Convention Speakers 2017-04-10T20:23:34+00:00

Convention Speakers

Meet Dr. Alan Zimmerman, CSP, CPAE

Most team members feel like there’s too much work, too much change, and too little time to get things done.  They’re stressed out.  And the same thing goes for most team leaders, supervisors, managers, and leaders.

You can see it in their behavior and hear it in their words when they say such things as  “That’s not my job … We’ve always done it this way … Upper management would never go for it …or … I’ve just got 5 more years, 3 months, and 2 days and I’m out of here.” 

So the last thing your people want is another boring or poorly delivered presentation that makes them feel like the program is a waste of time. 

The way I combat stress, negativity, or just plain tiredness in an organization is by injecting High Energy into every program.  My humor, passion, and stories … including my own stories of incredible success and humiliating failure … connect with the audience on a very deep level. 

I suppose that’s why the audience evaluations consistently describe me as “passionate … mesmerizing … and … contagiously enthusiastic.”  And I suppose that’s why most audiences say they “could have listened all day.”

A Lifelong Student

Learning … and continual professional development … is not only my passion but also a lifetime value of mine.  I began that journey by earning three formal degrees, in each case graduating with Summa Cum Laude honors:

  • Bachelor’s Degree:  The University of Wisconsin (Speech/Political Science)
  • Master’s Degree:      The University of Minnesota (Communication/Sociology)
  • Doctoral Degree:      The University of Minnesota (Communication/Psychology)

And even today, I attend at least 40 hours of training every year to keep myself sharp, up-to-date, and better able to serve my clients.

A Dedicated Educator

Ignoring fads, gimmicks and flavor-of-the-month pop psychology, long ago I adopted a simple and unwavering approach to business development: if it doesn’t make you happier or your organization more successful, I won’t waste your time talking about it. 

My approach paid off and led to… 

  • Being selected by students as TheMost Outstanding Faculty Member at two different universities, and
  • Being honored with the Distinguished Faculty Awardby the Institute of Management Studies (IMS), an award that has been given to less than 10 of their 2000 business seminar speakers worldwide in the past 40 years.  And I’ve been given that award twice by IMS.

As the business world grew more competitive and as organizations clamored for skills that would unleash the human capital in their people, I was drafted into a new career as a keynote speaker, seminar leader, author, and coach.  At the ripe-old age of 36, I resigned my tenured position at the university and launched my own company.

An Honored Speaker

Just so you know, I do not speak to your organization as some ivory-tower wannabe. I’ve actually done everything I teach.  From selling greeting cards door-to-door at the age of seven, owning an international import business at the age of 14, and building one of the most honored speaking and training businesses in the industry, I speak from a lifetime of experience and accomplishment.

  • A keynote speaker and seminar leader for more than 20 years.
  • Delivered more than 2,000 programs in 49 states and 22 countries.
  • Worked with Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, professional associations, government, education, and healthcare organizations.
  • Earned the CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) designation, placing me among the top 7% of all speakers worldwide.
  • Inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame, limited to a small handful of people over the last 30 years, including such notables as President Ronald Reagan, General Colin Powell and best-selling authors Dr. Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield.
  • Won state and national speaking competition championships for six consecutive years.
  • Maintain an astonishing repeat and referral rate of 92% every year I’ve been in business.

A True Industry Leader

After working in many different industries, from retail sales, hotel hospitality, education, corrections, radio broadcasting, and recreation management, I can tell you that I know business intimately.  And I’ve experienced business on every level.

I began as an entry-level employee, served as an individual contributor, advanced to management and executive leadership positions, and then launched and managed several businesses of my own.  I’ve been there; I’ve lived it, and the lessons from all of these experiences weren’t lost on me. 

I’ve applied these first-hand truths to a myriad of industries, helping them get first-class results.  Among other things, I

  • Founded Zimmerman Communi-Care Network, Inc., a speaking-training-consulting-coaching firm with offices in the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • Write “ Zimmerman’sTuesday Tip,” one of the longest lasting and most heavily subscribed newsletters in the world.
  • Serve as a contributing editor to Entrepreneurmagazine
  • Author of several best-selling books, eBooks, CDs, MP3s, and DVDs.
  • Honored with the President’s Award for Distinguished Leadership
    from the University of Wisconsin.

Ken Schmidt

Brand Visionary

Former Director of Communications Strategy for Harley-Davidson Motor Company

One of the most in-demand speakers and communications consultants in America, Ken Schmidt has lived a life that most can only dream about. He has toured the world on two wheels, met with presidents and royalty, partied with movie and music legends, and appeared numerous times on network news. As the former director of communications for Harley-Davidson Motor Company, he played an active role in one of the most celebrated turnarounds in corporate history – and got paid to ride motorcycles. He is widely known as one of the business world’s most outspoken and provocative thought leaders and has partnered with many of the world’s most successful brands. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, he shares stories and insights on the road to building a fanatically vocal customer base, creating a passionately loyal corporate culture, and developing leaders who inspire and motivate.

Harley-Davidson. The longtime motorcycle enthusiast’s formal association with Harley-Davidson began in 1985. As a specialist in corporate positioning and media relations, Schmidt was asked to work with the then-struggling Harley-Davidson to help restore the company’s image and create demand for its motorcycles. Within a few short years, Harley-Davidson became one of the most visible and frequently reported-on companies in the world, while sales of its motorcycles rocketed upward. Schmidt became director of Harley-Davidson’s corporate and financial communications and served as its primary spokesperson to the media and the financial communities. He appeared numerous times on network news programs and was frequently called upon by business media to share his insights on non-traditional communications, customer attraction, and brand-building.

Life After Harley. Now, Schmidt is a frequent speaker to business groups and academic communities throughout the world. Few speakers generate more positive word-of-mouth and referrals. “I love to startle people by exposing them to proven ideas and concepts they’ve never imagined,” he said. Whether he’s talking about how to leverage basic needs to improve competitiveness, build an entirely new corporate culture, or reach out to new customers in completely untraditional ways, Schmidt never follows a predictable course. “Whether I’m talking about how perfectly average people can do extraordinary things or how to build an entirely new corporate culture, rekindle relationships with customers, or reach out to new ones in completely untraditional ways, I’m teaching people to throw conventional approaches out the window. I see opening hearts and minds as my life’s work.”

Today, Schmidt shares his expertise with many of America’s leading brands but happily states that he is “semi-retired,” which allows him to pursue his other passions. He calls working with the grandson of one of Harley-Davidson’s founders to create 100 Years of Harley-Davidson, the best-selling motor sports book of all time, one of the greatest highs in his life. After all he has accomplished his philosophy of life and business hasn’t changed: “Never do what’s expected, make yourself as noticeably different as possible, and have a lot more fun than you’re supposed to.”
Updated WMS 4/14