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Terry Paulson

travels from USA

Psychologist and change expert who is a leading authority on change management helping people to break through

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About Terry

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Keynote speaker Terry Paulson's motivating message is exactly what people need to get past the uncertainty and indecision of these challenging times to make change work. You get a fired up audience. More importantly, you'll see people implement what they have learned long after the conference is over.

Provides attitude adjustment and practical strategies for leaders, teams and organizations to make strategic change work!

Terry Paulson is a PhD psychologist. He is also a leading authority on change management and in turning positive psychology research into practical insights that can produce real-world results. He is a national columnist and also the author of the new book, The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results. He’s brought us practical, easy-reading insights in books such as They Shoot Managers Don’t They, Leadership Truths One Story at a Time, Making Humor Work, and 50 Tips for Speaking Like a Pro. For over 30 years, Dr. Paulson has helped audiences transform their self-limiting beliefs into self-fulfilling breakthroughs. He has helped them to achieve their personal and professional goals. Terry will motivate your audience through his unique and memorable personal stories combined with his engaging humor, teaching them leadership and life lessons that they will be able to use for years to come. He will help your people transform obstacles into opportunities, challenges into choices, and setbacks into stepping stones to success.

Terry’s programs on optimism and change leadership have touched thousands of audiences, around the globe. Terry’s presentations are more than motivational. His dynamic and compelling programs provide both the required attitude adjustment and the practical strategies for leaders, teams and organizations to make strategic change work!

Terry delivers more “meat” per minute in a fun way than any other speaker you could hire. He moves with remarkable ease between very different fields, working with clients in different industries, businesses and professions. His clients include everyone from sole entrepreneurs to huge corporations.

Terry’s unique programs have been highly praised by thousands of managers, salespeople, executives, and professionals worldwide.

Terry ensures sure his programs fit your organization, your situation and your goals. His unique and inspirational stories could not be told by anyone else. Your people will receive a program, that’s fast-paced, fun, and packed with useful and usable information they can put to work right away.

Tailored to help people break through to higher confidence, sustained action, and strategic results, his dynamic and compelling programs are right on the mark. He brings knowledge, practical real-world insights and passion to everything he does.

Dr. Paulson is a past president of both the National Speakers Association and the Global Speakers Federation. He has attained NSA’s Certified Speaking Professional designation (CSP) and has been inducted as a lifetime member of the (CPAE) Speakers Hall of Fame, along with Ronald Reagan, Colin Powell and Norman Vincent Peale.

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    Speaker Terry Paulson Keynote Topics

    Keynotes, Half & Full Day Programs to Fit Your Needs.


    Keynote by Speaker Terry Paulson

    Change! Love It and Lead It!

    • The change journey never stops! This powerful program provides today’s leaders with practical tactics that make change work. You’ll learn how to generate and sustain commitment to a compelling vision and core values, sell the need for change, develop an organization that is excited to keep learning, encourage early problem solving, unite and motivate diverse teams, and focus resources to support your strategic business goals.


    Keynote by Speaker Terry Paulson

    The Optimism Advantage

    • In good and bad times, leaders and professionals alike need to keep hope alive and shape setbacks, detours, economic downturns, and challenging global competition into strategic opportunities. This timely program will help you invent a future you can be proud of. Learn how to trade feelings of helplessness and frustration for flexible optimism, resourcefulness, and persistence as you make change work for yourself, your organization, and those you serve.


    Keynote by Speaker Terry Paulson

    Claiming Your Communication Edge: The Art of Listening, The Power of Speaking

    • There is no more valuable skill for leaders to develop than effective communication. Two of the most important competencies that can give you a communication edge are effective listening and public speaking. Learn how to listen so that others are comfortable talking; learn to speak so that people listen. In the age of influence, the communication edge gives you and your team the advantage they need to produce strategic success. Whether together or as separate programs, these presentations makes a difference where it counts.


    Keynote by Speaker Terry Paulson

    Motivation Is Your Job!

    • There’s only one person who can motivate you…You! While many programs claim to be “motivational”, this proven energizer is guaranteed to help you master specific motivation strategies that work on and off the job. You’ll master self-talk helps, understand self-feedback tools, and embrace self-change habits that will have a lasting impact well after the program is over. You don’t just want good evaluations; you want changed behavior months after the program is over.


    Keynote by Speaker Terry Paulson

    Reclaiming the American Dream

    • Belief in the American Dream is at the heart of our pioneering and practical culture. In spite of these challenging times, America is still the land of opportunity. This presentation celebrates how individuals, empowered by freedom and opportunity, can still make their dreams a reality, limited only by his or her determination and natural abilities. Explore what must be done to sustain your optimism and sense of unlimited possibility that has been one of the hallmarks of America. It’s up to every generation to protect and teach the dream. Learn what you and your team can do to reclaim your American Dream!


    Keynote by Speaker Terry Paulson

    The Assertiveness Advantage: Dealing with Difficult Issues and Difficult People

    • In this age of cost-containment, competition and constant change, conflict is increased. Learn how to capitalize on disagreements and team diversity to produce winning results. By finding the assertive middle ground between doormat and steamroller, you can increase your influence batting average in dealing with the tough issues and your tough people! Explore how your actions can produce on-the-job enemies and how to use bridge-building strategies that trade polarization for trust and results.
Managing Change

Watch Terry Paulson in action.

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Interview with Terry Paulson

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

As a psychologist, I realize that true, lasting change takes more than one presentation. What drives my preparation for every keynote is a desire to provide practical strategies that leaders and teams can use to turn an optimistic attitude into a force for making strategic change work on and off the job.

I have to listen and learn about my client and their objectives; my job is to adjust my message to be a catalyst for the changes that are needed. I’m less concerned with standing ovations and more concerned that people find no more than three personal insights and goals that can direct their change efforts when they leave the event.

The greatest compliment to me comes not in receiving great evaluations, though I appreciate them, but in letters from leaders and associates three months after an event that highlight the impact their changes have made. The message I want people to take away from my presentation is the one they needed to hear and were ready to implement. My message is never as important as their ability to turn their attitudes and actions into winning results.

How are your keynotes unique?

One client called me a “motivational humorist with depth.” I have a strong commitment to provide practical, distilled wisdom that is on target to the strategic needs of those attending an event. With over thirty years of experience in speaking for organizations and associations, I understand the leadership and psychological theories, but I don’t dwell on theory when I speak.

My focus is on finding the practical strategies people can use and to present them in a way that is remembered and applied. In every program, I use appropriate humor, engaging stories and best practices, insightful quotes, and targeted content on leadership and positive psychology. If you want your people to laugh, learn and leave with content they can use, I’m a speaker you should use for your next event.

My work with international audiences has taught me the value of humility. Speakers from the U.S. must balance their appreciation for the window to leadership and life that they bring while still affirming the strengths of the culture they are speaking to. As a past president of the Global Speakers Federation, I’ve been known as an ambassador of mutual respect in our global economy. That comes across in my respect for the audiences I speak to internationally. I expect to learn from them as they learn from me.

How is optimism important in a leadership role?

One of the critical roles of a leader is to keep hope alive as their organization moves through the uncharted waters of our rapidly changing global economy. Optimism plays a key role in fostering resilience in the tough times and capitalizing on opportunities in the good times. Optimism is often misunderstood. True optimism that works in the business world and in life is earned. It’s earned through a track record of overcoming obstacles. The more obstacles a person or team overcomes, the more they believe that they can overcome the next obstacle they face. Optimists are realists. They want to know the problems and challenges they face, because they believe they can overcome them when they know what they face.

A leader who knows how to work the optimism advantage, knows how to build a problem solving culture, how to identify obstacles and strategic opportunities, and how to use the heroic stories from the past and the present of their organization to inspire their team to keep inventing a future they can be proud of. In my presentations, I stress that positive attitudes and actions applied in support of strategic change are always worth cultivating by any effective leader.

What is your best advice for dealing with difficult individuals?

First of all, in my program, I embrace the importance of difference and the leadership tensions that come with any successful organization. Leaders must value change and past best practices, invest in growth and controlling costs, and hold others accountable while majoring in support. Conflict has value when dealt with well. Start by being a problem solver, not a problem evader. The longer you wait to deal with problem, the bigger the problem and the more damage that can be done to the relationship.

Instead of avoiding confrontations, care enough to confront quickly with a future focus on change not conviction of who was right. Never silence criticism; instead, learn to disagree without being disagreeable and to accept criticism that is warranted. Finally, most of us avoid difficult people which results in limiting our interaction to conflict and change. Treat your difficult relationship like you would a bank account; don’t expect to make any withdrawals unless you are willing to put in a few positive deposits.

Some research suggests that for a relationship to be positive that we need a 4 to 1 positive to negative contact ratio. Confront when necessary but increase your support, your social conversations, your smiles, your compliments and your requests for input and watch your difficult person change their reaction to the conflict that normally occurs in any healthy organization. Don’t expect quick changes. They expect you to “try” being nice, but when they see you adopt it as an ongoing strategy, trust is possible. Be the person you wish they were to you. Even if it doesn’t work with your difficult person, others will see your efforts and respect your attempts to improve the relationship.

What types of audiences benefit from your keynotes?

I love working with audiences who are facing the need to rebound from challenging times, those who are facing a difficult transformation, and those who need a motivational catalyst in support of strategic change.  Although I do not present myself as a humorist, my use of humor makes my programs a needed relief from challenging and difficult times. People like to laugh and learn, and I give them ample opportunity to do both. My programs seem to be very well received by all ages, genders and professional affiliations. Change and optimism are topics that are evergreen!

What is the best experience you have had as a keynote speaker?

My next one! I tell audiences to get out of the rear-view mirror and into the front window of opportunity. I’ve had so many wonderful experiences, and it always comes down to impacting individual leaders and teams. It’s the letters I get from them about the “Keeper” ideas that have made a difference.  I love speaking and impacting the lives and careers of individuals in my business audiences. I can’t wait to do that for your event! What are you waiting for? Let me see if I can be a fit for your next event.

See keynotes with Terry Paulson
Non-binding request for Terry Paulson

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Keynote topics with Terry Paulson