The No Excuse Guide to Success (personal responsibility and accountability)

This keynote presentation reinforces the significance of eliminating excuses, owning your choices and focusing on the positive. This session highlights the value of replacing victim vocabulary (e.g., “it’s not my fault” or "I can't believe they're doing that to me") with the personal power statement “it’s MY responsibility.” The presentation focuses on shifting the learner’s perspective from waiting for something to happen to being accountable for what actually happens at work and in life. It’s about becoming the producers, directors, leading men and women in our life movie. Personal power, drive, courage, passion, enthusiasm, inspiration and attitude are all factors that impact one’s success. The session’s objectives will challenge learners to get out of their “performance comfort zone” and move into expanding their personal power.

Jump into Your BIGNESS (super-sizing your life)

This keynote underscores the value of courage, perspective and perseverance. There is nothing as powerful as a changed mindset and the focus of this presentation is to help participants uncouple fear from uncertainty and take the leap – at work and at home. Do you see possibilities or problems? Opportunities or obstacles? Glory outcomes or gory outcomes?  Innovation and creativity are based on challenging the status quo and taking risks. Learners will examine the value of creating new breakthroughs by embracing the unknown.

The Times Have Changed How About You? (ways for being disruptive and innovative in the 21st century)

This keynote reinforces fresh thinking and new approaches – which are at the root of innovation. Many are still applying old tools to solve new problems. This presentation provides the fundamental building blocks for becoming more cutting-edge and resourceful. Believe it or not the answers are right in front of us. We don’t have to Google them. Successful innovators creatively exhibit common behavioral habits – and they believe in them. During this presentation Dr. Jim challenges convention (i.e., keeping it real) to encourage competitiveness and growth. According to actor Will Smith, “Being realistic is the most commonly used road to mediocrity”. This presentation is designed to encourage participants to change their aim. Remember, “It’s not that we aim high and miss, it’s that we aim low and hit it.” Today’s new opportunities call for us to aim high to be relevant and bring more value. Staying the same will not win the game!


Teambuilding (We Are One)

This workshop focuses on the tenets that are needed to create synergy within the team. In addition, during this extremely experiential session, participants explore and discuss five central dysfunctions of a team. The workshop also examines methods for building trust, tools for strengthening team effectiveness from a distance and the impact that authenticity and vulnerability have on team work. Each participant will create a personal action plan to help sustain the momentum from the session.

The No Excuse Guide to Success

This workshop reinforces the significance of eliminating excuses, owning your choices and focusing on the positive. The session highlights the value of replacing victim vocabulary (e.g., “it’s not my fault”, "I can't believe they are doing that to me") with the personal power statement “it’s MY responsibility.” The workshop focuses on shifting the learner’s perspective from waiting for something to happen to being accountable for what happens at work and in life. It’s about becoming the producers, directors, leading men and women in our life movie. The workshop focuses on developing the leader within. Personal power, drive, courage, passion, enthusiasm, inspiration and attitude are all factors that impact leadership, personal accountability and personal responsibility. The session’s objectives will challenge learners to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Leadership (Leadership 2040)

This workshop was created to examine the future of leadership. The world is changing at a rapid pace right in front of our very eyes and the ways that leaders are leading are evolving too. Today’s leaders have to be innovators; innovators that can create change and disruption. Other leadership 2040 behaviors that are trending include:  generosity, storytelling, creativity, responsibility and accountability. The leader of the future recognizes that change is happening all around them and they don’t use new programs or sponsor change initiatives to meet the change. They build cultures of co-creation driven by conscious team members who believe in their vision and purpose. Building trust and building relationships are extremely important to them as well.  

The 21st century leader is attuned to fact that we are now living and working in a digital age. They are aware of how technology is disrupting every day processes and they rely on courage to innovate, maintaining an active bias against the status quo and an unflinching willingness to take smart risks – to transform ideas into powerful impact. During the workshop participants: define and discuss the tenets of the 21st century leader; examine the innovative traits of these new-age leaders; review the “people” side of the 21st century leader and explore methods for developing team members and building trust.

Authentic Communication: Mastering the Skills of Powerful Communicators
“Communication is not what you send it’s what they receive.”   

Nearly every day, or in any given work week, there is miscommunication or less authentic communication. There are meetings where you walk out scratching your head wondering if you understood what was said. And there have been moments where people did not receive what you shared the way it was intended for them to receive it. Or, you didn’t share your truth because you thought that there would be reprisal or judgment. You shared what you thought people wanted to hear. Welcome to today’s technology-driven, global, diverse and quick paced workplace. Effective and authentic communication continues to be a complex phenomenon
for many.  

Authentic communication is an essential tool for achieving productivity and maintaining strong working relationships at all levels of an organization. Unfortunately there are myriad factors that play a role in limiting productive communication. Some of those factors include: distance; one’s attention span; diversity-related differences; personal power; emotional intelligence; the desire to be right; poor listening habits; and less authenticity. Less authentic or ineffective communication in the workplace will inevitably lead to an unmotivated staff, conflict and frustration which could cause people to question their own confidence in their abilities, in the leadership and in the organization.

The Authentic Communication workshop learning goals are as follows:

  • Examine authenticity and its role in communicating effectively
  • Discuss five key skills to authentic communication
  • Explore what helps and what hinders authentic communication (e.g., time, cultural differences, technology, etc.)
  • Examine the Dual Threshold Model of authentic expression
  • Discuss workplace style differences and their impact on authentic communication
  • Practice authentic communication

Discovering Your Purpose (perspective and purposefulness) 

Regardless of your age, regardless of whatever pressures you feel in your life right now or whatever challenges you face every single day, understanding your “why” (i.e., your purpose) can provide the lift that you need to take control of your life. Using self-assessment tools and life-changing experiences from countless others, Dr. Jim shares how these “timely situations” help fuel his relentless pursuit of helping others realize and step into their full potential. The core messages during this session are self-discovery, self-fulfillment and inspiration.

Present Like a Pro

Great presenters, facilitators and communicators are a wonder to watch. They keep a meeting, conversation or presentation lively, upbeat and productive even as they effortlessly manage the circumstances (e.g., side conversations, distractions, distance and technology – smart phones, lap tops, iPads, etc.) that can derail the positive and productive mood or otherwise disrupt a successful session. They’re also able to do this when the material they are presenting is lethargic, technical, dry, uninspiring or laden with numbers and statistics. You may have wondered, “How are they able to do this – and from a distance?” That’s where the Present Like a Pro workshop comes in.

During this high-energy, experiential session, we, through anecdotes, best practices, discussions and actual practice, share myriad methods for creating audience engagement, bringing dry content to life, making your message stick, connecting with your customers and audience members at both a cognitive and a visceral level and storytelling. We aim to help your team members improve their overall presentation and communication skills by providing methods to ensure that they present themselves and their information in an authentic, memorable, innovative, results-focused, creative, “impactful” and relationship-building way. Today’s new, extremely diverse and global, workforce makes it a necessity that we know how to reach all audiences (regardless of their specialty) and from a distance.

The workshop’s learning objectives are to:

  • Discuss and evaluate proven methods for improving ones’ personal power;
  • Analyze presentation tools and strategies for engaging and connecting with any group (any size) and for creating greater learner retention; 
  • Examine ways to avoid the key common mistakes presenters, meeting leaders and facilitators make to ensure that they are maximizing every minute spent in front of a group;
  • Practice presentation skills, 30-second presentations and story-telling methods; and Develop an application/action plan for sustaining the ideas and skills that were generated during our session.

Successful, results-focused and inspiring presentations involves a delicate balance of keeping a strong hand on the proceedings while understanding and using human psychology to your advantage. Workshop modules at present include the following:

  • Openers
  • Adult Learning and Retention Strategies
  • Dealing with Nervousness
  • Presentation Tenets and General Skills (and mistakes)
  • Distance Presentation Skills
  • Personal Branding
  • Closers
  • Story-telling Pointers
  • 30-Second Engagement
  • Personal Power
  • Slide story development
  • Leadership presence

The session can be facilitated in one, two or three-day formats.


Discovering Your Purpose (perspective and purposefulness) 

Dr. Jim provides one-one-one “life/career” coaching and “speaker” coaching. We recommend that you work with Dr. Jim for a minimum of one year. This will ensure that you build a relationship based on trust, authenticity and commitment and that you have adequate time to work on your desired goals. You meet in person, via phone, ZOOM or SKYPE. Each “life/career” coaching session lasts approximately 60 – 90 minutes. The “speaker” coaching session time varies (i.e., one-hour, half-day or full-day sessions). You and Dr. Jim will create a plan that will help you jump into your BIGNESS and that accelerates your life and/or your speaking skills. His coaching approach and formula is based on personal accountability, creativity, authenticity and taking action immediately. He shares lessons gleaned from 30 plus years in the workforce interacting with professionals at all levels and from his 20 plus years speaking, training and motivating others around the world. 

Schedule your “FREE” 30-minute coaching session with Dr. Jim today!

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Deliberately designed for leaders, speakers, educators, salespersons, trainers and purpose-driven professionals, the JSJI BOOT CAMP is an immersive two and a half day program. Implementing a simple, yet powerful, skill/will approach to becoming a lights-out, in-demand presenter.


  • You want to STAND OUT during every presentation, right?
  • You want to have GREATER INFLUENCE with those you lead, right?
  • Every slide has a story – do you tell it?
  • Many learners come to your meetings and presentations with preoccupation - do you break it?
  • Your attendees' attention span is shorter - do you capture it?
  • You know it's about becoming crystal clear in WHO you are, AUTHENTICALLY and AMPLIFYING that.
  • It's time to LEVERAGE your personal power and PRESENT and LIVE in a BIGGER way.
  • Powerful speaking today hinges on bringing more ENGAGEMENT, ENTHUSIASM and ENERGY to EVERY presentation, meeting and workshop.

Opening Evening Highlights:

  • Mindset and Personal Power

First Full-Day Session Highlights:

  • Authenticity: Discovering who you are and leveraging that
  • The secrets to lights-out presentation skills
  • Methods for filling up the entire room and get greater audience involvement
  • How to become a masterful story-teller
  • Opening and closing with power, punch, and emphasis 

Second Full-Day Highlights:

  • Making your message stick
  • Personal Branding
  • Dealing with difficult presentation situations
  • Bringing dry content (especially in slides) and distance presentations to life

register today

Watch this episode of the Dr. James Smith Show to hear an entertaining and inspiring interview with guest Dawn Holden Woods, one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Top Minority Business Leaders of 2020 and former Nonprofit CFO of the year.

Dawn is a powerful yet passionate CEO of a Philadelphia consulting firm which was established to help social-sector partners. They design authentic, people-centered solutions that ensure both individuals and organizations reach their full potential.

Topics covered include:

• The three keys to help individuals and organizations reach their full potential
• Signs that it’s time to move on professionally from your current position
• Effective ways to coach your team as a leadership consultant

This is a can’t-miss episode for leaders looking to make a true impact at the individual and organizational levels.