Speaking Topics

For Financial Audiences:

The Narrative Imperative: Understanding Your Story to Help Clients Find Theirs — We each have a unique story and an innate yearning for creating a narrative of our lives, as do our clients.  Regardless of our technical capabilities, without the ability to see a client interaction as one in which we come beside them on their journey, joining our story with theirs, our ability to have a meaningful and lasting positive impact in their lives is limited. Without the ability to recognize and articulate our own story, however, we’re unable to most effectively ignite those of others. In order to affect the positive change we hope to see in the lives of our clients, we must journey into a territory even more adventurous than the lives of others—the territory of us.

Simple Money: Demystifying Client Motivation — The financial services industry is stuck in an era of carrot-and-stick motivation, even though science passed such a system by decades ago.  We’re stuck telling people what to do and how to do it without ever ensuring they understand why.

The research and writing of Daniel Kahneman, Richard Thaler, Cass Sunstein, Jonathan Haidt, Daniel Pink, Malcolm Gladwell, Simon Sinek, Chip Heath and Dan Heath collectively raise a big neon sign that reads: “The way we think people make decisions—and therefore the way we motivate people—is wrong.”

But there is good news: While not easy, the keys to effectively motivating our clients are surprisingly simple.   Through stories grounded in evidence, I explain how to aggregate and apply the best of behavioral science and economics for the benefit of our clients and our practices.

Casting a Broader Net: Financial Advisors and Media Communication — In this presentation, I explore the role of media interaction in the profession of financial planning and how one can effectively communicate through various traditional and social media outlets.  We live in a world in which methods of personal and media communication are evolving at an ever-quickening pace, but we’re in an industry notorious for clinging to antiquated methods of, well, everything…including communication and interaction with the media.  More importantly, we serve a diverse clientele—spanning many generations, each more and/or less interested in various forms of communication and media consumption.  Backed by my experience in radio, TV, print, publishing and social media, I help advisors discover whether media interaction should be a part of their practice and if so, how.

7 Steps to Creating the Best Personal Time Management System — When it comes to time management, there are challenges that are unique to financial advisors.  Having tried many of the most popular systems (like Stephen Covey’s and David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”), I’ve struggled to fully adopt any, but I have found a way to synthesize the best systems and tools in pursuit of creating your OWN time management system.  We’re much more likely to stick with a system that we’ve customized for ourselves, and I can help financial advisors do just that.  Catch a glimpse of what this session might look like through my popular Forbes article on the topic.

For Non-Financial Audiences:

Simple Money (and its many derivatives) — Personal finance is actually more personal than it is finance.  That’s why what works great for someone else may not work as well for you. Money management is complex because we are complex. Therefore, it is in better understanding ourselves—our history with money and what we value most—that we are able to bring clarity to even the most confounding decisions in money and life.

The research for my book, Simple Money, provides a wealth of material that could serve your audience.  A Simple Money session could be a broad strokes keynote presentation on how to better understand why we do what we do with money.  But it could also be a day long session on applying simple wisdom across a spectrum of financial planning decisions, a couples weekend retreat or a semester-long course that we customize for your company, class or faith-based group.

Additionally, we can use Simple Money methodology to address more focused topics, like Simple Investing, Simple Retirement, Simple Insurance or Simple Estate Planning.  The content is all there, so what would best serve you and your audience?

7 Steps to Creating the Best Personal Time Management System — Financial advisors aren’t the only people struggling with time management.  Having tried many of the most popular systems (like Stephen Covey’s and David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”), I’ve struggled to fully adopt any, but I have found a way to synthesize the best systems and tools in pursuit of creating your OWN time management system.  We’re much more likely to stick with a system that we’ve customized for ourselves, and I can help you do just that.  Catch a glimpse of what this session might look like through my popular Forbes article on the topic.

Giving and Planned Giving for Non-Profits — I have a heart for the work of those individuals and organizations dedicated to education and serving the underserved.  I’ve designed sessions specific to the concept of giving and planned giving, in which I simplify the concept, making it tangible for your board or giving base.  I also conduct educational sessions for your relationship management team to help them better understand the inner workings of some primary planned giving strategies to better prepare them for conversations with major donors.

Money and Faith — Who said we’re not supposed to talk about money and religion?  In this session, I take on both of them.  Money is one of the most common influences in our lives because it is involved in nearly every decision we make; and faith is often an integral part of our values and the principles we live by.  But reconciling the two is a challenge for many of us.  Any of the above sessions can be adapted within the context of a faith setting for your church or ministry, or we can design a unique presentation for your youth, men’s, women’s or other affinity group.

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I’m a speaker, author, wealth advisor and director of personal finance for Buckingham and the BAM Alliance. Connect with me on Twitter, Google+, and click HERE to receive my weekly post via email.