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Michael Brandwein Illinois
Photo of Michael Brandwein

Michael Brandwein is an internationally recognized expert on management, communication, leadership, team-building and customer service. He has presented in every one of the 50 states, in most provinces of Canada, and on 6 of the 7 continents. He is the author of three best-selling books, Training Terrific Staff, Super Staff SuperVision and Learning Leadership and wrote and presented three 1999 Emmy® award-winning televisions programs on communication, broadcast on PBS stations throughout the U.S.

Michael is best known for his highly practical, "use-it-immediately" approach and entertaining and engaging teaching methods. Successful Meetings magazine searched nationwide and selected Michael as one of two "unique, exceptional speakers who provide real entertainment value with important messages that listeners can apply to their jobs immediately." Corporate Meetings & Incentives magazine identified Michael as one of 15 "sure-thing speakers."

Michael is one of the highest rated keynote speakers for SOCAP, the national organization for customer service directors of the best known Fortune 500 companies in North America. He has provided training for large and small organizations and businesses including Nordstrom, Mercedes-Benz, Gillette, Motorola, International Paper, Zurich Kemper, Frito-Lay, Choice Hotels, Kodak and many others. He has presented for organizations that work in environments of the highest pressure and accountability. For example, he has served for over five years on the faculty of the management training academy at NASA and has worked for the JFK School for Special Operations and Warfare where they train Delta Force, Rangers and other special forces.

Michael's Juris Doctor degree is from the University of Chicago. He served nine years as a trial lawyer and partner in a firm in Chicago until he left the practice of law in 1989 to pursue full-time his true passion of teaching and speaking. His undergraduate degree in Speech Communication is from the University of Illinois at Urbana, where he graduated summa cum laude as a Bronze Tablet Scholar, the highest academic distinction awarded by the University.

Michael's presentational skills have been enhanced from a diverse variety of creative experiences, including graduating from the famed Second City improvisational theater school in Chicago, writing and performing in a live production with Jim Henson's Muppets for HBO and the American Library Association to encourage young people to read and performing as a professional magician for over 25 years.


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  • The Real Truth About Sticks & Stones: Recharging Our Batteries & Creating Changeability - Successful leadership of others begins with more expert leadership of ourselves. Michael uses a creative, highly entertaining approach to present a practical, no-nonsense set of tools to help people:
    • handle stress and keep balanced
    • be more open to learning new things and keep growing professionally
    • work better with others
    • resist burnout
    • meet challenges with more flexibility and skill
    • handle change in positive ways

    This session lets each of us take a refreshing and often surprising look at the conclusions we've made about ourselves, why we believe them, and how they unconsciously hold us back by limiting our choices. It demonstrates how to listen to ourselves with greater skill and replaces the prevailing myth about people's "styles" with more positive steps to help us be more flexibly effective. You'll be recharged and revitalized!

  • The Leading Secrets to Leading Others: Why There's No Such Thing as a Born Leader - To be terrific leaders who continually develop new and stronger skills in ourselves and others, we need to become really expert at one thing: focusing on skills instead of qualities. This energizing session shows exactly how to do it. We will:
    • demonstrate to ourselves a surprising critical error in how we've been trained to look at successful people;
    • use "Olivier's Law," three key communication rules, and two specific steps to more immediately improve individual and team skills;
    • learn and practice a simple but powerful "reverse engineering" technique to identify and use skills that develop better working relationships with others
    • take home over 200 immediately useable examples of what outstanding leaders say and do that will make a positive difference in our own work every day

  • Houdini's Greatest Secret Was That There Was One: Unlocking & Unblocking the Path to Personal & Organizational Success - Houdini, the most famous magician in history, performed such unbelievable escapes and illusions that many highly intelligent people believed these unexplainable feats could be only performed with supernatural powers. You'll be shocked--and see for your own eyes--what Houdini did to prove them wrong. His legend still fascinates and entertains us--but we can learn some surprising and highly useful techniques from his approach to competition, innovation and reaching for the top goals that may seem unreachable.

    This unique keynote presentation creatively employs actual demonstrations of some incredible magic to disclose some amazing secrets about the master magician that help us handle problems, fears, challenges and change. They can help us achieve success as an organization and as professionals. And, at its conclusion, we will see for ourselves what Houdini called his greatest physical and mental challenge: an escape in full view from a real, regulation hospital straitjacket-not the tricky way with a magician's prop that we may have seen on TV, but a real demonstration with a real restraint done in the way Houdini thrilled audiences over a hundred years ago.

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