Keynote Speaker

Speak Up/Listen Up

A journalist/comedian’s tips for healthy communication

At some point, we’re all asked to — or feel the need to — speak up.
Maybe it’s at a staff meeting. Or at a conference. Or with a boss. Or a co-worker. Or with the board of that non-profit where you volunteer.

But when you speak up, you don’t just want people to hear you.
You want them to listen.

And they want you to listen to them. Speaking effectively and listening closely require work and preparation   — effort that pays off in better conversations and improved understanding. I know this first-hand. Because as a stand-up comedian, I can’t start my act with, “I’m having a hard time expressing myself.” I have to know what I’m going to say and, equally important, how I’m going to say it. That same practise can — and should — be followed by anyone who speaks up. Equally important, especially for those in leadership roles: knowing how to listen — really listen — when someone is speaking up.

That’s a skill I’ve developed as a print and broadcast journalist. Speak Up/Listen Up is a lively, interactive, one-hour presentation that gives participants the tools to be better communicators, thanks to what I’ve gleaned from both these careers. It’s a clever blend comic of performance, examples from my 30-plus year career as a journalist and a whole lot of take-away tips participants can apply immediately. 

Here’s what clients say about Denis as a presenter:

“A tremendous amount of effort went into developing content tailored to our needs – and great delivery. It was fun and informative, and we all feel more confident about speaking up!”

Health Care Industry representative

“While it was fun – and funny! – Denis’s presentation provided us with some solid tools. The feedback from our team was very positive. We feel we lucked in with a presenter, whose unique background is equal parts stand-up and journalism. Denis knew how to deliver a message that spoke directly to us.”

International Pharmaceutical Client

“Denis was able to work with our proven script and put his own personal – and funny – stamp on it. It resulted in his delivering more than 250 presentations on financial literacy to high school students across Canada, and being a great ambassador for our organization.”

James Cunningham – CEO Funny Money Inc