Q: How do you define success?
A: I guarantee a high energy, dynamic program that is full of humorous, poignant stories and ideas that will change lives. However, the success of my program is not tied to my performance. I measure success by what the audiences does weeks, months and years after my speech. Many organizations hire me for a return engagement. When I go back to the client, instead of the audience members telling me how good I am, they regale me with details of what they have done differently to improve their lives since we last met. That is success to me.
Q: What are the unique strengths of your work-life balance programs?
A: The programs focus on innovative, practical, “works in real life” strategies that are effective regardless of age, gender, marital status, children, or occupation. The greatest strength is that the strategies adapt to any lifestyle and continue to work for years after the event. I guarantee that people will leave armed with ideas they will actually use. The high energy, humorous presentations connect people throughout the entire meeting. In addition, the topic encourages spouses and partners to fully participate and feel like an intregral part of the event.
Q: The committee agrees that women will like the program, but will men relate to the ideas as well?
A: Absolutely! As a CEO of a trucking company commented to me after my program, “This was not a chick talk. I loved your speech because you gave us solutions- you know, men like solutions.” Men are ready to make changes in their own way to achieve more work-life balance. For those who disagree, I believe they are seriously underestimating men. For more evidence, read testimonials from the all male audiences.
Q: Our organization is very profit oriented. Does your approach make good business sense?
A: A USA Today survey found that 75% of CEO’s and 88% of middle managers listed balancing work and family as a major concern. Companies who excel at addressing the work-life balance needs will have a recruiting advantage because never before have we needed a workforce to perform at such highly productive and efficient levels. Futurists predict that the United States will have a shortfall of 10 million workers in the next five years. With unprecedented degrees of change, fierce competition and narrowing profits on a global basis, balancing our work and personal life has never made better business sense.
Q: How long are the programs?
A: My keynote presentation is typically 20-90 minutes, but 60-75 minutes is my favorite format because that allows for more audience participation. I have taught a 48 hour graduate school class on work-life balance and women’s leadership for Chapman University, so shortage of material is never an issue. I also offer breakout sessions, half-day programs, webinars and the facilitation of panel discussions. Sometimes, my clients’ meetings “run over.” I can easily adapt my remarks to get you back on schedule at your request.
Q: Can you conduct interactive programs?
A: Interactive programs are my favorite. The audience members inspire one another with their insightful and creative ideas. Shoulders relax and camaraderie builds as business associates learn they have a lot in common.
Q: Do you customize your programs?
A: Yes. I will talk with you prior to your event to determine your group’s unique needs. Most importantly, however, the presentation uses universal principles that capture the imagination of the countless different lifestyles in the audience. Whether the attendees are single, married, widowed or divorced, whether they have big, little, grand or no children, whether they work inside or outside the home, as front line employee or CEO, my goal is to have them believe I am talking directly to them. My most common feedback I get after my program is, “Did you secretly bring a video camera into my office/ home? You described my life perfectly!”
Q: How can you offer added-value after the program?
A: To keep the ideas alive I can customize a follow-up email that you (or I) can send to the attendees with new ways to use the ideas I offered in the keynote. A little reinforcement often goes a long way.
Q: What about the diversity of the groups you address?
A: I have spoken to groups from Bangkok to Biloxi. My books are published in English, German and Portuguese and distributed in Australia, Europe, and South America. The desire for work-life balance is universal.
Q: We’d like to do something a little different at our event. How can you help?
A: After my keynote speech an effective way to tie the message directly to your organization is to have me facilitate a panel discussion on stage with key members of your organization. I’d love to explore this opportunity with you.
Q: Why is a book autograph session after your speech such an advantage?
A: A book signing after the program is an ideal way for me to connect one-on-one with the audience members. Many feel compelled to tell me what really hit home and what they specifically plan to do. This conversation as I sign books often propels them forward in their lives. Whether you pre-buy the books to gift the attendees or offer the books for sale I will stay as long as possible to connect with the audience members. CLICK HERE TO VIEW MARY’S BOOKS