Michelle Ray

Founder, Lead Yourself First Institute

Bestselling Author and Media Personality

Michelle Ray is a highly sought-after international business keynote speaker, entrepreneur, author and educator who advocates the importance of developing leadership and accountability skills, regardless of one’s title. She is committed to helping her clients create engaged workplaces, develop exceptional leaders and implement practical strategies to revitalize their cultures.


From increasing sales revenues of 25 leading Australian radio and television affiliate stations to generating record-breaking revenues for the sales team of the world’s largest cinema advertising contractor, Michelle Ray has proven background of achieving outstanding results as a corporate business leader.


In addition to her corporate background, Michelle broadened her leadership experience during her tenure as a program director with Junior Achievement. Michelle secured financial commitments and volunteer support from an array of corporations, facilitating enduring partnerships between youth, entrepreneurs and educators that helped educate future generations about business.


Now residing in Vancouver, Canada, Michelle helps individuals at every level and any stage of their career to master personal leadership—the ability to take charge of oneself first in any situation. She speaks passionately about self-actualization, change, the importance of authentic leadership in the workplace and the responsibility of positive communication and influence.

“Practicing personal leadership is everyone’s personal responsibility.”



Leadership: It Starts with Me

We’ve often heard the adage “everyone can be a leader,” but what does this mean? More importantly, how is this relevant to your organization and your people? The most practical answer is to think of leadership in terms of character, rather than position or title. A leader is someone at any level who has grasped the ability to take charge of their thoughts, and consequently their actions, in any situation.


We are often tested to be the best version of ourselves, regardless of our job function. Our attitudes directly impact the workplace atmosphere and the quality of our business relationships. We should never underestimate our personal power and ability to control our reality.


Are you tapping into your own innovative potential? Are you demonstrating unwavering confidence in your interactions with clients, managers and co-workers? Leadership begins with taking the initiative and leading yourself first.


Delivering her message with insight, wit and humour, Michelle’s energizing, informative and dynamic keynote presentation will remind audiences of the power of personal leadership. They will learn strategies to take the lead, embrace any challenge and create their own outcomes, long after the event ends.


Learning benefits for your audience:

  • Build a leadership blueprint to use in business and in life
  • Realize the incredible leverage of modeling a “do what it takes” attitude
  • Realign your core personal values to those of your workplace
  • Decrease stress and negativity for greater productivity and positive outcomes
  • Tap into your innovative potential to bring out the best in yourself


No More Drama! Ditch the Dysfunction and Engage Your Workplace

The existence of people challenges has consequences for your bottom line. Many individuals are working longer hours, spending more time with managers, co-workers, and computers than their own families. Stress levels have accelerated as organizations of every description feel the pressure of delivering results for their clients and shareholders in less time, with fewer resources. Teams are expected to be efficient, engaged and happy.


However, the demands of today’s workplaces often take a toll on the most important resource of all… your people. Under pressured conditions, it is not uncommon for drama and chaos to reign.


Is your business equipped to deal with personality clashes, emotional explosions, “my way or the highway” mindsets, and other theatrics that undermine productivity and success? Are you ready to manage the high cost of low morale?


Delivered with passion and insight, this exciting, fun keynote offers practical solutions to the most common workplace problems…helping your audience to put a stop to the drama…once and for all.


Sample of learning benefits for your audience:

  • Detach from the dysfunction and drama to be a better “you”
  • Take a stand in the face of “the blame game” and other theatrics
  • Practice objectivity and put the “small stuff” into perspective
  • Learn the difference between people who have problems and people who are problems
  • Evict the colleagues, managers and others who are living “rent-free” in your head


Who moved my future? ™

Demystifying the Fear of Change


“Why is this happening?” “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” “We’ve always done it that way”: Three clichés that have become part of the dialogue when it comes to the topic of change. Learning how to managing ourselves around situations and events that are outside of our control is not as complex as you may think, although the process often necessitates a shift in perspective, a readiness to let go of the old and a willingness to embrace the new.


It’s easier said than done.


During volatile economic conditions, it is no wonder many people feel stuck; taking the leap of faith when there is no safety net feels overwhelming. It is during these times that organizations tighten their collective belts and become even more risk-averse. Adapting to rapidly changing economic conditions is expected, yet many people feel even more afraid.


So, where to start?


The first step is to recognize that change is emotional. Organizations can achieve more success with change initiatives by acknowledging the human side before expecting acceptance of new ideas. When leaders understand what lies behind people’s fears, they will be better equipped to obtain buy-in.


During this dynamic, interactive and content-rich keynote, your attendees will learn the five reasons behind resistance to change, how to achieve greater levels of acceptance in order to move beyond the “status quo” and ultimately, how to implement and communicate new strategies and approaches for long-term results.


Sample of learning benefits for your audience:

  • Address the fear of change and the fear of failure
  • Develop a repertoire of communication skills to build rapport and achieve buy-in
  • Adopt a “can-do” mindset and rise above the naysayers
  • Learn to respond vs. react to change and uncertainty
  • Experience Michelle’s 7- step process to managing change


Retain the Best, Confront the Rest

How to shake up your organization in the War for Talent ©


The notion of having one job and having it for life does not hold any appeal for the new generation of talent. Those days are gone forever and unless organizations are willing to invest in them emotionally and financially‚ this savvy group will seize opportunity and leave you scrambling to replace them. They won’t accept complacency in their leaders or teams‚ and neither should you. In order to retain them, organizations and leaders need to focus on creating an outstanding culture that fosters high engagement, high morale, and a happier atmosphere.


In addition to managing the increasing numbers of retiring baby boomers, a key priority is building a culture that draws in new talent and fosters engagement for all team members, regardless of age or culture. Leaders need to ask themselves:


“What is it that people want when they come to our organization? What is appealing about our industry that would attract them to our organization?”


If you are able to answer these questions, then the process of attracting and retaining new talent becomes easier.


As leaders, we also must recognize that our own leadership style impacts employee motivation and talent retention. Leaders at all levels can profoundly impact an individual’s decision to stay or leave. Are you doing your best to communicate, connect and demonstrate genuine interest in your team members?


In this content rich keynote presentation, you will discover the key components for building a dynamic environment where people can thrive and enjoy their work. You will recognize that the intangible (non-financial) motivators often have a major influence on a prospective, or current employee’s perception of your organization. Are you ready?


Sample of learning benefits for your audience:

  • Create a work environment that fosters talent retention through higher engagement levels
  • Educate managers and leaders in accountability being a two-way street
  • Understand the difference between tangible and intangible workplace motivators in the overall engagement equation
  • Recognize the myths and truths behind a high performing workplace culture
  • Learn the four influencing factors that are critical to talent retention
  • Discover the “push” and “pull” factors regarding employees’ decisions to stay or leave

Change Management / Leadership / Peak Performance / Resilience / Workforce/HR
Change Management / Leadership / Peak Performance / Teamwork