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Voted Top 5 Speaker for two consecutive years, Kathy Dempsey has helped hundreds of organizations survive and thrive through her trademark system “SHED for success.” Her company Keep Shedding Inc. serves as partner of strategic change with leaders of Verizon, the Mayo Clinic, and Honeywell, empowering their workforces to shed the old and embrace the new.

Prior to her role as President of Keep Shedding Inc., Kathy Dempsey was an RN who gained national attention in 1986 as the first healthcare personnel to be diagnosed as HIV positive. Overnight she found herself out of a job, out of money, and out of friends. All she had left were regrets about the things she hadn’t done with her life.

Then a few months later a routine blood test, followed by additional exams, showed no signs of HIV. A transformed woman, Kathy put her life back together returning to nursing and then transitioning to administration. Under her leadership the Memorial Health Care System became one of the top 100 hospitals in the nation.

As part of her work, Kathy began giving healthcare workers stress management classes. She found the experience so awarding that she took on more educational roles as part of her work and became a national Certified Speaking Professional. Today Kathy is an internationally acclaimed full-time motivational speaker and award-winning author.

Full Profile

Kathy B. Dempsey, President of Keep Shedding! Inc., is an award winning author, keynote speaker and recognized change expert.

Kathy ignites organizations to SHED for Success by infusing them with timely change management tools, innovative employee engagement strategies and accelerated methods for building traction and accountability.

As a former hospital executive, she strategically led Memorial Health Care System’s organizational development efforts to become one of top 100 hospitals in America. Her most popular book, Shed or You’re Dead®: 31 Unconventional Strategies for Growth and Change is the recipient of a Writer’s Digest International Book Award.

Kathy Dempsey knows change…

Her ‘signature story’ is her transformation as an ER/trauma nurse who became the first health care worker in America to be diagnosed positive for AIDS as a result of workplace exposure. She received national attention as a result of this life-altering hospital-based event that ‘made her a poster child’ for the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The diagnosis, a death sentence in the mid-80s, was confirmed with multiple positive tests. Months later, all tests returned negative. A miracle or medical error? No one is able to explain. The three months that Kathy lived with that traumatic diagnosis was a life-altering experience.

Kathy has inspired thousands of people to SHED in places around the world including Europe, Canada, Africa, Mexico and across the United States.

Her presentations reach far beyond that experience, to build a touchstone with each member of the audience. Her dramatic account provides focus, inspiration and practical tools for people to lead and master change in their personal and professional lives.


Kathy Dempsey Speaker Videos Back to top

Kathy Dempsey: Demo Video


“What we’re hiring you for today is probably not what we’re going to ask you to do tomorrow.” Kathy Dempsey confesses that above all other skills, today’s healthcare employers are looking for personnel with the ability to “shed;” in other words employees must be able to constantly learn quickly and leave old ways behind in a fast-paced dynamic industry.

Kathy Dempsey - Biggest Barrier is FEAR


Kathy Dempsey: Keynote Session - Change Management Complete



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Every year organizations lose millions of dollars and thousands of hours trying to enact changes that fail because their employees feel left out of the process and lack the skills, knowledge, and motivation to adapt to new systems, processes, and procedures.

Kathy Dempsey partners with organizations to help them create an organizational environment receptive to transformation; a workforce with high employee engagement; and a reduction in workplace negativity. Her presentations equip you and your group to “shed” so you can change faster, shift priorities quicker, and serve clients, customers, and patients better.

Shed of You're Dead™:
How to Stay Alive, Face Any Challenge, and Thrive!

Understand the concept of shedding and why it is a critical skill in today's environment.

    • Discuss how participants have personally responded to change/loss in the past.
    • Identify how changes that happen to you are opportunities for grow
    • Describe how mental models affect people.
    • Identify the #1 barrier to dealing with change more effectively.
    • Identify key characteristics of people who thrive in the midst of change
    • Assess your personal strengths and opportunities for growth.
    • Be empowered with the "3 R's of shedding" to immediately shift thinking when facing any life challenge and motivated to move forward.
    • Learn key practical strategies for personally and professionally growth.
    • Identify key change management strategies to become more resilient and grow personally and professionally.
    • Review the top 30 strategies for growth and change
    • Be equipped to initiate the 30 Day Shedding Challenge.
    • Develop an action plan to move forward and SHED for Success™!

Shed for Success™ Workshop Series

    • Understand the philosophy of shedding, dynamics of change and how to SHED for Success™.
    • Understand personal behavioral tendencies about themselves and others utilizing DISC.
    • Develop an understanding and awareness of how each person's behavior and communication style affects others.
    • Understand, respect, appreciate and value individual differences.
    • Develop strategies for working together to increase communication and productivity.
    • Set a motivating environment where employees begin to teach and learn from each other.

Shed for Success™ workshop series is highly customized for sales, management and various workgroup teams. All workshops are designed and delivered around the outcomes and success you want delivered.

Who Killed Communication?
Experience this highly interactive engaging murder mystery that takes a closer look at what kills communication within organizations. Who are the suspects? What are the weapons? What are the clues to look for? Help us investigate the murder. In the end, with everyone' help the murder mystery is solved. Miss Communication (miscommunication) always kills communication! Attendees will:

    • Identify the characteristics of an outstanding communicator.
    • Unlock the clues for assessing their own communication skill level.
    • List 3 critical keys to solving the communication mystery.
    • Discover personal insights into their own communication.
    • Identify the barriers to communication.
    • Investigate what kills communication within their organization.
    • Learn the 31 communication strategies that can help communication stay alive!
    • Develop a personal action plan on improve communication within their organization.

Strategic Storytelling and Presentation Skills:
The key to persuading others and delivering business results!

Persuasion and presentation skills are critical for business success. When you look at the most influential people in history, they all have one common characteristic; they were great presenters and storytellers. Forget about PowerPoint and statistics. If you really want to change behavior, sell your idea, service or product, you'll learn the secrets to telling a great story.

In the interactive hands-on workshop, attendees will learn the following:

    • 7 purposes of telling a story
    • Characteristics of outstanding presenters
    • 4 point classic story structure
    • Top 10 tips for telling a great story
    • 5 techniques to generate story ideas
    • No. 1 critical factor that all great stories must have
    • How to dissect stories to understand the construction
    • 7 places to find great stories
    • The consequences of not telling stories
    • How to apply the techniques to your own work
    • 3 biggest barriers for using stories at work
    • Storyselling: How to sell your ideas, products or services by telling stories
    • How to engage others by telling an interactive story
    • 3 strategies for choosing the right words for impact
    • Write your own story for direct work application

Strategic Shedding Celebrations/Retreat Facilitation!
Is your group struggling with how to take things to the next level? Stuck in the same old, same old? Can your team even imagine being twice as successful as you are right now?

Then, ignite your organization with a strategic celebration? Yes, go ahead and throw a party and celebrate your success now! Hallucinate*, or visualize your future state and then celebrate your success as if it already happened. You will be AMAZED at the results!

*Hallucinate (hal-lu-ci-nate)

    1. Seeing or hearing something not there.
    2. Visualizing what could be there!

Nurses Only!
Shed of You're Dead™: 5 Signs and Symptoms that Prevent Nurses from Thriving in Life!

Understand the concept of shedding and why it is a critical skill in today's environment.

    • Identify how changes that happen to you are opportunities for grow
    • Describe how mental models affect people.
    • Identify the #1 barrier to dealing with change more effectively.
    • Assess your personal strengths and opportunities for growth.
    • Be empowered with the "3 R's of shedding" to immediately shift thinking when facing any life challenge and motivated to move forward.
    • Describe the 5 Deadly Signs and Symptoms that prevent nurses from thriving in life.
    • Vitamin "B" Deficiency—Doing vs. Being
    • Above the neck constipation—Negative thinking
    • John Doe Syndrome—Who am I?
    • COPD—Chronic Opposition to practice dying
    • The "TED" Plaque—The everyday discourager
    • Identify key change management strategies to become more resilient and grow both personally and professionally.
    • Be equipped to initiate the 30 Day Shedding Challenge.
    • Develop an action plan to move forward and SHED for Success™!


Kathy Dempsey Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    "Kathy′s story is inspiring … let it inspire you to get the results you want!"
    Zig Ziglar, CEO
    Ziglar Training Systems and Hall of Fame motivational speaker

    "She has an unparalleled ability to captivate an audience. Her presentation evoked a variety of powerful emotions for every woman in the auditorium. There was not a dry eye in the room when she shared her personal experience with AIDS.
    Florence Auld
    The Women′s Club, President

    "If you are looking for results, Kathy Dempsey can get you there. What impresses me most is her ability to help people stop, think, focus, and make better decisions, all in a fun and lighthearted way!"
    Clark Taylor, CEO
    Memorial Health Care System

    "We had a sellout crowd and people are still talking about the wisdom they received from the presentation. The response far exceeded our expectations, people are still quoting you and expressing ′keep shedding′ reminders."
    Brenda Wiseman
    HopeCircle, Director

    "What an asset Kathy has been to our organization. My board members are still talking about the retreat- how much we accomplished and how much fun we had in the process."
    Jim Moody CAE, Executive Director
    Georgia Society of Association Executives

      Clients Include:

      Delta Air Lines
      Johnson & Johnson
      Novartis
      Habitat for Humanity
      Georgia Society of Association Executives
      American Red Cross
      DeKalb Medical Center
      American Express
      Seattle′s Best Coffee
      Mentor Exchange
      Cinnabons
      Hospice of Chattanooga
      Pennsylvania Association of Occupational Health Nurses
      GA100
      Philadelphia Veterans Medical Center
      Clemson University
      Price Waterhouse Cooper
      New England Hospital Association
      PowerSource
      Financial Planning Association of Georgia
      South Carolina Bankers Association
      Memorial Healthcare System
      Chattanooga State Technical College
      Westside Community Foundation
      Catholic Health Initiatives
      National Kidney Foundation
      American Heart Association
      New Jersey Department of Health
      Today Media, Inc.
      GMAC Realtors




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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Top25 Speaker Voting

Kathy Dempsey needs 14 vote(s) to make it into the Top 25 speakers on Speaking.com!


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    "Kathy′s story is inspiring … let it inspire you to get the results you want!"
    Zig Ziglar, CEO
    Ziglar Training Systems and Hall of Fame motivational speaker

    "She has an unparalleled ability to captivate an audience. Her presentation evoked a variety of powerful emotions for every woman in the auditorium. There was not a dry eye in the room when she shared her personal experience with AIDS.
    Florence Auld
    The Women′s Club, President

    "If you are looking for results, Kathy Dempsey can get you there. What impresses me most is her ability to help people stop, think, focus, and make better decisions, all in a fun and lighthearted way!"
    Clark Taylor, CEO
    Memorial Health Care System

    "We had a sellout crowd and people are still talking about the wisdom they received from the presentation. The response far exceeded our expectations, people are still quoting you and expressing ′keep shedding′ reminders."
    Brenda Wiseman
    HopeCircle, Director

    "What an asset Kathy has been to our organization. My board members are still talking about the retreat- how much we accomplished and how much fun we had in the process."
    Jim Moody CAE, Executive Director
    Georgia Society of Association Executives

      Clients Include:

      Delta Air Lines
      Johnson & Johnson
      Novartis
      Habitat for Humanity
      Georgia Society of Association Executives
      American Red Cross
      DeKalb Medical Center
      American Express
      Seattle′s Best Coffee
      Mentor Exchange
      Cinnabons
      Hospice of Chattanooga
      Pennsylvania Association of Occupational Health Nurses
      GA100
      Philadelphia Veterans Medical Center
      Clemson University
      Price Waterhouse Cooper
      New England Hospital Association
      PowerSource
      Financial Planning Association of Georgia
      South Carolina Bankers Association
      Memorial Healthcare System
      Chattanooga State Technical College
      Westside Community Foundation
      Catholic Health Initiatives
      National Kidney Foundation
      American Heart Association
      New Jersey Department of Health
      Today Media, Inc.
      GMAC Realtors


shed_or_youre_dead

Shed or You're Dead 31 Unconventional Strategies for Growth & Change
In this insightful book, Kathy B Dempsey inspires us to shed whatever is holding us back from living a full and passionate life. Her 31 unconventional strategies like, "Be Psychotic!" "Hallucinate!" and "Eat two crickets a day!" may shock you. Keep reading! They're a powerful catalyst to help you deal more effectively with change and accelerate your growth both personally and professionally.


Shed of You're Dead™:
How to Stay Alive, Face Any Challenge, and Thrive!

Understand the concept of shedding and why it is a critical skill in today's environment.

    • Discuss how participants have personally responded to change/loss in the past.
    • Identify how changes that happen to you are opportunities for grow
    • Describe how mental models affect people.
    • Identify the #1 barrier to dealing with change more effectively.
    • Identify key characteristics of people who thrive in the midst of change
    • Assess your personal strengths and opportunities for growth.
    • Be empowered with the "3 R's of shedding" to immediately shift thinking when facing any life challenge and motivated to move forward.
    • Learn key practical strategies for personally and professionally growth.
    • Identify key change management strategies to become more resilient and grow personally and professionally.
    • Review the top 30 strategies for growth and change
    • Be equipped to initiate the 30 Day Shedding Challenge.
    • Develop an action plan to move forward and SHED for Success™!

Shed for Success™ Workshop Series

    • Understand the philosophy of shedding, dynamics of change and how to SHED for Success™.
    • Understand personal behavioral tendencies about themselves and others utilizing DISC.
    • Develop an understanding and awareness of how each person's behavior and communication style affects others.
    • Understand, respect, appreciate and value individual differences.
    • Develop strategies for working together to increase communication and productivity.
    • Set a motivating environment where employees begin to teach and learn from each other.

Shed for Success™ workshop series is highly customized for sales, management and various workgroup teams. All workshops are designed and delivered around the outcomes and success you want delivered.

Who Killed Communication?
Experience this highly interactive engaging murder mystery that takes a closer look at what kills communication within organizations. Who are the suspects? What are the weapons? What are the clues to look for? Help us investigate the murder. In the end, with everyone' help the murder mystery is solved. Miss Communication (miscommunication) always kills communication! Attendees will:

    • Identify the characteristics of an outstanding communicator.
    • Unlock the clues for assessing their own communication skill level.
    • List 3 critical keys to solving the communication mystery.
    • Discover personal insights into their own communication.
    • Identify the barriers to communication.
    • Investigate what kills communication within their organization.
    • Learn the 31 communication strategies that can help communication stay alive!
    • Develop a personal action plan on improve communication within their organization.

Strategic Storytelling and Presentation Skills:
The key to persuading others and delivering business results!

Persuasion and presentation skills are critical for business success. When you look at the most influential people in history, they all have one common characteristic; they were great presenters and storytellers. Forget about PowerPoint and statistics. If you really want to change behavior, sell your idea, service or product, you'll learn the secrets to telling a great story.

In the interactive hands-on workshop, attendees will learn the following:

    • 7 purposes of telling a story
    • Characteristics of outstanding presenters
    • 4 point classic story structure
    • Top 10 tips for telling a great story
    • 5 techniques to generate story ideas
    • No. 1 critical factor that all great stories must have
    • How to dissect stories to understand the construction
    • 7 places to find great stories
    • The consequences of not telling stories
    • How to apply the techniques to your own work
    • 3 biggest barriers for using stories at work
    • Storyselling: How to sell your ideas, products or services by telling stories
    • How to engage others by telling an interactive story
    • 3 strategies for choosing the right words for impact
    • Write your own story for direct work application

Strategic Shedding Celebrations/Retreat Facilitation!
Is your group struggling with how to take things to the next level? Stuck in the same old, same old? Can your team even imagine being twice as successful as you are right now?

Then, ignite your organization with a strategic celebration? Yes, go ahead and throw a party and celebrate your success now! Hallucinate*, or visualize your future state and then celebrate your success as if it already happened. You will be AMAZED at the results!

*Hallucinate (hal-lu-ci-nate)

    1. Seeing or hearing something not there.
    2. Visualizing what could be there!

Nurses Only!
Shed of You're Dead™: 5 Signs and Symptoms that Prevent Nurses from Thriving in Life!

Understand the concept of shedding and why it is a critical skill in today's environment.

    • Identify how changes that happen to you are opportunities for grow
    • Describe how mental models affect people.
    • Identify the #1 barrier to dealing with change more effectively.
    • Assess your personal strengths and opportunities for growth.
    • Be empowered with the "3 R's of shedding" to immediately shift thinking when facing any life challenge and motivated to move forward.
    • Describe the 5 Deadly Signs and Symptoms that prevent nurses from thriving in life.
    • Vitamin "B" Deficiency—Doing vs. Being
    • Above the neck constipation—Negative thinking
    • John Doe Syndrome—Who am I?
    • COPD—Chronic Opposition to practice dying
    • The "TED" Plaque—The everyday discourager
    • Identify key change management strategies to become more resilient and grow both personally and professionally.
    • Be equipped to initiate the 30 Day Shedding Challenge.
    • Develop an action plan to move forward and SHED for Success™!


Kathy Dempsey: Demo Video


“What we’re hiring you for today is probably not what we’re going to ask you to do tomorrow.” Kathy Dempsey confesses that above all other skills, today’s healthcare employers are looking for personnel with the ability to “shed;” in other words employees must be able to constantly learn quickly and leave old ways behind in a fast-paced dynamic industry.

Kathy Dempsey - Biggest Barrier is FEAR


Kathy Dempsey: Keynote Session - Change Management Complete