Frequently Asked Questions

About Dr. Zimmerman’s Keynotes/Seminars

I’ve been in the speaking business for more than 20 years, and I’ve learned what works and doesn’t work when it comes to positive communication in the areas of attitude, communication, work relationships, and work-life balance. And I’ve learned what works and doesn’t work when it comes to engaging and exciting an audience.

I’ve also learned I’m very selective. I receive about 20 requests to speak each month, but I only accept 4 of those invitations … partly for the sake of work-life balance. But mostly, I want to be certain that my program will be spot-on so you and your audience will be thrilled with the program.

Of course, you’ve got to be very selective also. You’ve got to be certain you’re hiring the right speaker. That’s why I’ve tried to answer all the questions you might have. And if you’ve got any other questions, by all means ask. You’ll get simple, straightforward, honest answers from me and my staff—not a lot of fancy, dancy sales talk.

Your next step?
If you like what you read, if you think I’m right for your meeting, or if you have some additional questions, email me directly at [email protected] or
call my office at 1-800-621-7881.

Any size. Over the course of my career, I’ve keynoted countless audiences that number into the hundreds and thousands.  And I’ve delivered longer seminars for groups that range from 15 to 350. 

Throughout my entire career, 1/3 of my programs have been keynotes, 1/3 has been half-day seminars, and the 1/3 has been one to two-day workshops.

All. I’ve spoken to groups of CEO’s, and I’ve spoken to groups of entry-level employees—and everyone in between. And often times, the same group will have a mixture of people from several levels.

That’s not a problem. My programs are designed with your exact audience in mind. I build the program after I talk to you. And a part of our discussion will be focused on the kinds of people that will be in the audience. I want to make sure I meet their particular needs.

There isn’t a “typical” length. As I mentioned above, my presentations fall into one of three categories: keynote addresses, half-day seminars, and full-day workshops.

If you want me to do more than one presentation on the same day, that’s fine. Perhaps you’d like me to give one or two general session keynotes or a combination of keynotes and breakout sessions. Or maybe you’d like me to address several groups throughout the day. That’s also fine. You’re the customer, and we’ll find a way to make it work for you.

Make sure you take a look at my five most requested programs.  Just keep this in mind.  When I give shorter presentations, I find it works much better to pick a few key points and drive them home rather than skim over lots of things. So I’ll work with you to identify the most important points you want to cover.

I do both. About half the time, an organization brings me in to deliver a program for a select group of people. Or an association hires me to speak at a meeting they’re having.

The other half of the time I get hired to conduct a much longer series of programs. One organization may want me to deliver the same program to lots of different groups throughout the company. That’s smart. The more people that get the message, the more results you’ll see.

Another organization may want me to work with same group, on several subjects, over a longer period of time. That’s also smart. That allows us to put some extra depth into the overall training program.

As an example, one IBM location brought me on-site 17 times in one year. They wanted to make sure I addressed everyone in the company. A chain of Adventist hospitals had me work with them for 2 years, working with a select group of people, as we created a more positive work environment where people wanted to come, work, and keep on working there.

So my programs may be used as a stand-alone, special kind of event. Or my programs may supplement the internal training that your company already offers. Either way, I know you’ll be thrilled with the response of the audience and the results of the program.

Ask. You may have a special need or a special problem you want resolved. And you may not know if I’m the right person to address that situation. All you have to do is give me a call and ask.

I’ll give you an honest answer. If I can deliver a great program on your selected topic, I’ll tell you so. But if I’m not the right speaker, I’ll also tell you that. It’s all about you, the customer, and your complete satisfaction, and not my ego.

I’ll even go a step farther. I’ll help you find the right person—if you want my help. I know lots of speakers and consultants, and I know who is good and who isn’t.

Of course. Even though I have given more than 2000 programs, I have never given the same program twice. I’m always customizing my programs…based on the needs of my clients. You won’t get the one-size-fits-all type of program from me.

For example, many of my clients will read through the outlines of my different keynotes and seminars, and they’ll say they like bits and pieces from several programs. They’ll ask if I can design a program that incorporates those various bits and pieces. The answer is “Yes.” I do that for my clients almost every day.

After all, you have some specific objectives you want to accomplish. And you may want me to incorporate your theme, vision, values, or language. That’s not a problem. We’ll talk and make sure that happens.

If you would like to see the different programs I can offer, go on the Internet and find

Yes and no. Typically I am hired by corporations or associations to speak to their employees or their members. These meetings are not open to the public.

There is one exception, however. Occasionally a prospective client wants to “see me in action” before they hire me. They want to see if my content or style will fit their audience. So they ask if they can preview me.

In those situations, I ask my client if it’s okay to have someone sit in the back of the room to observe my presentation. They almost always say “Yes.”  If that is something you’d like to do, give me a call.

However, I offer one major program each year that is open to the public. You may attend my two-day Journey-to-the-Extraordinary program.  It’s all about excellence, and you will learn the 12 secrets of success that ensure peak performance on and off the job. It’s a powerful program that always sells out.   

Go to for more information on the next “Journey-to-the-Extraordinary experience and how you might sign up.

There really aren’t any disadvantages of having me speak more than once in your organization. In fact, more than half of my business comes from totally satisfied, enthusiastic repeat customers.

And you don’t have to worry about me repeating the same content over and over again. I’ve got more than 90 hours of material, and most people have only heard a fraction of it. Besides that, I keep an outline of every program I’ve ever given, so I know what I told your group last month or fifteen years ago.

On occasion, past clients will ask me to repeat certain stories or re-engage people in certain activities. They want me to refresh people’s memories and build on that. Other times they want all new material. That’s okay. I’ll build the presentations on your input.

High ENERGY, high EDUCATION, and high ENGAGEMENT. I want my audiences to feel, know, and do something — during the program as well as a long time afterwards.

ENERGY. I’m fond of saying that “education without motivation serves no useful purpose.” I know lots of educated people, filled with knowledge, who aren’t doing much with that knowledge. So I do a number of things to make sure your audience gets energized during the program and stays energized after the program.

EDUCATION. But I’m more than a “motivational speaker.” Because you and I both know that people need more than motivation. They also need some skills that they will take back to their jobs and their lives and use immediately. So I share a lot of simple but powerful, practical skills with your people … skills that have proven to make a huge difference for people.  (I guess I didn’t do all that research and get that Ph.D. for nothing.)

ENGAGEMENT. I also know that people learn the most when they’re actively involved in the learning process. So I always, always, always use a great deal of audience involvement. My audiences get on their feet, move around, talk to other people, and use the skills they’re learning. And in case that scares you, let me assure you that I make the involvement fun, meaningful and safe. I’ve never had a group that didn’t love that part of the program — even groups that were initially a little skeptical.

Three valuable goodies—all at no charge.

First, I’ll visit with you before the program. And I’ll talk to whomever you suggest. I am open to phone calls, conference calls, and emails. I want to know about your organization, and I want to understand your challenges. Then I’ll use that knowledge to make sure the program is right on target.

Second, I’ll give you a free set of handouts that you can reproduce for your participants — which will save you a lot of money. Many speakers charge $15 to $50 per person if they provide the handouts. I’ll give you the master. And my handouts are excellent. I provide so much good, hard-hitting content in each of my programs that the participants are thrilled to have a copy of all the things I talk about.

Third, I’ll visit with you after the program. Just give me a call if you want to “de-brief.” Often times I’ll hear things from the participants or I’ll learn things about your organization that you might find very helpful. And I’ll recommend some steps you can take to make sure the program sticks and your objectives are achieved.

I’ll help you reinforce it. I want to make sure your people keep on using the stuff they learned at my program, long after the program is over.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case with most keynotes and seminars.  It’s more of a flavor-of-the-month exposure to a topic, and when it’s all over, the speaker basically says, “Good bye” and wish you “Good luck.” That’s tragic.

In reality, the real work is just starting. The program has to be reinforced in some way if you want the skills and concepts to stick. So I’ll do four things to reinforce what I teach your people.

First, I’ll give every one of your people a free subscription to my weekly newsletter. I spend eight to ten hours every week, researching and writing a fresh new article, on topics such as attitude, motivation, leadership, teamwork, stress, and conflict resolution. The information I give, and the strategies I outline, are so practical and so powerful that your people won’t be able to wait for their next issue.

Second, I’ll give your people 60 days of free consulting. Every page of my handouts includes my telephone number and email address. And I tell the people at my programs that they are welcome to contact me with any questions they might have on the material I have presented. I will respond to their questions in a prompt and thorough fashion.

Third, I’ll make my books, eBooks, and MP3s available to you and your people. When it comes to learning, nothing is more effective than repetitive reinforcement. When people read a few pages of a book every few days, or spend a few minutes listening to a recording on a regular basis, learning retention and application go up dramatically. But you can rest assured that I will not give you or your people a “sales pitch.” I’ll simply make the materials available and suggest that people do something to reinforce their learning.

Fourth, you can give one or more of my products to your people. You can select one of my books, for example, that reinforces the program long after I’m gone and your conference is over. And your people will thank you for the additional investment you’re making in them.

Quite frankly, I’m a little sad when people don’t choose options 3 and 4 — because all the research says that repetitive reinforcement works. And I’m a little amazed when people will spend thousands of dollars on a program—but won’t spend a few hundred when it comes to reinforcing that program. But it’s your call. These are simply options.

I’m connected to some great resources. I’m not a one-trick pony or a one-man operation. My immediate office staff includes five part and full-time people who have more than 36 years of experience in the speaking and meetings industry. They can help you with every aspect of your meeting.

But you may have a bigger, longer-term, large group project that goes beyond a simple one-time meeting. You may need lots of training in several locations. Again, that’s not a problem. I have several speaking and training associates in the U.S. I’ve even got two full-time associates working for me and my clients in the U.K. And I can assure you that these people are excellent, or they wouldn’t be my associates.

You bet. In fact, my two-day Journey-to-the-Extraordinary program is so powerful and so popular that lots and lots of organizations want me to offer it on site or in their town.

I suppose there are two reasons for that. First, my once or twice-a-year, off-site Journeys are hard to get into. They’re always sold out.

Second, it’s a great deal cheaper to bring me on site. An organization can bring me in and have me deliver the Journey-to-the-Extraordinary program for a fraction of what it would cost to send their people to it. And your organization can expose a lot more people to this incredible program at little or no additional cost.

If you don’t know about this program, take the free Guided Tour by going to:  You’ll get a complete outline of the content, and you’ll know exactly what your people will get out of it.

And you’ll probably be amazed at the variety of clients who bring my Journey-to-the-Extraordinaryprogram on site. For example, I’ve brought it to organizations as diverse as the FBI, the US Army, American Express, State Farm, the Mayo Clinic, and US Steel — to name just a few.

That’s easy to answer because I’m very consistent.

You can rest assured that I don’t play games with my fees. I know way too many speakers who charge different clients…different fees…for the same service. Their fee is based on how much the client can afford. And I think that’s unethical.

You can also rest assured that I haven’t raised my fees in seven years. These are tough economic times for a lot of people, so I temporarily suspended my annual fee increase. I want to make it easier for you to hire me. And I can tell you this, 9 times out of 10 we are able to find a way to make your budget and my fees works out for everyone.   

Just call 800-621-7881 and we’ll talk about your date and program needs. Either I or my staff can let you know about my availability and your investment.

Oh yes, three other things.  We bill travel expenses to the penny, including non-refundable coach airfare, and give you all the receipts.  But if you prefer an all-inclusive fee, we can give you that. And if you want to book several programs, I can give you a more favorable rate. Just ask.

There are at least three things we can do about that. One of them may work for you.

You may want to share the event with another part of your organization. The various groups may choose to meet together, or they may want me to speak to each group at a different time on the same day. They share the cost in any way that makes sense to them.

You may want to share the cost with other organizations in your community. I’ve spoken to one group in the morning and another group in the afternoon, and they split the cost.  I’ve even had clients get extremely creative, where 6 tiny school districts met together as I spoke to all of them at once, and their individual cost became quite miniscule.

You may want to use more of my time, instead of hiring several speakers.  Quite often I’ll give a keynote address to the entire group and then do one or more breakout sessions. The audience loves it when I address more than one topic or develop the first presentation in more detail. And if we schedule the sessions in the same half or full-day time frame, I won’t charge you for the extra program, and you won’t have to pay for an additional speaker.

A lot. I’ve found that one of these options almost always works for our clients.

First, you could find a sponsor. A lot of companies love to sponsor my programs and give them as a “gift” to their customers. In return, the sponsoring organization gets their name all over my stuff, and the audience forms a stronger relationship with the sponsor. 

Second, you could make a contribution. Each year all the proceeds from five of my programs are donated to two charities and a university scholarship I started. The client simply sends the check – which is 75% of my normal fee – to the charity or scholarship. Outside of my travel expenses, I don’t get a dime. If you’re interested in this option, give Pam a call at 1-800-621-7881. She’ll tell you if there are any more “contribution” spots still available.

Third, I would be glad to recommend a less-experienced speaker. And quite honestly, there are some good, less-experienced speakers who charge less. But you won’t find a speaker with my experience and my track record at my low of a fee.

In fact, there are only 6 speakers in the world (including myself) who hold the CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), who have been inducted into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, and hold a Ph.D. — and they all charge a great deal more than I do. I’ve tried very hard to remain sensitive to the budgetary needs of my clients. And there are very few speakers, if any, who can show a stronger track record of success than I do. That’s why 92% of my business comes from extremely satisfied customers who invite me back or refer me on to others.

We make a decision. Do we all think this would be a good fit? Does my experience and expertise fit with your needs and your audience?

If the answer is “yes,” then we should talk. Give me or one of my staff members a call (800-621-7881) and we’ll figure out the next step.

Thanks again for your interest in my work.


Dr. Alan R. Zimmerman

CSP, CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame