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Photo of Mike Vance

Mike Vance

Mentor

I first heard Mike Vance speak at a CRS educational retreat in 1979 and was inspired by his style of fast-paced delivery, amusing stories and creative content. To this day I consider him to be one of the best speakers I have ever heard.

He is the past Dean of Disney University and spent years working along side Walt Disney speaking on creativity. He is the originator of the “Thinking Outside the Box” metaphor. (In my opinion, anyone else who uses that phrase is NOT thinking outside the box!)

I was so enamored with Mike that I brought him to my company to speak on multiple occasions. I gained two benefits: all of our agents got to hear his message, and I got to enjoy private one-on-one visits to have him mentor me. From a 1985 breakfast, I still have the paper placemat on which he wrote notes for me about developing my own speaking style. He compared a speech to a pipe organ. You know the music you plan to deliver, but you alter the delivery, pace, and sound by adjusting the various stops above the keys. To this day I think of this when I address an audience . . . constantly watching the audience and pulling out different “stops” as needed.

Thank you, Mike, for encouraging me and teaching me to develop my own unique style.

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