that can only come from knowing their greatest strengths and unique value.

That’s why I not only present at sales, marketing and branding events, I also work with clients looking for greater employee motivation, engagement, teamwork and resilience, and leadership retreats.

Yvonne Davis

"For over ten years, Michel has, been associated with the Jamaica Employers’ Federation’s Annual Business & Workplace Convention, as either, its Opening or Closing Keynote Speaker and Presenter. His storytelling and musical skills, coupled with his expertise and competence in delivery, have always engaged, motivated, and inspired our hundreds of leaders and practitioners from diverse business and professional disciplines. We are always happy to welcome Michel, and our Convention deliverables would not be complete without his input".

Jamaica Employers’ Federation

Michel as a Musician

I am also a critically acclaimed  singer-songwriter, with a collection of singles and a full-length album on all major streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple music.

Many of my songs are in fact ‘story songs,’ and I often perform them as part of my presentations to show how the core elements of stories are an intrinsic part of all storytelling. The added entertainment value of the music, of course, adds to the entertainment value of the event.

Virtual Capabilities

My studio is already equipped with some of the latest audio and video gear, green screen and lighting. All this helps me create professional presentations for a variety of online and virtual events. Plus, a wired, high bandwidth, ethernet connection ensures the smoothest possible experience for attendees.

Beyond the technology, I am also happy to facilitate online events and coach people in your organization to become better online presenters themselves, with a curriculum that covers lighting, framing, backgrounds, made-for-camera gestures, and more.

a snapshop of my actual set-up!
Virtual Certified Presenter Espeakers
Isabelle Pleszczynska

Isabelle Pleszczynska

Michel, we knew there would be some challenges in presenting a keynote on storytelling to our group, but you gently helped us take several steps on that journey. Merci.

Healthcare Communications Mgr, Major Dep Disorder Lundbeck Canada Inc.

Topics

note: click to expand

Want to Get Past ‘Crossed-Arm' Syndrome? Tell a Story!

We’ve all been there. You’ve got a high-stakes presentation or conversation, and the people in front of you are nodding politely, but all the while, the little voice in the back of their minds is telling them all the reasons why they just. won't. agree. 

Congratulations, you've experienced ‘Crossed-Arm Syndrome’!

Your listeners have a brick wall of belief about something — and that belief is the biggest driver for their decisions and behavior. It could be based on actual fact, or fiction, a hunch, a fear, a stereotype, or a skepticism, but whatever it is, no amount of data is going to convince them otherwise.

Neuroscience to the rescue.

You see, neuroscience teaches us that we build up beliefs and views of the world through a process called Bayesian learning. The end result is like a brick wall of strongly held beliefs. There's no use fighting it, but neuroscience also teaches us that our brains are wired to place greater emphasis on emotion... and there's no better way to combine facts and emotion than in a story.

If you're in sales trying to convince a prospect that your product or service is superior... Or.. if you're a start-up trying to persuade investors to invest in your next great idea... Or.. if you're a business leader espousing the company values to your team... telling a brief but strategically crafted story to overcome Crossed-Arm Syndrome may be the most valuable new skill you can get this year.

You'll learn:

  • The physiological and psychological effects of storytelling
  • The 5 neural hooks that help your listeners identify themselves in the story.
  • Why traditional case studies don't cut it anymore
  • How to tap into the listener's own subconscious desire
  • How to use this powerful technique ethically, and protect yourself in situations when someone is trying to use it on you!

Audiences
All audiences who have to communicate to be effective.

The Power of the Personal Story ... in Business!

How leaders lead, coaches coach, salespeople sell, teachers teach and influencers influence.

It is well-established that stories are more memorable and powerful than facts and statistics. Stories are the basis of leadership, coaching, influence, teaching, sales and team culture. From the beginning of time, stories are how we have passed on our values, made sense of the world and effected change. Today, it's how we build our businesses and strengthen our communities.

But you don’t have to be a storytelling ‘expert’ to tell powerful stories… because we are already born storytellers. In this keynote, Michel Neray shows you how to use your natural storytelling ability to lead better and motivate others. What’s more, you might just leave inspired by the value of your own story and how it contributes to your unique strengths and success.

This is a fun and engaging presentation that will open your eyes to new ways to tell and perform stories to sell more, lead more powerfully and, yes, change the world.

This session is part of an ongoing programme that combines exercises in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), classic storytelling, stand-up comedy, improv, acting and professional speaking. It helps participants strategically develop signature and turning-point stories to motivate/inspire/influence team members, customers and audiences in the most engaging and powerful way.

Highlights:

  1. The neuroscience behind storytelling, and building rapport, good feelings, and trust
  2. How to use storytelling to increase the engagement of case studies and testimonials
  3. How storytelling builds business and influences all your stakeholder groups including customers, employees, strategic partners, investors, and regulators!
  4. How your own story is the driver of your personal purpose and leadership.

The full curriculum covers:

  • Story structure – how to bookend left-brain content with right-brain stories for a stronger connection, call to action, memorability and results.
  • Performance – voice and stagecraft plus rehearsal techniques for a more powerful, confident and natural delivery.
  • Improv for speakers – unique exercises developed specifically to help speakers think on their feet.
  • Humour – comic relief, timing and pacing, the vocabulary of comedy and more.
  • Hooks & Headlines – punctuating points, memorable phrasing and more.
  • Blurbs & Bios – leveraging descriptions as integrated elements of the talk itself, and of your marketing.

This curriculum can be customized to match organizational objectives and duration of the program. It can also include a showcase event to add an entertaining and fun element for everyone in the organization.

Key Take-Aways and Tools:

  • Identification of impactful and differentiating messaging.
  • Communications with more powerful calls-to-action.
  • Stronger rapport with colleagues, team members, customers and audiences.
  • Public speaking, presentation and leadership skills.

Audiences:
All audiences.

Format:
Keynote and/or combination of individual coaching, workshops and special event.

Category Keywords:
Motivation, Inspiration, Positive Culture, Teambuilding, Communication, Authenticity, Leadership, Sales

From Case Studies to Case 'Stories'!

For companies and individuals who want to showcase their unique approach, techniques and thought-leadership.

Most companies know the value of case studies and testimonials, but they tend to be boring, obviously self-serving, and often barely credible.
As a result, they are missing the real potential of case studies and testimonials. In this workshop, participants learn how to adapt the principles of storytelling to create case stories that are not only more engaging and credible, they also position the company better, help improve customer loyalty, and increase confidence in the team. This is an excellent workshop for salespeople, team leaders, front-line staff and the marketing team… to do together!

This approach can be applied to any example that illustrates a core competency, benefit, or recommended solution. And, it can be used as a written example, an element of a presentation, or simply dropped into a casual conversation.

Key Take-Aways and Tools:

  • What makes a good case story or testimonial... and what makes a great one (hint, it’s not always the ‘positive’ outcome!)
  • How to infuse a case story or testimonial with emotion and drama that increase engagement and add credibility
  • How to develop a library of stories and testimonials to highlight your differentiation and appeal to multiple, different customers groups.
  • 3 ways to solicit stories s and testimonials.
  • 5 copywriting techniques that serve as Believability Enhancers.
  • How to use this approach to answer the question, ‘What do you do/why should we buy from your company?'

Audiences
Business Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Independent Professionals and Agents, NGO's

Format
Workshop

Category Keywords
Branding, Marketing, Sales, Self-Awareness, Motivation, Creative Thinking, Mission/Vision

Sales Telepathy

Get into the head and heart of your clients without going out of your mind!

All of us sell, regardless of the role we have in an organization. Executives, managers and directors sell ideas, recommendations and strategies. Entrepreneurs sell businesses and business concepts. Salespeople and service providers sell specific products and services.

This keynote or workshop brings together the key elements of change management, neuro-linguistic programming, core challenge analysis and tried-and-true direct response copywriting. Participants learn to elicit the needs of the prospect or recipient of the proposal/recommendation, how to clearly identify the rationale for the recommendation and how to communicate it in the clearest, most compelling way.

This not only empowers managers and directors to link their recommendations to ROI and key corporate strategies, it also makes it easier for other decision-makers to evaluate the proposal for a quicker decision.

Delivered in a fun, interactive style, audiences and groups learn how to get into the head and hearts of their clients ‐ without going out of their minds!

Key Take-Aways and Tools:

  • How to start a conversation to improve your chances of finishing with a nod of agreement.
  • How to elicit the needs and wants of the customer or people you are speaking to so they 'sell' themselves!
  • How to create a 'burning platform' to motivate your listener to take action now.
  • How to create a powerful introduction letter or email in less than three minutes! (Template provided)

Audiences
Salespeople, Marketers, Business Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Independent Professionals and Agents

Format
Keynote, Workshop

Category Keywords
Branding, Marketing, Sales, Sales Communications, Persuasion, Change Management

The 4 Stories that Every Business Needs

The 4 Stories That Every Business Needs 

Time: This is a series of ½ - full day workshops, each one focuses on a different element of storytelling.

If you want to sell without 'selling', attract customers who want what you have to offer... differentiate your product or service from ALL the competition... gain the kind of confidence that only comes from knowing the true value of what you offer... you need stories.

Specifically, you need THESE stories...

  • Your case stories tell your audience that the results are real.
  • Your 'human' stories shows you’re relatable, and what it's like to work with you.
  • Your 'origin' story defines the problem you solve and positions you as the natural solution; it's the backstory that explains 'why we do how we do what we do'.
  • Your 'secret sauce' story is strongly linked to the origin story. This is the most strongly differentiating of all the stories.

You should be able to tell these stories clearly and confidently... and so naturally that they don’t even feel like 'stories'. You share them in conversation, on stage, or on your website – anywhere you meet potential customers – to help them get to know, like, and trust you.

Key Take-Aways and Tools:

  • How stories build trust with potential customers.
  • How to start building a library of the 4 essential business stories.
  • How to tell a story without sounding like you are 'telling' a story.
  • How to write for the ears instead of the eyes.

Audiences
All audiences who have to communicate to be effective.

Format
Keynote or Workshop series

Category Keywords
Marketing, Sales, Sales Communications, Persuasion, Writing, Authorship, Presentation Skills, Creative Thinking, Innovation, Brainstorming, Teambuilding

Make Friends With Your Stereotype & Stand Out From The Crowd

How to leverage stereotype perceptions to discover your unique strengths, establish greater trust and earn credibility.

Let's face it. There are a lot of people who have negative perceptions about you, your industry and the title that's written on your business card -- even before they get to know you. And when those people happen to be your customers and other groups you work with, that's a challenge. It doesn't just get in the way of your relationships with your customers, employer and the people who report to you, it also saps your personal confidence and undermines the positive perceptions we want to have of ourselves.

Instead of trying to ignore it or pretend it doesn't exist, this session will show you how to make friends with those negative perceptions. Better still, you'll learn how to leverage those negative perceptions to positively differentiate yourself, your company and the products you represent in the market. This is a highly interactive and fun session that will boost your confidence as much as it boosts your results. Get ready to laugh your way to a whole new perspective of what you do and why you're needed now more than ever!

By the end of this session, you will:

  • Gain confidence by identifying your personal differentiation and unique value
  • Instantly build trust by establishing rapport with customers
  • Increase credibility and demonstrate profound understanding of the market

This 45-90 minute session is one of the exercises that forms the more comprehensive Employee Engagement Workshop.

Audiences
All Employees, Managers and Business Leaders

Format
Workshop

Category Keywords
Engagement, Resilience, Motivation, Cooperation, Self-Awareness, Positive Culture, Personal Branding, Personal Development and Empowerment, Peak Performance, Team building (teambuilding), Collaboration

Videos

How Usain Bolt Helped Me Speed Past My Audence's Skepticism

The Testimonial that Took a Year to Get!

Life, The Universe, and French Toast

Your Brain on Storytelling

3-minute video of Michel Speaking to a large audience

The power of the personal story ...in business

The Power of Personal Storytelling

1-minute parody of The Sales Pitch at small business conference

1-minute high energy mix

Daily Web TV interview with Michel Neray

Virtual Presentation demonstration

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I learned a lot about how to increase audience connection and had the opportunity to practice it in the actual workshop.

RICHARD HUDSON - Keynote Speaker & Adventurer

The 'Storytelling for Business' series was transformational. It taught me how to tell a story with meaning, purpose, and great technique. Very effective.

DEBIE CLARK - Founder of Complex Parenting Resolve Speaker, Coach, Author

Michel, we knew there would be some challenges in presenting a keynote on storytelling to our group, but you gently helped us take several steps on that journey by demonstrating how to use stories to enhance the impact of the research… and you did it with ‘aplomb’. You also left us with a wonderful reminder that we are all indeed human. On a professional — and personal — note, I want to tell you how much we appreciated your openness and flexibility leading up to the event, in tailoring the content to meet our objectives. Merci.

ISABELLE PLESZCZYNSKA - Healthcare Communications Mgr, Major Dep Disorder Lundbeck Canada Inc.

Members indicated that you transformed their thinking for better problem solving, relationship building, and ultimately satisfying customer sales… a great program!

JOAN TEZAK - Exec. Director, Colorado Society Association Executives (CSAE)

I definitely got more confidence in telling my story.

MIRANDA HALL - Physiotherapist

Michel, the message of your keynote was right in line with the objectives of the event. And, the more we work with our marketing company, the more we realize that the message of your keynote is also right in line with the objectives of our company. Thank you!

DAVE ROOSEVELT - CEO, Centric Consulting

Michel has, for over Ten (10) years, been associated, with the Jamaica Employers’ Federation’s Annual Business & Workplace Convention, as either, its Opening or Closing Keynote Speaker and Presenter.

His storytelling and musical skills, coupled with his expertise and competence in delivery, have always engaged, motivated, and inspired our hundreds of leaders and practitioners from diverse business and professional disciplines.

We are always happy to welcome Michel and our Convention deliverables, will not be complete without his input.

YVONNE DAVIS - Jamaica Employers Federation

The 'Storytelling for Business' series has taught me how to develop and present impactful stories that can be used both in conversation and on stage. I have learned more in this 6 week's workshop than I have in the past year.

TIM MCDONALD - Speaker, Life & Business Coach

What I loved most about the workshop is the innovative ways of how to deliver presentations in the most powerful ways. Michel's techniques will take any public speaker to the next level.

MARIOLA CZARNIAK - Founder of Maximum Results Academy

Storytelling proved to be a great keynote topic. The ability to present our results, and the pertinent details, while keeping on point, and delivering the true message is critical and Michel provided many approaches that can be adopted, and help in successful communications. The keynote was well worth it.

MICHAEL FLINT - Project Management Consultant

Michel Neray's Storytelling training has not only helped internal staff be more effective in their respective roles, but it also helped us access new sources of revenue. In addition, our front-line staff reported they were more effective in the field. We would definitely hire Michel again, and in fact, we did!

NANCY HEINRICHS - Executive Director, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority

Michel is a great speaker and one who knows his stuff. He makes you think deeply about the message you're sending and what it is that you do, so that you can send that message with integrity.

GARTH SCHMALENBERG - HBI Leadership

Excellent! Outstanding! Amazing! Michel is one of the most excellent communicators I have ever had the pleasure to hear speak. He is also entertaining yet so relatable. Highly recommend him for the next event you host and need a speaker to entertain and educate your audience.

KAREN FOX - Market Domination Strategist, Speaker

Michel's speaking classes and pointers go straight to the heart of transformation… and they’re informative and fun. They've been a key factor in helping me effectively build my coaching practice and my community.

LINDA BABULIC - Personal Business Strategist at ZEST Your Life

It’s always a challenge to keep people engaged in virtual presentations, but your name consistently came up as one of the favorite speakers of the conference — people were truly engaged by your stories and delivery. As an event planner, I’d also say that you were easy to work with. Plus, you went over and above in your preparedness, especially with the technology, which gave us confidence leading up to the conference. Thank you!

DAN SIMS - Director, Business Development, Investments, Beneva Insurance

As a professional speaker and singer-songwriter already successful at making a living through storytelling, I was hoping to deepen my knowledge of the craft. I was, however, a bit skeptical that I’d learn anything new. That skepticism quickly evaporated… I loved all the different methodologies and approaches to distilling the essence of your story. And the whole design of the workshop was aligned with the creative process, in that it was designed to turn off your brain, get yourself out of your own way, and put you into flow through the great prompts and the pace of it all. The time absolutely flew by and I felt like I had learned so much when I emerged on the other side. I will be back for more!

PETER KATZ - Juno Award and Canadian Screen Award nominated Singer-Songwriter and Speaker

I participated in Michel's virtual storytelling workshop last week and it was super informative and fun AND I got to practice! Was just like being in person but even quieter and easier to focus on! These classes are always full of valuable, take-home material!

JEFF ALDRIDGE - Workshop Participant

Michel was able to deliver a flawless and engaging workshop online. The content was timely and practical.

DELORES WURTZ - TEC Canada Chair

I loved the virtual format! It ran smoothly, allowed us to meet and easily work with new people, plus everyone had a chance to be heard and participate. It may have even helped us to be more focused and present than an 'in-person' experience.

LISA RICKETT - Life & Leadership Coach

I was fortunate that TATA arranged Michel to train us on 'The Art of Business Story Telling'. I never knew I needed this, I have imbibed as much as I could in the 8 hours we got with him. I am sure it is going to help me immensely in my career as I see it giving results in just a week.

PAWANKUMAR CILLANKI - Senior Software Engineer/TCS, Bengaluru

That was the perfect session for me. It helped me develop the story as the foundation of my branding.

ELVINA KAMALOVA - Advancing the leading companies in #defi, #web3, #ethereum

The talk you helped me put together was a resounding success. They loved the egg story. I can’t even imagine how we’re going to follow this up next year. Thank you.

SID ZUCKER - Advisory Board Member, Clifton Blake

You did an excellent job of demonstrating the value of storytelling to enhance leadership and improve outcomes. The session also gave us new insights and appreciation for our colleagues. And while I was initially concerned about how people would take to a session on storytelling, it was gratifying to see how participants left the workshop with specific tools to help them be more structured and deliberate in their communications.

ROXANN LINTON - Chief Executive Officer, First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union (FHC)

One of the best storytelling programs, if not the best, I have ever seen. Remarkable in its clarity.

DAVE LIEBER - Keynote speaker; Humorist; Columnist for Dallas Morning News

He is a great motivator, funny and experienced and he delivers true value to the audience. No one can be indifferent after hearing what he has to say.

SHACHAR PERLMAN - Owner of Be Happy

We loved the sessions and our team definitely is energized about the power of story, how we can use it in our business, and beginning an effort to master its dynamics. We are on our way!

SCOTT LENET - Touchdown Ventures

I was skeptical that a keynote about storytelling could deliver anything new to an audience made up of top salespeople. But, Michel did a great job, and I was doubly impressed at another event that evening when one of the attendees shared a very powerful and moving story that he had been inspired to share as a result of Michel’s presentation. I can see why these techniques are so effective in sales, leadership, and in the work we do in advocating and grassroots lobbying.

JON PAONE - Vice President, Government Affairs, New York Life

Your speech on the virtual stage was spellbinding as we received plenty of positive reviews from our advisors afterward. The musical performance at the end was a nice way to cap off the roadshow.

MATTHEW TO - Director, Business Development - Investments Beneva Insurance

Michel's presentation was true magic. He was able to craft a message for the audience that combined his expertise with their immediate needs. His delivery was exemplary. By combining humor, examples, and an informal but focused presentation, he demonstrated his command of storytelling principles and gave the audience immediate useful takeaways. True learning took place - Michel left the audience left feeling excited and motivated.

MARIE LA VIE - Managing Director, Eastern Prince Edward Island Chamber of Commerce

I was so impressed with the Virtual Workshop. What impacted me most was incorporating your teaching about where and how I might insert a pause... very useful and fun exercise!

CATHERINE STERNBERG - Assertiveness Coach

The story structure workshop was a big help in terms of finding the meat and potatoes in my story. The comedy workshop enabled me to find the humour. Having the feedback from you and the other participants in each workshop was very helpful too!

NADER EID - Personal Trainer

Michel is a stunningly good speaker. Full of energy. Full of humor. Full of insight. He completely captivated the room, and though he delivered a ton of valuable information and inspiration, he also left everyone wanting more.

TIM HURSON - Founding Partner: ThinkX Intellectual Capital

Michel Neray was pivotal in impacting my speaking career and workshop facilitation. His workshop taught me to craft my humorous talks with a core message that changed my speaking business profoundly. His easy style and compassionate manner allowed me to open up and take my business to a new level.

LENNY RAVICH - Author, Keynote Speaker, Gestalt & Humor Master, Optimism & Mindfulness Guru

Stay In The Loop

Plus, get a FREE e-book to help you find the true meaning of your story and make it ‘proverb-ready’. Super helpful for speakers, presenters, writers, songwriters, and influencers of all kinds.

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