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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.

Reasons to book Gayle Cotton

  • In her lively keynotes, Gayle Cotton educates, amuses and motivates her audiences.
  • 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.
  • She is an internationally recognized authority on Cross-Cultural Communication.

Let Gayle educate, entertain, and inspire your audience with her fresh and unique approach! Giving new meaning to the concept of creativity and productivity, she is on the leading edge of
business communication. She has won the respect of companies, leaders and executives around the world that turn to her for her expertise on culture and international business. Her vast
experience living and working abroad has made her a “first choice” request for any audience!

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.

Gayle has the distinction of being the first American 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) and Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).

Gayle offers live, virtual, and hybrid presentations. She presents on the topics of Cross-Cultural Communication, Customer Service, Diversity, Interpersonal Communication, Management and
Leadership, Presentation Skills, Sales and Negotiations, Teambuilding, and Time Management.

See keynotes with Gayle Cotton
Keynote by Speaker Gayle Cotton

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

This lively and interactive topic is based on Gayle Cotton’s Bestselling Book, ‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’. Differences are the spice of life! But cultural differences can also be the source of embarrassing blunders and miscommunication in the workplace, and for business or social travelers alike. We must manage preexisting cultural expectations, understand cultural sensitivities, avoid conflict, and sidestep offending someone due to cultural differences — albeit unintentional.

The strength of any multicultural relationship depends entirely on the ability to effectively communicate, and to build trust and rapport in person, on the phone, or by email. To do this, we need to understand how words, tonality, and body language vary with every culture. This presentation will increase your self-awareness, help you adapt your style, and enable you to be proactive in multi-cultural relationships. Its Gayle’s most requested topic, and has lots of humor and take-home value!

  • Key One: Create Proactive Communication and Avoid Reactive Communication.
  • Key Two: Rapport Secrets to Bridge the Cultural Gap.
  • Key Three: Organize Productive Interactions.
  • Key Four: Strategies for Relationships.
  • Key Five: Success Leaves Clues… Do’s & Taboos.
Keynote by Speaker Gayle Cotton

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

Explore the ‘Cultural Clues’ for developing successful relationships in today’s global business and social environment. Avoid those all too embarrassing ‘Faux Pas’, and learn to bridge the cultural gap in any culture. Understand the ‘Do’s &Taboos’ for Europe, Asia/ Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East. This is a lively, interactive presentation that will take you on a brief journey around the world to learn what everyone needs to know about ‘Global Business Etiquette’. Gayle highlights examples and blunders that often border on hilarity. The topic has tremendous take-home value, so have fun and enjoy the trip!

Audience takeaways:

  • Multi-Cultural Communication:Is What You Say What You Mean?
  • Email Etiquette: How ‘Intimate’ Is Your Email?”
  • Cultural Clues: ‘Do’s & Taboos’ for Global Business Etiquette.
  • Paradoxes of the English Language: How Can a Wise Guy and a Wise Man be Opposites?
  • Cultural Bloopers! The Humorous ‘Faux Pas’
Keynote by Speaker Gayle Cotton

Interpersonal Communications: Is What You Say What You Mean?

Take a look at the comical challenges we all have with the words we use in our interpersonal communications. Add a little tonality and body language, and it’s no wonder we have communication mishaps! “The meaning of your communication is evident by the response you get.” Learn the necessary ‘people-reading’skills to become pro-active rather than reactive in the communication process. Maximize effective communication and minimize miscommunication.

This lively, interactive topic creates the ‘open channels’ necessary to improve communication in person, on the phone, and by email. Learn the‘rapport secrets’ to enable you to establish more comfortable and productive business or personal relationships. Gayle’s insightful and energetic approach will help you improve your communication in all facets of your life.

Audience takeaways:

  • Improve Your Interpersonal Communications: Use Effective Words, Tonality and Body Language.
  • Become a ‘People-Reader’: Be Pro-active Not Reactive in Your Communication.
  • Rapport Secrets… Create Comfortable, Productive Business and Personal Relationships.
Keynote by Speaker Gayle Cotton

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

Could you use a little polish in your presentation or a little finesse in your style? 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 multi-cultural audiences. Prepare effective openings, transitions, and closings. Develop the necessary skills for delivery with visuals. Last, but not least, enhance your physical presentation style with your voice dynamics and body language. This topic has lots of interaction for great take-home value!

Audience takeaways:

  • Confidently Create Audience Rapport: With Audiences of Any Size and Type… Including Multi-Cultural Audiences.
  • Prepare Better Presentations: Use Creative Visualization Techniques, and have Effective Openings, Transitions, and Closings.
  • Enhance Your Physical Presentation Style: Overcome Fear, Breathe Properly, and Use Effective Tonality, Inflection, Gestures, and Body Language.
Keynote by Speaker Gayle Cotton

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

Time is like a bank, but who manages the ‘Time Bank’? Is it you, or is it time? Everyone gets the same 60 seconds a minute, 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year. Every morning we are credited with 480 minutes in an 8-hour work day, and 1,440 minutes every 24 hours. Each night what we don’t invest in good purpose is written off as a loss!

How can we hope to gain effectiveness in managing ourselves and our precious credit of daily minutes? 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’?

  • Awareness Is the First Step: Who Is Robbing Your Time Bank?
  • Time Mastery: Are You the Master of Time, or Is Time the Master of You?
  • Develop Strategies: To Organize, Plan, Minimize, and Eliminate.
  • Stress Management: Maximize Healthy Stress and Minimize Unhealthy Stress.
  • Top 20 Tips: For Time Mastery and Stress Management.
Keynote by Speaker Gayle Cotton

Gayle’s Story: 3 Strikes! Awareness Is the First Step...

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! And after all… what do Americans know about different cultures?

Being female, she also found out that the ‘Dumb Blonde Jokes’ were global! Nevertheless, Gayle adapted and became very successful working internationally. Later in the nineties, she incorporated Circles Of Excellence Inc. in Dallas TX. Recently married to a Frenchman, she used her married name, Gayle Cotton-Delpierre. That name wasn’t easy to pronounce, so she rapidly became known as Gayle Cotton Del Prairie! Adapting once again, Gayle decided to use ‘Cotton’ as her professional name which she found worked well. Gayle’s story is inspirational, full of humor, humility, and hope for anyone living or working in different cultures.

  • How Many Strikes Are Against You? Awareness Is the First step!
  • Becoming the Librarian: Adapting for Where You Are.
  • Understanding the Cultural Layer Cake: How Many Layers Are in Your Cake?
  • Going Beyond the Strikes: Question to Ask.
  • Adapting Your Style: Success Leaves Clues!
Watch speaker Gayle Cotton in action

Gayle Cotton, Speaker, Smart Meetings, Interview, 5 Keys to Cross-Cultural Communication

See keynotes with Gayle Cotton


Gayle’s interactive style commands the attention of all, which generates participation from the masses!

Misty Helm

Manager, Professional Development

I want to thank Gayle for her outstanding presentation on Cross-Cultural communication!!

Yvonne Ammerman


There is no doubt Gayle would go above and beyond for a client.

Richard Sear, VP

Frost & Sullivan

You have been a ‘highlight’ for our whole meeting! Your Interpersonal Communication Skills seminar received an ‘excellent’ rating.

Jorg Frese

Young Presidents' Organization (YPO)

All expectations were exceeded! Gayle Cotton received very positive feedback both from the material represented and her own personal performance.

Glen Goudeau


The participants were overwhelmed! More important was the effect of your presentation on the participants, a fact which I personally confirmed.

J. Arbela Fitzpatrick,

Malta Institute of Management

Your presentation ‘Understanding Your Customer’ was absolutely outstanding! We all enjoyed your original approach to communications.

R. Von Buren

International Fragrance and Flavors

Unusual - Unorthodox! An experience of cultural techniques I’ve never known before. One of the best keynotes I’ve attended.

Loc Nguyen

Citicorp Bank

Wow! What an excellent program you presented. You created an awareness to communicate effectively and confidently.

Jill Smith

Mary Kay

Your presentation on 'The Art & Science of Public Speaking’ was extremely well received!

Aman Merchant

Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO)

Our Top Producers’ at the ‘Best of Vest Fest’ were both entertained and enlightened!

LouAnn Colosmo

HD Vest Financial

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
Non-binding request for Gayle Cotton

Send a simple request. You’ll get a quick reply with fees and availability

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Keynote topics with Gayle Cotton