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Steve Bollar Education Consultant and Professional Development Leader

Brace yourself. Professional development is coming!

classroom management education consultant educational leadership educational leadership programs keynote speaker leaders in education leadership coaching leadership for educational equity leadership styles in education motivational speaker professional development public speaking sel social emotional learning stand tall humor stand tall steve steve bollar Aug 18, 2023


Gang, let’s face it.  August does not have to be an entire month of Sunday scaries for teachers and administrators.  If you are in education and have been on social media in the last few weeks, the posts about dreading a return to school starting with days of terrible professional development are not only hysterical, but there is some truth in each of these statements. Here are just a few:

  • “I don’t know who needs to hear this, but get your two truths and a lie ready for the first day.”
  • “Teachers don’t enjoy meetings where we have to walk around and write on chart paper. I just needed to say that before next week.”
  • “I can’t wait to sit through hours of PD led by someone that hasn’t been in a classroom since COVID.”
  • “How many times do I need blood-borne pathogen training?”

As a professional development Guru, I have seen it all – the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. But let me tell you, there is nothing worse than sitting through a PD session that is mediocre at best. You know the ones I’m talking about – the painfully boring PowerPoint presentations, the monotonous monotone of the speaker’s voice, the mind-numbing length of the session. No one wants to waste their time or money on a subpar professional development experience. 

How can you provide superior professional development that your employees will actually enjoy? 


Hire a Keynote Speaker, The Rockstars of PD 

Nothing says "superior professional development" like a captivating keynote speaker who can make even the dullest topics sound like the latest Hollywood blockbuster. I am a charismatic speaker who can infuse humor and real-world anecdotes into my talks. We can work together to create professional development to meet your goals and have fun in the process! There is an art of crafting superior professional development (PD) experiences. I have the expertise to create PD that not only informs but transforms

Why Hire a Keynote Speaker?


First and foremost, keep it interesting! 

If your employees are required to attend a professional development session, then it should be engaging, thought-provoking, and fun. Don’t be afraid to get creative – incorporate games, group activities, and interactive elements that will keep your employees on their toes and interacting with one another.

Seriously, walking into a room full of strangers can be about as comfortable as wearing a shirt made of cactus. So why not break the ice with a splash of well-intentioned awkwardness? Put “Two Truths and a Lie” to rest, and try something new.  In addition to the many rally-style games and challenges from my Ideas, Ideas, Ideas series, here are more!

Now that you have broken the ice, share the icebreakers with your staff to use in the classroom. You are modeling the importance of cutting through awkward moments and bringing people together.  Building relationships is a crucial starting point to infuse Social Emotional Learning into your campus.


Keep it relevant! 

Nothing is worse than attending a professional development session with no practical application in the real world. Ensure the topics are relevant to your employees’ job duties and reflect the industry's current state. By providing your employees with relevant information, they will feel more empowered to take the lessons they’ve learned and apply them in their daily work. Ensure that your PD isn't just a one-and-done session but a launchpad for real change. Encourage participants to create action plans for implementing what they've learned.

The true value of PD lies in its applicability. Provide actionable takeaways that participants can implement immediately. Use real-world scenarios and case studies to help participants bridge the gap between theory and practice. Here is a snapshot of the current keynotes I can bring to your organization!


Practice what you preach!

Every successful PD session starts with a crystal-clear objective. What do you want participants to take away? Are you aiming to introduce new skills, foster collaboration, or inspire fresh perspectives? Outline your goals explicitly so attendees know exactly what to expect and what's expected of them. If you expect your staff to have learning objectives, professional development does, too!

 One of the biggest mistakes that organizations make in providing professional development is making it too long. PD sessions that drag on for hours on end are not only painful; they are also counterproductive. Instead, focus on providing bite-sized sessions that are 30 minutes to an hour long. Educators deliver bite-sized instruction, and they should receive bite-sized training. By breaking up the information into smaller chunks, employees will be better able to absorb and retain the information for longer.


Lastly, keep it light-hearted! 

Professional development is serious business, but it doesn’t have to be a snooze-fest. Inject humor and personality into your sessions to keep things light-hearted and fun. Doing so will make your employees more comfortable and engaged, leading to a better learning experience.

Remember, the ultimate goal of professional development is to enhance your employees’ skills, knowledge, and expertise. Don’t let a lackluster session get in the way of achieving that goal. By keeping things engaging, relevant, concise, and light-hearted, you can give your employees a superior professional development experience they will value. 

Superior professional development isn't just about transferring information; it's about sparking growth and transformation. When participants walk away inspired, equipped with practical skills, and eager to implement what they've learned, you've succeeded. Keep these strategies in mind, and you'll be on your way to creating PD experiences that elevate careers, empower professionals, and contribute to a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Stand tall, embrace innovation, and watch your organization thrive!

“Professional Development is like bathing. You can only go for so long without a bath before you start to stink" 

Whether you are sitting in a terrible, mediocre, or excellent professional development session and you think to yourself, “I could do this,” we need to talk.  Within Our Ranks (WOR) offers a transformative coaching program specifically designed for educators who aspire to become professional speakers and trainers. 

Unleash Your Potential as a Professional Speaker and Trainer

Learn about the world of educational speaking through this multi-step program to turn your knowledge into a profitable experience! 

  • Program Flexibility (perfect for those transitioning careers)
  • Educator Focused
  • Learn the business of the speaking industry
  • Constructive feedback to grow confidently 
  • Start your own full or part-time public speaking career!

Don't let your goldmine of knowledge and expertise go untapped. Join me for this webinar and unlock your potential as a professional speaker and trainer with Within Our Ranks. Embrace this transformative coaching program, and embark on a journey to become an influential voice in educational speaking. Together, let's make an impact and inspire others through the power of effective communication. Be sure to visit:

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