Sekou Andrews "Next, Next Level" Virtual Speech 2020
- The first contemporary poet in 12 years to receive the Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word Album
- Delivers complicated business messages through moving keynotes that fuse performance and content
- Helps leaders embrace creative, innovative, and disruptive thinking and behavior
- Inspires individual mindset shifts that create company culture shifts
- Helps organizations humanize business to connect more deeply with customers and employees
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Sekou Andrews is the Founder/CEO of SekouWorld, Inc., innovator of “Poetic Voice,” and one of the most successful spoken word poets in the world. On any given day, this schoolteacher turned artist and entrepreneur, who built a 7-figure company on poetry, can be found keynoting at a Fortune 500 company, inspiring thousands at a concert, or performing for Barack Obama in Oprah’s backyard.
Sekou is the creator of “poetic voice” – a cutting-edge speaking category that seamlessly fuses inspirational speaking with spoken word poetry, like “Hamilton” meets “TED.” This innovative blend of strategic storytelling, thought leadership, spoken word, theater, and comedy humanizes content, making it entertaining, moving and memorable. Sekou’s accomplishments include two National Poetry Slam championships, two national poetry tours, two Independent Music Awards, three Helen Hayes Awards, the most “Just Plain Folks” music awards in history, the 2020 ABA “Entrepreneur of the Year” award, and the first “Best Spoken Word Album” Grammy nomination for a poet in 30 years.
It is no surprise that Forbes has called Sekou a “polymath” and “the de facto poet laureate of corporate America.” His “wow-factor” is in high-demand with the world’s most successful organizations, including Google, Viacom, Toyota, Nike, Cisco, Linkedin, Capital One, L’Oreal, Global Green, Paypal, ASAE, The Gap, Paypal, General Mills, the ACLU, and the NBA to name but a few. Sekou’s work has also been featured on such diverse national media outlets as ABC World News, CBS, MSNBC, HBO, Good Morning America, Showtime, MTV, and BET, and he has given private performances for such prominent individuals as Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones, Larry King, Hillary Clinton, Norman Lear, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Coretta Scott King. Sekou has also emerged as a powerful voice for health and wellness, routinely evoking tears, cheers, and standing ovations at events for clients such as the Johnson & Johnson, United Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente, TEDMED, Roche, Northwell Health, Genentech, and the American Medical Association.
Sekou is a multi-talented entertainer with over 2 decades of experience inspiring audiences across platforms and genres. He has shared event stages with such heavyweights as Drake, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Carlos Santana, Kendrick Lamar, Maroon 5, Jill Scott, and John Legend. He is also a voiceover artist and actor with several national commercials, three films, and an original, critically-acclaimed, two-man play on his resume. With creative partner Steve Connell, Sekou has inspired audiences from the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival to The Pasadena Pops Orchestra. Sekou has even returned to the classroom, teaching his rockstar secrets to public speakers through his highly effective Stage Might™ speaker training system that helps executives, influencers and leaders become more dynamic communicators.
With all of the innovation and inspiration that is poetic voice, Sekou Andrews is accomplishing the seemingly impossible – bringing spoken word poetry to the world’s largest stages, while redefining the notion of what a speaker is, and what a poet can be
D.I.Y. Innovation. As companies large and small grapple with how to face disruption and inspire a culture of innovation, this popular, energetic keynote reminds your audience to innovate from within first. Sekou offers a creative perspective on embracing failure, encouraging unconventional thinking and being the kind of leader who walks your innovation talk. The inspiration in this hilarious and powerful talk will hit your audience deeply when Sekou shares the personal, innovative story of his creation of a new, cutting-edge style of communication, illustrating that “Innovation is simply the difference between ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ and ‘Why didn’t I think LIKE that?’”
Digital Disruption Dance Floor. Have you heard of the new dance? It’s not the Macarena or the Wobble. Not the Whip or the Nae Nae. It’s the 3D – The Digital Disruption Dance. The Technology Tango. The Cyber Salsa. And all the cool kids are doing it. So all of the competitive companies must learn it. Your choreographer, Sekou Andrews, delivers a roller-coaster keynote unlike anything you’ve experienced. It not only speaks to the impact of disruption on businesses... it embodies it! Just when your audience thinks they know where the talk is going, it turns on a dime, while offering valuable insight from the voices of consumers, millennials, and digital natives who explain how you should approach them when asking for a dance. Sekou’s clever, quick- paced choreography takes you on a journey from cacophony to clarity, as he inspires you to learn disruption’s rhythms and catch its groove so that you can not only keep up… you can take lead!
Power Through the People: Diversity is Disruption. "Diversity is disruption." It is uncomfortable, volatile and disrupts the stasis of “sameness”. And yet, just like with disruption, the companies that are facing and embracing diversity end up stronger, smarter and higher performing than their counterparts. Sekou is no stranger to tackling discomforting and disruptive topics with an engaging, emotive and highly entertaining presentation style. This interactive and emotive presentation delivers research, best practices and proven takeaways to help your audience understand how D&I can strengthen performance, stimulate innovation and future-proof their organization. Sekou will create a safe space for your audience to grapple with this troublesome topic, leaving them laughing til it hurts and shifting in their seats as they learn how to include diverse voices in their collective success story. Laugh, be uplifted, and learn:
- How to disable the types of homogenous company cultures that stifle innovation
- How successful companies are using D&I to build and empower high-performing teams
- How to empower the “sameness” of purpose in order to embrace the “otherness” of diversity
- The hidden ways your organization may be inhibiting diversity and inclusion
- How to use storytelling to catalyze community, understanding and empathy
Rockstar Secrets for Speakers, Executives & Leaders. Of the top 3 things people fear most – spiders, public speaking and death – only two can kill you… (especially death). Not only will stage fright NOT kill you, when you convert it to stage MIGHT it will make YOU the killer. You will kill the speech, crush the pitch, and rock the presentation by learning how to PERFORM your speech like a rockstar. The fun and interactive keynote is perfect for leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, and anyone else who wants to become a more dynamic communicator but doesn’t know how to unlock that power. Stage Might is a training system that teaches the powerful techniques of songwriters, comedians, actors and improv artists and applies them to business communication. Sekou Andrews will help your audience take off their speaker hats, put on their performer hats, and learn from outside of their industry in order to stand out within their industry.
Happily & Beyond: Success Through Storytelling. Storytelling is transforming how innovative companies market, engage customers, and do business. Sekou has helped audiences – from sales teams and marketers to grantwriters and techies – understand how to embed information into engaging stories that reach consumers on a human level. Pulling key material from Sekou’s executive training on storytelling, this speech is rich with strategic insight on how to find the story in your data, as well as Sekou’s usual energetic, interactive, high-powered brand of storytelling that will help your company celebrate it’s perpetual “Happily Ever After.”
The Motion in Our Ocean. If you follow a rainbow all the way to the end, it lands in the ocean with a big splash! This is how waves are made.” Inspired by hilarious grade school theories on making waves, Sekou reminds us that “it’s not that the kids don’t know the real science behind waves, it’s just that we like their version better.” And so begins this convention-challenging keynote on thinking bold and being unafraid to make waves in your industry. Sharing pivotal moments of defiance from his and other barrier-breaking companies, Sekou reminds business leaders that to become a “leading swami of transformational tsunamis” you have to be willing to make the kind of big splashes that can lead to gold at the end of your rainbow.
How to Light Fires with Your Voice. There is something burning within you. It is the passionate, powerful, and profitable version of you. It is the light you have to guide others through darkness. It’s your purpose on this planet that is spark away from being fulfilled. Sekou Andrews, the world’s leading poetic voice, will share his personal journey of innovation, inspiration and perseverance that will ignite your audience into a bonfire of purpose, passion, profit, and personal growth.
Love Affair with Healthcare. What if you could remind your audience of the moment they fell in love with healthcare? What if you could reignite the passion in providers – caregivers, executives, and housekeeping alike - to connect with patients on a human, heartfelt level? What if you could take your entire healthcare community on a laughter and tear-filled journey that renews their vows to provide the best quality care. If you could do that - write a love poem to healthcare that makes your audience fall back in love with it - this keynote is how it would sound.
The Pinky Promise of Care. Providing quality healthcare is a beautiful topic. Patient safety and medical error … not so much. So Sekou transforms this important but challenging issue into a rollercoaster ride of laughter and tears that holds every team member accountable for keeping patients safe. The fact that this speech consistently leaves audiences carrying Sekou’s pinky promise pledge back to their facilities, pinning it on their walls, and sharing it with their team is proof of how poetic voice can turn what some consider the un-sexiest of topics into powerful anthems.
How to “Awesomefy” Your Life! Want to help your audience celebrate their awesomocity? This talk is like gifting your audience with their own, personal, halftime-at-the-Superbowl- Al-Pacino-locker-room speech! Sekou shares inspirational insight and personal development concepts to help you transcend dark days and challenging seasons. By the time you’re done laughing your stress off while learning how to reignite your passion, confidence and balance, you will want to share these infectiously creative take- aways with everyone you care about to remind them to “LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE,” be the “LITTLE EXTRA CUP,” and “ALWAYS VACUUM WITH A SMILE.” Based on “The Awesome Anthem” - one of Sekou most popular videos featuring Quincy Jones,
Tim Ferris, Omari Hardwick, Norman Lear, and many other icons, business leaders and artists – this speech is perfect for both business conferences & entertainment events.
New Money. This speech, in various forms, has been shared with diverse audiences – from TEDxWallstreet and Conscious Capitalism, to Speak & Write to Make Millions and the GAP. It’s bold message dances between creating the discomfort necessary to compel change and fostering the inspiration necessary to ignite possibility. Beginning with the statement “This year, it’s about the money!” Sekou then journeys through the process of redefining wealth, from the most self-serving definitions of wealth to the most holistic. “True wealth is not defined by whether I can pay for it, but whether I can pay it forward.” Remind your attendees to invest in themselves and their communities, and “make dollars that make change” by learning to get rich quick with NEW MONEY.
Stage Might X. Scientists say that humans use about 15% of our brainpower. Too many public speakers and business leaders use about 15% of their speaking power. Sekou Andrews has developed an innovative, proven system to help your team unlock the 85% of their dynamic communication power…called Stage Might. Warning: You can’t access it thinking like a speaker! For the first time ever, your team will learn the techniques of rockstar performers (actors, songwriters, comedians, improv artists) applied to business to help you add some star power to your sales and marketing… some Beyoncé to your boardroom… some Pacino to your pitch! This will be the most fun you’ve had learning effective techniques from OUTSIDE of your industry to STAND OUT within your industry. Your team’s 85% is waiting for them!
Insist on Story: Strategic Storytelling Secrets for Success. The best way to connect with a human being, is to BE a human being. As marketing dynamics shift and consumers connect with brands on a more personal level, the world’s most successful companies are finally embracing that no communication tool is more effective toward this than storytelling. The power of this creative and eye-opening training can be summed up in 3 transformative words: Insist on Story. As the world’s leading poetic voice, Sekou Andrews has created a successful business helping organizations tell their most powerful stories to show them the best versions of themselves so they can live into it. Now he’s helping your organizations develop this skill, by teaching your sales, marketing, communications and senior leadership teams how to embed data and information into stories that deliver inspiration. Once you learn to view your messages through a storytelling lens, your eyes open to the wealth of opportunities to use strategic storytelling at every touch point of your messaging to enroll your audience more deeply into your vision.
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The R.O.I. of The Sekou Effect is your event becomes top of mind when your audience goes back to their office, to their home, and to their community.