Speaker Profile

When a client hires me, my primary objectives are to offer ideas, information, actionable data, motivation and education. My goals, simply put, are to exceed expectations and deliver value.

Call it "edu-taining" or "enter-training," I believe in the power of education through dynamic, exciting and highly spirited presentations.

Needless to say, when you are making that all important decision to hire a speaker (I prefer being referred to as an "educator"), it's imperative that you select the right speaker with the right background and the right message (oftentimes the "right" message is one that is customized for you).

Besides reviewing my background, answering your questions is the best way I know to help you make the best speaker decisions.

Anticipating your issues, I have outlined and answered some of the frequently asked questions of me. If there is something that we have missed, please do not hesitate in giving me a call or sending an E-mail.

~ Ira

What are the subjects you speak on?

As a businessperson with a wide range of varied experience, I certainly can address a wide range of business related topics. However, my strongest experiences are in the areas I call business development.

I address strategic alliances . . . succeeding in times of change … brands and branding (both business branding and personal branding) … sales and marketing excellence … and the future. I am comfortable with most subjects related to "business building," such as marketingleadershipsuccess and repositioning. “Recovery” and “Your Best is Next” is also one of my topics.

Do you customize your speeches?

There very well may be some elements, analogies, bits of purposeful humor and examples that are standard "Ira," however, I aggressively study the industries and companies I speak for and work hard to make every speech a "signature speech."  Yes, I readily customize for the client, event, objectives, etc.                          

How long are your speeches?

I believe the ideal keynote presentation for me is 45-90 minutes . . . and the ideal workshop is either a half or full day. Again, this is a by-product of your specific objectives.

I have often delivered a keynote or general session speech in the morning, then at the very same conference, conducted a break-out session or a workshop later that afternoon.

What kind of audio-visual support do you require?

I do not use a podium since I like to walk the stage (for a large group) or the audience floor (for small to mid-sized groups). I believe "working and walking" the room is an important speaker strategy. I typically use

  • Handheld wireless microphone
  • Laptop computer (or I can bring my own)
  • LCD Projector for “wallpaper slides”

Can you address an audience through interpreters?

Absolutely! I have a good bit of experience addressing groups who speak different languages. I have had speeches concurrently translated into seven different languages. I have also addressed groups in Brazil, Mexico, and Europe with concurrent translation. The reviews and "grades" have always been positive. Success in translated materials is not only about the language . . . it is also about understanding idioms, culture, expressions, humor, etc.

You are marketed as a " high content business speaker with a motivational flair." What is your business background?

As you can see in my bio, I have spent three-plus decades in business.

I have held sales, marketing and management positions with multi-billion dollar companies (such as the Sara Lee Corporation). I have experienced many functional areas which included successfully fulfilling the position of corporate president. I have a long list of industry awards and honors . . . served as a visiting instructor at Michigan State and Notre Dame . . . actively participate on a number of national business committees and boards . . . and have been quoted in major publications (i.e. The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, USA Today, etc.). I was also the Executive-In-Residence Georgia State University.

I created food industry history with the creation and development of the first restaurant branded food court in an American supermarket. I created a national conference, "Brand-Building For Your Future," as well as the "Branding Institute." I have also been credited with the development of some incredibly important and successful business initiatives for companies such as McDonald's, WalMart, Exxon, United Artists, The  Coca-Cola Company and others.

As the president of CO-OPPORTUNITIES, Inc., an Atlanta-based consulting company, I am the lead counselor for our world class clients which include Harrah’s Entertainment, Disney, Walmart, Kroger and other. My company holds the distinction of being the single longest continually retained consultant in Coca-Cola North America (over twenty years).

Are you an author?

I am both a writer and an author.

I have written and published many articles on business relating to strategic alliances, brands and branding and business development. I have also served as a guest editor for publications in a number of  of of different industries.

I am the author of Ready, Blame, Fire! (Myths and Misses in Marketing), an exciting book that focuses on the fourteen major "myths" in business.  Examples follow:

  • It won't happen here" 
  • Close enough is good enough" 
  • Bigger is better" 
  • Follow the leader" . . . 
  • and offers learning from major marketing misses
  • New Coke 
  • Enron
  • Eastern Airlines  
  • IBM 

I am the co-author of the "best seller" Managing Brand You. Published by the American Management Association (AMACOM), the book is now published in English, Chinese and soon in Japanese.  It is also available on audio and will eventually be an American Management Association national seminar series. My newest book is timely and relevant for these challenging times. Its title is YOUR BEST IS NEXT. Whether it’s in business or life, the threshold question “What’s next?” is a vital one for us all. This book is educational and inspirational. It teaches the reader to rise above challenges and changes by making the right choices.

What are your "points of difference?"

I am a high-content business speaker. "Education" is my primary objective. Yes, I motivate, however, I am a business speaker first.  I always like to emphasize what I call “Monday Morning, 9am.”  In short, the message is that it’s less important what an audience learns and more important in what they do about the learning “Monday Morning 9am.”  It’s all about activation and application.

Here are some of Ira's "points of difference."

  • Ira customizes his speeches when appropriate. 
  • Ira uses “best practice” stories and purposeful humor. 
  • Ira often uses “props” and “video clips” in his presentations. 
  • Ira often uses music for his “open” or dynamic “close.” 
  • Ira fosters audience interaction very well. 
  • Ira will be glad to help a meeting planner with a session “write up” and do an interview or article for the conference, company or association publication. 
  • Ira will often “bundle” a keynote speech and a break-out session or panel moderating activity in one day for a client.  This is both effective and cost-efficient.

How can we learn more about your speaking skills to see if you are the right speaker for us?

  1. Let's talk. Give me a call. I am certain that in a few minutes of dialogue you'll know if I am the right person for your important meeting or function.
  2. Click on "Ira's Video Clips" in the Speaker drop-down menu above or in the top-right sidebar. Brochures and web sites are nice, however, viewing an in-action presentation is an important tool for you to use.
  3. Ask me for some dates and locations of upcoming speeches. Oftentimes, clients will permit a guest to preview one of my speeches. I would welcome meeting you in person and demonstrating before a "live" audience my skills.