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Engaging and lively keynotes on cross-cultural communication


Gayle Cotton

travels from USA

Cross-cultural communication expert, executive coach and President of Circles Of Excellence Inc.

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About Gayle

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Our keynote speaker Gayle Cotton is a cross-cultural communication specialist and highly sought after presenter. Giving presentations all over the world in the last years, she has shared her stories and knowledge with thousands of attendees. On stage the National Emmy Award Winner is not only an acknowledged expert, but also an engaging and humorous entertainer.

Gayle Cotton is not only a communication expert, trainer and keynote speaker, but also an author. In her bestselling book, ‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which she also presents as a keynote, she reveals the keys to success in intercultural behaviour.

Gayle Cotton is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc., and a distinguished speaker and executive coach. She has presented for the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the U.S. government, and more than 50 Fortune 500 companies around the world. She has been featured on BBC News, NBC News, Good Morning America, PM Magazine, Pacific Report, PBS and more.

She was the first American ever to be accepted in the ‘European Association of Marketing and Sales Experts’, and is a Certified Expert in the ‘Executive Foundation for International Communication’. She is a Faculty Resource for Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), World Presidents’ Organization (WPO), Chief Executives Organization (CEO), and Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).

In her lively keynotes, Gayle Cotton educates, amuses and motivates her audiences. She is an internationally recognized authority on Cross-Cultural Communication. Her abilities to act as a catalyst for creativity and productivity have earned her the trust and respect of World Leaders, Ambassadors, and Executives around the world that turn to her for her expertise on global cultures and international business.


See keynotes with Gayle Cotton

    Keynote by Speaker Gayle Cotton

    SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication

    Keynote by Speaker Gayle Cotton

    Global Business Etiquette: ‘Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos’!

    • This entertaining keynote will teach you to understand the ‘Do’s & Taboos’ for doing business in Europe, Asia/ Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East. On this brief journey around the world, Gayle will provide you with valuable take home values.

    Keynote by Speaker Gayle Cotton

    Interpersonal Communications: Is What You Say What You Mean?

    • Body language, intonation and context. Every detail can shape successful interpersonal communication. Learn the necessary ‘people-reading’ skills to become pro-active rather than reactive in the communication process.

    Keynote by Speaker Gayle Cotton

    The Art of Successful Presentation Skills: It’s Beyond Words…

    • In today’s business world you will have to pitch and promote yourself all the time. Whether you make presentations for meetings, small groups, or from a podium for multitudes, this interactive topic is designed for you. Making successful presentations is an art, and one that’s not easily achieved! Excellent presentations are 90% preparation and 10% presentation. Learn to create the most effective type of presentation for your audience. Incorporate some high-level tips to enhance your audience rapport, including with multicultural audiences.

    Keynote by Speaker Gayle Cotton

    Time Mastery & Stress Management: 1440 Minutes – Use It or Lose It!

    • Time Mastery & Stress Management will help you better understand your habits of self-management, and develop strategies to maximize time and minimize stress. This lively, interactive topic can make the difference between being in the red or the black of the time bank… and your health. . Are you ‘in time’, ‘on time,’ or ‘out of time’?

    Keynote by Speaker Gayle Cotton

    Gayle’s Story: 3 Strikes! International Business Women Abroad

    • In the early nineties, Gayle began her career working as a Corporate Trainer for multi-national companies and organizations in Switzerland. She was an expert in Cross-Cultural Education, but she quickly discovered that she had 3 strikes against her — she was American, female, and blonde!
      By telling which strikes she personally had to overcome, Gayle teaches the audience awareness, problem solutions and resilience. Get ready to face your challenges.

Interview with Gayle Cotton

You are a cross-cultural communication expert. What in your opinion is the most important cross-cultural competence everybody should have?

Be proactive and learn something about the cultures you work with

When you work with different cultures, it’s important to be proactive or you will likely be reactive! Too often we assume that people from other cultures communicate the same way we do, or that they conduct business in a similar fashion. This is clearly not the case.

There are cultural distinctions about what is considered respectful or not, attire preferences, cultural differences in how direct or indirect communication should be, as well as appropriate and inappropriate greetings, differences in formality, language, and what is considered to be “on time” to name a few.

If you don’t know something about cultures you interact with, you could jeopardize the relationship. Unintentional faux pas are difficult to recover from – especially offensive gestures.  Awareness is always the 1st step!

In your career you were confronted with a lot of prejudices during your time working in Europe. From your personal point of view, what are the best ways to overcome cross-cultural prejudice?

Be willing to adapt your communication style to create a comfortable rapport

When I first started working in Geneva, Switzerland in the mid-90s, I had 3 strikes against me. Being a multicultural expert, the first strike was that ‘I’m American’. Their perception – “What do Americans know about different cultures?” The second was that ‘I’m female’, and at that time it wasn’t as common for women to work in executive positions. The third strike was that ‘I’m blond’– and I found out that the “dumb blonde jokes” were global! I learned to consciously adapt my communication style, and business approach, to create rapport and respect with the different cultures I worked with.

Who or what inspires you most?

All the magnificent cultural distinctions around the world

For example, I love the fact the most of the Asian cultures offer business cards with both hands and slight bow. They also offer gifts and other things with both hands, which is a respectful gesture towards the person being offered something. I also appreciate the European way of getting to know someone better before jumping straight into business. I really enjoy the socialization of having a coffee or meal together without discussing business. I’ve adopted many customs from around the world, and I think I’ve become a better person for it.

You also talk about self-management, you claim that you can make the difference between being in the red or the black of the time bank. Don’t you think some people are just better organised than others?

No one seems to have enough time, and yet we all have all there is!

While some people are naturally be more organized than others, I think that for most people organization is a learned skill. Time doesn’t carry over from day to day like a credit. We all get 24 hours each morning, and how we use it is up to us. Time is the most valuable gift we have, and we determine what that gift will be each day. No one wants to live with regrets, and organization will help us maximize our time and minimize stress as well.

Do you have a favourite experience from your speaking career?

I just love speaking and helping others see something is a new or different way

I’ve had the opportunity to travel and speak all over the world, and there is something very memorable about each engagement. I think one of the funniest experiences I’ve had was when the elastic on my skirt broke and they were trying to wire me by tucking the microphone in my panty hose. Come to find out – my microphone was on and the audience heard everything. I learned a lesson that day!

See keynotes with Gayle Cotton
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Keynote topics with Gayle Cotton