I Speak. Your Group Listens…Engages…Learns.

UPDATE: Thank you for your interest in my live speaking and training offerings.

However, in October, 2015, I put this portion of my business life ON HOLD in order to accept a full-time position with Harvesters, a local non-profit that serves “the hungry” throughout the greater Kansas City area.

If you’re interested, there is more info about this community service role in the Experience section of my LinkedIn Profile.

 Are you looking for a speaker who can connect to the practical side of your STEM-oriented audience, but who can also actively engage and energize them with new perspectives and actionable ideas?

There’s nothing I like more than making this kind of magic happen as a presenter or facilitator. I’ve been doing it inside and outside of the corporate world for over 25 years.

Although today I speak, train and write, in the past while at John Deere, there was a period where I was responsible for hiring speakers for high profile leadership keynote and seminar events. As a result, I understand the challenges that go with that side of the speaking and training business.

My goal for this page is to make it easy for you to get some of the information you’ll need to make the best decision possible for your event.

Thanks again for taking time to stop by.   Thanks also for considering me. I really appreciate it, and hope that we will talk soon.

An Overview of This Page

As you scroll down the page, you’ll find what you can expect from me, learn a little about me, get a feel for my most popular presentation topics, and read what some others have said about past presentations. The links below will take you directly to each respective topic.

You Can Expect These From Me

  1. Prompt, professional replies to your phone calls and messages.
  2. Multiple phone conversation(s) and/or emails with me prior to your event. These are critical to helping me understand your needs and expectations.
  3. Delivery of an engaging, interactive presentation that opens the audience to a new set of possibilities around the primary topics.
  4. Digital resources for you to distribute via email to attendees after the event.
    • These may include any or all of the following: Summary of key content, specific visuals, links to suggested books, articles, quotes and more.
  5. A conversation after the event to ensure your expectations were met.

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Some Background On Me

I was a hands-on farm kid who grew up in rural Iowa, the son of an electrical engineer dad and a stay-at-home mom. After earning a BSME at Iowa State, I launched into a diverse career of 30+ years, including 25 years in engineering, marketing, sales, recruiting, and training roles with Deere and Company.

Since mid-2010, my speaking and training work has focused heavily on teaching employees at all levels how to have more effective workplace conversations, be more productive, be better leaders, build stronger teams and enjoy better relationships.

With its rollout in mid-2014, ENGINEERINGCAREERLAUNCHER.COM now allows me to passionately serve the engineering/STEM community more directly with my unique experience and training content.

On the personal side, I’m both a lucky husband and a proud father. Linda, my best friend and wife of 30+ years, and I live in Olathe, KS. We have three grown sons. When not working, I enjoy biking, reading, spending time with family, and volunteering locally. For more details, please go to the About page.

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Most Requested Presentations

As revealed on the Start Here page, my focus for this site is on serving the engineering/STEM community, and on teaching something I call The Other Curriculum.

As I define it, The Other Curriculum includes what we often hear referred to as soft skills, but it also includes much more.  Some examples include presentation delivery, meeting facilitation, personal productivity, managing career transitions, listening, working in groups, handling email…and on and on.

My focus on The Other Curriculum is reflected in all of the presentations listed below. Plus, I’m happy to customize any program to meet your organization’s specific needs.

No matter what the topic, though, my goals always remain the same; to support the outcomes you are seeking, to fully engage the audience (yes, they will be asked to participate), and to have the participants see new possibilities in front of them when we’re done.

Programs for…Business Organizations and Professional Associations

(Click each title for full program details and a brief video overview)

Remarkable EngineeringIt’s A Conversational Phenomenon

Overcoming Overwhelmand Battling Busyness to be More Effective

Six Keys to Creating and Managing Remarkable Projects… 

Intentional Career BlueprintingProducing Great Work, While Designing the Career You’ve Always Wanted


Programs for…STEM audiences (students/parents/staff) at Schools, Colleges and Universities

If you’ve already reviewed the Start Here page, you know I’m a huge supporter of young people, especially engineering students and others aspiring to enter STEM career fields.

With the help of Iowa State’s Engineering Career Services personnel, I had the good fortune in 1979 of landing a summer intern position with John Deere. Throughout the 30+ years that followed, many kind and wise people stepped up to support me in various ways. Now it’s time to pay it forward.

I particularly enjoy speaking to students (and parents), especially those with interests in STEM careers. Topics can include any of those listed above, but four others that are particularly relevant come directly from the STRAIGHT TALK GUIDES listed below (which are available as free downloads in The Learning Store).

(Click each GUIDE title for more details and a brief intro video)

DOMINATING YOUR INTERNSHIP7.5 Secrets to Creating an Awesome and Invaluable Experience as an Engineering or STEM* Intern

A SUCCESS MANIFESTO FOR 21st CENTURY ENGINEERING STUDENTS8 Actions To Help You Rock Your Engineering College Experience and Land a Top Job After Graduation

CONDUCTING INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWSUsing Informational Interviews to Explore Careers in Engineering (…And to Easily Expand Your Network of Supportive Relationships)

A PARENT’S GUIDE TO HELPING STEM* STUDENTS BUILD OUTSTANDING SOFT SKILLS8 Powerful Strategies for Teaching the Soft Skills Necessary for Remarkable Success in College, in a Career…and in Life!

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Here are a few comments offered from past participants:

  • “Conversation is at the heart of human interaction, whether it’s written, electronic, verbal or non-verbal. It can build or destroy relationships, yet there are few classes that address how to do it well. This workshop does it all!”
  • “Your passion in regards to building relationships is evident. What else could be more important? You inspired me to be more intentional with my words. Thank you so much for presenting.”
  • “This workshop is extremely beneficial to anyone. It will improve your conversation and relationship skills, which will carry over to your work and personal life.”
  • “Don did a great job of engaging the class and brought with him a wealth of experience that was shown in his teaching skills.”
  • “As an audience member, I felt comfortable and engaged during the presentation. I appreciate the passionate delivery.”
  • Karen Haren, retired CEO and President of Harvesters Community Food Network, offers her thoughts in this video about the content, the impact and Don’s delivery of a two-day workshop called Foundations.

Note: I’m happy to provide references upon request.

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The Next Step

Thank you for considering me for your upcoming event. I would welcome a phone call to talk about your speaking and/or training workshop needs.

Please call me right now at 913-530-0322 or click HERE to fill out and send me a contact form.

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I Speak.  Your Team Listens…Engages…Learns!