Friday, October 25, 2013

The Art & Heart of Storytelling

I recently debuted my brand spankin' new presentation, The Art & Heart of Storytelling, for Vistage and got an awesome testimonial from Larry Hart. Thanks! It was my pleasure!
If you're interested in presentation skills or you just want more information on this topic, click HERE.

Monday, October 7, 2013

My Induction Into The CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

Being inducted into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame in July was one of the highlights of my life! It was a dream come true and an awesome honor. I labored over my acceptance speech more than any other speech I've given in my 25 years as a professional speaker. We were told that we had six minutes. SIX MINUTES!! I can't even say my name in six minutes!
However, I wanted to be respectful of that time limit and of all the other recipients and the audience, and I'm really proud of what I came up with.
Here it is for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Five Tips To Becoming a Better Public Speaker

Have I told you how much I love Catalyst Ranch? It's a wildly creative space, so outrageous you might think I designed it! If you're looking for a location for your next meeting or seminar or retreat or party...and you want a place that will stimulate your creative juices, check out the Ranch.
A couple weeks ago I did my presentation Speak Loudly and Carry a Big Shtick!TM there and it was awesome. That presentation is on how to become a better speaker, and Lauren Smith wrote about it on Catalyst Ranch's blog. Check it out...I couldn't have said it better myself!

5 Presentation Tips I Learned From Mikki by Lauren Smith
She’s motivational, charming, sensational, inspirational, humorous and, she gave her latest
presentation at Catalyst Ranch wearing a skirt made out of balloons. Really, the whole thing! I’ve seen a lot of wacky stuff in my time here but a balloon dress was a first. Mikki Williams is a lady with eclectic tastes and she has channeled her flamboyant style and infectious energy into award winning presentations. This summer, Mikki was inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame, an achievement attained by fewer than 1% of all professional speakers. Catalyst Ranch is very lucky to have Mikki Williams present not one, but three of her signature presentations. Last week I attended “Speak Loudly and Carry a Big Shtick!” and learned many new tricks that I will incorporate into my next presentation.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Speaker Hall of Fame: The Thrill of a Lifetime!

Last week I received the greatest honor of my career: I was inducted into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame at my National Speakers Association Convention in Philadelphia.
You probably don't know what that is so here's a little explanation:
In February 1977, National Speakers Association (NSA) established the Council of Peers Award for Excellence Speaker Hall of Fame to honor professional speakers who have reached the top echelon of platform excellence.
To date, only 196 men and women have been inducted into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, including Zig Ziglar, Ronald Reagan and Norman Vincent Peale.
Each candidate must excel in seven categories: material, style, experience, delivery, image, professionalism and communication. 
See why I'm so excited? It's the top honor in my industry and I am thrilled beyond words.
So now I am: Mikki Williams, CSP, CPAE!
Not to brag, but fewer than 1% of all professional speakers hold both of those designations.
Thank you, thank you to my fellow speakers for this awesome honor!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Love This Book! | Change Intelligence by Barbara A. Trautlein

Change Intelligence
Use the Power of CQ to Lead Change that Sticks
by Barbara A. Trautlein, PhD

Is there anything in today's world more constant than change? The only thing we have control over is how we handle all that change and it's the thing that makes the difference between success and failure.
I loved this book because Trautlein offers perceptive descriptions of the roles and styles of change and helps you to self-assess your strengths and weaknesses. She presents real-life cases of change leaders in action, and lots of practical tips and tools to improve your CQ. 
Change is tough, but it'll be a lot easier if you read this book!

From my monthly ezine:

Click here to subscribe.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Invest in Your Speaking Career | Speaker's School September 26-28

 Speakers School is coming up on September 26-28, 2013. 
Speakers School is for business people, executives, coaches, sales people, administrators, teachers, etc. It's for anyone who wants to feel more comfortable when presenting and to learn how to craft THE most impactful speech, whether it'a a one-on-one situation or in front of a crowd. Learn tips from one of the country's leading professional speakers. 
If your goal is to be a professional speaker, then Speakers School will get you started, and if you're already a pro it will help you go to the next
A few of the MANY things you'll learn:Speaker Mag
  •  Insuring that your program is one people will want to hear 
  •  Turning your life experiences into a presentation 
  •  Engaging your audience 
  •  How to be "you-nique" and make money at it 
  •  Using humor in your message 
  •  How to get great reviews 
  •  How to book more presentations

Mikki Williams, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) has been speaking professionally for over twenty-five years. She's ready to share her secrets and equip you with tools you need to be a relaxed and effective presenter. 

Banner-25 years

EMAIL US NOW for more information on our NEW, CONVENIENT PAYMENT PLAN!

"Professional Speaking is both a science and a craft. Mikki has mastered both and has a unique ability to help support and develop others in their quest to do the same. I have been a professional speaker for several years. While my career has been met with relative success, I recently attended one of Mikki's Speaker School programs and it has brought my presentations to an entirely new level. Even though the program is offered in a group format, Mikki makes time for each student to get his/her specific questions answered and ensures each one takes with him/her exactly what s/he need when s/he need it. She does so masterfully and truly meets her students where they are. Hers is a program I will surely attend again in the future. It is rare to find a professional at her level who is so willing to share her experience with such candor and openness. She is a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend her Speaker School for both new and seasoned speakers alike." 

5-star Vistage Speaker

And don't forget to check out Mikki Mouth Club
Now, there are three divisions - one is sure to suit your needs.

CLICK HERE for more information
Call or email if you have any questions: 312.664.8447    

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thanks So Much, Country Bank!

What a beautiful letter from one of my favorite repeat clients, Country BankThey did an appreciation night for 450 customers and it was all themed around my website - so unexpected and so creative! Here is the letter received.
Country Bank
Paul Scully, Country Bank 
Even Paul Scully, the FABULOUS bank president was wearing a purple shirt with a red logo. There were red and purple balloons everywhere, including lips ones, and my caricature was on candy bags around a red and purple candy bag table. They had colored lighting, food...just so unique. How would you like a bank like that? 
The pleasure was all mine, Paul Scully!

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Special Event at Catalyst Ranch | Monday June 3rd, 2013

You're invited Catalyst Ranch Logo
to a very special event!
Catalyst logo with address

Many innovative companies have come to realize that the results of any offsite meeting can be enhanced if attendees are placed in the right environment. That's why they come to Catalyst Ranch for training seminars, strategic planning meetings, trade conferences, association meetings, workshops, consumer market research/focus groups, staff retreats, board meetings, sales meetings, as well as ideation and brainstorming sessions. Located in downtown Chicago, Catalyst Ranch is 15,000 sq. feet of absolute inspiration. 
We interrupt this life.. Presentation Logo
Click the logo for program details
is having a very special series of events starring...ME!
Please join us for the first one on June 3, 2013.
CLICK HERE to register 

Date: Monday, June 3, 2013 - 6:00pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Catalyst Ranch, 656 W. Randolph St., Chicago
Cost: $30 light refreshments will be provided
CLICK HERE to register

Catalyst Ranch is an outrageous place (so you know I love it!). It's a creative meeting and events space that delights your senses and sparks your imagination. 
You have to see it!
And here's the perfect opportunity: I'll be doing a series of three presentations there (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC) beginning June 3rd, and then again in September and February. I hope you'll be able to come. 
Put it on your calendar now: 
June 3, 2013, September 9, 2013 and February 10, 2014.
Catalyst green

Monday, March 11, 2013

Third Annual Gathering of the Goddesses

Gathering of the Goddesses with Mikki Williams
Artwork courtesy of Suzy Toronto

The entertainment package for The Third Annual Gathering of the Goddesses weekend (Friday May 17th through Monday morning May 20th) 
is $450 (what a deal!) and includes:

Opening champagne reception and welcome gift
Two shows: 
1. Menopause, The Musical at The Luxor 
2. Cirque du Soleil Love (The Beatles) at The Mirage
Stripper 101 Class at Planet Hollywood
Pool cabana
Limo to and from theaters
NOT included: hotel, meals, drinks, tips, spa, shopping, sightseeing or hush money to make sure that whatever happens in Vegas...well, you get the idea.
Now here's the really important part: 
and if I don't receive your payment on time, you will 
NOT have tickets for events and will NOT be able to participate 
in any part of the weekend, and that would be oh, so sad! 
So send a check for $450 to me at 1516 N. State Parkway #9D, Chicago, IL 60610 - DON'T MISS OUT!

SOP (Standard Operating Procedures):
Events are NOT OPTIONAL. The success of the weekend is based on 100% participation in all scheduled events whether you've seen a show before, are leaving early, coming in late...there are NO exceptions on pricing or FULL participation, and NO refunds.
Meals will be put on one dinner bill, liquor on another. At the end of the meal, the check is split evenly no matter what you did or didn't eat. The drink bill is split evenly among only those who drink. 
Note: for those of you who have never been to Vegas, the itinerary includes five different hotel locations and our home base is close enough to walk to all other hotels.

7PM Opening Night Champagne Reception-Mikki's suite at Aria 
Javier's8PM Dinner at Javier's link at Aria
Javier's delivers a rich heritage of authentic Mexican cuisine along with hand-shaken margaritas and a high-energy ambiance to Las Vegas. Enjoy Baja specials including selections of seafood, beef, pork, chicken and vegetarian dishes both at the exquisite bar surrounded by dozens of the world's finest tequilas and in the main dining room featuring a chainsaw wood carving highlighting the Aztec civilization.
After dinner: Nightclubbing, gambling, all "stays in Vegas."
10AM-3PM Cabana at Aria pool (This was the highlight of last year's trip!)

4PM Stripper 101 class at Planet Hollywood

6PM dinner at Sage at AriaSage

Sage is a favorite Las Vegas restaurant amongst an international crowd of foodies due to its focuses on contemporary American cuisine spiced with global influences in a sophisticated, yet comfortable atmosphere. Critically acclaimed Chef Shawn McClain combines farm-to-table produce, artisanal meats and sustainable seafood that make each dish mouth-watering. 
8PM Menopause, The Musical at The Luxor

10PM Sugar Factory at Paris Hotel

After hours: Nightclubbing, gambling, all "stays in Vegas."


FREE DAY at pool, shop, spa, gamble, sightseeing

Onda6PM dinner at Onda Ristorante 

The Las Vegas Concierge Association voted it "Best Italian Restaurant." This is the rustic cuisine that fuels a night of exploration. Onda Wine Lounge, an Italian-inspired lounge featuring wine by the glass and tasting flights accompanied by artisan cheese and meats. 

8PM Cirque du Soleil Love 

John, Paul, George and Ringo. As The Beatles, they changed the world. LOVE, Cirque du Soleil's interpretation of their legacy, has changed entertainment.
The Beatles lent so much to the consciousness of our culture. We agree wholeheartedly with this-LOVE is all you need.
Beyond tribute, this is a physical manifestation of their music and lyrics. Using the master tapes from Abbey Road Studios, Sir George Martin and his son Giles created the three-time Grammy-winning soundtrack. These songs, so well-known and yet reinvented, are brought to electric, exuberant life by some of the best aerialists, acrobats and dancers in the world.

10PM Revolution Lounge

The Beatles™ REVOLUTION Lounge takes guests on an evolutionary journey, where both music and interior transform creating a psychedelic sensory environment. The first nightlife experience created by Cirque du Soleil, REVOLUTION blends cutting-edge interactive design, art and sound in a contemporary interpretation of The Beatles era, exclusively at The Mirage in Las Vegas. A nightlife revolution, the music ultra lounge is a celebration of sound where DJs spin eclectic sets from innovative rock-centric mixes with hip hop and house back beats to 70s, 80s, 90s and contemporary dance, hip hop, house and mash ups. Plus, a few nights per week, REVOLUTION converts into a live music venue where up-and-coming indie and alternative bands hit the stage.

We double the attendance each year so reserve your room now! Email me when you've made your reservations and I'll put you on the evite list and that's how you'll stay updated.
Well, stop reading and SIGN UP! 
You have til APRIL 17th to book your room. All rooms will have two beds, so grab your best bud and sign up. If you don't have a roomie but want to attend, just let me know and I'll play matchmaker or find out if anyone wants a threesome. Hey, it's Vegas! 
It's going to be incredible: fabulous women from all over the U.S. mixing, mingling and inspiring each other. Each year gets better. Don't miss it! 
I got a fantastic rate on the hotel: $838.88 TOTAL, which includes tax, resort fees, etc. for THREE nights Fri-Mon.. That's only $419.44 per person, for the WHOLE WEEKEND. Now really...!!! 


The Grand Goddess of the Goddesses

Friday, March 1, 2013


Vistage International | Mikki Williams Blog
Greetings friends, peers, associates, and even those of you I've never met!

I'd like to invite you and/or a friend to join me for a first-class OUTRAGEOUS event on Tuesday, March 19th at 7:30 a.m. (I know it's early, but believe me, it'll be worth your while!) at the luxurious Park Hyatt in Chicago.

But wait...there are a couple of small requirements so let me tell you about this opportunity...

As you may know I facilitate two peer advisory boards for Vistage International
, the world's leading executive organization. Well, I'm in the process of building a new group and am looking for CEOs who run $1M-$50M companies in any industry who are looking to grow their business and/or themselves exponentially as opposed to organically.

This is accomplished through seven tried-and-true components which I will share at the event. Companies statistically grow 3.5 times faster after Vistage membership. It's not a networking or social organization (although that is indeed a perk of membership) - it's an invitation-only, selection-based opportunity, and it's not for the faint of heart. It's a place where accountability fuels growth, where you come to get your answers questioned in a "care-frontational" style on a day you work ON your business, not IN your business.

My current CEO group is full, with 100% retention. This new group is already half-filled and I would like to have it completely filled for an April launch. The event is a mini-Vistage experience and is invitation only, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with breakfast and a guest speaker. It's an opportunity to chat with me, and learn more about Vistage and the culture I create within my groups, to see if either you or your referral is a mutual fit.

This is where you come in!

If you're interested please let me know. And if you don't live in Chicago perhaps you know someone who does, or know someone who knows someone who does. You get the idea. It's called networking, and I built my first group this way, even before social media! Incidentally, two of my members come from out-of-state specifically to be in my group (one from New Hampshire, one from Nebraska), so distance is only an obstacle if you let it be.

I have been an award-winning Vistage Chair for 11 years, and a top-tier speaker for Vistage for 18 years, speaking to their 16,000 member network globally. It's a stellar organization that you owe it to yourself to investigate.

Okay, I'm done! Now it's your turn...forward this message to anyone you think might be interested, and send me an email if you have any questions, would like to learn more for yourself, or even if you want to find out about a group in your area of the country.

To learn more information about Vistage International and my groups, please click here: 
more info about Vistage

Be outrageous!
Mikki Williams, CSP
Chair, Vistage International

Friday, February 22, 2013

Speakers School - Get the Benefit of My 25 years!

Speaker's School - Make an investment into your speaking career that will last a lifetime!

Mikki Williams Speaker's School February 2013

What a great class!
Speakers School Feb 2013 had attendees from the three Cs:  Canada, Colorado and Chicago - a mixture of CEOs, employees of an architectural firm, professional speakers, educators and salespeople.
Day one concentrated on the craft of speaking - that's where I share the skills I've acquired over my 25 year career. 
Day two is all video coaching - attendees practice what they learned and get coaching and feedback. Day three is all about how to get booked as a speaker and/or build a career.
Attendee Peter Christman wrote, "The best and most "real world" training I have ever been to in my 50 years in business. Mikki is truly a professional with an equally professional training program. She gives new meaning toe the word "professional."
Next Speakers School is April 11-13th with the addition of a Saturday afternoon session with social media guru,  Dave Nelsen from Pittsburgh (he's also Vistage Speaker of the Year). 
Any questions about Speakers School, one-on-one coaching or The Mikki Mouth Club? Just ask! Contact me on my website or Register Now!