Mike Rayburn Profile

Three-time Carnegie Hall headliner, keynote speaker, humorist and captivating musician, Mike Rayburn uses his multifold skills to deliver inspirational and motivational speeches that will never be forgotten.

Mike synthesizes his wide-ranging life experiences as an adventurer, entrepreneur, performer, philanthropist and family man to show his audiences how they can overcome their perceptions of their limitations. He uses his hilarious songs and stunning guitar playing to present events that are part motivational speech, part pure show business.

The star of his own show on the Las Vegas strip, Mike has three times achieved the peak of performing in headlining Carnegie Hall and also has a Live at Carnegie Hall CD. In addition he gives over a hundred presentations a year to the most prestigious corporations and organizations. His popularity is reflected in the fact that much of his work comes from repeat bookings, with some entities asking him back over twenty times. Mike’s unique style and message have been profiled in, among others, USA Today, Newsweek, Billboard, Gig, Programming, American Entertainment, and Successful Meetings.

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    Mike Rayburn is a captivating keynote artist and one of the most amazing entertainers you’ll ever experience… with a presentation is unlike any you’ve ever seen. Mike has headlined Carnegie Hall three times and currently stars in his own show on the Las Vegas Strip.

    Sometimes called, “The World’s Funniest Guitar Virtuoso,” Mike uses his astounding guitar creations, uproarious songs, and veteran presentation skills to encourage, challenge and inspire his audiences to leap beyond their perceived limitations. Mike can also focus his program completely on entertainment, depending on your needs. Mike draws from a wealth of life experience as an adventurer, business owner, comedian, world-class guitarist, author, philanthropist, husband, and father, to deliver a presentation which is motivational, hilarious, and musically amazing!

    Just to set foot on the stage at Carnegie Hall is a career moment for any performer. Mike Rayburn is one of a handful of people in the world to become a regular headliner at Carnegie Hall and to have recorded a live at Carnegie Hall CD. However, Mike performs most often for the world’s leading corporations and associations, doing more than 100 presentations every year. Some clients have booked Mike as many as 15-20 times! His program is so unique he has been featured in USA Today, Newsweek, Billboard, Gig, Programming, American Entertainment, and Successful Meetings magazines.

    Where to use Mike:

    • Opening and closing keynotes
    • After-dinner and awards shows
    • Anywhere your audience needs to be energized and totally entertained!

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Mike Rayburn's Speech Descriptions

Mike Rayburn knows exactly how to realize untapped potential; after all he went from playing bars to playing Carnegie Hall. He lets his audience in on the secret of the most powerful motivational force on the planet and shows how the most basic human brain function can be harnessed for positive change. In a hilarious presentation with a serious message, he gives his audience simple exercises which can help them to master the things that matter.

If you are looking for pure entertainment, Mike can present just what you need, with his blend of virtuoso guitar, hilarious comic songs and mind-blowing musicality, perfect for times when your conference guests need to unwind.

The “What If…?” Experience
The “What If…?” Experience is Mike’s transformational, hilarious keynote presentation. In it Mike uses his amazing guitar work and hilarious comedy as a metaphor, to illustrate three tools designed to turn your team into an army of innovators with the peak performance skills to transcend the status quo to stop managing change, and lead by creating change. Oh… and they’ll laugh so hard it hurts!

Every major invention, accomplishment and victory in human history began with the simple, almost childlike curiosity of a “What If…?” question. So, why isn’t your team asking this daily? And what if they were? After Mike’s presentation your team will look at problems and impossibilities and instead of turning away, they’ll instead ask, “What if we could? I know we can’t, but what if WE could?” They will set inspirational goals, perform like virtuosos, and achieve transformational results because of it.

Your Audience Will Learn:
Three simple, powerful, tools you can use immediately and forever to access your gold mine of unrealized potential; the tools which took Mike from playing bars to Carnegie Hall.
That managing change is not only stupid, it’s dangerous; you’ll learn how to stop managing change and start creating change; how to define the curve rather than follow it.
The most powerful motivational force on this planet. (Hint… it is not power, sex, money, or fame).

Mike Rayburn on Speaking

I want people to tap into the innate ability we all have to be innovators and peak performers.

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

RAYBURN: I want people to tap into the innate ability we all have to be innovators and peak performers. I teach specific, memorable tools to do just that.

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

RAYBURN: I do a pre-event call to learn the theme, messaging, daily activities, current challenges, and specific outcomes desired by my client in regard to my presentation as well as the overall conference. I then do my own research online. At the event when possible, I attend the presentations preceding mine. In doing so, I can often pick up on messages and points that dovetail with my own and help me present a congruent message.

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

RAYBURN: Many! One time I was preparing at the big stage at Carnegie Hall. One of the sound guys knew that at a later date I was going to play in Zankel Hall, a smaller auditorium there, so after the sound check, he said, “Hey, come with me, but don’t make any noise.” I followed him through a maze of halls and emerged in a back corner of the extraordinary Zankel Hall. Yo-Yo Ma was warming up for a concert there that night. Everything, from the sound to his artistry, all in a casual setting, was unbelievable!

I love any audience where attendees feel a strong sense of purpose in their careers, because they’re more engaged.

SPEAKING.COM: Who are some of your favorite audiences?

RAYBURN: I love any audience where attendees feel a strong sense of purpose in their careers, because they’re more engaged. I end up finding that in obvious groups like teachers, caregivers, and healthcare employees; and in less obvious audiences too, like financial services workers and some sales groups.

SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

RAYBURN: My message, along with the entertainment elements I use to deliver it, is universal, so it applies to pretty much anyone. I know that goes against “niche” marketing, but I don’t always follow conventional wisdom. Although my top sector is financial services, my audiences come from many areas like healthcare, dentistry, education and manufacturing. Anyone who needs to improve innovation and performance can benefit from my message.

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

RAYBURN: I was headlining at a comedy club when a friend took me aside and said, “Mike, you’re clean, you’re funny, and you have a message… you’re a speaker and you don’t even know it.” Later on I joined the National Speakers Association.
Speaking’s the perfect and only combination of my three gifts: music, comedy and exhortation. It’s always been important for me that the people around me do better. I actually teach artistic tools, but in a business context, so that people can become more innovative, “virtuoso” performers. Growth in one area -guitar, comedy, and message- feeds the others and as a whole, produces my keynote.

SPEAKING.COM: Which of your keynote topics are the most popular? How are your keynote presentations unique? Which of your keynote speeches do you enjoy the most and why?

RAYBURN: I deliver one keynote: “What If…?” It is unique, first, because all attendees remember it and repeat it, asking “What if?” throughout the rest of the conference as well as in the months and years that follow. The most unique aspect of my keynote is the delivery: I actually PROVE the message on stage through my guitar and unusual approach to comedy, which is ALWAYS clean, of course. Furthermore, I constantly improve my presentation, practicing my own message. I even have an optional closing now with a hologram that’s very cool.

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

RAYBURN: Orkin reported a 36% sales increase in one year plus an additional 6% increase the following year thanks to their application of “What If?”
Sprint said, “Your ‘What If?’ message went viral through our company.” You might remember that the following year their entire advertising campaign was, “What are your ‘What ifs?’” I have double digit numbers of bookings with Wal-mart/Sam’s Club, Wells Fargo, MetLife, Hilton, Ford, National Apartment Assoc., Seattle Study Club, and others.

SPEAKING.COM: How much do case studies, personal stories and/or humor factor into your keynote speech content?

RAYBURN: Personal stories and humor are integral to my presentations. I find that people tend to tire of statistics so I offer other substantiation, similar to the style of Ted Talks, not to mention that I actually prove my message by demonstrating it on the guitar; it really works. Exclusive Interview with Mike Rayburn
The Most Powerful Motivational Force on the Planet
In this interview, Mike...
    • Gives three tools for realizing one's full potential.
    • Discusses how to manage change.
    • Illustrates how to achieve bold goals.
Read the Full Interview

"Purpose is the most powerful motivational force on the planet."
- Mike Rayburn

What People are Saying about Seeing Mike Speak

Rating Entries

    “The feedback from the attendees was unanimous: ‘This was the best Opening Session I have ever been to!’ We wholeheartedly recommend you to any meeting planner looking for fun, laughter, and a great message from a unique speaker.”

    Meeting Professionals International

    “Mike exceeded all expectations”

    William Newton Memorial Hospital

    “Mike is a great start to any meeting! He made me look very good and I appreciate that! I cannot recommend him enough…FANTASTIC!”

    Lincoln Financial Group

    “I′ve worked with a great many performers over the last 20 years of doing this; some with much greater marquee value, but the ease of integration into the meeting, the quality of performance and Mike′s comfortable, easy style made this one of the best talent experiences I′ve ever had. Great work!”

    Discover Card

    “Mike was a perfect combination of talent, entertainment, and inspiration.”

    VHA Georgia

    “As we search out and secure speakers/entertainers for our dealer EXPO′s, we are continually challenged with determining the right message for our diverse attendees. Finding that right person and message to challenge both the intellect and emotions can be difficult at best. Mike Rayburn did just that. His incredible talent, humorous delivery, stage presence and ability to connect with the group kept us all engaged and entertained. I cannot remember the last time one of our speakers concluded to a thunderous standing ovation like Mike did. I continue to receive “thank you” calls from our attendees on Mike′s behalf.”

    Purina Mills

    “I could not have asked for anything better than Mike Rayburn!”


    “Too bad we didn′t have another hour to give him!”

    Michigan Farm Bureau

    “Mike was AWESOME!”

    Max & Erma’s Restaurants, Inc.

    “Mike was quoted several times throughout the meeting. What a compliment! Thanks for starting the meeting off with so much positive energy and passion.”

    Texas Pharmacy Association

    “Mike was the best entertainer I have ever booked! This is the first time I have ever had unanimous approval from all 280 plus attendees. Mike is truly an entertainer for everyone. I am happy to endorse this A+ entertainer!”


    “Mike was truly one of the best and most memorable speakers I have ever seen!”

    Destination Nashville

    “It’s hard to find entertainment that’s fun, but workplace appropriate. Mike is that rare but perfect combination!”

    Selective Insurance

    “Mike provides a unique presentation appropriate for a wider ranging audience. EXCELLENT!”

    Missouri Bar Association

    “The musical inclusion as an alpha and omega focus on the value of children′s innocence and desire to become all that they can be and the educator′s purpose for encouraging and inspiring America′s future was effective and heartfelt. I became re-inspired to do a better job!”

    Texas Elementary Principals & Supervisors Assoc.

    “OH My Gosh! What else can I say! It was incredible – I have been hearing from the employees allllll day and everyone wants an encore performance next year.”


    “Mike was fabulous! The attendees loved his energy and pizzazz! He was definitely a high-point of the conference! “

    Cendant Mortgage

    “HUGE SUCCESS!!! STANDING OVATION!!!!!! Thanks again for helping us look good!”

    Coldwell Banker Burnet

    “Our meeting was quite a success, mainly due to Mike. He was fantastic. I received more compliments and positive comments about his show than I have about any speaker in a long time.”


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