Speaking and Keynotes

I prefer to think of my speaking engagements as “Unkeynotes.” Unless it is a TEDx event, I tend not to talk from a stage at people. My speaking engagements are hands on and interactive. I eschew the “sage on stage” formula to provide speaking experiences that illuminate the personal and professional benefits of conversation in the lives of individuals and organizations. Delivering speaking interactions that are dynamic and interactive, I involve attendees in proactive investigation of their practice of the art of conversation. I speak to a variety of topics in a variety of forums that introduce the potency of conversation and provide insights into how people can improve their conversational lives.

Workshops, Programs and Lunch ‘n Learns

I offer a variety of programs and products that develop leaders and drive meaningful relationships, engaged cultures and energized performance. Read below to find what’s best for your people and for your organization.

The Art of Conversation
To face the business challenges of tomorrow requires a fresh approach to cultivating talent. We must unlock the capacity of human relationships and spark innovation and performance. In this interactive workshop, participants will discover how authentic conversation forges engaging, creative and meaningful relationships that drive higher performance in teams and organizational culture. We will explore the real benefits of conversation, examine six key principles and put those principles into practice to reveal how conversation fuels professional and organizational growth.
Being Human in the Modern World
Contemporary technology, market and cultural trends are radically changing the norms and fundamentals of business. By creating human-centric workplaces we can develop organizations where engaged people bring their full selves to work and businesses flourish. During this hands-on session attendees will gain insights into modern trends and their relevance to talent management and the business. Attendees will develop fresh ideas, new tools and creative concepts to apply straight away in their organizations.
Connection not Communication for Higher Performance
Connection is a richer, more meaningful and productive concept than mere communication. An ecosystem of connection enables creativity and engagement within teams, provides insight into consumer and colleague motivations and reactions, and builds trust and rapport between employees. In this session, attendees explore how the principles and practices of connecting conversation impact their work and will leave the session with actionable takeaways.
Leading through Empathy
“If you think you are leading and turn around to see no one following, then you are just taking a walk,” said Benjamin Hooks, former director of the NAACP. For the contemporary world, it is not enough for leaders to command, they must understand and motivate those they wish to lead. This leadership module equips leaders with the skills and emotional intelligence to inspire followers.
Engaged Cultures are Conversational Cultures
Engagement requires a sense of belonging within the organization, with meaningful relationships, willing teamwork and open communication a part of the usual way of doing business. Far too many people, however, are disengaged at their jobs, working in silos, competing against each other and hindering creative collaboration. This workshop encourages a conversational environment where employees embrace a culture of connection not conflict.
Dialog: Inclusion and Diversity in Action
Diversity is mostly about our differences and inclusion is an intentional behavior, where we move past the boundaries of those differences. To put these practices into action, we must be curious, endeavor to understand each other, and find the courage to be vulnerable and build relationships. This program leverages the principles and practices of conversation to enable inclusion and diversity to be activated in your organizational culture.
Wellbeing and Relationship Health
$300,000,000,000 is the cost to American employers for health care and employee absence as a result of workplace stress. Wellness programs tackle many of the physical and psychological aspects of our lives, yet few incorporate authentic conversation as part of their wellbeing strategy. Studies illustrate that “the happy life is social rather than solitary, and conversationally deep rather than superficial.” This workshop equips attendees with the skills and insights to develop positive, flourishing relationships founded in healthy conversation practices.

Video Reel

Take a look at a handful of speaking engagements, then contact me to discover how I can help you.

“Stuart provided a fabulous Squishtalk program for our mentors and staff! He took the time to hear what we were hoping to achieve with this training and delivered well beyond our expectations. The Squishtalk experience is one that we cannot recommend highly enough!”

Julie Madsen

Recruitment and Community Outreach Coordinator, Partnership 4 Kids

“I heard great feedback, everyone really liked the content and thought it was a good topic. Thanks for presenting this year!”

Maggi Wiegert

IT & Marketing Director, CBSHOME

“He captures the audience, in a way that many can’t, by his soft spoken voice, yet engaging in his own passionate way how he views people and life in general. Always approachable and has a warm personality. Great listener.”

Laura Stannard

Human Resources Business partner, Alegent Health