Michael Tchong Profile

Described by The Daily Telegraph as “America’s most influential trend spotter,” Michael Tchong has been at the forefront of internet, social media and computer innovation throughout his career. His start-up companies have been at the cutting edge of now pervasive trends including desktop publishing, personal information management, Internet research and online marketing.

Michael’s unique insights into the future have made him much in demand in the media, and he has appeared on or in Access Hollywood, Advertising Age, Bloomberg TV, BusinessWeek, CNET, CNN, The Independent (UK), the New York Times, PBS San Francisco Chronicle San Jose Mercury News, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and Wired. His book Social Engagement Marketing is a guide to the world of social media and how to use it for marketing purposes.

Michael’s career began in advertising, enjoying considerable success with prestigious agencies Chiat/Day and Doyle Dane & Dernbach. He went on to establish five major brands: Trendscape, ICONOCAST, CyberAtlas, Hello and MacWEEK. He currently runs the branded entertainment start-up Ubercool and shares his insights into emerging trends with audiences around the world.

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    Michael Tchong has been riding the latest waves throughout his career. He founded four start-ups that helped pioneer such sweeping trends as desktop publishing, personal information management, Internet research and online marketing.

    His ability to identify emerging trends early was refined during a career that began at some of Madison Avenue’s most prestigious ad agencies. Michael leverages his knowledge of marketing, media and technology to help audiences better grasp how huge waves, which he calls ubertrends, are reshaping society. His spellbinding roller-coaster rides through the “landscape of now” reveal a host of opportunities these ubertrends provide.

    An innovation specialist, Michael motivates and inspires audiences by exploring cross-disciplinary products and services that successfully ride emerging market trends. His transformational talks also show how marketers are adapting to fast-moving changes in the consumer culture, with a special emphasis on the evolving world of social media.

    His unique ability to decode the future, lead the U.K.’s The Daily Telegraph to label Michael “America’s most influential trendspotter.” He has appeared in numerous publications and TV shows, including Access Hollywood, Advertising Age, Bloomberg TV, BusinessWeek, CNET, CNN, The Independent (U.K.), The New York Times, PBS, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Wired.

    Michael is the author of Social Engagement Marketing, which will provide an easy-to-navigate “interface” to the rapidly developing world of social media, and the marketing solutions and techniques it offers.

    Michael is the founder of MacWEEK and ICONOCAST, which produced multi-million-dollar conferences, including one starring basketball legend Dennis Rodman and another featuring a Broadway musical. Michael strongly believes that the successful organizations of tomorrow will address the changing consumer lifestyles of today.

    His market insight was developed during a distinguished career that spanned such advertising agency icons as Chiat/Day and Doyle Dane & Bernbach. Born on the Caribbean island of Aruba, Michael speaks Dutch and Papiamento natively ― factors that contributed to his global vision.

    Prior to launching his full-time speaking career and branded entertainment start-up Ubercool, Michael established five major brands including: Trendscape, ICONOCAST, CyberAtlas, Hello, and MacWEEK.

    Whether personal computing, home computing, desktop publishing, personal communication, Internet publishing or online marketing, Michael has always been part of the leading edge. Now you too can take advantage of Michael’s ability to ride waves early as he helps you and your audiences unlock the potential of emerging trends.

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Michael Tchong's Speech Descriptions

Michael Tchong offers high-energy presentations that contain penetrating insights into the latest market trends. He not only points audiences in the right direction but having got them there he motivates them to take the next step for success. All of his presentations can be specifically customized to specific industries.

Michael is particularly expert in the areas of social media, looking into the “Ubertrends” – tech trend waves so powerful that if you don’t catch them, you will be left stranded.

Michael offers interactive half-day workshops on social engagement marketing that will revolutionize the ways in which audiences will approach the future.

We live in an age that demands reinvention. So providing correct market insights for your audience is more critical than ever. Michael Tchong has the distinct ability to act both as a transformational catalyst while pointing audiences in the right direction.

His high-energy style combined with an intuitive insight into emerging market trends, will lift the morale of any audience. Michael achieves this feat by taking attendees on a spellbinding tour of the consumer and business landscape, all while contextualizing a host of trends that a casual observer may have missed. And he does it all in a highly entertaining and engaging style.

To encourage attendees to strategically rethink their future, Michael serves up “thought starters” that provide ready points of departure for the exploration of new ideas. His unique motivational style, laced with humor and deft analysis, have made audiences sit up and take notice worldwide.

Standard Presentation :
Analysis of the following Ubertrends: Digital Lifestyle, Time Compression, Unwired, Generation X-tasy and Fountain of Youth. Includes customized “thought starters.” Duration: One hour + Q&A

Tailored Presentation
Designed for specific industries, requiring research and delivery of a custom presentation, including preliminary teleconference and/or on-site meeting. Duration: Ninety minutes to two hours + Q&A.

Sample Topics:

Social Revolution: How Social Media Are Re-inventing our World

Revolutions create upheaval but they also usher in much-needed change and innovation. The social revolution is not only reinventing our dialog, but also how consumers interact with business and government.

In this entertaining and informative session, you will not only learn how “ubertrends” are reshaping society, but you will also gain an insider perspective on how socially propelled phenomena, from crowdsourcing to realtime analytics to influence metrics to private messaging, are redefining our future.

Key Takeaways:

  • Who are the two most valued tech companies? What can we learn from their success?
  • Who has successfully leveraged the “Time Compression” Ubertrend for 38 straight years?
  • What social-based technology will impact the mobile phone industry the most?

I Want To Tweet You Up

It′s made the news and makes the news. Twitter is everywhere. But where did this phenomenon emanate from? And what seeds of a new social revolution are propelling its success?As consumers increasingly cross their "Ts" in evolutionary steps: first typing, then texting and now twittering, marked changes are sweeping over society. As our culture hurtles forward in a never-ending quest to weave technology into the fabric of life, humans are responding in extraordinary ways to a changing dialog. A baby is born while its child-bearing mother "tweets." Plane crashes are now routinely scooped on Twitter, ahead of traditional media. The twitterati are reshaping society by propelling trends faster than ever before.

Follow trendwatcher Michael Tchong as he takes you on a exhilarating journey through this dazzling landscape of now. And prepare to be amazed, amused and revitalized. Buckle up!

Highlights include:

      • Ubertrends compress time and usher in new digital lifestyle.
      • Social media are revolutionizing the human interaction and changing the dialogue.
      • Marketing has to adapt to this new reality by focusing on social engagement.
      • Innovation and reinvention are the watchwords for today.
      • Analysis of lifestyle Ubertrends: Casual, Complexity Nervosa, Generation X-tasy, Fountain of Youth, Multitasking, Retro Technology, Time Compression, Voyeurgasm, WAF, Wireless.

Other Potential Speech Topics Include...

    • 10 Trends That Are Changing the World
    • China: Am Awakening Journey of Trends
    • Trends Changing the Consumer Landscape
    • Global Trends Affecting Youths

Half-Day Workshops:

Social engagement marketing trends come. Trends go. The only constant is change. Yet as a marketer you have an urgent need to know. What will spur the next economic boom? What’s the next big trend going to be? Where will it emerge and how will it manifest? To provide insight into the near future, Ubercool now offers a workshop conducted by global trend analyst, motivational speaker and serial entrepreneur Michael Tchong.

Imaginations will be sparked as Michael, a noted trendwatcher and management consultant, leads attendees on a thought-provoking tour of the consumer landscape. This interactive workshop provides insights on what will move and shake the globe in the next few years, and what forces are reshaping consumer and business cultures worldwide.

Event Description

      • Objective – The Social Engagement Marketing Workshop is designed to help attendees grasp market forces, spot new business opportunities and seize the future. This eye-opening “innovation tour” helps audiences navigate today’s fast-flowing stream of anthropological data to identify market opportunities of true merit.
      • Ubertrends – The workshop begins with an overview of “Ubertrends” — massive waves with broad implications on today’s business and consumer lifestyles. Understanding Ubertrends is a core workshop concept because it helps explain the driving forces behind major market phenomena and helps one predict how the future will take develop. Typical Ubertrends covered include, Time Compression — The Acceleration of Life; Digital Lifestyle — Marriage of Man and Machine; Unwired — Control Freak Generation; Generation X-tasy, The Experience Economy; and Fountain of Youth — Reinventing Body and Spirit.
      • Thought starters – At the end of each Ubertrend exploration, “thought starters” are presented that encapsulate the key repercussions of each trend and suggested action items.
      • Cross-disciplinary analysis – Thought starters are followed by a showcase of innovative products and services that are harnessing each Ubertrend.
      • Social media – The workshop concludes with an in-depth exploration of key trends ruling the social media market, its analytics requirements; the marketing implications of curated content, the impact social sharing has on brand acceptance, the vagaries of peer influence, and a growing sensitivity towards marketers who mismanage their online social engagement, with particular attention paid to core influences affecting media consumption, including time compression, multi-media tasking, mobile social and the Apple iPad.
      • Workshop methodology – The Social Engagement Marketing Workshop relies on group dynamics and thinking to spur individual creativity, develop social dialog forecasting skills and to better analyze market research to more accurately predict future consumer behavior.


Michael Tchong on Speaking

Just 25 years ago, we had no web. Ten years ago we had no smartphone. Just imagine what we’ll have 20 years from now.

SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn/take away from your presentations?

TCHONG: First and foremost, I want them to be excited about the future. These are exciting times, and the future will abound with simply incredible things. Just 25 years ago, we had no web. Ten years ago we had no smartphone. Just imagine what we’ll have 20 years from now. It will be mind-boggling. So, it’s an ideal time to be alive and to be able to participate in this massive societal revolution.

Secondly, I want them to experience first-hand some of the incredible developments that have already taken place and those that are happening as we speak. To see the big picture, you need to have a bird’s eye view of today’s morphing landscape, and that’s what I do; I connect the dots. My talks take you on a roller-coaster ride through the landscape of now that you will not soon forget. You will learn how society is evolving and why, and you will see the remarkable platforms for disruptive innovation that Ubertrend waves offer.

SPEAKING.COM: What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?

TCHONG: I research endlessly. I spend three to four hours each day reading and researching. I’m currently writing two books simultaneously so you can imagine my workload. Each talk requires 12 to 16 hours of dedicated research and each presentation I give is tailored to a client’s market. I just spoke at a sustainability conference, where I dug up their challenges from two years ago and gave them my cutting-edge POV. You can imagine how happy the client was with this effort above and beyond the call of duty.

SPEAKING.COM: Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements/unusual situations arise while on the road?

TCHONG: In 2006, I gave a presentation in the employee cafeteria of Diageo in New York. It went well, but I would not recommend a casual venue for an important message. My most exciting presentation was interviewing Dennis Rodman in front of a large digital marketing crowd at my own conference during the dotcom boom. Another adrenalin-pumping gig was a presentation to 1,500 realtors at the National Association of REALTORS Leadership Summit and one for Carlson Hotels at Disneyland Paris. Suffice it to say it was not a Mickey Mouse talk!

My talks are mission-critical for attendees who seek a decided advantage in business development or the reinvention of a company trajectory.

What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

TCHONG: In general, my best audiences are stakeholders who are vested in quickly propelling their careers or organizations by better grasping how humanity is evolving and why, and why innovation is key to success. My talks are mission-critical for attendees who seek a decided advantage in business development or the reinvention of a company trajectory.

SPEAKING.COM: Which of your keynote speaking topics are your favorites and why?

TCHONG: My current favorite is “Unbox Your Thinking to Create Innovation Breakthroughs,” because innovation has become paramount due to increased global competition, China, the Internet, and Apple. But I’m also very proud of having been the first speaker on the circuit dissecting “The Changing Social Dialog” in 2007, way before anyone was aware of Facebook, let alone Twitter. That evolved into “I’m Going To Tweet You Up” in 2009, the same year Twitter started scooping our world of news.

SPEAKING.COM: What inspired you to start doing speaking engagements?

TCHONG: It happened purely by happenstance. A colleague, Steve Roth – the entrepreneur responsible for Adobe desktop publishing courses under the Thunder Lizard brand – and I were brainstorming a new internet advertising conference, so we came up with “Web Advertising,” where I keynoted. That one exposure immediately landed me a paid engagement at Canon USA and before you know it I was doing 30 presentations a year.

From three-year-old Jennifer who tells her father that it takes too long to develop photographs to that Indiana man who walked off a San Diego cliff this past Christmas, my presentations are full of vivid illustrations of our changing scenario.

SPEAKING.COM: How do you keep your audience engaged and actively listening during your keynotes? Do you use case studies or personal stories in your speeches?

TCHONG: I’m a story teller. From three-year-old Jennifer who tells her father that it takes too long to develop photographs to that Indiana man who walked off a San Diego cliff this past Christmas, my presentations are full of vivid illustrations of our changing scenario. I also add a big dose of humor to my observations, including funny cartoons, videos, animated GIFs plus humorous quizzes, which keep audiences glued to their seats. I then rivet them with innovation case studies like that of Joy Mangano, a divorced mother raising three children, who went from a rainy parking lot selling the Miracle Mop to a 14-bedroom house. Stories like these emphasize that anyone has the ability to identify a known pain point and the power to do something about it. As a final push, if time permits, I offer a review of my favorite digital tools, which attendees can use to boost their productivity and innovation quotient or “IQ.”

SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the successes you’ve helped clients achieve?

TCHONG: I frequently hear that I inspired attendees’ digital marketing, social media, cloud or mobile application initiatives. Or galvanized their innovation efforts to improve their competitive edge materially. For example, CEO Tony Hsieh came up with the concept of reinventing Downtown Las Vegas after one of my talks at Zappos University and a story in Vegas Seven.

In my innovation workshops at the University of San Francisco and UC Berkeley, I’ve helped students brainstorm breakthrough products. In fact, I can say without braggadocio that workshop students helped develop a next-generation social network – one that would engage users and reward them for their engagement by increasing their social currency.

Take that, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter! Exclusive Interview with Michael Tchong
Ubertrends that are Changing our World, with Michael Tchong
In this interview, Michael Tchong discusses:

  • What Ubertrends are and how to spot them.
  • The most important Ubertrends affecting your career and life.
  • A preview of the biggest changes coming in the next 3 to 10 years.
    Read the Full Interview
  • "A close examination of these Ubertrends shows that they’re reshaping society in unexpected ways."
    - Michael Tchong

    What People are Saying about Seeing Michael Speak

    Rating Entries

    Michael Tchong is one of the best and engaging speakers around the world. He is knowledgeble, yet witty. He engages his audience and leaves a life-long impression. He inspires the audience to reflect, assess, and change their professional and personal lives for the better. He is fun. The word "impactful" takes on a new meaning after experiencing him at one of his events.


    “Michael Tchong was knowledgeable, engaging, fun and effective. The audience was pleased and informed. He was very easy to work with.”
    Cardinal Stritch University Leadership Center
    (Event Booked by Speakers Platform. Received 7s out of 7s for presentation content, appearance, enthusiasm, presentation styles, professionalism and overall impression. Speech customization received a 5.)

    “Michael was entertaining and engaging and brought a lot of substance to our meeting. He truly connected with the group and made us pause for a moment and look at things in a different light.”
    Jon Luther, Chairman and CEO Dunkin’ Donuts

    “Michael not only grabs you from the beginning with his entertain- ing and energetic style, but he brings insight about the future consumer landscape like no one else I have ever heard.”
    Clayton Reid, President and Manag- ing Partner MMG Worldwide (organizer of The Vail Summit)

    “Michael offered compelling insights into the trends of global society, challenging our think- ing about how to serve tomorrow’s customers. His style is entertaining and engaging.”
    Jay Witzel, President and CEO Carlson Hotels Worldwide, Regent

    “Spot-on, funny and occasionally irreverent, Michael Tchong was easily the highest rated speaker at our 2007 Leadership Summit. As a ‘futurist,’ Michael has a way of delivering high-impact information in a low-key manner that makes people listen and learn, and laugh, through the whole program. I’m sure we’ll bring him back to NAR again, as I look forward to hearing him a third time!”
    Janet Branton, Senior Vice Presi- dent, National Assoc. of REALTORS

    “Michael has a way of grabbing the attention of conference participants in a way that really engages them and makes them think about the implications of the customer of the future.”
    Robert Gilbert, President & CEO, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Asso- ciation International

    “You have a gift for waking up an audience — not only in print, but in person.” “Michael′s ability to rivet audiences is due to an articulate command of trends and data, which help anchor his visions in a pointed manner.”
    Andrew Jaffe, Clio Awards Executive Director

    “It′s rare that any speaker can move such a large percentage of the audience, particularly a group that crafts messages and advertising strategy for a living.”
    Allie Shaw, UNICAST Vice President of Worldwide Marketing

    “Your willingness to engage in frank and open discussion made the [Congressional] tour exceptional.”
    Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

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