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    Ross Shafer grew up in the Pacific Northwest and graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington where he studied business management and played varsity football (linebacker). After college, he took a job as a training manager for a department store (Yard Birds) and was able to save $10,000. He took that money and launched his life as an entrepreneur. His first venture was as the owner/manager of America’s only Stereo and Pet Shop in the small town of Puyallup, Washington (population 5,000 at the time).

    Cleaning pet cages wasn’t as appealing as it sounded to Ross, so after 3 years he closed the store and took a job as an advertising manager for the 28 store Squire Shops retail clothing chain in Seattle, Washington. Writing ad copy and concocting campaigns paid the bills, but at night Ross haunted local comedy clubs in search of a career in joke telling. After years of slogging around the comedy circuit, he won the Seattle International Comedy Competition and immediately became an opening act for performers like Crystal Gayle, Eddie Rabbitt, Nel Carter, Neil Sedaka, and Dionne Warwick.

    In l985, Ross pitched a TV show idea to the NBC affiliate in Seattle (KING). It was a risky idea to emulate a local Letterman-like comedy talk show. Regardless, ALMOST LIVE was born and for the next 5 seasons Ross hosted the show while he and his team collected 36 Emmys. They won the Esquire Magazine dubious Achievement Award one year for attempting to change the Washington State song to Louie, Louie. During those years Ross also hosted an afternoon drive radio show on the 50,000 watt KJR-AM.

    In l988, Ross was wooed by the Fox network to take over The Late Show. The Late Show was a nightly talk show that competed with The Tonight Show and David Letterman. The show lasted a year and Ross next found himself in New York co-hosting Days End on the ABC network. It was here that he sat beside Matt Lauer and Spencer Christian as they interviewed the movers and shakers of New York and the world. Dick Clark told Ross, Always have a back up plan, my boy, TV is terminal and predictably Days End was cancelled. Ross always wondered what happened to Matt Lauer? Ha!

    The next stop for Ross was hosting the revised Match Game on the ABC network. Love Me, Love Me Not followed and numerous TV pilot projects.

    By this time, Ross was headling all of the leading night clubs and casinos. He produced a highly acclaimed comedy album about the Clinton administration titled “Inside The First Family.” He also wrote a comedy cookbook that became a best seller; Cook Like A Stud – 38 recipes men can prepare in the garage with their own tools.

    By 1994, Ross heard Bill Gates give a speech where he said, Someday you will all be watching television on your telephones. Ross took that message to heart and he made the decision to leave TV and get back to his corporate training roots. Human nature and the human condition were always fascinating to him because that’s what comedians do. They study the laughter and tears business. To date Ross has produced (14) Human Resource training films on Customer Service, Motivation, Leadership, and Peer Pressure. He has authored the business books, Nobody Moved Your Cheese, Customer Empathy, The Customer Shouts Back, Are You Relevant? 12 Reasons Smart Organizations Thrive in Any Economy.

    Today, Ross is one of the most sought after Keynote speakers and seminar leaders on the subjects of Customer Empathy, Personal Motivation, and Business Relevance.


Ross Shafer Speaker Videos Back to top

Demo Video


Fearless, Fun, Authentic


They Don′t Want Customer Service Anymore



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


    How To Wrangle Market Share From Lazy Competitors
    The world′s top economists are predicting a dismal 1-2% average growth through 2015. So, the only way to grow your organization is to take market share away from your lazy competitors. Ross can show you how progressive companies are getting 15-25% growth; even when their available market is stagnant or declining.

    Are You Still Relevant?
    We all saw globally-recognized brands shrink or die during the recession. Conversely, we witnessed young, nimble companies swoop in to dominate market share.

    Could that happen to you? Ross dissects the reasons for the staggering success stories—and he pinpoints the warning signs that were ignored by those who failed.

    Remaining Relevant (to your customers and team members) is the ONLY way to substantially grow your organization during a recovery. If you’re relevant, you can take market share away from your competition. But it won′t be easy. You will have to accelerate your "A" Game to earn that market share. And, you will have to re-double your efforts to retain the base you already have. 

Ross unveils inspiring case studies that span the landscape of retail, manufacturing, B2B, construction, and healthcare. He describes what it will take for your organization to reap incredible rewards during “The Recovery."

    Customer Urgency and Empathy
    While this program is a high energy Keynote on its own, many of our clients often expand this topic into a Break Out session.

    Due to accelerating technology, your customers′ expectations have changed. They can get their TV, music, shopping, and friends all “on demand” 24/7/365. They expect customer "service" to mean customer "Urgency!" They want what they want - when they want it - and how they want it. So, if you don′t deliver at (nearly) Internet Speed, they will consider you substandard, lazy, or that you don′t need the business.

    On top of that, they want you to empathize with their busy schedules, their lack of education (re: your products/services) as well as their personal vulnerabilities and frustrations. Ross will show you how to make sure you are consistently aware, empathetic, and urgent so you can retain your current customer base...while you are wrangling customers away from your competitors.

    Nobody Moved Your Cheese
    High energy and hilarious keynote - perfect for setting the opening tone or the closing message for your conference. From small town pet shop manager...to Emmy award winning TV host..to renowned business author and speaker, Ross is a fierce proponent of taking personal responsibility (and being accountable) for what happens in your professional and personal life.

    THE ULTIMATE EMCEE
    Ross hosts a select number of multi-day events for his high-end clients each year.

    Because Ross is a trained talk and game show host (helmed over 1,000 network broadcasts) he is the perfect choice for moderating your executive panel discussions and complex award banquets. Ross will keep the programs lively and on task; drawing on his vast experience and lightening wit to navigate (and rescue) even the most unpredictable situations.

    TALK SHOWS
    Ross is adept at handling back-to-back breakout sessions that may feature a myriad of presenters. He has hosted such luminaries as President George Herbert Walker Bush, Jack Welch, Colin Powell, Bob Dole, James Carville, Larry Bossidy, Tom Peters, Marcus Buckingham, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to name a few. Since many high profile presenters are more comfortable being interviewed by a “pro,” Ross is able to show the utmost respect from the opening introduction throughout the Q & A - yet he doesn’t shy away from the probing questions your people want answered.

    GAME SHOWS
    Finally, Ross is a popular favorite for hosting custom game shows. Not only do these formats lend themselves to imparting important training information about your company (in a fun way), they also encourage participation of the entire audience. Ask us how Ross and his game partners at (Game Show America) can create a custom “TV” show for you.



Ross Shafer Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    "“What a blast! An awesomely funny guy!” James Dillion – US Bancorp

    "Your second appearance was even better than the first." Jean Matheson - Children′s Hospital

    “I fell off my chair. My sides ached. What does that tell you?” Drew Keller - Microsoft

    “Exemplary performance and the perfect finishing touch.” Jerry Bower – Apple

    "You were some kind of ON that night in Washington D.C. Everybody is still quoting you. You seem to know our business better than we do! Dave Raymond - American Council of Consulting Engineers

    “You accomplished all three of my goals and you did it in a very entertaining and poignant way. Thanks so much!” Robert Seals – Dolce International

    “You way exceeded our expectations; which were already high from your demo tape.” Karen Hansen – NCR

    “As I am sure you could tell from the audience response, (3,000 women) you were a huge success! Every joke was a hit!” Lisa Van Horn – Discovery Toys
    “Absolutely superb – dynamic and entertaining. The audience couldn′t stop laughing. Thanks again for making our program such a hit.” Leland Lowe – Intl. Council of Shopping Centers

    “You were funny the first three times we hired you and even funnier the fourth!” Ed Poplawksi – Costco Wholesale – Chamberlain Assoc.

    “You are a funny man…and I saw a number of both men and women laughing very hard. Our group thoroughly enjoyed you.” Elizabeth Vago – American Iron and Steel Institute

    “Once again you were the hit of the convention. No wonder we keep having you back!” Janet Ramble – Washington State Auto Dealers Assn.

    “Your expertise and professional insight contributed not only to a successful day but to the professional development of our staff.” Andrea McLean - Heery International

    “With so many positive comments and from the reaction of the group, you really captured the essence of our event.” Scott Koerner – Zones Business Solutions

    “Once again your performance was outstanding and left us in stitches!” Margi Lemish – Big O Tires

    “Your performance was exceptional; especially given such short notice. You established a standard of excellence for future years” Neill Dixon – Canadian Music Awards

    “You are still the buzz of the office.” Stephanie Reynolds – Sprint

    “Your performance was the perfect end to a perfect day. You were a tremendous hit!” Jaqueline Dunbar – Ayco International

    “I′ve been putting on convention programs for a decade and without a doubt your stand up routine was the best ever.” H. Mike Miller – Associated Oregon Loggers




* 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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    "“What a blast! An awesomely funny guy!” James Dillion – US Bancorp

    "Your second appearance was even better than the first." Jean Matheson - Children′s Hospital

    “I fell off my chair. My sides ached. What does that tell you?” Drew Keller - Microsoft

    “Exemplary performance and the perfect finishing touch.” Jerry Bower – Apple

    "You were some kind of ON that night in Washington D.C. Everybody is still quoting you. You seem to know our business better than we do! Dave Raymond - American Council of Consulting Engineers

    “You accomplished all three of my goals and you did it in a very entertaining and poignant way. Thanks so much!” Robert Seals – Dolce International

    “You way exceeded our expectations; which were already high from your demo tape.” Karen Hansen – NCR

    “As I am sure you could tell from the audience response, (3,000 women) you were a huge success! Every joke was a hit!” Lisa Van Horn – Discovery Toys
    “Absolutely superb – dynamic and entertaining. The audience couldn′t stop laughing. Thanks again for making our program such a hit.” Leland Lowe – Intl. Council of Shopping Centers

    “You were funny the first three times we hired you and even funnier the fourth!” Ed Poplawksi – Costco Wholesale – Chamberlain Assoc.

    “You are a funny man…and I saw a number of both men and women laughing very hard. Our group thoroughly enjoyed you.” Elizabeth Vago – American Iron and Steel Institute

    “Once again you were the hit of the convention. No wonder we keep having you back!” Janet Ramble – Washington State Auto Dealers Assn.

    “Your expertise and professional insight contributed not only to a successful day but to the professional development of our staff.” Andrea McLean - Heery International

    “With so many positive comments and from the reaction of the group, you really captured the essence of our event.” Scott Koerner – Zones Business Solutions

    “Once again your performance was outstanding and left us in stitches!” Margi Lemish – Big O Tires

    “Your performance was exceptional; especially given such short notice. You established a standard of excellence for future years” Neill Dixon – Canadian Music Awards

    “You are still the buzz of the office.” Stephanie Reynolds – Sprint

    “Your performance was the perfect end to a perfect day. You were a tremendous hit!” Jaqueline Dunbar – Ayco International

    “I′ve been putting on convention programs for a decade and without a doubt your stand up routine was the best ever.” H. Mike Miller – Associated Oregon Loggers


    Grab More Market Share: How to Wrangle Business Away from Lazy Competitors
    In troubled times, businesses need to shake off theiruncertainty and look around. Previously intimidating competitorsare often hamstrung by inflexible business models and unable toaccommodate shifts in the market. As consumer habits change toreflect new economic realities and cultural trends, huge chunks ofthe market go up for grabs. And that′s when smart companies whoare paying attention can step up and "steal" their share.

    If you want to grow in a slowly recovering economy,a stagnant economy, or even a declining market, your best andonly plan is to remain reactive to the market′s needs and wrangle away somebody else′s market share. Grab More Market Share teaches professionals how not to settle for 1 percent growth. Author Ross Shafer uses rock-solid case studies to show leaders how to leverage shifting public consciousness to swing dollars towards their organizations.Refining this discipline allows business professionals to predict the next changes in buying habits and execute strategic plans thatsnag 10 to 15 percent market share from competitors. Spot those opportunities, and grab your share.
    Order Here




    Nobody Moved Your Cheese!
    Nobody Moved Your Cheese is a fun, yet challenging look at the so called business and cultural "experts" of our time.

    Ross Shafer is a former pet shop manager turned comedian/TV talk show host who has spent nearly twenty years on the corporate lecture circuit as an after dinner speaker and entertainer. And most of the time, he is there with world famous authors and lecturers. This book dares to expose just how irrelevant their "expert advice" is to your life.

    Ross takes on some of our most revered cultural icons in the chapters, NOBODY MOVED YOUR CHEESE, THOSE CHICKEN SOUP BOOKS ARE FOR FOOLS, ANTHONY ROBBINS HASN′T DONE A DAMN THING, THE ONE-MINUTE MANAGER GOT LAID OFF, and 10 THINGS DR. LAURA SAYS TO GET YOU TO BUY HER BOOKS.

    Plus, Ross slaps conventional wisdom in the face in chapters like, YOUR JOB IS TERMINAL. . . AND OTHER GOOD NEWS, GOAL SETTING IS STUPID, BACK UP YOUR LIES WITH THE TRUTH, and GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE CAN BANKRUPT YOU.

    This is a book about taking extreme responsibility. Ross promises that it will shock you and empower you at the same time. You′ll never feel insecure about your job or career choices again.
    Order Here





    How To Wrangle Market Share From Lazy Competitors
    The world′s top economists are predicting a dismal 1-2% average growth through 2015. So, the only way to grow your organization is to take market share away from your lazy competitors. Ross can show you how progressive companies are getting 15-25% growth; even when their available market is stagnant or declining.

    Are You Still Relevant?
    We all saw globally-recognized brands shrink or die during the recession. Conversely, we witnessed young, nimble companies swoop in to dominate market share.

    Could that happen to you? Ross dissects the reasons for the staggering success stories—and he pinpoints the warning signs that were ignored by those who failed.

    Remaining Relevant (to your customers and team members) is the ONLY way to substantially grow your organization during a recovery. If you’re relevant, you can take market share away from your competition. But it won′t be easy. You will have to accelerate your "A" Game to earn that market share. And, you will have to re-double your efforts to retain the base you already have. 

Ross unveils inspiring case studies that span the landscape of retail, manufacturing, B2B, construction, and healthcare. He describes what it will take for your organization to reap incredible rewards during “The Recovery."

    Customer Urgency and Empathy
    While this program is a high energy Keynote on its own, many of our clients often expand this topic into a Break Out session.

    Due to accelerating technology, your customers′ expectations have changed. They can get their TV, music, shopping, and friends all “on demand” 24/7/365. They expect customer "service" to mean customer "Urgency!" They want what they want - when they want it - and how they want it. So, if you don′t deliver at (nearly) Internet Speed, they will consider you substandard, lazy, or that you don′t need the business.

    On top of that, they want you to empathize with their busy schedules, their lack of education (re: your products/services) as well as their personal vulnerabilities and frustrations. Ross will show you how to make sure you are consistently aware, empathetic, and urgent so you can retain your current customer base...while you are wrangling customers away from your competitors.

    Nobody Moved Your Cheese
    High energy and hilarious keynote - perfect for setting the opening tone or the closing message for your conference. From small town pet shop manager...to Emmy award winning TV host..to renowned business author and speaker, Ross is a fierce proponent of taking personal responsibility (and being accountable) for what happens in your professional and personal life.

    THE ULTIMATE EMCEE
    Ross hosts a select number of multi-day events for his high-end clients each year.

    Because Ross is a trained talk and game show host (helmed over 1,000 network broadcasts) he is the perfect choice for moderating your executive panel discussions and complex award banquets. Ross will keep the programs lively and on task; drawing on his vast experience and lightening wit to navigate (and rescue) even the most unpredictable situations.

    TALK SHOWS
    Ross is adept at handling back-to-back breakout sessions that may feature a myriad of presenters. He has hosted such luminaries as President George Herbert Walker Bush, Jack Welch, Colin Powell, Bob Dole, James Carville, Larry Bossidy, Tom Peters, Marcus Buckingham, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to name a few. Since many high profile presenters are more comfortable being interviewed by a “pro,” Ross is able to show the utmost respect from the opening introduction throughout the Q & A - yet he doesn’t shy away from the probing questions your people want answered.

    GAME SHOWS
    Finally, Ross is a popular favorite for hosting custom game shows. Not only do these formats lend themselves to imparting important training information about your company (in a fun way), they also encourage participation of the entire audience. Ask us how Ross and his game partners at (Game Show America) can create a custom “TV” show for you.



Demo Video


Fearless, Fun, Authentic


They Don′t Want Customer Service Anymore