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Keynote Topics

Build Your Taller Spaceship

The Journey from Aspiring Astronaut to Successful Problem Finder

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The 16 Strengths of Successful Problem Solvers

Unlocking Potential:  Insights for Exceptional Problem Solvers

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Successful Storytelling with Data

Data Empowered: Crafting Compelling Stories for Impactful Presentations

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Build Your Taller Spaceship - The Journey from Aspiring Astronaut to Successful Problem Finder


Discover the captivating journey of an aspiring astronaut turned expert problem solver in "Building Your Taller Spaceship." Through humor and heartfelt stories, Michael will take your audience from his childhood dream of space exploration to his groundbreaking work in engineering and problem-solving. Learn how to overcome setbacks, think creatively, and lead with purpose. This keynote promises to inspire resilience, foster innovative thinking, and motivate attendees to reach for their own stars, making it the perfect choice for your next event. 

Audience Objectives:

  1. Inspire Resilience and Adaptability: Encourage the audience to embrace change and adapt to unexpected challenges, using personal setbacks as opportunities for growth and innovation.
  2. Foster a Problem-Solving Mindset: Instill the importance of developing strong problem-solving skills, highlighting the Sixteen Strengths of Successful Problem Solvers and how they can be applied in various contexts.
  3. Promote Creative and Critical Thinking: Motivate the audience to think creatively and critically, sharing anecdotes that demonstrate how unconventional solutions can lead to significant breakthroughs.
  4. Highlight the Value of Continuous Learning: Emphasize the importance of lifelong learning and professional development, showcasing how certifications and ongoing education have contributed to your success.
  5. Advocate for Teamwork and Leadership: Highlight the role of collaboration and leadership in problem-solving, encouraging the audience to develop their teamwork skills and embrace adaptive leadership styles.
  6. Instill a Sense of Purpose and Motivation: Inspire the audience to pursue their dreams with determination and humor, regardless of obstacles, and to find fulfillment in helping others achieve their goals as well.

The 16 Strengths of Successful Problem Solvers - Unlocking Potential:  Insights for Exceptional Problem Solvers


Michael offers a customizable experience, incorporating two or three of these pivotal objectives tailored to the audience's needs.

In his engaging and humorous keynote, "16 Strengths of Successful Problem Solvers," Michael  explores the essential attributes that transform ordinary engineers into exceptional problem solvers. Drawing from his book, "Building Your Taller Spaceship: 16 Strengths of Successful Problem Solvers," Michael outlines the journey from becoming a skilled detective who asks the right questions and analyzes data, to forming a cohesive, communicative team, and ultimately evolving into a proactive, self-aware leader. Each strength—ranging from inquisitiveness and persistence to collaboration and innovation—offers actionable insights and real-world examples, empowering audiences to tackle complex challenges with confidence and creativity. Through relatable anecdotes and practical advice, Michael inspires professionals to move beyond firefighting and build robust, efficient systems that prevent chaos and drive success.

Audience Objectives:

  1. Inspire Curiosity: Encourage attendees to ask critical questions that challenge the status quo and uncover hidden opportunities.
  2. Enhance Observational Skills: Teach the audience to be more perceptive and recognize subtle clues that lead to breakthrough solutions.
  3. Foster Persistence: Motivate participants to persevere through setbacks and maintain determination in the face of complex problems.
  4. Promote Data-Driven Decision Making: Guide attendees on how to let data tell the story, ensuring informed and effective solutions.
  5. Cultivate Adaptability: Prepare the audience to embrace change and pivot strategies swiftly in dynamic environments.
  6. Empower Decisiveness: Instill confidence in making timely and effective decisions under pressure.
  7. Strengthen Team Collaboration: Highlight the importance of collective intelligence and how to harness team strengths for superior outcomes.
  8. Improve Communication Skills: Develop listening and speaking skills to ensure clear and effective communication within teams.
  9. Encourage Collaboration: Foster a culture of mutual support and cooperation to solve problems more efficiently.
  10. Boost Optimism: Inspire a positive mindset, encouraging belief in the possibility of solving even the toughest challenges.
  11. Teach Patience: Emphasize the value of patience and persistence, showing how to manage frustration and stay focused on long-term goals.
  12. Promote Self-Awareness: Help participants understand their strengths and weaknesses to better navigate problem-solving scenarios.
  13. Stimulate Innovation: Encourage creative thinking and ideation for developing unique solutions to pressing problems.
  14. Instill a Learning Mindset: Advocate for continuous learning and growth as essential components of successful problem-solving.
  15. Drive Efficiency: Teach methods to streamline processes and work smarter, not harder, ensuring productive and efficient problem resolution.
  16. Advocate Proactivity: Inspire the audience to anticipate and address potential issues before they escalate into significant problems.

These objectives demonstrate how this keynote will equip attendees with essential skills and mindsets to tackle complex challenges, making an invaluable addition to any event focused on leadership, innovation, and effective problem-solving.

Successful Storytelling with Data - Data Empowered: Crafting Compelling Stories for Impactful Presentations


Transform your data presentations with Michael's "Successful StorytellingTM with Data" keynote. Engineers often struggle to connect their insights with non-expert audiences, leading to disengagement and missed opportunities. Michael addresses this by teaching how to craft compelling data stories that resonate. Learn to simplify complex data, avoid information overload, and make your ideas memorable. Discover the six essential story types including the essential 3 C’s, master the DIG Method, and enhance your data visualization skills. You'll become a successful storyteller to drive meaningful change in your organization.

Audience Objectives:

  1. Understand the Importance of a ‘Sticky’ Story: Learn why creating a relatable connection with your audience is crucial for making your data and ideas resonate, moving beyond expert jargon to accessible communication.
  2. Master Visualization Simplification Techniques: Discover how to simplify complex data visualizations to avoid information overload, making your presentations clear, engaging, and memorable.
  3. Explore the Six Essential Stories: Identify and utilize the six types of stories that every person should know to effectively communicate and influence their organization.
  4. Learn the DIG Method and the 3 C’s: Gain insight into the DIG Method and the essential 3C’s (Character, Conflict, Conversation) to craft and share your main points effectively.
  5. Create Engaging Data Stories: Develop the skills to humanize your data, making it sticky and memorable for your audience through storytelling techniques that transform raw data into compelling narratives.
  6. Enhance Data Visualization Skills: Improve your ability to design data visualizations that increase audience understanding and retention of the information presented.
  7. Persuade for Organizational Changes: Become a confident and successful storyteller who can drive necessary changes within your organization.

Brian R., President of national non-profit association of private-sector firms.

"Thank you for the fantastic keynote address that you recently gave at our annual Summer Conference. The comments I received from participants clearly demonstrated that your genuine presentation style allowed your keynote concerning change and break-through innovation to be delivered without any barriers. Others simply enjoyed the relevant humor and personal stories related to the theme which added to the effectiveness of your message. “

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