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Donald Cooper – 20 Years On and Going Strong


Donald Cooper

For over 20 years, prospeakers.com has been booking Donald Cooper, MBA, for clients who want to create compelling customer value and experiences, manage smarter, attract a top-performing team…and grow their bottom line.

There’s a reason he continues to be respected as bottom-line realist and passionate visionary by clients in over 40 industries around the world; Donald has been in the trenches.  He has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning fashion retailer.

From humble beginnings, Cooper Sporting Goods became the world’s leading maker of hockey equipment and a Canadian Brand icon. As a growing family business, Cooper Canada bought competitors, went public, became unionized, became un-unionized, imported, exported to 20 countries, opened an offshore plant in Barbados, and grew to over 2,800 employees.

Then, at age 43 Donald ‘fired’ himself from the family business and reinvented himself as a visionary fashion retailer. He fundamentally redefined customer experience, for which he received seven Awards of Excellence for service, marketing and business innovation, including being voted Canada’s outstanding Innovative Retailer of the Year.

Simply put, Donald Cooper is a bottom-line management guy.  Through keynotes, interactive workshops and intensive  1-to-2 day ‘Management Boot Camps’, he works with business owners and managers who want to achieve extraordinary outcomes in 5 key areas:

  1. Create compelling customer value and experiences that will give them a clear competitive advantage.  Mediocrity is no longer an option.
  2. Market and promote more effectively on a tight budget in a cynical and over-served market.  There’s no point being the best if you’re also the best kept secret.
  3. Attract, engage, and retain a top-performing team.  The real battle in business today is the battle for talent.  We must all become ‘talent magnets’.
  4. Improve profitability now and for the long term…and
  5. Create a clear Vision for the future of their business, a specific Plan to get there and a culture of commitment, urgency and accountability to make sure they do.

Donald will inform you, inspire you, challenge you, disturb you…and leave you with a new and powerful understanding of your customers, your business and your life!


To learn more about having Donald speak at your next conference or event, be in touch with us via our website or by phone at 416-420-4525. We’d love to bring his effective business input to your company today!


Welcome to the Team!

Prospeakers is proud to announce the addition of two wonderful speakers: Kathleen Taylor & Howard Behar.

Welcome to the team!

Taylor - 2013 - cropped(1)As a global executive, Kathleen Taylor attributes  her business success to an unyielding customer focus, strong core values,  constant innovation and authentic leadership. These key elements combined with  her ability to build high performing teams have enabled the ongoing delivery of  superior long term results. During  almost 25 years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts – and over a decade  serving successively as its President, Worldwide Business Operations (1999),  Chief Operating Officer (2007) and CEO (2010) – Katie played an instrumental  role in establishing the Company’s global portfolio of luxury properties and  ensuring the brand’s international success. In that period, Four Seasons  quadrupled in size – growing to 90 locations operating in 37 countries – while  at the same time earning more consumer and industry awards than any other luxury  hospitality brand in history.

Katie’s unique leadership style, negotiating expertise, and strong relationship  management capabilities allowed her to drive the modern evolution of an iconic  Company with the support of almost 100 hotel ownership and development partners  around the world.

Katie is the recipient of numerous accolades for her business achievements, including  being the first woman ever to receive the Corporate Hotelier of the World award  from Hotels Magazine. She also received  the Cornell University Hospitality Innovator Award, the Schulich School of Business Award for Outstanding Executive Leadership, the inaugural Medal for Career  Achievement from the Hennick Centre for Business and Law at York University, and has been inducted into the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends.

Yet, despite myriad professional achievements, Katie has  made work-life integration her mantra, always describing her relationships with  her husband and their three grown children as her “greatest  achievements”.

Howard Behar(1)Howard  Behar’s career in business spans over 50 years, all in consumer oriented  businesses covering several industries. He retired from Starbucks Coffee after  21 years where he led both the domestic business, as President of North  America, and was the founding President of Starbucks International.   During his tenure, he participated in the growth of the company from only  28 stores to over 15,000 stores spanning five continents.  He served on  the Starbucks Board of Directors for twelve years before retiring.

Howard now serves on several Boards including for-profit and non-profit organizations.   They include Anna’s Linens, Sterling Savings Bank, Education Elements and  the advisory boards of Anthos Capital and Roadtrip Nation. His non-profit  commitments are to the University of Washington Foundation, and Washington  Business Alliance.

Howard is committed to the development and education of our future leaders and  has been a longtime advocate of the Servant Leadership Model.   He  has also authored a book on leadership titled “It’s Not About the  Coffee”

He lives in Seattle,  Washington, with his wife Lynn, and enjoys spending time with his children and  his five grandchildren.  Boating is his favorite hobby, exploring the  waterways from Seattle to Alaska.


To book Kathleen or Howard for your next event, give us a call at 416-420-4525 or be in touch via our site.




Michelle Ray: Lead Yourself First

Michelle Ray2Michelle Ray is a highly sought-after international business keynote speaker, consultant, author and educator who demonstrates a deep understanding of the importance of self-leadership in business and in life.

Creating her own successful international business, Michelle believes that  leadership is a state of mind and helps individuals at any stage of their career to master personal leadership, that is, the ability to take charge of oneself first in any situation. Michelle speaks passionately about self-actualization, the importance of outstanding leadership in the workplace, and the roles of positive communication and influence.

She has established the “Lead Yourself First Institute” to help individuals and organizations take the initiative in the face  of change and economic uncertainty.

Michelle’s latest book, Lead Yourself First: Breakthrough Strategies to Live the Life You Want, has continued to receive rave reviews. Lead Yourself First is now available on the Amazon Kindle! You can buy your paperback or digital copy here.

Once recognized as the top speaker in Canada for the world’s largest international public seminar company, Michelle offers in-house business seminars and consulting for leadership development, understanding changing  demographics, communication and improving workplace relationships.

You too can be encouraged and captivated through Michelle’s interactive approach!

On June 27th, Michelle is offering a complimentary webinar at 1:00pmPST (4:00pmEST). She will be discussing how to build high engagement, high morale and achieve an overall happier workplace. You can register for Michelle’s complimentary webinar here.

To book Michelle for your next event give us a call at 416-420-4525 or be in touch via our site.


Filed under: Communication,Customer Service,Leadership,Motivation,Womens Issues — Tags: , — prospeakers.com @ 11:55 am
Sales Performance: It Starts with Self Worth

Bob Urichuck; CMT, CSP, CSC and Sales Performance Trainer, on the vital importance of owning your worth.

Many people go through life and don’t realize their own value or self worth.

What value do you place upon yourself? This can be a difficult question and requires some thought. A lot of people would answer this question in monetary terms, others in relationship to their partner, family, their business, or their job and the value they bring to it.

But what about the value you bring to yourself?

In our sales training programs you learn how your self worth is a combination of your self esteem, self confidence and self respect. When comparing individuals with a weak self esteem to those with a strong self esteem, what are the obvious differences? Does self esteem play a major role? Of course, it does.

Weak self esteem produces low self confidence and low self worth/net worth; whereas strong self esteem produces much more confidence in oneself and increases one’s self and net worth accordingly.

Hence the importance of this topic in sales training – building the foundation

Self esteem is an internal sense of worth, the essence of a personality, and is reflected in ones self worth and net worth. Self esteem reflects an inner confidence and self-respect. Self esteem shines outwardly and is demonstrated by the actions one takes.

Your internal self worth, which consists of your self-esteem, self confidence and self respect, will become your external net worth.

It all begins with your beliefs. What you believe to be true about yourself usually generates equivalent self esteem, self confidence and self respect. Your beliefs determine your attitude which is a big part of self esteem. Are you carrying appropriate beliefs about yourself, or are you still carrying a lot of negative baggage? If the latter still exists, get rid of it.

You are an adult now and should be able to distinguish between fact and fiction. Get rid of the fiction.

Take control of your attitude and your mindset by ridding yourself of all those negative beliefs.

I believe we all came into this world as miracles and equal human beings regardless of race, religion, colour, nationality, sex, title or role. However, your exposure to the outside world with respect to family, religion, education, politics, etc., has influenced your inside world or your true self esteem. You have created your own fears, limitations and boundaries based on what you allowed inside from the outside world. You have become your own worst enemy.

Overtime your personal perceptions have been altered. Your self esteem has diminished and your self worth suddenly has limitations. Your level of courage is no longer what it was when you were a child.

In sales training you learn to go back and review your values as it relates to your self esteem. You need to remove some of the baggage that has been holding you back and contributing to your low self-esteem, self confidence and self respect. You need to boost your self esteem by acknowledging your worth and managing your emotions. Your self esteem portrays your values and affects the choices you make.

Simply by changing your internal thinking, you can reclaim your self-esteem, self confidence and self respect and strive for a level ten self esteem as your standard. This is a level of self esteem from which to strive forward. That is one of the many outcomes from our ongoing sales training programs.

It is a known fact that if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either. How you feel about yourself, in particular your self esteem is reflected in your daily conversations, your body language and your abilities.

You are responsible for your destiny and anything is possible with high quality self esteem.

Your self esteem, like your attitude, is within your control. Discipline yourself to take control of that most important person in the world. You are the all inclusive package of self esteem, self confidence and self respect.

All three attributes equal your self worth and in turn, your self worth will translate externally into your net worth.

What value do you place upon yourself?

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Planting Seeds: The Immeasurable Fruit of Generosity

Sometimes, the little things we do may not seem to have an immediate pay-off, and we’re tempted to focus only on pressing matters with tangible results. But when we “plant seeds,” we never know what will come of them…

From Josh Linkner‘s blog:

How do you know if you’ve accomplished something today? What should you measure if you didn’t deliver something measurable? In an era of dashboards, metrics, and key performance indicators, should every ounce of your energy be directed at hitting near term deliverables?

In studying the behavior of the most successful people, I’ve noticed that they spend a good deal of time planting seeds. Sure, they deliver short-range tangible results, but they also constantly invest in the future.

When you take the time to help someone out with no immediate payback in sight, you are planting a seed. When you write an article, blog, or whitepaper – simply to share insight with others – you are planting seeds. When you volunteer at a local hospital, give back to the community, or pick up that piece of trash that everyone else sees yet ignores, you are planting seeds.

The results often come back to you in non-linear ways, but the return on your investment will absolutely be noteworthy. The college student you help, simply because it is the right thing to do, ends up referring his boss to you years later who, in turn, becomes your largest client. The speech you gave at a community event touches the mayor, who becomes an ally to you as you seek permit approval several months later.

The funny thing about generosity is that it actually ends up driving better results than the selfish person craves. If you go out into the world and greedily chase cash, you’ll seldom find it. But if you genuinely seek to make a difference, you’ll end up with an even greater bounty.

You can plant seeds by building new relationships. Helping a colleague. Extending support to others without issuing them an invoice in return. Sharing your knowledge. Supporting a friend during difficult times. Doing a favor. Pitching in without being asked.

The seeds you plant may not provide a boost to this month’s income statement, but there’s simply no question they will propel your future. It’s one of those things that grumpy, penny-pinching CFOs will advise against; which is all the more reason to keep on planting.

Sure, it’s a good day when you land a client, close a deal, or improve performance by 3.68%. But it’s a great day when you’ve planted fresh seeds. While it can’t be measured this month, you will savor the wonder and magic when those seeds bear beautiful fruit.

Plant away.