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Spotlight On: Cheryl Cran, Leadership and Communications Expert

Cheryl Cran is on a mission to help leaders to lead change, transform people, and grow the business. The author of 101 Ways to Make Generations X, Y and Zoomers Happy at Work, and Leading Across the Digital Divide, Cheryl provides leadership and business solutions for change management, attracting and retaining good people, leading multiple generations in the workplace, and more. We put the spotlight on Cheryl today:

What inspired you to want to be a speaker?

I enjoy sharing ideas, interacting with the audience, and providing solutions and tools for people. I have been speaking for over fifteen years and I always love when audiences connect with the message, receive value, and go away to make even more of a contribution to their work and their lives. I have always had a “service” mentality wanting to work with others, help others, and learn from others as well.

Any advice for aspiring speakers?

There are many smart people out there who have a valuable skill set to share with audiences–being a speaker is a business skill (that is, in addition to other skills that a person may have).

Focusing on the audience is the best advice I have. It’s always about the audience and speakers should stay focused on answering questions such as:

What is the value that an audience would receive as a result of my message?

How can I deliver the message in a way that inspires, connects, and informs the audience?

What do you like to leave audiences with?

Technology, generations, and leadership success is all about one thing–our ability to adapt to change. I want to leave the audience with inspiration, ideas, and information that helps them make a change that will improve their leadership, increase engagement, and help to grow the business.

How do you prepare before a talk? Any special rituals? A good luck talisman?

I story board my slides in Mac Keynote and move them around, constantly shuffling and getting a sense of the order for each group. Every presentation is customized so I like to ensure I have the “click” of knowing the context of the meeting, the goals, and the best possible outcome. I do a visualization and meditation before every presentation with focus on providing value for the audience. At the meeting I talk to people, ask questions, and connect with those who will be in the audience.

Do you have an especially memorable event you can tell us about?

There are many, but one that stands out is speaking in Akiachuk, Alaska, back in 1999 where I had to get to the venue by fishing boat and I had to fish for my dinner! Definitely memorable!

Any funny or embarrassing situations you found yourself in as a speaker?

Where do I start? I have had my fly down on my suit pants, I have stumbled on stage, and I have barely prevented a fall, but it’s all good!

Is there a charitable cause that you feel passionate about? Why?

Yes, Kiva–as a women entrepreneur myself I strongly believe that the future is in the hands of those who take initiative for what they believe in. I donate to Kiva monthly and a portion of all of my profits go to Kiva.

If you had to choose a new career, what would it be?

That’s a tough question, I love what I do–I get to work in multiple industries with really smart people so I am constantly learning. I guess I would have to say a global travel guide.

Desert island album?

Queen–Killer Queen.

Best subject in school?

Debate class.

Last book you read?

Ram Dass–Polishing the Mirror.

Last film you saw?

The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy–hilarious!

Celebrity crush?

Meryl Streep–brilliant actress, philanthropist, and artist.

What is a secret that most people don’t know about you?

I sang in a rock band at the age of 16 and we made a 45 record!