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Louis Heckler

travels from USA

Journalist and Speech Coach

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About Louis

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Keynote speaker Lou Heckler represents a broad background in management and leadership positions, from his days as an instructor and course supervisor for the Defense Department during his active Army duty to his positions in public and commercial television – ranging from News Director and Community Affairs Director to corporate Management Training Director.

Keynote speaker Louis Heckler has been making a living from the printed and spoken word since he was 14. In his teenage years, he was hired to do a community news column for “The Signal Item,” a weekly newspaper near his hometown in Pittsburgh, PA.


While Louis was receiving dual degrees in Journalism and Radio-TV-Motion Pictures at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he also served as news editor and anchorman on the WUNC-TV public television system. By the time he was graduated from the University, he had already logged over 1,000 live television broadcasts.

Military Service

Louis Heckler joined the US Army six months after graduation. During his two and a half years of service, Louis served as a speech instructor and course supervisor at the Defense Information School (then at Fort Harrison, IN). The school trained broadcasters and public affairs people for all the US military branches and for military personnel and civilians from many foreign countries. On the weekends, he was a news anchorman at WTTV, an independent television station serving Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN.

Broadcast Background

When Louis Heckler returned to television, he first served as News Director of an NBC television affiliate in Richmond, VA and then as Community Affairs Director at WBTV in Charlotte. For the last year and half of Lou’s television career, he served WBTV’s parent corporation (Jefferson Pilot Communications) as its management training director.

In an era of specialists, keynote speaker Louis Heckler is a bit of an anachronism…but we think you’ll find him a good anachronism.

He is equally at home handling your needs for a keynoter as well as leading breakout sessions later in the day. He can emcee your final banquet or your entire convention.

Because of Louis’s background in television (eight years of which were in news reporting and anchoring), he can kick off your meeting, attend the rest of the sessions and take notes, and then provide your attendees with a humorous and poignant summary at the close of the event.

Since he also conducted more than 2,000 live television interviews, he can also serve as an interviewer up on the stage if you have an executive or other speaker who is more comfortable answering questions than going it alone.

So, maybe Louis Heckler isn’t really such an anachronism after all – maybe he’s just a man of many talents who can help your meeting be a huge success!


Always of an entrepreneurial spirit, Louis then began his full-time speaking career in March of 1980, performing keynote speeches and conducting training seminars on a variety of management topics.

The University of Michigan tapped Louis Heckler to join the adjunct faculty at their Executive Education Center (part of the Graduate School of Business Administration) and that launched a 19-year relationship during which Lou led more than 200 programs for the University in Ann Arbor, as well as a number of on-site programs in New York City, Hong Kong, Atlantic City, Chicago, and a number of cities throughout Michigan. He maintained this post while still at the helm of his own business.

In Louis Heckler, you are getting a seasoned educator and performer, one who is comfortable in small venues of a few dozen people and equally at home on a main stage in front of thousands. His easy, intimate style makes audience members feel he is speaking right to them as he delivers a message filled with high concepts, hilarious insights, and hope.

Our speaker Louis Heckler was voted one of the favorites by meeting planners as listed in Meetings and Conventions Magazine, July, 2010.

See keynotes with Louis Heckler

    Keynote by Speaker Louis Heckler

    Engagement Speeches

    At a time when we are electronically more connected than ever before in history, we are also less truly engaged with one another. This speech looks at three key areas in which all leaders must challenge their associates to execute at the highest level:

    • Engage with purpose
    • Engage with performance
    • Engage with people

    We will offer specific tactics that will encourage greater engagement: taking more initiative…focusing on values…working for the good of others, not the good of self…always considering that you are the first person someone may meet in your organization…seeking collaboration, not confrontation.

    As with all of Louis’s most sought-after presentations, he combines current social and management research with real-life anecdotes that make his points come alive and stay in the minds of his audiences for many days to come.


    Keynote by Speaker Louis Heckler

    Leadership Speeches

    Keynote speaker Louis Heckler has served in a variety of leadership positions throughout his own career. He served in management positions at two television stations and spent 19 years on the adjunct faculty at the University of Michigan’s Executive Education Center, leading more than 200 all-day programs on topics such as Time Management, Delegation, Communication, Motivation, Creative Problem Solving, and Teamwork.

    Throughout his career, Louis has been fascinated by the characteristics that top leaders possess:

    • A commitment to maintaining and increasing their competence
    • A belief in creating a climate of high expectations
    • A wish to grow their business through relationship-building
    • A dedication to promoting risk-taking and innovation
    • A clarity about their own skills and their own weaknesses
    • A knowledge that their energy will fuel the organization

    He has created a powerful and practical presentation (“Leadership by CHOICE”), detailing these traits and sprinkled with uplifting and humorous stories about a few unexpected heroes he has met along the way.

    With a journalist’s attention to detail and a top presenter’s skills on the platform, Louis Heckler creates a keynote experience that will have your attendees believing in themselves and believing in their power to become a top-notch leader of tomorrow.


    Keynote by Speaker Louis Heckler

    Peak Performance Speeches

    Keynote speaker Louis Heckler has been completely fascinated by people who rise to the top of their fields, from Bill Gates in software and philanthropy to John Grisham in legal thrillers to a room service waiter in a hotel who has decided the simple job of delivering a meal to someone’s door is going to be nothing short of “theater” in his hands. He conducted more than 2,000 television interviews with peak performers and continues to do extensive research in that area.

    In this session (“Achieving Peak Performance”), Louis Heckler will detail five action steps that all top achievers commit to, day in and day out:

    • A belief in a powerful, personal vision
    • An ability to translate that vision into a mission that matters
    • A commitment to complete utilization of their unique skills
    • A remarkable balance between patience and action
    • A need to endorse and grow those around them

    Louis’s premise is this: ordinary people can do extraordinary things if they will follow tried and true practices of outstanding businesspeople who have gone before them. He will share stories of these remarkable people who have crossed his path and show you how you can walk right behind them and take your career and your life to a whole new level.


    Keynote by Speaker Louis Heckler

    Customer Service Speeches

    More than three million miles of flying…more than 2000 presentations all over the world…at least that number of nights in motels, hotels and inns…and countless numbers of restaurant meals – these are all in the experience that backs Lou’s presentation on customer service.

    Like most people who travel a lot, he has been treated to some magnificent experiences and has been astounded at the indifferent ways he has been treated in worst-case scenarios. In the process, he has come to believe that great customer service comes down to three key commitments:

    • Brute force attention to small details, including customer feedback
    • The elimination of systems that delay service delivery
    • The creation of a work climate where delighted employees thrive

    This presentation (“Ensuring Great Customer Service”) is a combination of the practical and the inspirational, as keynote speaker Louis Heckler offers concrete ideas that can be put to immediate use. And Louis will practice what he preaches…working in advance with a meeting planner to ensure that his examples are relevant and his knowledge of the client is up-to-date.


Interview with Louis Heckler

What is the message you hope people take away from your presentations?
I want people to come away from my presentations with a feeling of hope.  The ideas I share aren’t always easy, but they are simple … aimed at doing an excellent job every day and feeling good about oneself.

What is the feeling you would like people to take away?
I think the answer above deals with both the message and the feeling.

How do you prepare for speaking engagements?
I prepare for each engagement very carefully, taking into account the makeup of the audience, the time of day the presentation is scheduled, and the information I have gathered from my clients. I tailor every talk to each individual situation and often spend weeks in careful research to insure the best performance I can give.

What do you gain personally from being a public speaker?
What do I gain? The satisfaction of using my talents to their fullest and (I always hope) the knowledge that I might make a difference in someone’s life.

How much does humor factor into your keynotes and other speaking engagements?
All of my presentations contain original, clean humor. I don’t tell jokes…simply recount stories that strike me as funny and that make a key point in the process.

How is engagement important in the world of business?
Engagement is so key in business today. One study I read said (at least in the U.S.) that 25% of today’s adults really have no one in whom they can confide. If we can encourage managers and supervisors to be more engaged with their people, productivity will surely go up and people will have a much greater feeling of well-being.

How are your keynote presentations unique?
How are my presentations unique? They are all created from my experiences and my life and, therefore, possess my way of viewing personal effectiveness. During my career in American television, I interviewed over 2,000 people about ways they worked and lived and that gives me an unusually broad insight into the human condition. Also, I have traveled more than three million miles over the last 30-plus years and have gathered ideas from across the globe.

Do you have any unique memorable moments in your speaking career?
In all honesty, all my engagements are memorable for me. I devote so much energy to each presentation and find something wonderful in each one of them. Two years ago I was honored to speak at Human Resource conferences in both Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and found that to be a great honor. In 2009 I received the Cavett…the highest individual honor for service given by the National Speakers Association. That was very gratifying as well.

What are the three most important things to remember when striving for excellent customer service?
The three most important things to remember when striving for excellent customer service in my view are: getting even the smallest details right…giving the customer the most timely responsiveness possible…and making sure internal staff people are treated the way we want our customers treated.

See keynotes with Louis Heckler
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Keynote topics with Louis Heckler