Speaking, Coaching & Workshops

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Please contact us at info@markgoulston.com or 310.968.2366. For clients outside of the United States and Canada, please contact our trusted business partner A-Speakers International Speakers Bureau.

“Why Should I Buy From You?” – Sales Conference Lead Off Keynotes

Are you looking for an “opening act” for your sales conferences that will not just “open up” your sales audience, but will hook and grab onto them and not let go?

In this “in your face” presentation, Dr. Goulston plays a “devil’s advocate” customer where he becomes the avatar of that highly prized, but resistant/skeptical/heard-it-all-before customer or client you would most want to close.

In the first 15 minutes he transforms himself into that person and challenges your entire audience with, “Why (the heck) should I buy from you?” He takes on any and all members of the audience (who will usually need to initially be prompted to participate by the person introducing Dr. G) who go on to use the most common “uncovering” questions and try to persuade and convince him.  All to no avail.  Following the role play, Dr. G uses his unique channeling skill to tell the audience what they could have asked and said, but didn’t, that would have caused him to buy from them.

Dr. G first used this “in your face” training with undergraduates at UCLA in a “Death and Suicide” course where he played a suicidal teenager who challenged the audience with: “I’m going to kill myself and you can’t stop me”:

Which prompted course instructor and internationally renowned trauma specialist, Dr. Robert Pynoos to say:

Please accept this long overdue letter of appreciation for your participation as a guest lecturer in the UCLA upper division undergraduate course on “Death, Trauma and Suicide” offered jointly by the Departments of Psychology and Sociology. Your participation has been critical to maintaining the outstanding success of this. This Course has been a favorite of UCLA students for more than twenty five years. It has been good fortune to have you as a guest lecturer for the past ten years.

I especially want to compliment you on the extraordinary way in which you are able to engage a large audience of 225 students in a meaningful empathic and highly informative exchange over the distress and preoccupations of suicidal patients. More than any other person I know you have the ability to communicate the most serious levels of personal distress and disillusionment and the skill, patience and understanding required by a mental health professional. Your lecture has consistently been at or close to the top in student ratings of lectures given in this course. Importantly, you serve as a wonderful role model of a compassionate, accessible and concerned psychiatrist. From my discussions with students, I know that your openness and professional manner has profoundly influenced many of them to consider pursuing careers in mental health.

He expanded his work to training FBI and police hostage negotiators:

That prompted Timothy McNally, Assistant Director in Charge, FBI to comment:

Not only was this the highest attendance program (during a full day of hostage negotiation training), it also had the highest sustained attendance of any program. This speaks volumes about the high regard in which you are held and the quality of your presentation — I believe it is accurate to say that the information you imparted will save lives in the future.

 And when Dr. G expanded his presentations further into the corporate world, the testimonials were no less glowing:

By the time Mark finished his opening session talk to a large group of executives and leaders, he not only fulfilled his promise that they would forever change the way they thought, he just plain and simple won everyone in the audience over. How did he do that? Through compelling and inspiring stories, Mark talks with an audience instead of at them. And if you haven’t noticed, being talked with is something the world is starving for right now while it is still reeling from having been talked at and then run over.

– Peter Guber, CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, author of Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story

This was one of our best webinar events ever.  What an honor and a treat to host an event featuring Mark. From the very beginning he had everyone enthralled with his powerful stories and thoughtful advice. Mark has an uncanny ability to connect with everyone with graceful magnetism. And get this: 96% said they would leave the event with something actionable they could do immediately to make a meaningful difference in their work and life. Bravo!

– Shawn Hunter, V.P. and Executive Producer, Skillsoft

What would you rather reach, a “stretch” goal or an “impossible” goal? That is what Mark challenged himself to do with the 200+ executives and leaders from around the world in his opening session presentation at our Big Task Weekend. His challenge? “In 8 minutes you will permanently change the way you think about something very important to you.” And as I watched, that is exactly what he did (check it out for yourself at: Dr. Mark’s talk at Big Task Weekend). Mark is remarkable. If he could do that in 8 minutes, think of what he could for you in a full keynote, workshop or through his executive coaching.

– Keith Ferrazzi, author of NY Times best selling books, Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back?

Given the high praise I received from the person who referred you to me, I had high expectations of you. You not only exceeded my expectations, you completely exceeded my group’s expectations. My people are not the easiest to win over. They can be skeptical and don’t suffer fools or foolishness gladly or lightly. You did more than win them over. You motivated us and you inspired us. Several people commented that you were the best speaker they had heard at Xerox in the past 10 years. I agree.

– Dawn Sutherland, Controller, Xerox Corporation

Every company has specialized needs that outside speakers need to understand and address to provide training to workshop participants that will endure after an offsite retreat has ended. Too often outside speakers promise a customized program than actually deliver it. As a result the value of their presentations also too often dissipates within hours to days after participants return to their home offices. The most effective outside speakers ask lots of questions and demonstrate a sincere interest in delivering a workshop that will have lasting impact. Mark’s questions and insights in the preparation phase, established a solid foundation for a highly valuable training session.

Mark has the ability to take sophisticated psychological concepts and apply them to real world situations using very understandable terminology and powerful illustrations. Using compelling stories Mark was able to very effectively demonstrate the concepts we had agreed on as the core or our workshop. He engaged the group energetically and creatively and went well beyond my expectations by both designing and delivering a truly customized workshop that was absolutely on target.

As a final note, one of the most successful and skeptical members of our leadership team who doesn’t suffer fools gladly and who is widely viewed as a thought leader became one of Mark’s biggest fans during and after the conference.

-Stan Barkey, Agency Development Executive, State Farm

Your talk, “How Bias Can Impair Your Success and How You Can Eliminate It! Getting Along with Others Who Are Not Like You,” has received more comments than any of our Online CLE seminars as well as the highest average rating of 4 out of a possible 5 stars. It is due to programs like yours that our program has enjoyed such success in serving the legal community. Please accept our sincere gratitude and thanks.

– The State Bar of California

Dr. Mark has addressed all nine of our CEO Round Tables. In fact, the reason we invited him back after he spoke to the first group in Southern California, was because of his outstanding ratings by our Healthcare CEO Members. And after speaking to all six of our Healthcare Groups – throughout the State – with equally enthusiastic responses, we invited him to address our three Technology CEO Tables. These guys (practically all of our Tech Members are men) are a much tougher audience, and Mark continued to get near perfect ratings (4.87 on a 5-point scale, as I recall). In addition to having great stories and warm sense of humor, best of all, Mark gets people (even the macho techies) to ‘open up,’ which enriches the entire experience. Plus, from a meeting planner’s perspective, Mark is a dream to work with. Needless to say, I HIGHLY recommend him!

– Mimi Grant, President, Adaptive Business Leaders


Doable by YouPic 8 ThinkstockPhotos-477436664

Where There’s a Way, There’s a Will! 

Imagine your organization or team participating in a highly engaging, collaborative keynote, workshop or training where, within 24 hours after having attended, each person is EAGER to take action to deal with a challenge that has been nagging at him or her:

  • Confronting a conflict, conversation or challenge that has been holding them and others back
  • Seizing an opportunity otherwise it will pass them by


What to say to your company

  1. What percentage of our people significantly change their behavior following keynotes, workshops and training?
  2. Would we be interested in keynotes, training and workshops that promise attendees will take action within 24 hours?
  3. If we answer “Yes!” to #2, how much would that be worth to us if I go back to The Goulston Group for training?
  4. If #1 is “not high” and #2 is “Yes! We’re interested!” what would we be willing to pay for that outcome if we go to The Goulston Group?


How “Doable by You” works — our 5-step process

  1. We meet with you to understand your objectives
  2. We frame your objectives in the form of 2-3 compelling questions that you pose to your participants
  3. As pre-work, the participants watch the following short video about Dr. Goulston’s interactive approach (refer below) plus anonymously provide us with their #1 nagging conflicts, conversations, challenges or opportunities
  4. We review participant input, identify themes and select the most important, critical and urgent situations that participants would want to address within 24 hours of the event
  5. The day of the event, we:
    • Tee up the most important, critical and urgent situations that the majority of people will want to solve
    • Engage the participants in peer-to-peer collaborative discussions
    • Offer practical and immediately implementable “doable by you” tactics along with Dr. Goulston’s usable insights that are so compelling that participants can’t wait to act!


 Talking to CrazyTalkingtocrazycover

“Talking to Crazy” is the Swiss Army Knife of self-improvement books! Whether your “crazy” people live with you, work with you, or just go to the same supermarket, here is a detailed way to work with them, neutralize them, and even, possibly, get along with them and enjoy the process. A must for anyone who deals with other people – in other words, this should be on everyone’s nightstand, well read, dog-eared, underlined, and marked – not collecting dust on a bookshelf.

                                                                                               — “Talking to Crazy” NetGalley Reviewer, Psychology Today

The below menu captures the most frequently requested “Talking to Crazy” services. The venues may be customized to meet unique company and industry needs. Customized programs have already been created for law enforcement agencies, information technology organizations and high school/university/graduate-level students.


Talking to Crazy


Just ListenJustListenPBsmall

Stressed-out coworkers, unreasonable bosses, difficult clients, and insecure family members can make getting through the day a constant battle. Without the skills to knock down emotional barricades, these relationships can grow worse with time. Success is hindered and everyone involved is less productive—and miserable. This seminar gives you proven techniques to approach unreachable people and turn frustrating situations into productive outcomes and rewarding relationships.

Based on the AMACOM bestseller Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston, this hands-on course will help you get your emotions under control when necessary, discover ways to become more interested in other people so conversations aren’t competitions, and get passed preconceived notions that block true progress in relationships. You’ll also learn how to lead an unreasonable person away from negative, knee-jerk reactions and toward more rational behavior. These crucial skills can help you have a more positive and productive professional life.

Click here for a detailed description


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