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Kevin Shrake

travels from USA

Leader, motivator and change agent with a special talent for entertaining and educating audiences in engaging keynotes

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About Kevin

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Keynote speaker Kevin Shrake has real world experience and success combined with an ability to entertain and educate in the refreshing style of “edutainment”. With this engaging speaking style, Kevin combines the power of laughter with a distinct message and inspires organisations to achieve their true potential.

Keynote speaker Kevin Shrake began his career as a registered respiratory therapist and advanced to CEO-level positions in some of the largest healthcare organizations in the country. He has experience working with organizations of all sizes and specialties in communities ranging from 4,000 residents to 4 million.

Kevin Shrake knows that a fully engaged workplace is what makes businesses successful. His keynotes lead to increased employee and customer satisfaction, improved financial performance, employee turnover and quality.

To become such an outstanding speaker, Kevin Shrake has done extensive training in public speaking, coaching and development. He received his training from the Zig Ziglar Corporation which led to an assignment as a training consultant for that organization.


See keynotes with Kevin Shrake

    Keynote by Speaker Kevin Shrake 

    World Class Communication Skills

    • In a recent national poll, the fear of public speaking finished ahead of death when asked, “what is your greatest fear?”All successful business professionals spend a considerable amount of time making some form of presentation. Your ability to effectively communicate your business objectives as well as your personal brand to groups of various sizes and configurations provides a competitive edge. Basic skills related to tone, body language, gestures, story-telling, use of humor and making a personal connection are essential regardless of the venue or size of audience. Focused repetition of these key skills leads to a world class ability to wield influence with your friends, family and business colleagues.


    Keynote by Speaker Kevin Shrake

    Servant Leadership

    • This presentation takes an innovative approach to identify and eliminate obstacles that limit our leadership effectiveness. One of the ways to achieve greatness in leadership is to first recognize the traits and characteristics that are detrimental to our growth as leaders and our influence with those we manage. Key skills related to effective communications, establishing clear goals, motivational techniques and maintaining a “go-giver” mentality will be examined. Life is not a spectator sport, so be prepared for some engaging audience participation segments that will enhance your effectiveness by examining those traits of your own “all time worst bosses.”


    Keynote by Speaker Kevin Shrake

    Creating a Collaborative Workforce

    • According to national experts, a one percent increase in employee satisfaction equates to a two percent increase in customer satisfaction. The reason for this is as human beings we “wear our emotions on our sleeve.” This session concentrates on how to engage employees at the grass roots level to gain a commitment to making the customer experience excellent in every way. Motivational concepts of identifying “ambassadors” will be discussed as well as visibility management techniques that emphasize the importance of every job in your organization. You don’t create happy employees by telling them to be happy. This occurs through a commitment to a culture that is driven both top down and bottom up to permeate the work environment with a positive approach that is infectious.


    Keynote by Speaker Kevin Shrake

    Learn Like a Child, Lead Like an Adult, Succeed Like a Champion

    • Why are some people successful in almost everything that they do? Is it genetics, luck, wisdom or something unknown? This session makes the case that success is driven by a commitment to a “Champion’s Lifestyle.” What separates those who are successful in their personal and professional lives from those who seem to struggle with every endeavor? Success will be defined and measured through an audience participation exercise and not through financial wealth. That roadmap will be used to apply the champion’s lifestyle to what the participants would like to see happen in their own individual lives. This thought provoking session is destined to create change in those willing to commit to a habitual pattern of success.


    Keynote by Speaker Kevin Shrake

    Selling to the Executive Suite

    • Sales organizations hire talented individuals to present their products and solutions to potential customers. Perhaps the hardest task they have to accomplish is making a quality connection with a key decision maker. This presentation provides insights into how to connect and gain the attention of the executive suite from the point of view of a former CEO. Topics will include executive networking, appointment scheduling, communication skills for the C-Suite and effective use of collateral materials and demonstrations. Stalking is not an approved technique and will not be covered as a strategy!

Employee Engagement Replaces “Slash and Burn” with Financial Turnarounds

Depending on the source, a typical organization has 18-25% of their employees who would be considered ‘highly engaged.” You have another 18% on the other end of the spectrum that are “highly disengaged” and drag organizations down in a variety of ways including occupying the majority of the manager’s time. The “middle majority” are watching the tug of war to see who is going to win.

I have been engaged to perform numerous financial turnarounds in my career. A typical approach for many leaders in that situation is to “slash and burn” many programs that reduce cost but may be vital to the organization and the community they serve. It is often common to simply calculate how many employees have to be eliminated to balance the budget and conduct a painful reduction in workforce. Often that is done by strict seniority which can eliminate some of your most highly engaged people, further perpetuating the underlying problem. ‘

I am a strong believer in the power of employee engagement and believe it is the key to sustainable financial turnarounds. In many cases when the “slash and burn” approach has been utilized, you have a short term financial gain that is not sustainable and in many cases leads to magnification of the original problems. By consistently involving employees in detailed open communication sessions describing the challenges and soliciting their ideas and commitment to turning the organization around, you can create sustainable results. Employees want to be satisfied with their job and be included and recognized for their contributions. They also perform better and transfer their satisfaction to their customers when they know that they are an integral part of the organization and that their jobs are secure.

In one particular situation, I was able to lead a $30 million dollar turn around in an organization over a 24 month period without a sudden reduction in workforce, all while doubling employee satisfaction levels which led to increased customer satisfaction. This example was a healthcare organization but the principles transpose to any industry. So here are a few details of how this was accomplished.

● Consistent and detailed employee meetings were conducted outlining the various financial challenges and asking for their support.

● All costs were closely scrutinized and the “20 foot rule” was implemented. If you want to know how to improve operations and reduce costs, ask the people who operate within 20 feet of that process and you will find your answers. Employees are incredibly knowledgeable and innovative when they are asked to be part of a solution.

● A position control committee was formed to closely scrutinize the approval of any vacant positions. This allowed us to “right size” the organization through attrition. At the same time detailed productivity systems were put into place along with bi-weekly reports that provided data for the managers to effectively manage to their numbers.

● Opportunities were evaluated to grow revenue rather than just reduce cost. Organizations that want to thrive cannot “downsize themselves to prosperity.” You have to work the cost and the revenue side of the equation at the same time.

● We spent money to make money. This involved investing in new programs, initiating a marketing campaign to enhance our visibility in the marketplace and incorporated a detailed employee engagement process. This process permeated the entire organization at the grass roots level and was driven by employees designated as service excellence advisors.

There were of course hundreds of strategies that created this success story, but the underlying foundation was employee engagement. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this process in more detail with anyone faced with financial challenges that are looking for an effective, sustainable pathway to prosperity.

Kevin has real world experience and success combined with an ability to entertain and educate in the refreshing style of “edutainment”. With this engaging speaking style, Kevin has inspired companies to be the best they can be. Speaker Kevin Shrake combines the power of laughter with a distinct message.



Interview with Kevin Shrake

When and how did you learn the importance of employee engagement?

I learned the importance of “people engagement” from my childhood.  Very early on it was evident to me growing up in a small town in the Midwest, that when people worked together and took pride in their environment, the community thrived. The streets were clean because people cared, crime was low because of respect for others and the education system was of high quality because teachers wanted to teach and they actually cared about the students that they were educating.

I also learned the importance of teamwork through participation in athletics.  It helped me recognize that every person’s job on the team was important and that we all brought different skills to the game that made us better collectively than we were on our own. Taking these principles and transposing them to the importance of “employee engagement” was a natural transition.

Employees are engaged when they feel that their contribution to the organization is valued and appreciated.  People are engaged when they have an understanding of the goals to be accomplished and why they are important.  They are also engaged when there is a general sense of servant leadership that permeates the organization.  There is a direct relationship between the percentage of engaged employees and positive outcomes such as high quality, low cost, excellent financial performance and a stellar reputation.  Good communication is a key factor in sharing the information necessary for people to be well informed and therefore engaged.

How do you define good communication?

Good communication involves an effective sender and a receptive receiver. Back to the athletic analogy…a good pass is one that someone catches. Communication must be consistent, open and honest.  I believe it is important to err on the side of sharing too much than too little. One develops trust by consistently delivering open and honest messages, regardless of how positive or negative the news might be. Good communication also involves being a good listener. Martin Luther King once said, “It is more important to understand than to be understood.”  That philosophy places the emphasis on the other person rather than yourself which is another common characteristic of good communication.

What leadership qualities do you most admire and why? 

In my mind, the definition of a leader is someone who has the characteristics that draws other people to want to follow them. It has very little to do with hierarchy and much more to do with the ability to develop trust through open communication, respect and recognition of the importance of every single person’s role in an organization and the willingness to “get their hands dirty.”  I admire people who lead by example, practice consistent levels of visibility to the entire employee base, are calm and confident in times of adversity and have a sense of humor.  I believe that leaders should take their jobs seriously and themselves lightly.

What do you gain personally from being a public speaker?

I love to teach and I have found that in order to speak effectively about a subject you have to really know the topic. Expert knowledge is a combination of formal education, real world experience, being mentored by successful leaders and learning from the experience of others. Through my public speaking engagements, I gain great satisfaction from making a difference in other people’s lives as they learn methods to effectively deal with their daily challenges. I enjoy the fact that many of the skills presented can be used to increase their influence and effectiveness in their personal as well as their professional life.

Having the advantage of connecting with a variety of talented people also presents great learning opportunities for me in return as they share their experiences and what has worked for them.

Why should clients use you for their next event?

First and foremost, I have great passion for what I do and present in an engaging way that has been termed, “Edutainment” … a combination of education and entertainment. I have found that engaging the audience in illustrative story-telling, relating common problems and solutions, involving them in hands on activities and making them laugh at the same time is one of the most effective adult learning techniques.

I have some natural abilities in this area, but those skills were honed by the original master of public speaking, Mr. Zig Ziglar. The formal training, work as an independent contractor and the personal mentoring from Mr. Ziglar and his team has prepared me to handle most any audience in an effective manner regardless of the industry.

Some people are excellent speakers but have no real world experience at the executive level. Some people have great experience but are poor presenters.  I believe I have the combination of the ability to teach in an effective, engaging manner along with the actual experience of having lead large organizations.

See keynotes with Kevin Shrake
Non-binding request for Kevin Shrake

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Keynote topics with Kevin Shrake