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If you’re a sports fan, you know James Duthie.

duthie-bookJames Duthie is one of today’s most talented sports broadcasters. An avid athlete in his youth, Duthie studied Journalism at Carleton University, then spent several years working in TV news before transitioning to the sports desk.

In his years at TSN, he has worked in a variety of sports and roles: from CFL to NBA to the evening edition of Sports Centre, Canada’s most watched sports news and information program. He is currently the host of TSN Hockey.

His newest book “The Guy on the Left” tells the story of Duthie’s career in broadcasting, from a nerdy appearance on a game show to chatting with Tiger Woods in the men’s room at The Masters. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at celebrated moments like Sidney Crosby’s famous game-winning goal at the Vancouver Olympics, but also less celebrated insights, like the disclosure that sports broadcasters often aren’t wearing pants on air. Funny, thoughtful, self-deprecating, and wry, The Guy on the Left is everything fans love about James Duthie.

Duthie has also been awarded three Geminis for his broadcasting efforts. Charismatic and sharply witty, he is a favourite among sports fans across the country.  He is able to share many entertaining personal anecdotes from his years in the sports industry, and possesses a natural ability to command the attention of an audience. These qualities and experience make Duthie a versatile and engaging speaker, and the ideal choice for many types of speaking engagements including; charitable events, acting as an event MC, or as a featured speaker at a corporate event. Contact us at Prospeakers.com today for more information on how to get James involved with your next event.

Filed under: Leadership,Motivation,Teamwork — Tags: , , , — prospeakers.com @ 2:14 pm
Hockey Season is Back!

The start of the new hockey season is always a great time to consider what events and activities you want to have over the 2015-16 year. Start planning your winter schedule and consider events featuring our amazing and talented group of all-star speakers. From sports media figures like Elliotte Friedman and Kelly Hrudey to Hockey Legends like Wayne Gretzky and Darryl Sittler. Whether you are looking for a speaker for your business event or charity function contact us today to find out about all the exciting hockey talent we have to make this season the best one yet!

Wayne Gretzky

For two decades, the ethereal Wayne Gretzky lifted hockey to new and dizzying heights while establishing himself as the greatest player of all time. He transcended hockey and was the most statistically dominant player in the history of North American team sports.

Gretzky helped Edmonton win four Stanley Cup Championships and three Canada Cup tournament titles during his illustrious career. He holds virtually every offensive record in the NHL and his tireless support of the game has contributed significantly to the popularity it enjoys today. He has contributed to countless charities, including his own “The Wayne Gretzky Foundation” which was founded in 2002. Through this Wayne endeavors to continue to enrich the lives of so many Canadians, not only in Hockey but through the many other causes he supports.

Darryl Sittler

Darryl Sittler is one of the greatest players to ever wear the Toronto Maple Leaf uniform. An inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and voted by fans as the centre-man on the All-Time Leafs Team, Sittler may well be best remembered for two of the most remarkable performances in the history of the National Hockey League. On February 7, 1976, he scored six goals and added four assists for an NHL record total of 10 points in a game. That spring, he joined Maurice Richard in hockey history by recording five goals in one playoff game. To honour his illustrious career, Toronto retired Sittler’s number 27 On February 8, 2003. He has an incredible wealth of stories to share from the course of his outstanding career, as well as the lessons he’s learned working on charitable endeavors. One of the many ways Darryl contributes to the community is as a board member for the MLSE Team Up Foundation, alongside fellow former Maple Leafs captain Wendel Clark. Currently Darryl travels across Canada appearing at public speaking engagements, doing autograph signings, and making appearances for various companies, charities and organizations.

Elliotte Friedman

Friedman is no ordinary sports announcer. Currently a reporter for Sports net Hockey, Friedman has also covered 4 Olympic Games, the World Series, and every Stanley Cup since 1998. He is known for his dedication to his work, his keen insights into the world of sports and his dry wit. His blog series, “30 Thoughts,” has become a must-read for hockey fans and insiders.
Friedman has a unique perspective on success, derived from countless hours interviewing and interacting with players and coaches behind the scenes and off the ice.

Through personal anecdotes and principles learned from the world of professional sports, Friedman challenges and instructs his audience with life-changing ideas that are relevant for all.

Kelly Hrudey

In July of 1998, goaltender Kelly Hrudey retired from the NHL and traded in his skates for a microphone joining the cast of Sports net Hockey as a full-time analyst.Hrudey came to broadcasting after a fifteen-year career as a goaltender for the New York Islanders, LA Kings, and San Jose Sharks. He compiled a record of 271-265-88 with a goals against average of 3.43, with 16 shutouts. By providing hockey fans with some of the most insightful, well-researched and accurate commentary available, he was able to parlay his experience and knowledge of the game of hockey with a career in front of the camera.

A thoughtful and charming on-air persona, he is equally talented on stage in front of a live audience.

 

Scott Kress’ North Pole Expedition

Earlier this year, Scott Kress led an expedition of 53 ill and injured soldiers, civilian team members (including Olympians), guides, media and film crew on a ski expedition to the magnetic North Pole. The largest group to ever attempt such an adventure, Scott recorded insights on team building along the way:

 

Day 1

From a team building perspective we are very much in the forming stage at this point. We are just starting to build the relationships that will form the foundation of our team culture. Our aim will be to accelerate our development to a high performance team as this will be critical for safety, success and enjoyment during this expedition.

Day 2

From a team building perspective this was a storming day with a bit of forming as well. Storming is not always conflict oriented and can be a very positive stage. This time is used to gain clarity on team roles and to ask questions. This is an essential step in moving towards high performance.

Having 24 hours if sunlight makes it difficult to sleep deeply.

Day 3

Today would once again have elements of Forming and Storming. We are still very much in the initial phase of our development as a large team and the formation has only just begun with our individual PODs. As a leader at this time my style is fairly directive. I know the team culture I want to create and the skills that need to be learned. There is not a lot of room for debate here. I am also focused on using an Affiliative and Visionary leadership style to paint a picture of success and to build strong emotional bonds within the team. I believe that relationship is the foundation to all high performance teams. People must know, understand, respect, and trust one another. Without this foundation the team will never become high performance as these factors will become critical at some point and if they are not there this is where the team will stall.

 

Day 4

Today was a continued Forming day as we did not fly into our start position as intended. One more day to continue to build relationships and team build. Low clouds and increasing wind at the landing zone postponed our flight and then grounded us for the day after the 2pm weather report.

Day 5

Our day did not go exactly as planned and this was the storming. Storming is not always conflict-oriented, sometimes it is just when you need to deal with the stress and disappointment of plans not going your way. As a team we had to support one another as some people were more emotional than others. As a leader I need to keep my team focused on our culture vision and our end goal, engage them in dialogue, answer their questions and reassure them. This can be a difficult time for a leader as the team sits idle waiting to do their job. They must be kept in a positive mindset so they are ready to go when the time is right.

Day 6

Ski-Day8We finally make it to the ice and start the norming process of team building. We are doing what we need to do, but there is still a lot of learning and refinement to take place. Storming also pops in and out as people struggle with things and emotions rise from being tired and hungry. As a leader I focused on being a calming influence on the group, being a coach and a mentor and keeping us focused on our culture vision.

As we started out the group quickly spread out. I kept my POD together so we would be close on this first march of the expedition. The first 2 days are critical as this is when most skills for living on the ice will be learned, this is when we really start to bond as a team, and this is when our team culture and norms will form.

Day 7 

We trudged on and on and at 7:00pm we stopped for the night. I was exhausted from the effort and my team was also quite tied… We had become quite strung out this day and some people near the back were feeling upset that there was not enough communication coming from the front, there was no clear plan for the day and that plan was always changing, and that we were traveling too far and long. Much of this was the emotions of exhaustion, but some was the normal process of figuring out how to travel and work together as a team in a new environment. As guides we observed, met, discussed, and adjusted the plan accordingly.

Team building analysis: as you can see we went through a lot this day. Forming continues to take place as we learn and build relationships, Storming happened when emotions got strong and when plans changed, Norming was there as we grew and refined skills, and Performing had to be there to cover the distance that we did. All in all, a great team day. I was proud of my team and all the other PODs as well.

Day  8

For hour after hour we skied, growing more tired with each step forward. Some team members started to hit the wall and need to be helped by those that were stronger.

Eventually we saw the flag fluttering in the distance and thanked God we were there. It was 8:00pm and we had traveled 21km. Everyone was tired, but happy. It was good to know we could cover this distance as this is what would be required to make it to the pole for our extraction date.

All I all a good day. Tough but good. We are really starting to form as a team and today had some elements of Performing for the first time. Roles have been defined and a routine has been established. When we roll into camp things just happen and we are getting pretty smooth about it. There was some Storming as people hit the wall physically, but this gave way to good food, a warm tent, and good company. I am happy with where we are as a team. We have defined a culture vision and are now making it a reality. This flows very well from our Deliberate Success Model which I use with the corporate teams I help develop and coach.

Day 9

Beautiful, absolutely, exhausting and humbling, 100%.

As the day wore on my speed slowed and the steeper uphill sections became a mental game of survival and determination. Nobody was going to let this uphill grind beat them. After six hours of upward ascent, and 8 hours of pulling, I spotted camp in the distance and a prettier sight I had rarely seen. Over all we had skied for almost 10 hours and moved 23km closer to the pole. What a day!

Not much to say today from a team building perspective. It was just a long hard day and thankfully everyone knew what they had to do and we worked well together. We are in a good spot as a team by this point and as a leader I am focused mostly on maintenance.

Day 10

We had determined that in order to avoid skiing through the blizzard we would need to make it to the pole today. This would mean a big push, but we had proven we could do it.

We had a long way to go and not a lot time to get there. We trudged on and on and the group stretched for well over a kilometer from front to back. Some people seemed to have excess energy and others were out of gas. One kilometre from the pole we stopped and all gathered as one group. In the distance across the searing flat white ice we could see the faint fluttering of the red and white of the Canadian flag that had been planted for us by the Rangers. I know for me this was an emotional moment as we were almost there. We had pushed hard, harder than any of us thought we would, and we only had a short distance left.North-Pole-FlagDay-12

When we were about 50 feet from the pole the civilians fell back and let the soldiers step up to the flag first. They had all given so much of their lives for this flag it seemed only right. As they clasped their hands around the pole holding the flag everyone broke out in song. “Oh Canada” of course. It was a very emotional moment and it would be hard to find a dry eye in the group. Tough soldiers and business men alike were overcome with the joy, the accomplishment, the sacrifice and the passion that this moment represented. Speeches and photos followed, but soon everyone was getting cold. There was a strong wind blowing and the storm was at our heels.

A good day. The team had hit the Performing stage of team development no question and it did not take long to get there. With a deliberate approach and a good plan the journey to high performance can be greatly accelerated. This does not mean you will not slip back to Storming on occasion, or need some touch ups in Norming, but for the most part reaching high performance can be done at an accelerated rate. For us it was relatively easy as the vision, goals, and roles were clear. In a corporate environment, this is not always so straight forward and there are a lot of complexities thrown in. I would not say you can always hit high performance this fast, but it can be accelerated.

Day 11

With the task complete and the accumulation of all the work I let my POD sleep late. After all we had earned it and we had nowhere to go any more. We stayed cocooned in our sleeping bags until 11:30 and then slowly started the chores for the day. The snow was blowing and the visibility was poor so there was no hope of flying out this day.

Ultimately, I think it was great that we did not fly out this day. This was a great decompression day and in the terms of team building it was the start of the Adjourning process. This is a reflection period where we examine the expedition and compare it to our vision and goals and see how we did. We extract learning’s and look for future application and it also provides a sense of closure to a great journey.

Day 12

Around 10:00 the twin otter arrived. Twin Otters are renowned for their ability to land and take off just about anywhere. The twin landed and then drove back and forth over the landing strip a few times packing it down for the larger DC3. Soon after a second twin otter landed and we were ready to send out the first 2 PODs.

At the party, Paul, Tim, and Shaun said a few words and then Bjarne spoke. He spoke of what an amazing opportunity this had been for him. It was not too many years ago that he was lying in a hospital bed wondering if he would ever walk again. What would his life be like post injury? This expedition, and the support of the team had given him new hope in life that there is so much out there for him and that he too can help others who have suffered from the ravages of war transition into a new life. There was not a dry eye to be found in the group.

To read the full story of this adventure, click here.

To book Scott Kress as a leadership or team-building speaker for your next event, contact us or call us at 416-420-4525.

 

 

Filed under: Adventure and Sports,Leadership,Olympic Spirit,Teamwork — Tags: — prospeakers.com @ 2:20 pm
Something Different: Mark of a Leader

The Mark of a Leader is a revolutionary program that inspires corporate workforces across North America to  improved performance. A powerful, multimedia presentation, The Mark of a Leader promotes lasting results and rave reviews from its unique approach to storytelling and  leadership. Book Doug Keeley or Tim Magwood to passionately deliver this unique presentation at your next event.

Doug KeeleyDoug Keeley is one of North America’s  top communicators and a self-professed “leadership junkie.” Keeley has helped clients revive  dormant brands, drive huge increases in sales, build long-term customer  loyalty, and motivate workforces to improved performance and productivity. His  clients over two decades include American Express, Bayer, IBM, Nortel, Pfizer,  Scotiabank, Sears, RBC, Sony, SunLife, and Xerox. He has been interviewed on radio  and television for CBC, CTV, CITY TV and Global, and been the subject of  stories in The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Sun, The Toronto Star, The  National Post, Marketing, and Strategy magazines. Keeley has written  many magazine stories and columns, and appeared as a subject expert in two  books on creativity and corporate culture.

 

TIm Headshot(1)Tim Magwood is a creative, collaborative and passionate leader. A colleague describes him  as a “lightning rod in driving positive change.” Tim has the head of an  entrepreneur, the heart of a coach, and the soul of a singer/songwriter. As a  seasoned facilitator and presenter, he has brought value to over 10,000  participants. Before  entering the business world, Tim delighted audiences in stage productions such  as Les Miserables (Royal Alexandra Theatre, National Arts Centre), Napoleon  (Elgin Theatre), and Fiddler on the Roof (Huron Country Playhouse). In  the mid 1990s he joined Canada’s largest private communications firm at the  time, ICE, as a Senior Account Director, and worked with many of Canada’s  biggest and best corporations. He left to pursue his passion for training,  becoming a senior consultant and trainer with Horn and Associates where he  designed and delivered sales and sales management training programs. In  1999, his vision was to create the “defacto sales learning leader in Canada.”  He started Fusion Learning, which became the fastest growing sales  effectiveness firm in the country, providing programs for hundreds of corporate  clients including Dynamic Funds, Rogers, BDC, Molson Coors, and TD Bank. Tim  sold his shares in Fusion in 2010, but continues to work with them. Tim reunited with ICE’s CEO Doug Keeley as a Consultant Storyteller at the Mark of a  Leader in late 2012.

Tim now combines his unique skills and passion for  leadership to teach, challenge, and inspire businesses and educators through  The Mark of a Leader program. Outside  of work, he enjoys time with his wife and 3 kids, and fuelling his passion for  music, recently releasing his second successful CD of original songs.

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

Introducing: Mike Robbins

Mike RobbinsMike Robbins is an expert in teamwork, emotional intelligence, and the powers of appreciation and authenticity.

Mike delivers keynote addresses and customized  seminars that empower people, teams, and organizations to work together  effectively and be more successful. He  has inspired tens of thousands of people around the world to reach new levels  of awareness and productivity, both personally and professionally. Through his  speeches, seminars, and writing, Mike teaches people important techniques that  allow them to be more grateful, appreciative, and authentic with others and  themselves.

Prior  to his speaking, writing, and consulting career, Mike was drafted by the New York Yankees out of high school. He turned the Yankees down and instead chose  to play baseball at Stanford University, where he pitched in the College World  Series. Mike was drafted by the Kansas City Royals out of Stanford and played  three seasons of professional baseball with the Royals organization before arm  injuries ended his playing career while still in the minor leagues.

 

To read more about Mike click here or better yet check him out in action below:

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

 

 

Filed under: Adventure and Sports,Leadership,Motivation,Teamwork — Tags: — prospeakers.com @ 9:26 am
Keep Fit and Have Fun!

Prospeakers.com is proud to welcome Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod to the team!

Hal and Joanne

For the past 25 years, under the umbrella of BodyBreak, Hal and Joanne have been communicating to Canadians the important message that making small lifestyle changes can benefit an individual and their families for a lifetime. In their TV programs, syndicated radio show, presentations, media interviews or the products they endorse, they heighten the awareness of the benefits of a healthier, active lifestyle and show Canadians how practical and easy it is to do. But most of all, it’s “Fun”. 

Most recently, Hal and Joanne were contestants on the Amazing Race Canada. While their journey on the race did not end quite how they would have liked, the dynamic duo utilize their experience from The Amazing Race Canada competition as the backbone for their most popular keynote: Life is a Series of U-Turns. In this keynote, Hal and Joanne discuss how to conquer challenges, roadblocks, detours, targets and injuries. They emphasize how you too can overcome obstacles, disappointments and setbacks; and to not allow fear hold you back.

Hal and Joanne believe that by encouraging and communicating their message in an entertaining, upbeat and positive fashion, Canadians will begin to fully realize the implications of their actions and take responsibility for their total well-being. In turn, it will benefit us all.  Hal and Joanne are fixtures of Canadian media and have established trust and longevity with Canadians of all ages.

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

 

 

 

It’s Playoff Time!

The NHL Playoffs are underway– a beloved time for hockey fans everywhere! The cool arenas are ablaze with heated rivalries. Go [insert favorite team here]!

Prospeakers.com’s roster includes many hockey greats. From the likes of Wayne GretzkyCassie Campbell, Ron Ellis, Trevor Linden and Hayley Wickenheiser – to name a few.

We love seeing them score goals, win medals and sometimes even throw a punch. However, their performance off the ice is just as impressive.

Trevor LindenKnown as one of the most refined players in professional hockey, former NHL All-Star and
Olympian Trevor Linden started the Trevor Linden Foundation in 1997. The organization is
devoted to encouraging  young people to discover their strengths and achieve their full potential.

The foundation has partnered with other organizations and individuals who are engaged in youth development programs that support the values of integrity, hard work, responsibility and leadership.
They have worked with charities in British Columbia, Montreal and New York to raise funds and awareness.

The “Trevor Linden Community Spirit Scholarship” rewards four students in British Columbia entering their first year of post secondary education. The scholarship is given to students in good academic standing who have demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities and exceptional commitment to enriching the lives of others in their community.

 

Hayley WickenheiserFour-time Olympic medalist, Hayley Wickenheiser is regarded as one of the best female hockey players in the world with an uncompromised determination and dedication to her sport. However, it’s not just her lethal slap-shot that is respected by her teammates, fans and peers; Wickenheiser is a community leader and mentor.

Her passion for sport is paralleled by her drive to give back to the community in several ways, particularly to organizations with a commitment to youth. Recently,  Hayley has teamed up with Plan International’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign, which is a social movement empowering Canadian girls and women to claim a brighter and more safe future for girls in the developing world.

Hayley’s hockey career allows her to connect with girls and women across the country. She believes that playing sports empower girls to find their self-confidence, inner-strength and outer-expression. Last week, Hayley spoke about the organization’s campaign to sponsor girls in the struggling region of Hatibandha, Bangladesh.

You can watch Hayley’s interview on Global Calgary here.

To book Trevor, Hayley or any other of our athletes for your upcoming event, give us a call at 416-420-4525 or be in touch via our site.

 

Evaluating Your Workplace: 10 Questions

Do your employees love their jobs? Do they love their workplace? Workplace culture is key in employee satisfaction, and higher employee satisfaction means better results.

Mike Kerr, expert on creating healthier workplaces, recently blogged 10 questions to help evaluate your workplace culture.

1. Are you proud enough of your workplace to recommend it as a place your own children and best friend should come and work?

2. Does your workplace live up to the hype and promises offered in your help wanted ads?

3. On Monday mornings, do you feel like you HAVE to go back to work, or do you look forward to going back to work because you WANT to be there?

4. Rather than having the life energy and your soul slowly sucked out of you over the course of a work day, do you sometimes feel more energized after a day of work?

5. On a scale of 1-10, where 10 represents a rockin’ fabulously inspiring workplace, what score do you think your team members would all give?

6. Are people on your team committed to either a higher sense of purpose in their work, to a sense of community, or merely to a pay check?

7. If your workplace was recreated on a reality TV show, what would the show be called?

8. What legacy is your organization going to leave behind 5 or 10 years from now?

9. What legacy are you going to leave behind when you retire or move on?

10. If your workplace environment could be summed up by a single slogan on a t-shirt, what would the slogan be?