Motivational Speaker, Humorous Keynote Speaker, and Speech Coach
Lou Heckler has been making a living from the printed and spoken word since he was 14. In his teenage years, he was hired to do a community news column for "The Signal Item," a weekly newspaper near his hometown in Pittsburgh, PA.
While Lou was receiving dual degrees in Journalism and Radio-TV-Motion Pictures at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he also served as news editor and anchorman on the WUNC-TV public television system. By the time he was graduated from the University, he had already logged over 1,000 live television broadcasts.
Lou joined the US Army six months after graduation. During his two and a half years of service, Lou served as a speech instructor and course supervisor at the Defense Information School (then at Fort Harrison, IN). The school trained broadcasters and public affairs people for all the US military branches and for military personnel and civilians from many foreign countries. On the weekends, he was a news anchorman at WTTV, an independent television station serving Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN.
When Lou returned to television, he first served as News Director of an NBC television affiliate in Richmond, VA and then as Community Affairs Director at WBTV in Charlotte. For the last year and half of Lou’s television career, he served WBTV’s parent corporation (Jefferson Pilot Communications) as its management training director.
In an era of specialists, Lou Heckler is a bit of an anachronism…but we think you’ll find him a good anachronism. He is equally at home handling your needs for a keynoter as well as leading breakout sessions later in the day. He can emcee your final banquet or your entire convention.
Because of Lou’s background in television (eight years of which were in news reporting and anchoring), he can kick off your meeting, attend the rest of the sessions and take notes, and then provide your attendees with a humorous and poignant summary at the close of the event.
Since he also conducted more than 2,000 live television interviews, he can also serve as an interviewer up on the stage if you have an executive or other speaker who is more comfortable answering questions than going it alone.
So, maybe Lou isn't really such an anachronism after all – maybe he’s just a man of many talents who can help your meeting be a huge success!
Always of an entrepreneurial spirit, Lou then began his full-time speaking career in March of 1980, performing keynote speeches and conducting training seminars on a variety of management topics.
The University of Michigan tapped Lou to join the adjunct faculty at their Executive Education Center (part of the Graduate School of Business Administration) and that launched a 19-year relationship during which Lou led more than 200 programs for the University in Ann Arbor, as well as a number of on-site programs in New York City, Hong Kong, Atlantic City, Chicago, and a number of cities throughout Michigan. He maintained this post while still at the helm of his own business.
In Lou Heckler, you are getting a seasoned educator and performer, one who is comfortable in small venues of a few dozen people and equally at home on a main stage in front of thousands. His easy, intimate style makes audience members feel he is speaking right to them as he delivers a message filled with high concepts, hilarious insights, and hope.
SPEECH TOPICS AND DESCRIPTIONSEngagement Speeches
At a time when we are electronically more connected than ever before in history, we are also less truly engaged with one another. This speech looks at three key areas in which all leaders must challenge their associates to execute at the highest level:
•Engage with purpose
•Engage with performance
•Engage with people
We will offer specific tactics that will encourage greater engagement: taking more initiative…focusing on values…working for the good of others, not the good of self…always considering that you are the first person someone may meet in your organization…seeking collaboration, not confrontation.
As with all of Lou’s most sought-after presentations, he combines current social and management research with real-life anecdotes that make his points come alive and stay in the minds of his audiences for many days to come.
Lou has served in a variety of leadership positions throughout his own career. He served in management positions at two television stations and spent 19 years on the adjunct faculty at the University of Michigan’s Executive Education Center, leading more than 200 all-day programs on topics such as Time Management, Delegation, Communication, Motivation, Creative Problem Solving, and Teamwork.
Throughout his career, Lou has been fascinated by the characteristics that top leaders possess:
•A commitment to maintaining and increasing their competence
•A belief in creating a climate of high expectations
•A wish to grow their business through relationship-building
•A dedication to promoting risk-taking and innovation
•A clarity about their own skills and their own weaknesses
•A knowledge that their energy will fuel the organization
He has created a powerful and practical presentation (“Leadership by CHOICE”), detailing these traits and sprinkled with uplifting and humorous stories about a few unexpected heroes he has met along the way.
With a journalist’s attention to detail and a top presenter’s skills on the platform, Lou creates a keynote experience that will have your attendees believing in themselves and believing in their power to become a top-notch leader of tomorrow.
Peak Performance Speeches
Lou has been completely fascinated by people who rise to the top of their fields, from Bill Gates in software and philanthropy to John Grisham in legal thrillers to a room service waiter in a hotel who has decided the simple job of delivering a meal to someone’s door is going to be nothing short of “theater” in his hands. Lou conducted more than 2,000 television interviews with peak performers and continues to do extensive research in that area.
In this session (“Achieving Peak Performance”), Lou will detail five action steps that all top achievers commit to, day in and day out:
•A belief in a powerful, personal vision
•An ability to translate that vision into a mission that matters
•A commitment to complete utilization of their unique skills
•A remarkable balance between patience and action
•A need to endorse and grow those around them
Lou’s premise is this: ordinary people can do extraordinary things if they will follow tried and true practices of outstanding businesspeople who have gone before them. He will share stories of these remarkable people who have crossed his path and show you how you can walk right behind them and take your career and your life to a whole new level.
Customer Service Speeches
More than three million miles of flying…more than 2000 presentations all over the world…at least that number of nights in motels, hotels and inns…and countless numbers of restaurant meals – these are all in the experience that backs Lou’s presentation on customer service.
Like most people who travel a lot, he has been treated to some magnificent experiences and has been astounded at the indifferent ways he has been treated in worst-case scenarios. In the process, he has come to believe that great customer service comes down to three key commitments:
•Brute force attention to small details, including customer feedback
•The elimination of systems that delay service delivery
•The creation of a work climate where delighted employees thrive
This presentation (“Ensuring Great Customer Service”) is a combination of the practical and the inspirational, as Lou offers concrete ideas that can be put to immediate use. And Lou will practice what he preaches…working in advance with a meeting planner to ensure that his examples are relevant and his knowledge of the client is up-to-date.
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