Michael Kerr

Michael Kerr

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Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker, Author of 8 books, Entertaining workplace culture thought leader

Life is too short to work in a soul-sucking workplace. That’s why Michael’s on a mission to turbo charge inspiring, happy, and humane workplace cultures that drive OUTRAGEOUS results.

Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame inductee Michael Kerr is an international business speaker, very funny motivational speaker, and workshop trainer. He’s also the author of 8 books including: The Jerk-Free Workplace: How You Can Take The Lead to Create a Happier, More Inspiring Workplace; The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank; and Hire, Inspire, and Fuel Their Fire: How to Recruit, Onboard, and Train New Employees to Live Your Culture Out Loud.

For more than 20 years, Michael has travelled the world researching, writing, and speaking about inspiring workplace cultures, inspiring leaders, and businesses that leverage their humor resources to drive outrageous results for their employees and their customers.

He is known as one of North America’s leading speakers on creating high-performing, service-first cultures. His high energy, hilarious, inspiring, and thought-provoking programs are often rated as having the greatest impact and relevance of any presentation at a conference, which is why Michael has been listed as one of Canada’s most requested business speakers.

Michael has delivered his captivating keynote presentations and training workshops to more than 3,000 audiences, from Austria to Australia, from Boston to Bermuda, from Cleveland to Calgary.

His presentations offer relevant, practical ideas delivered with his memorable brand of clean humor. “Inspiring,” “hilarious,” “energizing,” “fabulous ideas,” and “incredibly relevant and timely content,” are phrases clients repeatedly use to describe the impact of his presentations.

His ideas on building better workplace cultures have been featured in hundreds of publications worldwide, while his Inspiring Workplaces blog has been recognized as one of the top-30 workplace blogs in the world.

Michael lives in the spectacularly inspiring Canadian Rockies.

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Speaking topics

Inspiring Workplaces: How to Create a Dynamic, Collaborative, Service-First Culture That Drives OUTRAGEOUS Results!

Your workplace culture is your #1 competitive advantage.

But here’s the rub. Great cultures don’t just happen! You can’t fake a great culture or buy your culture at IKEA.

You need to be intentional about your workplace culture. And you need to enlist everyone’s support to contribute to a purpose-driven, happier, more resilient, innovative, collaborative, and service-focused culture.

Leaders Leading Leaders: Great Cultures Begin with Intentional Leadership from the Top

Great workplace cultures don’t happen by accident, and they don’t happen without intentional leadership. I use the term ‘intentional,’ well, intentionally. I’ve interviewed 100s of leaders around the world, and inspiring leaders tell me time and again that the key to their success as a leader starts by simply being more intentional about being a leader.

Which means knowing there’s a difference between being a manager or boss and being a leader. Being intentional means consciously making decisions and choices about your attitude and behaviors that reflect and demonstrate real leadership.

Intentional leadership is about creating more leaders at work, not more followers, which is why so many high-achieving organizations embrace the mantra “we are leaders leading leaders.”

The Jerk-Free Workplace: How to Take the Lead When You’re Not the Boss

As I explain in my book, The Jerk-Free Workplace, this presentation is more than just about shining a spotlight on jerk-like attitudes and behaviors that might lead to conflict and poor morale in your workplace.

It’s about the need for all your employees, regardless of their position or role, to step up, take responsibility, be accountable for their actions, and embrace the power they have as leaders to create a greater future for themselves and for your workplace.

This presentation celebrates the idea that everyone has the potential to step up as a leader. And if you want to create a happier, more collaborative, and more innovative culture that drives outrageous results, you absolutely NEED to encourage all your employees to embrace a leadership mindset.

The Humor Advantage: Putting Humor to Work for Less Stress and More Success

I’ve visited dozens of inspiring workplaces around the world that take their humor, well, seriously! And for good reason. Study after study reveals how humor helps companies reduce employee turnover and absenteeism rates, lower stress levels, foster an environment of resiliency, build relationships, improve morale, collaboration, and communication. Humor also helps companies stand out with their remarkable customer service, humanizes their company, and in some cases even builds a unique brand.

As I stress to audiences, it’s not about telling jokes, being the office joker, or even about being funny. It’s about finding the funny in your everyday work lives, being more authentic at work, laughing at the things you have no control over, and especially, about laughing at ourselves.

When you infuse your entire culture with a spirit of safe humor, it’s one of the most powerful tools there is that truly can help you energize your culture and drive outrageous results!

Inspiring Change at Work: How to Champion Innovation and Turn Ideas into Action

In my 20+ years of speaking, I don’t think I’ve ever had a client say, “You know Michael, we’re just not experiencing much change these days. We’ve been cruising along on autopilot, embracing the status quo for the last three decades or so!”

Change is happening on so many levels and at a faster pace than ever before. And if the pace of change outside your company exceeds the pace of change on the inside, it’s just a matter of time before you’re going to be in trouble. Serious trouble.

You have three options really, when it comes to your relationship with change. You can ghost it (in other words, cover your eyes and ears and ignore it), you can host it (learn to adapt to the change that is happening around you), or you can toast it (by embracing and leading change).

To wrap your arms around change and show change the love it deserves, you need the right mindset, the right tools, and the right culture that supports creativity, resiliency, and innovation.

Creating a Service-First Culture: Why You need to Stop Providing Good Customer Service!

Okay, so I’m being slightly facetious with the title. But hear me out.

Since your customers already expect “good customer service,” all you’re doing by providing “good customer service” is staying out of the customer service doghouse or staying out of customer service jail. All you’re doing is meeting expectations. Yawn.

You’re never going to stand out from the herd and earn a reputation for your phenomenal service if you don’t do one of two things:

  1. Exceed your customers’ expectations of good customer service
  2. Do something different, something your competitors won’t do or can’t do

And this customer service mindset begins on the inside of your company, which is why, once again, there’s a deep connection to your culture. You need to create a culture that is infused with a service-first mindset; where it is second nature to provide remarkable customer service on the inside, where everyone treats their teammates like their most important customers.

Hire, Inspire and Fuel Their Fire: How to Recruit, Onboard, and Train New Employees to Love Your Culture Out Loud

You cannot create a rocking, innovative, service-first culture without getting your hiring, onboarding, and training right! As the old mantra goes, “If you hire wrong, you can do no right, but if you hire right, you can do no wrong!”

Everything starts with hiring the right people – the people that are a right fit for you; the employees that are going to grow your culture in the direction you need to take it.

This is an essential topic for leaders who understand the significant costs associated with a bad hire and, conversely, the enormous benefit of recruiting top talent who are a perfect fit for your company.

Participants will love Michael’s unique take on this in-demand topic and appreciate the many relevant ideas based on Michael’s extensive interviews with CEOs, senior managers, and HR professionals from around the world who are using innovative techniques with their recruitment and onboarding.

Video clips

Why Clients book Michael Kerr

Mike Kerr Demo

Speaker testimonials

That was the best presentation I have seen in my 40 years in business.

East Alabama Home Medical

I attended your Leading and Laughing presentation and WOW! That was one of the best virtual presentations I’ve ever been on and certainly the best one since this pandemic!

Park Insurance

Michael’s presentation exceeded our expectations in every aspect. The program and ‘tools’ fit our team extremely well and Michael was nothing short of the star of our event. By far, the best speaker we’ve ever had!

Century Vallen

You were the hit of the conference. Most of the participants rated you as the best presenter of the conference.

Shoppers Drug Mart

Michael held the full attention of our Senior Management Team for a full four-hour presentation – no small accomplishment! His style is highly energetic, and the information he imparts with flair and humour are applicable to everyday life and work situations. His management philosophy is a fantastic approach that I have encouraged my team to carry forward. I absolutely recommend Michael’s fabulous persona without hesitation.

United Therapeutics

Many of the head office staff thought you were the best keynote speaker we’ve ever had! Thank-you for your invigorating and energizing keynote presentation.

Shell Canada

Our staff are still talking about you! One of them said: ‘This is the BEST thing the company has ever done for us.’ Thanks for giving us one of our most memorable staff meetings.

Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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