Using my real-world perspective as a small business owner, I deliver concrete take-aways that you can use today to shape the future of your town without getting beaten down by others’ negativity. Audiences feel energized and hopeful because they know how they can make a difference in their community starting now despite opposition.
You get down-to-earth advice based on my experience as a life-long rural entrepreneur and cattle rancher, including the “get your hands dirty” aspects that others gloss over.
My programs on the Idea Friendly method, rural trends, economic development and community development have given practical ideas to audiences at over 200 events including rural and small town conferences, economic development organizations, councils of government and chambers of commerce in the US, UK, Canada and Australia.
Whether it’s setting the tone for multiple speakers, managing lightning presentation rounds, keeping discussion flowing or wrangling a rowdy audience, I love working live sessions. I’ve hosted, co-hosted or emceed from an intimate rooftop gathering at SXSW for #BlogChatLive, to a working retreat and mastermind event, to an international audience at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, to a small-town event I co-created in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Audience members describe me as an entertaining, energizing, supportive host who can put the whole event into perspective.
For over a decade, I’ve led live, recorded, flipped and Q&A sessions through video and audio, plus engaging online chats. Groups like the National Federation of Independent Businesses, National Cooperative Extension, Association of Washington Cities and Texas Economic Development Council have turned to me for exciting presentations even when we’re not all in the same room.
Audiences rave about the practical ideas they can implement right away, the clarity of my message, and say it was like I was right there in the room with them.
Because I’ve been presenting via remote video every month for the past four years to our members, I’m comfortable and effective on camera, and I have a working home studio with multiple mic, camera and lighting setups. I’m familiar with a variety of live tools, including Zoom, GoToWebinar, Adobe, Skype, and many more.
Live keynotes, recorded presentations, guest lectures, discussions, live audio calls or text only chats–I’ll adapt to your needs to best serve your audience, no matter the medium.
Choose from these interactive and practical topics packed with straightforward advice that can be put into action immediately. Here are some of my most popular topics, and any of these can be a keynote, a breakout session, or a workshop.
All your life, you’ve been told that small towns are dying, drying up, and disappearing, and that there’s nothing you can do to change it. What if, just once, there was some good news about rural? There is! Big trends are moving in our favor. Growth isn’t the only measure of success, and small towns are the testing grounds for the future. Learn why we have a future and how to shape the future of your town.
Rural audiences love this topic because it is a breath of fresh air: the good news about small towns!
You don’t need another committee or another meeting. Today you can put your ideas into action with less overhead, less drag and more meaningful participation by more people. Learn three practical ways the research-backed Idea Friendly method will help you improve the climate for new ideas and position your small town to thrive, no matter what the future brings.
This topic shakes up old ideas about small towns. Audiences leave feeling measurably more optimistic (16.8% more optimistic in one survey) because they see exactly how they can shape a better future for their town.
Jobs are changing, and the very nature of work is changing. That means jobs creation is changing, too. Learn ways small towns are connecting their small businesses and would-be entrepreneurs with the support and network they need to be successful and create jobs. Learn about business resource nights, networking events and backroom tours that support entrepreneurs. You’ll hear about actual small towns who are using these techniques right now.
This topic gets the attention of business and economic development audiences.
You don’t have to settle for a normal business. Rural businesses are exploring new shapes, new locations and new ways of doing business, including pop-ups, shared buildings, businesses inside of other businesses and more. Entrepreneurs are using these smaller scale experiments and tests to learn what works before making a huge investment.
Not only are entrepreneurs interested in these potential models, but local leaders also can put them to work spurring new business development and supporting fuller participation in the local economy.
People often say they wish more people from their town could have heard these presentations. They won’t be left hanging with this special video follow-up, designed to spread the enthusiasm and action to even more people.
Any audience member can sign up to access a 30 minute video featuring Becky McCray and her SaveYour.Town Co-founder Deb Brown. They can share the video throughout their town for two weeks after the event. Then they’ll get weekly email newsletters to reinforce the important concepts and generate more discussion locally. There’s no charge, and it adds value for your attendees.
When you invite me to your town, it’s not about me. My impartial approach keeps the group focused. We get out and walk through your downtown to all work together on practical steps you can use right now.
Towns and counties from 700 to 70,000 population in the US and Canada have invited me to be part of shaping their future.