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Van Hooser

Interview with Philip Van Hooser

Philip Van Hooser answer our questions regarding transformational leadership, unique keynotes and his best advice for excellent customer service. Read on below.

What is the message you hope people take away from your presentations?

When addressing my chosen topic of “leadership” I want people to recognize 1) that a dire need exists for more effective leaders in almost every organziation;  2) that effective leadership skills can be learned and developed; and 3) that leadership is not about position, but rather about the ability to offer service and the willingness to take action.

 

What is the feeling you would like people to take away?

If I do my job well from the platform, audience members should leave feeling encouraged, inspired, empowered and armed with new tools and skills to to lead and perform more effectively.

 

How do you prepare for speaking engagements?

My prepartation involves studying the industry, the organziation and when appropriate, interviewing company or organization representatives.  Whenever possibile, I like to arrive at the meeting early to listen to the speakers before me, especially speakers from within the organization.  I am often able to tie their comments and perspectives back into my presentation, thus shaping a more cohensive message for the meeting.

 

What do you gain personally from being a public speaker?

I love what I do because of what I learn from the organizations, the audience members and the overall experience.  Each new talk better prepares me for the talks that will follow.  I have been speaking fulltime and professionally for more than 24 years.  During that time I have given more than 3,200 presentations to more than 800 different organizations around the world.  There is no better education available to me than that which I continue to live.

 

How much does humor factor into your keynotes and other speaking engagements?

I learned long ago that the use of appropriate humor is key to developing a receptive learning atmosphere and maintaining audience attention and participation.  I use humor liberally, but I never tell jokes, nor do I resort to the use of off color or inappropriate humor or language.  My humor is original humor, carefully designed to accenturate the message being communicated.  In other words, it is humor crafted specifically for the larger purpose at hand.

 

What are some of the important aspects of transformational leadership?

Transformational leadership is focused on acknowledging, accepting, and providing leadership for the changes that are taking place in industries, organizations, departments and within indviduals.  It is both a mindset and skill set that says we will embrace the changes we are certain to experience and help others to do the same for their good and for the good of the organization.

 

How are your keynote presentations unique?

My keynotes incorporate a healthy mixture of concept, challenge, common sense and fun.  I liberally use real life stories to illustrate the message I am working to communicate.  My audiences are never bored because I make them a part of the experience.

 

Do you have any unique memorable moments in your speaking career?

After 3,200+ professional speaking engagements, I literally have more memorable experiences than I can list.  I have spoken to groups as large as 7,500 and to as samll as 2.  I have spoken from huge, ornate stages and from a flatbed trailer with hay bales under a broiling sun.  I have addressed highly trained special forces military personnel and I have spoken to young women working as mermaids at a themed park.  I have spoken at celebratory gatherings and I have spoken in the most somber of occasions (following 9/11).  However, the most memorable occasions usually occur after the presentations when I have the opportunity to meet and interact with the various members of my audiences,  hearing firsthand from them how they were benefited in some way by something I said or did.  Those are the best memories of all.

 

What are the three most important things to remember when striving to provide excellent customer service?

  1. The focus is always on the customer and his or her needs and wants.
  2. There is no substitute for professionalism in practice.
  3. There is a noticiable difference to the customer  between “service provision” and “service professionalism.”

 

See Philip Van Hooser’s profile here!

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