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The “No BS” Keynote Speaker

Sara Grillo NYC Financial Services Keynote Speaking Topic List

Hi there and thanks for visiting my page. My name is Sara Grillo and I am a financial services keynote speaker based in New York.

Most Speakers are BS artists in Disguise

Here’s something I’m onto. Can I tell you about it please?

A while ago I figured out that most keynote speakers are really there to toot their own horn (disguising it as “inspiration”) and secretly promote their business. And then if the audience gets anything REAL out of it, that’s nice – but this is clearly an afterthought.

I think this is wrong because people pay a ton of money and they leave their families to go to conferences and events. They deserve to be enlightened and brought somewhere they can’t go themselves, not just hearing some regurgitated spiel they could get from the speaker’s website.

I wondered, what would keynote talks be like if the speaker REALLY put the audience’s interest first?

If they gave them something they could totally relate to?

What if the talk was 100% geared towards changing the people in the audience’s lives by connecting to them on an emotional level, getting inside their minds and teaching them something about themselves, not about the person on the stage?

I made a business decision to remove any BS from my talks and see how it went. So far the results have been amazing. To hear what people have been saying, click here.

Here’s how I decided to do things differently:

  • I won’t self refer.  Example:”A few years ago when I was working for the CEO of NBC..” Oh please. Who are you, Queen Elizabeth?
  • I won’t tell long, involved stories with the punchline being some case study about what I do for a living. Btw do you know whose story matters: the AUDIENCE’S STORY not the speaker’s story. Shouldn’t a speaker get them to look at their own lives not yours?
  • I won’t regurgitate the same old content I blog or podcast about, tie it up with a bow, and call it a keynote talk.
  • I won’t name drop. Example: “Upon graduating from Harvard I started a company…” Gimme a break. (eyes rolling)
  • I won’t bring up countless examples of what I’ve done for clients like I’m the world’s greatest hero to my clients. Example: “I immediately flew to meet my client on my private jet.” Always sounds so fake.
  • I won’t structure the talk so that what I do is cleverly positioned as the solution
  • No buzzwords and meaningless cliches that annoy people such as:
    • disruption
    • synergies
    • win-win
    • go to market strategy
    • futurist

Connection and Retention

With me you get a dialogue that will invigorate and change people’s lives not a (boring) monologue or recitation. I will promote connection with the audience on an emotional level and retention of information.

You will find I do a few things that most other speakers don’t do.

  • I poll the audience ahead of time to get a sense of what is on their minds and what questions they want me to answer. Then I structure my talk around those points.
  • I stop and review every 10-15 minutes because let’s be honest – most people aren’t going to pay attention after 7 minutes.  I design my talks to support the retention of information.
  • I talk for a total of 30 minutes throughout the allotted time. The rest of the time is spent answering questions, roleplays, or other methods of having audience members participate actively.
  • I send participants home with a short list of takeaways to jog their memory.
  • I give the audience a quiz at the end. This is to promote retention, outline the key points, and correct any misunderstandings.
  • I use props and stunts depending upon your preferences (burning an insurance policy up on stage, chocolate fountain, karaoke skit)
  • I use humor to connect with people. If you haven’t gathered by now I’ve got a pretty unstoppable sense of humor.

My NYC Financial Services Keynote Talks

Here are some of my talks below.

Cost is $5k to $10k for an in-person keynote and $1k for a webinar. Contact me if you’re interested.

Understanding the Online Buyer

Does anyone in financial services actually get new clients through online platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook? Most people are skeptical because they haven’t been successful in understanding how the online buyer thinks.

You have to communicate with online buyers differently. In this seminar, financial professionals will learn how. I’ll cover:

  • How the mindset of the online buyer differs from someone you meet in person or get referred to
  • What the online buyer of financial services products looks for
  • Why people feel the need to communicate so fakely over social media and how this is received by the online buyer
  • Empathetic communication that allows you to connect with your online network and avoid coming across as noise which is what 99% of people do
  • A 2 sentence method for how to avoid barfing information on people on social media
  • How to deepen the advisor-prospect relationships using social media before you ask for the meeting
  • Traps to avoid when dealing with an online buyer

Humor + Empathy equals…INFINITY!

The financial services industry has historically been full of stiffs who would have a heart attack at the thought of cracking even a tiny joke. I think it’s time that changed.

The financial services industry is only getting tougher to crack…why not try cracking people up instead?

In this workshop, financial professionals will learn:

  • Why humor creates empathy with your audience and makes them connect better with you
  • Why humor is unstoppable in building trust and winning new clients
  • How to use humor without losing people
  • What not to joke about in a financial environment
  • Strategies for timing a joke
  • How to bring humor into your practice – how to come up with things that make people laugh
  • Using humor on social media
  • How to integrate humor gradually into your practice without messing up

Not a #FinancialCliche

The ability to differentiate yourself matters now more than ever. Yet most financial branding is a constant stream of jargon, cliché, and sameness.

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to build a brand that is not a #FinancialCliche:

  • What qualifies as a valid brand vs. an invalid brand
  • How to design a LinkedIn page that expresses your brand and attracts attention
  • How to explain what you do without sounding like a cliché
  • 6 phrases not to use when you talk about what you do
  • Email and out of office messaging with style and personality
  • How style of dress, personal grooming, office design, and pets can be used to reflect your brand
  • Blogging, podcasting, and other content strategies that should be done in a cliché-free fashion, and how to achieve this

Anything sound good or do you think I’m nuts, or both?

Please contact me and let’s get your audience hooked up with a No BS NYC Financial Service Keynote Speech of Mine!

Rates may vary as a function of geographic location due to exchange rate differences, fees, surcharges, and other factors. These offers are limited to the services advertised in the promotions contained on this page. Additional services may be provided at an additional cost at rates that are subject to negotiation.

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