Louie Gravance learned at an age earlier than most the necessary building blocks to create a successful career in one of the most challenging industries: entertainment. At only twelve years old, he began working in California as a stage, film and television actor and would go on to appear in over thirty-five national television commercials. In 1987, Gravance was offered a summer job with one of the entertainment industry’s most successful conglomerates, The Walt Disney Company, beginning as a comic at Disneyland in Anaheim, California and soon thereafter embarking on a twelve-year adventure at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

During these twelve years Gravance immersed himself in the Disney culture, developing a...

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Speech Topics

Creating the Happiest Patients On Earth

Every patient interaction involves and emotional interaction.  Whether you are asking a patient to fill out a chart or giving someone a bad diagnosis there is a level of emotion involved.  The people that are typically drawn to the healthcare industry know this at their core but, over time, tasks and regulations can obstruct the vision and purpose of what brought one to the business of healing in the first place.  A career at Disney helped to frame a consciousness that teaches "magical moments" don't just happen at a theme park.  Let’s take the opportunity to re-engage our desire to bring humanity and caring to the world of health services. We will never forget the “great service serves the server first,” in all industries, but, perhaps, none more than healthcare.

This is a lively and comedic talk that can be customized to your event and purpose.

There's No Business BUT Show Business And Our Business Is Our Show    
ALL organizations are constantly engaging their internal and external customers in a NARRATIVE of sorts. Regardless of what anyone is selling or providing, a story is conveyed through every single transaction, involving every single sense we possess. This narrative drives everything from customer expectations to employee satisfaction and even your very BRAND ESSENCE.

•What do we look like?
•What do we sound like?
•What do we feel like?

Since all of your team members are telling a story with every transaction, shouldn't it be the story you want to convey to your customers?  Every day?  Every transaction?

For over 40 years I’ve appeared on radio, network television, film, stage, in theme parks, as well as worked with corporate trainers in medicine, retail, foods, manufacturing, auto makers, insurance companies to name just a few. They are all, at their core, show business.

This is a lively and comedic talk that can be customized to your event and purpose.

Creating WOW Service Moments! And What's in it For Me?
When a WOW moment in customer service takes place it doesn't happen only for the customer, it occurs for both, simultaneously.  Inspiring your team to make that connection is the single, greatest tool for maintaining a culture of service excellence.  This power-talk explores what a WOW moment looks like, sounds and feels like and why delivering them is good for everyone involved.

Occasionally employees will ask themselves, "What's in it for me?" and it's not a bad question.  During this session...I answer it. Every participant will come to understand that an investment of themselves is an investment in themselves and that every customer interaction is an opportunity.  An opportunity to define, not just what they're willing to do, but what they're willing to be.

More than that; every second is the "moment of truth" in the world of customer service.  I've learned a lot about maintaining a consistent service culture that delivers "magical moments" from my years at the Disney University, Disney Institute and the cultures I've been involved in shaping at such companies as Bank of America, SkyTouch Technologies and ING Financial.This is a lively and comedic talk that can be customized to the needs of your event.

Practical Steps to Magical Service Moments

Creating magical service moments is not something only read in books or theory, it's actionable.  During this session I utilize my twenty-five year experience with service brands to prove we can isolate, identify, define and execute service excellence as leaders.

This is a half-day team building experience that is hands-on and heads-up, designed to explore and solidify the ten points of action for any organization of any size to attain a culture of service excellence. This experience is more than just theory but practical, actionable steps to build or reorganize your service culture.  Participants work in groups to build their company’s own “pavilion” to share values, goals, heritage and culture just as it might appear at EPCOT or a world’s fair. 

Very active, humorous and, frankly, always a big hit.

This is a lively and comedic session that can be customized to the needs of your event.  

Putting it All Together
Here it is, the whole "shebang".  I put together a full day and full story arc that encompasses all three of my presentations into a customized and personalized workshop for your brand or organization.  It requires energy, participation and, frankly, a little space as there is a lot of "performance" that takes place among your "cast".

Allow your team to create and perform the story of your brand and emotionally invest in its outcome.


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  • Science of Story: Use Your Hands!
    Science of Story: Use Your Hands!
    Nov 28, 2017
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    Science of Story: Use Your Hands!
    Nov 28, 2017

    “Ladies and gentlemen, the next hour will be PowerPoint free.”  Most of my presentations lasting an hour or less have begun that way for over a decade.  I do this to set clear expectations and create context.  It never occurred to me that, one day, this would become an applause line.  But it has.

    A great keynote is not just a speech, it’s a piece of theatre.  Most of the truly sensational, no wait, make that all the truly sensational speakers I know are talented storytellers.  Amazing storytellers.  Even the colleagues I refer to as “the great explainers” handle specific, statistical content through anecdotal methods as well as a well-placed graph or diagram.   As one of my own keynotes is titled, “There’s No Business BUT Show Business,” and public speaking certainly exemplifies this.

    Among the first things one learns in first-year theatre training is that a director should avoid “split-focus” when bringing a scene to life.  Yet, this is exactly what many are doing when entering a competition with PowerPoint for attention and focus. 

    The addiction and overuse of slides to guide a speaker’s presentation in our field is not only dumbing down the performance of the average speaker, it’s also dumbing down our audiences.  The moment a typical slide presentation is incorporated it sends a subliminal message to participants that says, “Relax, you don’t have to completely engage because my PowerPoint is going to do half the work for both of us.  I don’t need to really work so hard and you don’t need to listen so hard.”

    What great storyteller would implore listeners to stare at the scenery when attempting to create a collective-consciousness?  Singers are aware that a bare stage and a pin-spot are magnificent tools to bring an audience in and force it to listen closer, so why don’t speakers?  Practically all of us have a mother or uncle that can mesmerize a room at family gatherings using only their voice and gesticulation.  And they’re not paid thousands of dollars to do it, nor do they belong to speaking associations.  And when you think of it, isn’t grabbing attention at a community gathering to entertain or inform all any of us are really doing as professional speakers?

    Let’s be clear; I know that it’s long been trendy to bag on PowerPoint (especially by folks like myself who find themselves clumsy using it in the first place) and, to be fair, there are certainly instances when slides are a necessity rather than an enhancement.   Presenting graphs, statistics or specific brand-messaging require visual back-up that just couldn’t be conveyed as well with interpretive dance.  Well…in most cases anyway.

    When developing content for other organizations or helping someone prepare for an important talk, presentation or “show”, I have a strict “Ten-Slide-Rule”.  I ask, “Do you really need more than ten slides?”  My professional opinion is that if more than ten separate slides must be utilized it means your message may have morphed into nothing more than an information dump.  Pull back.

    I realize that, for some, the idea of appearing onstage sans a slide show will feel naked.  Also, as someone who made a living for years by making silly voices and sound effects with my mouth, this may come easier to me than most.  To that I say; if all else fails while telling a story you can always USE YOUR HANDS!  Trust me, it works.


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