Greg Smith Keynote Speaker

Leadership Expert on Resiliency and Inner Strength – Greg helps leaders and teams “Go Full-Strength!” for maximum productivity.

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Silencing the Negative Voice Within Debuts

“The Voice” has finally spoken!

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Thank you to all who turned out yesterday to see the debut of my new keynote, “Silencing the Negative Voice Within” at the Knight Non-Profit Center in Gulfport, MS.   It felt good to finally give the speech to somebody other than my dog, Comet!

A special thanks to the newsrooms at our two local television stations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  These stories are well done.

My only regret is that I didn’t find the time to get a haircut the day before!  I got one today!

Here is Michelle Lady‘s coverage on WLOX. (ABC, CBS)

 

Here is coverage from Nick Patrick of WXXV (FOX, NBC)

The feedback from people in the audience confirmed that my message was well received.  It really gives me joy to inspire people and to make a difference in their lives.  After the presentation, I was told by one attendee that it touched her in a special way.  Another called me after the event to thank me and to say that she really enjoyed it and has already implemented her plan to make her negative voice within shut up!

 

 

 

Guinness Wheelchair Basketball TV Spot OK with Me

Guinness Brand Manager Speaks about TV Spot

By Greg Smith

Getting it “right” when presenting disability in the mainstream media has always been a moving target:  A non-disabled actor is cast in a disabled role.  An “inspirational disabled person” who has done nothing exceptional other than being or becoming disabled is anointed and celebrated.  A screenplay in which the disabled person would rather be dead than accept his or her new life is turned into a film.  Or an evil villain whose hostility is sparked by anger after the onset of a disability hits the box office.

Moreover, motion pictures and television seem to only have tolerance for those with less visible disabilities.  You won’t find any skinny, bodily contracted rolling skeletons like me on the big screen or the flat screen. There has never been a place for a person like me in the mainstream mass media.  That’s why I created my own. Depicting a proper reflection of society in the mainstream media is a vision people with disabilities share. And experiencing more of the same media blunders is frustrating.

But every now and then, baby steps in the right direction reveal that hope emerges.  The recent Guinness television spot, featuring wheelchair basketball players on the court, popping 3 pointers, smashing into each other and falling out of chairs is the newest major media offering to be evaluated.  At the end of the spot, all but one of the players rises to their feet and walks out of the gym.  Cut to a popular pub.  The group of friends is sitting down at a low table in a popular bar, enjoying a Guinness.  “Hot girls” arrive on the scene.  It’s a wheelchair dude’s heaven!  The spot is about friendship.  I approve.  It is not perfect, but it is a major step in the right direction.

There are plenty of my colleagues who disagree.  They have a problem with it being more about celebrating the “character” of the non-disabled friends who are kind enough to go through the trouble of getting in wheelchairs to hoop, and taking their poor disabled friend out for a beer.

“Context is important b/c the “got’cha” is central to the ad itself,” says Lawrence Carter Long, media enthusiast and co-host of “The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film” which showcased 21 socially and culturally significant cinematic depictions of the disability experience to over 87 million households on Turner Classic Movies last October.  “If the spot was all about friendship there would be no need to trick audiences with the big surprise. But the twist is there and, if we’re serious about changing the perception of disabled people in society we would be foolish to ignore it.”

Lawrence Carter Long

I decided to go to the source and talk to Guinness Brand Director, Doug Campbell.  How did the spot develop?  How was the disability community involved in the concept?  What was the intended message?

What did you think of the spot?  Do you think it is about friendship?  Or is it about the character of the non-disabled friends who choose to involve their friend, the “victim” of unfortunate events?  I think it is a step in the right direction.  I think Guinness should be rewarded, rather than criticized.  If we continue to criticize every effort to include us, we will never be welcomed back and progress will never happen.

Please comment in the section below, rather than on my Facebook page.  Thank you!  Looking forward to your reaction.

10X – The Only Difference Between Success and Failure!

Author Grant Cardone talks about “The 10X Rule” with “The Strength Coach”

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of interviewing a man who has provided a source of inspiration in the form of a book he authored in 2011.  “The 10X Rule” by Grant Cardone has “The Strength Coach” fired up.

I reached out to him and he said yes to this exclusive interview.   Grant is an international sales expert and author providing motivation & sales training programs to Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, success-minded individuals and entrepreneurs. He is an internationally recognized motivational speaker and is a New York Times best selling author. He is regularly seen on Fox Business, NBC, MSNBC, and Business Insider. Cardone is the executive producer and star of “Turnaround King”, a TV program created around his motivating solution-oriented business coaching. Cardone hosts his own radio show, The Cardone Zone, where he entertains and educates listeners with tips and strategies to achieve greater success and break out of the “middle class rut.”

Sample this 18- minute interview and let me know what you think.  If you have high aspirations and believe in your future, like I do, this guy will get you fired up and put you on a successful path.  What do you think?

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