Stevie Ray Profile

  • Stevie Ray is the longest running national columnist for the Business Journal newspapers — writing for the publication since 1997.

  • As a nationally recognized speaker, Ray has spent the last 25 years motivating audiences in teamwork, leadership, and customer services.

  • Ray has traveled the world helping people sharpen persuasive skills when important outcomes are on the line.
  • Stevie Ray is one of the most unique speakers you will ever meet. Besides being an expert in the art of influence—with over 1,000 corporate clients nationwide—he has traveled the country as a stand-up and improv comedian, opening for such stars as Paula Poundstone and “Weird Al” Yankovic. (His stepdaughter doesn’t think he is funny, but his audiences do.) He is the co-founder of Stevie Ray’s Improv Company in Minneapolis, MN, a successful training and entertainment company since 1989.

    A prolific writer, he is the longest running national columnist for the Business Journal Newspapers, and the author of eleven non-fiction books, the latest being The Roadmap to Influence.

    Stevie is also a martial artist and self-defense instructor, a beekeeper, and volunteers recording books-on-tape for the blind.

    Stevie Ray Speaking Videos

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    Stevie Ray's Speech Descriptions

    The Roadmap to Influence
    The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and influence their actions.

    Best Format: One-hour keynote or half-day workshop
    Best Audience: Anyone who works directly with co-workers, clients, or customers.

    This is Stevie’s signature keynote. In it, Stevie teaches you how the brain accepts or rejects ideas, as well as hands-on techniques to help you influence others toward positive outcomes. Everyone from the CEO to the newest intern owes their success to the ability to influence others; whether it is pitching ideas to clients, motivating staff, or connecting with customers, it doesn’t matter how well you know your job if you cannot positively connect with others.

    Learning Objectives:
    1) Capture attention: learn the neuroscience behind the Approach/Withdraw Response, and how to use this response to your advantage.
    2) Create connection: learn the two main methods of persuasion, and how to determine which to use in a given environment.
    3) Motivate action: getting agreement is worthless unless action is taken. Learn the simple methods to ensure that momentum leads to outcomes.

    Influential Leadership
    If you can’t influence, you can’t lead.

    Best Format: One-hour keynote or half-day workshop
    Best Audience: Director-level or above

    Too many leaders are trained in their profession, but not in how to garner support for initiative, or to motivate staff to do their best work. In this exciting session, Stevie Ray illuminates the various styles of leadership, and how each applies to specific teams and situations.

    Learning Objectives:
    1) The nine recognized styles of leadership, and the types of teams and situations best suited for each.
    2) The neuroscience involved in leader-follower dynamics.
    3) The psychological trigger words that either motivate others or cause greater resistance.

    When Influence Isn’t Easy
    Resolve difficult situations without losing your cool, or losing a friend

    Best Format: One-hour keynote or half-day workshop
    Best Audience: Those who face harsh resistance from either co-workers or customers.

    It is one thing to influence those who are cooperative, but what do you do for those in-your-face moments when tensions are high? For this unique session, Stevie not only draws on his expertise in influence, but also on his over 40 years of martial arts training (he was actually a celebrity bodyguard at one time). Learn to de-escalate tense situations, and create positive results.

    Learning Objectives:
    1) How the Amygdala Response of the brain affects emotions and responses.
    2) De-escalation techniques to maintain control of challenging interactions.
    3) Techniques to move from stalemate to forward momentum, all while keeping the relationship intact.

    What People are Saying about Seeing Stevie Speak

    Rating Entries

    “I learned more from Stevie Ray in one hour than in ten years from other speakers.”
    – Audra K. Solberg, Director of Administration, Robins Kaplan Law Firm

    “You got a standing ovation! That NEVER happens.”
    – John Slavsky, Global Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, 3M Company

    “The skills Stevie Ray taught me have been the most important one in terms of my success.”
    – Robert Salipante, President, Sun Life Financial

    “We would like to congratulate you on being the highest rated speaker at our national conference!”
    – Douglas H. Thompson, President, Accounting Firms Associated

    “Wow … the offices are still buzzing about how much fun people had. You exceeded our expectations on the training. You are the best.”
    – Richard Renikoff, Regional Manager, Wells Fargo

    “In 40 years in business, your presentation was one of the most instructional I’ve seen. You used your sense of humor to keep us interested and pumped up while you slid in important messages about leadership. It was a great, great presentation and certainly the highlight of the weekend. Thanks again.”
    – Ted Soto, Executive Director, Goodman Allen & Donnelly, PLLC

    “I got lots of awesome feedback after your session, like “Where’d you find that guy?” I also heard from many that said that it was way more applicable than the official sales training process they learn. Bravo!
    – Alli Ashelman, Project Manager, Commercial Marketing, Andersen Windows, Inc.

    “Your session was everything we hoped it would be and more! Your style and delivery ensure that the message will be remembered. You’re a pleasure to work with and a professional from beginning to end.”
    – Becky Anthony, Iowa Hospital Association

    “Out of all the PDU’s I have obtained, your sessions were the best so far!”
    – Matthew Salerno, Senior Project Manager, Mayo Clinic

    “Wow! I give it 5 out of 5.”
    – Christina Lew, Account Director, Techmex Event Production, Singapore

    “Thank you so much for the excellent work you did at our Quality Leadership Conference. What an elegant presenter you are! Your content was well designed and delivered. Your use of humor to illustrate your points kept our learners fully engaged and wanting more. We loved you and we learned a lot too. Many people have quoted you since the conference. We will definitely be looking for other opportunities to use your talents at Fairview. Thank you for making our conference so successful.”
    – Susan Clark, Fairview Health Systems

    “I always learn from you and can count on our conference participants getting the boost they need at the time they need it. That’s why I usually save you for the toughest time slots. I like the way you are integrating business principles into your message and, as always, you are an inspiration for those of us who appreciate good public speaking. I always benefit from seeing how a master continues to hone the craft. What a wonderful community resource you are. I fully expect you are doing as much to improve the health of the people in this community as the most accomplished of our medical practitioners.”
    – Paul Terry, Ph.D., President, Park Nicollet Medical Foundation

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    Books by Stevie Ray:

    Working the Room: Networking for Professionals

    If your palms sweat at the thought of networking, this book is for you. Learn the neuroscience behind making meaningful and profitable connections in the world of business (and life).

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