Hometown Heroes: Celebrating KC’s Sports Speakers

Kansas City Skyline

We love Kansas City!  We are proud of our hometown and, though we may be a little biased, we think KC has some of the best sports speakers around.   So, we decided to set up a special page dedicated to KC’s local speakers: Hometown Heroes!  Here you’ll find a selection of some of our favorite sports speakers, including Dayton Moore,  Senior VP/GM of The Kansas City Royals; Bill Self, University of Kansas Head Basketball Coach; and Jeff Montgomery, Co-host on “Royals Live” pre-game and postgame shows.

Stop by and check out our Hometown Heroes!

It’s Super Bowl Party Time!

Just in time for your Super Bowl Party, our favorite dip! It may not be healthy but it is definitely delicious and easy to make. Make this and you have some raving fans!  

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 (8 oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup FRANK’S RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or FRANK’S RedHot® Buffalo Wings Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
  • 1/2 cup Blue Cheese Crumbles

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

COMBINE all ingredients and spoon into shallow 1-quart baking dish.

BAKE 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired and serve with crackers and/or vegetables.

Cyber Security and the Event Industry: Keep Your Meetings Safe!

Cyber security is not a priority for most meeting planners, but experts warn that it’s just a matter of time before the industry is hit with a major breach. Both attendees and event professionals can take steps to protect themselves.

Cyber security is a hot topic these days, with major companies such as Equifax suffering data breaches.  Meetings, conferences, and other events are a potential target for hackers.  Just think about it: you have a large number of professionals in one space with all sorts of valuable data on their devices.  But, there are a number of simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of a hack and increase your event’s security.
  1.  Secure your devices.  Always keep anti-virus and anti-malware software running and up to date on your laptops and mobile devices.   Use a password manager, which will generate complex, secure, and unique passwords for every site and service you use.
  2.  Secure your network.  Open wi-fi networks allow anyone to see and access your data- be careful about using your device in public locations such as coffee shops.  For your event, consider setting up a hidden wi-fi network and providing your attendees with the name and password to connect.  While not foolproof, This will help prevent them from accidentally joining the wrong network, and will help keep unwanted intruders from connecting.
  3. Don’t forget the physical element.  Never leave devices unattended!  Even with strong network security, if a phone or laptop is left unattended during a break, anyone can tamper with it.

For more a more in-depth look at cyber security and the meeting industry, we love this article by Jaimie Seaton.

2018 is Going to be a Great Year for Meeting Planners

“Reflecting global sentiment, the key focus for meeting planners and owners will be prioritizing the attendee experience.”

According to the recent 2018 Global Meetings and Events forecast from American Express Meetings and Events, the meetings and events industry is looking great!  2018 should show solid growth across the industry world-wide.  This is due to numerous factors including increased competition in the industry, increased flexibility in program offerings, and advancements in technology allowing unique opportunities such as virtual reality.

Learn More

View Full Report

RELENTLESSLY POSITIVE: The Constant and Unabating Application of Effective and Productive Optimism by Pamela Jett

This week, we are excited to feature a guest blog from speaker Pamela Jett!  Thanks so much, Pamela!


RELENTLESSLY POSITIVE:The Constant and Unabating Application of Effective and Productive Optimism

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where “choosing to be happy” or any of the other peppy pieces of advice often given by professional speakers from the platform just doesn’t seem to be working? Or, in a serious situation where being perky, upbeat, and a ray of cheerful sunshine doesn’t seem possible. Perhaps you’ve even found yourself facing a challenge or loss where being upbeat and chipper is downright inappropriate.

When challenged to “choose to be happy” or given other motivational nuggets, you might find yourself occasionally even cringing and thinking, “here we go again.”  Or, “I’m a meeting planner and nothing about this event is simple. Things are complicated. There are too many stakeholders involved and expectations are high and the budget is low. My pressures and stressors are real!”

A perky, positive attitude has its place. Exuberant cheerfulness by choice can, without a doubt, help create a positive environment. And, it can help keep your team motivated when you are in the trenches or in the midst of a meeting with many moving parts. For over 2 decades I’ve worked with professionals, including meeting planners, to enhance their communication and leadership skills. I’ve frequently found myself encouraging people to “choose to be happy.”

However, I’ve recently decided that happiness is over-rated. It’s good. It is powerful. And, sometimes we need something more.

In the midst of challenges, and without a doubt we live and work in challenging times, what individuals, teams, and leaders really need is the ability to move forward and be productive while simultaneously acknowledging the impact change, crisis, and serious challenge has on people, teams, organizations, and even cultures. Failing to recognize these very real struggles can cause us to lose credibility and for teams to be less effective. Failure to acknowledge the very real challenges people experience and the struggles they have means we are not very empathetic. Failing to be empathetic, failing to “feel with,” minimizes psychological safety, a key driver of success.

Imagine if you are working to plan an annual meeting that has typically had a robust budget. Since you plan well in advance, some vendor contracts have been signed well in advance, decisions have been made, and plans are moving forward based on those robust budget projections.  You receive a phone call with the news “the budget has been slashed for this year’s meeting.” It would be not only absurd for you to respond to this news all chipper and upbeat; it would be counter-productive for you to do so. Your team members and others involved in planning would wonder “don’t they understand this is a real problem? Don’t they get that is means major extra work for us and some really tough negotiations? Are they that insensitive or delusional?”  You would lose credibility if you were chipper and upbeat. Others would no longer trust you or feel safe.  And yet, you are still tasked with delivering a great meeting and pleasing the stakeholders. That’s a tough spot.  Happy and upbeat is a poor choice. Morose and depressed isn’t good either.

It’s in times like these that what we really need is the ability to choose to be relentlessly positive. Relentless positivity is the constant and unabating application of effective and productive optimism.

Based in neuroscience and with a focus on business application, the art of choosing to be relentlessly positive is something everyone can master. Relentless positivity moves us beyond the power of positive thinking and into the mindset and language crucial for resilience and success in today’s world.

Pamela Jett, CSP is a leadership and communication expert based in Phoenix, AZ. Delivered with energy, humor, and a dash of neuroscience, her latest keynote presentations, The Relentlessly Positive Leader and The Relentlessly Positive Communicator, provide audiences of all types new, evidence-based tools to overcome adversity and challenges. www.Relentlessly-Positive.com

We Love Josh Sundquist’s Halloween Costumes!

If you’ve been on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or pretty much anywhere on the internet lately, you’ve likely seen these pictures of Josh Sundquist’s Halloween costumes.

Josh Sundquist is a Paralympian and bestselling author who has shared his story at events across the world. His high-energy blend of humor and inspiration motivates audiences to adopt his ski racing motto 1MT1MT (one more thing, one more time) to elevate their performance in sales, customer service, quality improvement, leadership, and more.

Read more about Josh’s famous costumes

Dr. Rick Rigsby: The speaker everyone’s buzzing about

Dr. Rick Rigsby

Here at the Speaker Exchange Agency, we’ve always got our ears to the ground listening for the sound of a hot new speaker.  And this month, Dr. Rick Rigsby has caught our attention!  Dr. Rick Rigsby is President and CEO of Rick Rigsby Communications. Through motivational speaking, corporate coaching, books and social media outlets, Rick encourages and empowers audience members to become great people who do great things.

One of his motivational speeches, “The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout,” was published on Youtube in early October and has gone viral with over 1,000,000 views.  Watch it here!  We have seen interest in Rick skyrocket on our website, and we love this article by Earnthenecklace explaining his recent popularity.

Ready to book Dr. Rick Rigsby?  Contact us today!

A note about our website!

Hi!

This is Allison Little, IT director at the Speaker Exchange Agency.  As you may have noticed, I’ve been working on making some changes to the website.  I’ve focused on improving the site’s search.  You can now filter your search by multiple categories, keywords, and fee ranges, and view improved search results.  I’m also continually updating and adding speaker pages with complete topics and videos.  On our homepage, I’ve added a fun new section where you can view our current Speaker Obsessions, which are speakers we are super excited about!  There have been plenty more upgrades and improvements behind the scenes that I won’t bore you with, but I hope that everyone is having a great user experience!

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