Shawna Suckow Profile

  • An internationally acclaimed speaker who has presented in 17 countries on five continents; Best-selling author of four books

  • Recipient of the 2020 Iconic Woman award from the global Women’s Economic Forum; Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – the highest designation a speaker can earn (like a ‘Masters’ in speaking)

  • Top 100 Women Speakers in Business & Tech Globally (TNW); Planners’ Favorite Speakers (M&C Magazine); and Top 8 Speakers of the year (MeetingsNet)
  • Ranked among the top women speakers in business, Shawna Suckow uses her 20 years of expertise as a million-dollar B2B Buyer to help sales professionals and business leaders better engage today’s evolving customer. Suckow has worked with audiences across 5 continents to sharpen their networking skills, update their sales tactics, and modernize their marketing approaches.

    A Certified Meeting Professional, Suckow’s relevant takeaways and vibrant presentation style have earned her a place among Successful Meetings Magazine’s “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry” for three consecutive years. She is one of Meeting & Conventions Magazine’s Planners’ Favorite Speakers of 2014 and 2015, sharing a list with household names like Bill Clinton, Patrick Stewart, and Anderson Cooper.

    Suckow is a four-time author. Her first two books put planners and suppliers in each other’s shoes, imparting insights on what each party looks for in the other as well as what they staunchly avoid and why. Her other book Don’t Become Extinct: Join the Sales Evolution! looks at how the buying process has changed, what works today in sales, and what doesn’t.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Shawna Suckow, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), CVP (Certified Virtual Presenter), CMP (Certified Meeting Professional), is a speaker with some serious knowledge of the customer mindset. She was a corporate buyer for 20 years. In 2008, she founded an association of senior-level buyers which now has 2,500 members across North America.

      Along the way, Shawna became intrigued with how customers of all kinds were evolving and responding (or ignoring!) to different sales & marketing efforts. She began sharing this insider information to audiences to pull back the curtain, so to speak. She realized that when these professionals had the up-to-the-minute understanding of their customers’ mindsets, they could break through the noise more effectively.

      Shawna has shared her research on 5 continents in 17 countries, using real case studies and data interpreted with candor and humor. Her mission is to help audiences understand the ever-evolving customer landscape – now more than ever.

      Shawna’s fifth book, due in early 2021, is Third Wave: New Sales & Marketing Strategies for a Post-Pandemic Marketplace. She’s been tracking the major shifts in consumer behavior that will impact us all as we determine how to market and sell in the Next Normal.

      What she’s proud of: Honors include achieving the highest designation a speaker can earn (CSP©) – earned by less than 5% of speakers worldwide, Receiving the Iconic Woman award from the global Women’s Economic Forum in 2020, and managing not to gain weight during quarantine.

      Three memorable things about Shawna: she played in the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2015. She’s so good at parallel parking, she should get a trophy. Due to a freak badminton injury, she now wears one contact lens.

    Shawna Suckow Speaking Videos

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    Shawna Suckow's Speech Descriptions

    From caller ID to the phasing out of e-mail, technological changes are rendering even the sales techniques of 3-5 years ago obsolete. Shawna Suckow helps you get into the minds of B2B and B2C customers so that you can boost your ability to identify and connect with promising prospects in today’s dramatically different buyer landscape. In addition to presenting relevant tools that you can immediately put into use, Shawna gets the entire room exchanging experiences, ideas, and laughter.

    Shawna's presentations will challenge your audience to think differently about:

  • how they engage their customers.
  • how they will break through sales barriers.
  • how they will adapt to coming changes and capitalize on market trends.

    They'll walk away with a new understanding of buyer behavior - both today and in the future - and actionable steps to defy growth goals.

    Shawna's spoken to audiences all over the world, because buyers are evolving everywhere. She tells it like it is to frustrated salespeople and business leaders, so they can move past what's not working for them, understand the new buyer landscape, and multiply their results. Her sessions are engaging, award-winning, and never snooze-inducing.

    The Roaring Twenties! - How to Market & Sell in the Post-Pandemic Decade

    Welcome to the most disruptive business climate we’ve ever experienced. The pandemic threw the entire world into a tailspin, but we’re emerging now and everything looks different in this new light. There’s a lot of confusion and noise out there about what the marketplace will look like as we continue to move forward. How will you shift your strategy, your tools, and your processes to meet the quickly evolving demands of this accelerated and different marketplace? How will you position yourself for the Roaring Twenties?

    It all requires a keen understanding of your customers and how they’re making purchasing decisions now. Whether it’s B2B, at the local market, or e-commerce, how can you rise above the noise and stand out to them going forward? How can you influence the customer journey in the next normal?

    One thing is certain: new messaging and tools are key.

    Join buyer behavior expert Shawna Suckow, CSP, CVP, CMP, as she shares her latest findings on where we are, and what’s next. It’s not just data though; she’ll share case studies to give you the relevant steps you can take NOW.


    • Learn how your customers have evolved as a result or the pandemic, and what businesses need to do to adapt.
    • Gain up-to-the-minute insight into the best ways to connect with buyers of all kinds.
    • Time is of the essence! Discover what tools are working right now to break through the noise and stand out.

    CHANGE is not a Four-Letter Word

    Did you ever think you’d be nostalgic for 2019? It’s no wonder we all long for a return to normalcy (whatever that means!) after these past two years of upheaval. There’s never been such a condensed period of change in our lifetime, and it’s been heaped upon us nonstop.

    When we can’t get off the crazy rollercoaster, humans enter the well-known fight-or-flight-or-freeze mode. Well, Covid has been a rollercoaster more challenging than most of us have ever experienced, and the outcome is uncertain. What many don’t realize is that humans don’t deal well with constant uncertainty. That means we’re all under more stress than we realize.

    The good news is that change does not have to equal challenge! It can be truly great if we can get into the right headspace, and harness our circumstances. In this session, Shawna shares real-life stories of everyday people who have conquered change and come out the other side more resilient and happier. You’ll also do a self-assessment to measure your CTQ© - Change Tolerance Quotient. You can use your CTQ to understand and master your personalized approach to uncertainty.


    • Understand what change does to the human mindset
    • Get clarity on your own tolerance for uncertainty through a personalized CTQ assessment
    • Discover how to harness uncertainty for greater resilience and success, both personally and in a team environment where everyone has a different change mindset.


    Let’s face it, the world is full of politics, the effects of the pandemic, and other issues that are anything but inspiring these days. We’ve all been through a lot, and we’re exhausted. How about we take a break from that for a hot minute?

    Let’s close this conference with some good news, some great conversations, and some commitments to our future success. Sound good?

    Join Shawna Suckow as she recaps the highlights of the conference. She’ll then lead us in small-group discussions where you’re guaranteed to get new inspiration, share some of your own brilliance, discuss current challenges, have a few laughs, and walk
    away with new connections. You’ll also create action steps and accountability to put your best conference takeaways to work in the upcoming year.

    She’ll then close the conference with a self-assessment to ensure that every day through the rest of this year is the best it can be under your own circumstances...Your Best Day. You won’t want to miss this!


    • Get clarity on what you learned at the conference, and what you want to implement. Make sure your time at the conference was purposeful!
    • Meet an accountability group that will stay connected after the conference to help one another achieve their action items.
    • Assess your true priorities to set personal and professional goals for the next 12 months.

    NOTE TO PLANNER: This is a very interactive session that defies the traditional closing keynote. It places your audience into small groups to put their conference learning (and your conference investment) to use. They’re not going to go back to business-as-usual the next day. They’ll exchange best takeaways from the conference, commit to action steps, and set goals. Together, they’ll hold each other accountable to achieve their future goals, whether personal or professional. If you want your conference to have a measurable lasting impact, ending with laughter, ideas, and an inspirational story, this session is for you.

  • Shawna Suckow on Speaking

    I hate the fact that so many salespeople feel the need to be on-call 24/7/365. There are many tools available that are working, so salespeople can be successful AND have a personal life.

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

    SUCKOW: Most of all, I want them to feel a sense of relief – that they don’t have to keep trying to work harder and harder to be successful. I hate the fact that so many salespeople feel the need to be on-call 24/7/365. There are many tools available that are working, so salespeople can be successful AND have a personal life.

    I also want audiences to feel empowered to try new tools, and let go of old ones that no longer produce results.

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

    SUCKOW: There was that time when my daughter was eight, and I was on a quick overnight trip with a presentation in the morning. Imagine my surprise when I was getting dressed in the morning, and realized I had packed HER underwear, and not my own! (How’s that for authenticity?!).

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

    SUCKOW: Audiences of sales professionals and business leaders resonate with my message – especially those who are particularly aware of the consumer behavioral changes underway.

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

    SUCKOW: I love my newest keynote where I get to reveal my findings from a buyer survey. There are some real game-changers, and I love to see the faces in the audience when they have “a-ha” moments. I also love my session on Sales Hacks for Productivity & Profit. It’s all about apps, as well as non-techie tips that will save them a bundle of time and frustration. I update it monthly because the market changes so rapidly and new tools are constantly coming on-line.

    Once I realized that I had a very unique message as the only sales speaker representing the buyer perspective, I knew I had an obligation and an opportunity.

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

    SUCKOW: I was one of those people who hated public speaking until I was forced to do it several times as a buyer. I would have never foreseen this career path for myself! Once I realized that I had a very unique message as the only sales speaker representing the buyer perspective, I knew I had an obligation and an opportunity.

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

    SUCKOW: I’ve been told that my presentations are like listening to a friend tell you the truth. I speak in a really comfortable, easy style that keeps the audience actively listening, but I’m not blind to the shortening attention spans in our society! I infuse my engagements with case studies, videos, audience conversations, and personal examples I’ve experienced as a buyer. Exclusive Interview with Shawna Suckow
    Becoming a Successful Salesperson, with Sales Keynote Speaker Shawna Suckow
    In this interview, sales keynote speaker Shawna Suckow discusses:
    • Why salespeople are an endangered species.
    • Steps they can take to increase success, decrease frustration, and avoid extinction.
    • Surefire ways to get prospects' attention.
    Read the Full Interview

    "Customers are seeking out ways to avoid contact with sales unless they simply can’t complete the transaction without them OR they have a trusted relationship with a particular salesperson."
    - Shawna Suckow

    What People are Saying about Seeing Shawna Speak

    Rating Entries

    Shawna was a wonderful speaker at our recent Tahiti Specialist Conference. Not only was she funny and relatable yet got our audience to participate and not think outside the box but to not box think. She was inspirational and informative.


    “Shawna was recommended to me by several of my peers and those I work with who had seen her speak at various national events. To my delight we were able to bring her to our annual sales conference as the keynote speaker. Her presentation was tailored to my staff of (60), designed to enlighten, motivate and unlock creativity previously untapped. Boom! What she discussed for ninety minutes was spot on leaving my team wanting more as they took away many aha! ideas to introduce to our potential and existing clientele. Shawna is a class act and wonderful woman who is at the top of her game. So glad that our paths crossed & looking forward to our next encounter!”
    – David Brown, VP of Sales & Revenue Management, PCH Hotels & Resorts

    “Shawna changed my life. Yes, that is rather dramatic, but she has had a huge influence on how I sell. I’ve listened to several of her web classes, read her book, and heard her speak and as a result, I stand out from the crowd. I truly believe I get more emails answered, appointments, and business booked because she challenged me to do things differently. I don’t want to give away my secrets here, but she gave me permission to be funny, offbeat, and authentic, which is what clients are craving these days. I can’t say enough. I don’t want my competitors to engage with her in any way, but I like her too much not to tell people about her! Trust Me, Hire Shawna for your event”
    – Laura Harper Chappell, Assistant Director of Sales, Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa

    “I’ve been producing meetings for over 15 years, and have worked with a lot of emcees. Shawna received the highest ratings at our latest conference, out of all the speakers who presented over the course of three days. She has a natural, intuitive, and fun style that made everyone feel comfortable right away. She was great at refocusing the attendees between sessions, reinforcing key messages, and adding energy to our long days. Exactly the type of emcee we needed for our corporate sales meeting. Book SHAWNA TODAY, YOU WON’T BE SORRY! She will take your event to the next level with her wisdom and knowledge. Your attendees will thank you”
    – Dan Yaman,President, Live Spark & LearningWare, St. Paul, MN

    Partial Client List:

    American Chamber of Commerce of India
    American Chamber of Commerce of Egypt
    Platinum DMC Collection
    Business Travel Association
    Society of Government Meeting Planners
    Produce Marketing Association
    National Association of College Stores
    Professional Liability Underwriters Society
    Connecticut Governor’s Conference on Tourism
    Illinois Governor’s Conference on Tourism
    American Society of Association Executives
    National Speakers Association: International Speakers Day
    Forum Eventos, Brazil
    Portugal Association of Destination Management Companies
    Leadership Summit of Cambodia
    Hyatt Hotels
    Best Western International
    Meeting Professionals International (speaker at 35+ chapters)
    SalesPros National Convention
    Vancouver Convention & Visitors Bureau
    Association of Corporate Travel Executives
    Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association
    New Jersey Youth Alliance for Children, Youth, & Families
    Minnesota Department of Health
    International Meetings, Events & Expositions – Frankfurt
    International Meetings, Events & Expositions – North America

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    Books by Shawna Suckow:

    The Roaring Twenties! Marketing & Selling Better in the Post-Pandemic Decade

    Welcome to the Roaring 2020s! Shawna’s newest book aims to help you understand how consumer behavior is rapidly evolving in the post-pandemic, so you can make the most of what’s next. How can you stand out from the noise, on any budget, and break through to your ideal customers? What’s important to them now? What are they paying attention to? What are they ignoring? It’s all changing…again! It’s going to be a wild ride!

    Straight Talk for Meetings Industry Sales Professionals: How Planners Really Think, Act and Prefer to Do Business

    Times are a-changin’, but you already knew that. What you are doing is not working the same way it used to. In the meetings and events industry, planners don’t buy the same way we used to buy, and we don’t communicate the same way we did before. Shawna’s uncovered a lot of hard truths in three years of researching both planners and suppliers, and we can each do better.

    The economy has changed, our industry continues to evolve, and technology continues to transform everything. To those who think the way they have always done business is still fine—this is your wake-up call. The way you’ve sold in the past won’t work anymore, but this book is full of solutions, straight from your customers’ mouths.

    Planners: Learn What We Do That Drives Suppliers Crazy, and Affects Your Business Outcomes!
    This book is full of insight direct from over 1,000 suppliers on all the things we planners do that drives them absolutely crazy, yet they have no choice but to keep a smile on their face at all times and thank us for the pleasure of serving us (although Shawna knows many times it’s definitely NOT a pleasure at all!).

    Shawna’s learned a lot from suppliers, and admittedly, she admits she’s guilty of many of the bad behaviors she’s written about in this book. It’s cost her in negotiations, in relationships, and in her reputation, without even knowing it until now. She hopes her planner peers will take note of their suppliers’ frustrations and be willing to make some changes in how they conduct business going forward. You’ll improve your ability to negotiate, get more of what you want on site without having to be that planner, and improve your reputation among the supplier community (they talk to each other about us, just like we do about them!).

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