Phil’s Speaking Topics

Phil’s eclectic journey through theater and life has taught him that achieving professional and personal success requires the combined passions of creativity, innovative thinking, and working in an environment that recognizes the value of good-old, serious fun.

Popular Speaking Topics

I Have Seen the Future – And it is Curious

Phil believes that the number one attribute for a successful leader is that they are curious. Through an engaging and humorous presentation, Phil demonstrates how curiosity drives an organization’s innovation and creativity and how it turns ideas into actions: using the I.V.A. Model (Idea/Vision/Action). Curious leaders understand there isI to reach their goal, that success comes from taking daring—yet educated—risks, and that thinking outside the box is not an answer. The real answer is to bust the box, build a new one and then fill it with only the best of your best ideas, those ideas that were generated by you being curious.

People are the Priority

At its heart, business is about people: the employees you work with and the customers you serve. So is theater. A theater director (the play’s CEO) constantly works at bringing out the very best in their designers, technicians, and actors, who will in turn give that to their audience. In his ‘theatrical’ presentation, Phil unravels the process that theater directors follow when producing a play; from their very first production concept, through casting, rehearsal, and culminating in the final performance. How do directors build their vision? How do directors get actors to be willing to fail and then try again—only better? How do they get a cast of talented individuals to live and breathe as one? Phil pulls back the curtain and shares his 35 years of experience: and more.

Your Story is at the Heart of it All

The way you succeed in life and in business is to tell your story. To do that you need to know your story, believe your story, and be able to share your story. You can have all the charts and graphs filled with colorful pies and bars, but if your audience cannot connect to you and your story, it won’t mean a thing. Phil presents the seven rules of how to identify your story and how to powerfully share that story with your audience.

Play Hard – Have Fun: A Philosophy That Will Change Your Life

Fun is not a 4-letter word: We have a problem with fun today. We tend to think of it merely as the emotion of having a good time on a Friday night. But real fun—serious fun—is much more than that. Phil shares his philosophy that fun centers on doing meaningful work well; and that a richer, longer-lasting, more fulfilling experience of fun happens during a great performance and a great performance is the result of the effort put into its preparation.

Theatre as Innovation

Let the art of theatre be your inspiration for change. Theatre is a reflection of and an influence on the society in which it exists. Follow along as Phil discusses the 13 insights you gain from a working knowledge of theatre, insights that you can immediately implement into your company and your personal life.

Special Programs

Leadership Lessons Shared From the Piano

Phil shares leadership lessons through this inventive presentation of Broadway songs and stories. Learn how A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum almost closed before it opened because it didn’t tell the right story. Learn how in South Pacific, Rodgers and Hammerstein II stood up for the humanity of people. Learn how Stephen Sondheim would tailor his creations to the talents of his team. And learn so much more. By the end of the program, you’ll be humming a new leadership tune.

PLEASE NOTE: a piano is required for this presentation.

Gateway: Coming to America

Phil performs his powerful 45-minute one-person show that shares the lives of immigrants as they made the harrowing journey to a place they’d only heard about—dreamed about: America. Set in 1907, Phil plays Wilhelm Brenner, an apprentice at a print shop from Grindelwald, Switzerland, who gives up everything he has for the dream of a better life in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Along the way he meets Rosa Milazzo, a young Italian girl on her way to Des Moines, Iowa to marry a friend of her fathers, Jacob and Rebecca Jenofski, Russian Jews escaping the pogroms, Hans Jurgenson from Norway, a boy with a heart of an artist but a body that is broken, and many more. Touching and humorous, Phil demonstrates his great skill at storytelling, weaving all these stories together in a moving tribute to the people that made this great country. The Star Herald of Scottsbluff, Nebraska said: “I laughed. I cried. I felt so many emotions.”ore.

Spellbound – held one’s attention completely. No one wanted it to end.

Fountain City NewsFountain City, WI

Great!
Best we've ever had.

Broadhead Historical SocietyBroadhead, WI

Wonderful evening of entertainment.

Judy Nissen, PresidentWestern Nebraska Community College

Interested in a Speaking Engagement?