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Mimi Donaldson

travels from USA

Professor and the author behind a book about success and football and co-author of "Negotiating for Dummies"

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About Mimi

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Our keynote speaker Mimi Donaldson excites, educates and entertains audiences all over the world. She frequently shares the stage with prominent keynote speakers such as Colin Powell, Elizabeth Dole, and Maya Angelou. She has thrilled and inspired over half of the Fortune 100 companies.

Mimi’s latest book is about success and football:  Necessary Roughness:  New Rules for the Contact Sport of Life.  As a very funny, football female, Mimi uses football as a metaphor for shaking off the bad plays, or roadblocks of challenging times, and leading with perseverance and courage.

For over twenty years, Mimi has captivated audiences from the Fortune 100 to the just plain fortunate.  She’s won acclaim for her rousing keynote speeches, compelling workshops, and in-house training programs.  She has shared the keynote platform with Colin Powell, Katie Couric and Maya Angelou.

She holds a Bachelors Degree in Speech and Dramatic Arts from the University of Iowa, and a Masters Degree in Education from Columbia University. For 10 years, she was a staff Human Resources Specialist with Walt Disney Company, Northrop Aircraft, and Rockwell International.

Mimi has been a visiting professor at Harvard University’s Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School of Government.  She was the “pitch coach” on ABC’s American Inventor and coached the contestants to successfully persuade judges and America.

Mimi Donaldson is co-author of Negotiating for Dummiespublished in six languages and sold over 1 million copies worldwide.

Her second book in 2006 was Bless Your Stress: It Means You’re Still Alive! 

Before starting her own consulting business in 1984, she spent 10 years as a Human Resources Trainer at Northrop Aircraft, Rockwell International and Walt Disney Productions.

See keynotes with Mimi Donaldson

    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    Men and Women Can We Talk

    • Only two types of audiences qualify: Men and Women! Insightful. Rousing. Hilarious.
    • Improve Team Performance: Debunking Myths & Stereotypes
    • Tips and Techniques For Transforming Frustration Into Fun
    • Men & Women: Can We Talk?


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    Don’t Wait…Negotiate!

    • Life is one continuous chain of negotiations. Mimi is the master of the art, showing audiences exactly how to get what they want with dignity and honor
    • Learn How And When To “Push The Pause Button”
    • Control Body Language And Speech To Gain Favorable Results
    • 5 Secrets To “Seal The Deal” Every Time


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    Tactics To Triumph In Tough Times 

    • Go from misery to mirth with Mimi, laughing through the good times and the bad. How to gain the edge in turbulent times, while keeping your eye on the prize.
    • 4 Sure-Fire Growth Strategies For Tough Times
    • Avoiding The 5 Pitfalls That Throw Us Off Course
    • Tactics To Strengthen Your Ties To Clients And Customers


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    All Stressed Up And No Place To Go

    • Mimi has a captivating and humorous way for audiences to recognize their own stress triggers right before their eyes. Her real gifts are the techniques she shares so that everyone can avoid going from “calming down to blowing up.”
    • Recognize The WAR Within: Worry-Anger-Resentment
    • How To Gain Control Before You Blow The Deal
    • Opt For Alternative Positive Actions


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    4 Steps to Managing the Unmanageable 

    • The four essential actions to get results through people.
    • Manage your employees, your boss, the plumber, even your teenager.
    • Delegate clearly, motivate with purpose, supply the tools, and give feedback.
    • Give “efficient” 6-second empathy


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    Your Time Is Yours!

    • To make your time yours, we must communicate to others our goals and priorities.
    • Say “no” to potential time-wasters
    • Beat procrastination when it rears its ugly head
    • Handle crises


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    Speaking With Confidence: Manage Those Butterflies! 

    • Public speaking is our number one fear…death is number 5.
    • Address groups with confidence and skill
    • Convert nervousness to positive energy
    • Organize material and field questions with grace and control


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    At Your Service 

    • Gain the competitive edge to gain customers for life.
    • Learn when to talk and when to listen
    • Effective questioning and verifying techniques
    • How to be courteous under pressure


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    Telephone Techniques 

    • Guarantee customer satisfaction on the phone.
    • Develop listening skills and questioning techniques
    • Handle requests and complaints effectively
    • Reduce on-the-job stress


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    Assertive Communication

    • Make one of the most important changes in your life.
    • How to be assertive without being aggressive
    • How to say “no” when appropriate
    • Request assistance and information, express opinions


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    Building a Team 

    • Recognize your role as a leader who leads, motivates, and gets results.
    • Handle difficult situations and people
    • Satisfy the internal customer with empathy, feedback and control


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    Making Meetings Work 

    • Manage meetings that are attended with enthusiasm and participation.
    • Define goals and establish roles
    • Handle monopolizers, interrupters and other obstacles


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    Power Up! Empower Yourself to Success

    • An action plan to take control of your career.
    • A six-point map to get you where you want to go
    • How to get going when you don’t “feel” like it


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    Empowering: From Vision to Reality

    • An energizing keynote speech for top women achievers
    • Identify and respond to challenges
    • Make your desires and dreams real


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    Power Up! A Woman’s Guide 

    • Re-energizing the power within for busy women
    • Tap the hidden energy supply
    • Create the do-able vision
    • Find the tools to make it happen


    Keynote by Speaker Mimi Donaldson

    Writing For Results

    • Write clear, concise, and effective business communications.
    • State your purpose clearly and early
    • Sure-fire strategies for organizing, revising, and editing

Interview with Mimi Donaldson

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

The message is always that they have countless layers of potential they never knew they had.  With the tools for skillful communication I remind them of, they can be much more productive in both their professional and personal relationships.

Do you have a favorite experience from your speaking career?

An event happened early in my career when I realized I was NOT a celebrity. I was a hired speaker. I experienced a wake-up call that it’s NOT about me. I was booked to keynote at a women’s conference at a university known for its blue football field. In the pre-conference phone calls, the client asked some questions that struck me as very strange: “Do you require a limo from the airport?” After finding out the airport was only 20 minutes from the venue, I told her I didn’t even need a hired car – that someone could pick me up, or I would hop into a taxi. She was astonished: “You mean I could pick you up in my Toyota?” I said, “Sure.” She said, “With a baby seat in the back?” I said, “Sure.” She then asked, “What kind of bottled water do you prefer?” It was the 90’s. I didn’t know the names of bottled water, never mind the difference between them. I said, “I don’t care. I usually buy my own water, but it’s great that you will provide it.”

There was a pause. I said, “Where are these questions coming from?” She said, “Well the last speaker we hired from Los Angeles was very particular. She insisted on a limo, and yelled at the conference volunteer staff when they brought her the wrong designer water!” I told her I was shocked. After learning the name of the “speaker/celebrity,” I was not that shocked. I assured her, “I am not a diva and I certainly don’t ACT like a celebrity, and I’m always very nice to the staff.” She sounded relieved. Voila!

That was the beginning of my reputation as the “No Prima Donna’s here” speaker. I arrive early, stay after my speech, and never bring my wheelie suitcase with me into the speaking room, so I can run away quickly right afterwards. AND – here’s the most important part: If there are speakers before me that day, I attend. There is nothing worse than the third speaker of the day unwittingly contradicting or repeating what previous speakers said! The audience knows you were not there, so they already don’t like you.

Be smart, people.  From the moment you enter the taxi on the way to the airport to go to a speech, all the way through the airport, to everyone with whom you interact, to checking in at the hotel (you never know who may be in the line – once, someone recognized my voice from an audiotape she had previously purchased) to dealing with hotel staff, your job is to be THE NICEST PERSON ANYONE HAS EVER MET. Your reputation is all you have, and no one wants a Prima Donna.

What do you gain personally from being a public speaker?

My personal and business mission is, “To assist people to realize and achieve their full human potential.”  So I am always carrying out this mission whether I’m speaking or not.  Writing books accomplishes more of the mission more efficiently.  When I’m not paid for it, I call it “mentoring.”

What do you feel is the biggest difference in communication style between men and women?

I have written whole speeches on this subject!  One aspect is women use more words than men.  Studies show that women use an average of 25,000 words in a typical day.  Men use about 15,000.  I always quip, “The problem is by the time men come home from work, they’ve used all 15,000 up.  We haven’t even started on our 25,000.  We’ve had to be concise all day long!”

Are negotiation skills necessary for everyone?

Negotiating skills are absolutely necessary for everyone.  Every negotiation is premised on alignments of fundamental values.  We must understand ourselves and what we wish to accomplish and then develop these values and feelings with those who might seem, on the surface, to be our adversaries.  I teach people how we all may be more effective in resolving the big and little negotiations that our turbulent existence reveals every day.

How are your keynote presentations unique?

My background in human resources provides me with solid content.  I’m also hilariously funny.  As my brochure says, “When Mimi speaks, people listen. And they laugh…even if they weren’t expecting to.  Audiences light up when hearing Mimi speak.  Feedback forms say ‘funny – and profound.’”

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration is my mom, who was my biggest cheerleader and taught me never to quit.

Do you have 3 tips for improving public speaking skills?

  • Never worry about breathing, your voice cracking, or the “I’m not polished-enough-syndrome.”  The audience is rooting for you – they are glad they are not up front. There are only 2 things an audience won’t forgive you for:
  • Making them nervous: distracting them with nervous hand gestures, aimless pacing, and lots of “um’s and uh’s.”  When you do this, you take them back to their terrifying presentations in eighth-grade speech class.
  • Being phony – not being yourself.  Don’t try to look “professional” by using dramatic pauses and speaking in a voice that is not natural to you.  Be yourself.  They will love you for it.
See keynotes with Mimi Donaldson
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Keynote topics with Mimi Donaldson