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or over a quarter century, in fact for over 34 years Michael Scott Karpovich has been traveling the world speaking to audiences about how to be resilient in an unfair world.  He has thus far presented in nearly every Canadian providence, in every state within the United States, in Australia, in the Marshall Islands and in New Zeeland!  His audiences have surpassed 6 million folks and that number grows every month!

     In Michael's mind he is on a mission from God to positively change the world.

     Perhaps more interesting would be the entire biographical story of how heYoung Michael got to this point. 

     His parents were successful scientists, his father a successful physicist who already had 38 patents by the time he was 40 years old, and his mother who was a successful bacteriologist.  Michael jokes that he doesn't know whether he was born or mixed! 

     Sadly when he was born Michael's skull was crushed and the doctors over the next few years diagnosed him as "brain damaged" and recommended lifelong institutionalization!  Nevertheless his brilliant parents did not institutionalize him, and they retired from Dow Chemical Company where they both worked and moved to the farm to become full time parents. They never told Michael about his disabilities they simply told young Michael that he could do anything he set his mind to!

     In school Michael was quite introverted and shy.  As a November baby Michael was always the youngest in his class.  Bullies always teased him and called him names.  Because Michael was unusually short in school (only four feet tall in ninth grade), he was called midget, Shorty, kindergartner, and shrimp.   Perhaps because of his perspective as a child or maybe because he was a social misfit he was called NERD since nursery school!  An insult that weighed heavily on Michael's self esteem.  However, perhaps the most frightful experience that Michael faced was violence!  He was often targeted as a victim of those same bullies who would think nothing of beating Michael.  In gym class they stole his clothing and literally ran his underwear up the school flagpole! They would often push him to the floor and hit or kick him.

     Of course when you live in a small farming town and your parents are scientists, you are immediately singled out as weird.  Then with a last name like KARPOVICH you are also victimized.  Some of the nicer bullies would call Michael fish face but the majority thought it hilarious to change a letter in the last part of his name and call him KarpoB#*@... or Karpo-swearword!

Michael as a young Nerdy boy with horrid bangs!     The most heinous crime that these bullies regularly visited on Nerd Michael where the times they gave Michael swirlys.  That is where these six foot bullies would force four foot Michael's head into toilets in the school bathrooms.   From sixth grade to ninth grade they did this to him eleven different times nine times in ninth grade alone.

     Michael was so scared by these bullies that he foolishly never told any adult about these crimes.  Surely he should have informed the teachers, or the administration or even his parents but the bullies had convinced him that should he tell they would kill him.  Michael believed that kill was a literal reality and expected that if he told the adults that these jerks would find him and stab him or strangle him.  As silly as it seems his young mind imagined his dead body being found in the field that bordered the school.  This perspective haunted Michael from third grade through tenth grade and beyond!

     Part of Michael's brain damage included a lack of depth perception which made sports an awkward experience! So Michael was always the last to be chosen for a team this only added to Michael's stress as a misfit.

     In ninth grade Michael accidently found one joy in school.  He got involved in competitive speaking!  He did dramatic readings and discovered the joy of evoking emotion in the other students.  Finally Michael found his strength he couldn't toss a ball or swing a bat or kick a goal or dunk a basket but he could make them laugh and he could make them cry!

     In tenth grade Michael left the public school in Caro, Michigan and went to a private Christian school.  His parents sent him there not for the faith as much as for the caliber of the education.  In this new high school the violence dropped off, and although he was still a bit of a loner and a shy misfit and a nerd they now didn�t call him Karpo-swearword but instead called him KARP.   Although that nickname was certainly not intended to be kind, Michael was thrilled by the �promotion.�  Most would never enjoy being referred to as a bottom feeding fish, but Michael loved it and is fond of that nick name to this day! KARP

     In the summer after eleventh grade Karp won the 4-H state competition for speaking.  He was invited in 1978 to speak to a local Rotary club and was very well received.  They kindly gave me twenty dollars for his presentation.  Michael refers to this as the beginning of his speaking career.  Even though he had no idea what a speaking career meant, and what professional speaking represented for another eight years!  Those at this Rotary Club meeting told others about Michael's talk and soon he was receiving invitations from all over mid-Michigan!

     In the meantime at the private school Michael was able to take massive credits and was able to start taking college classes when he was only 15 years old!  In his senior year he did return to the public school where he had been previously tortured.  However the violence did not return and the bullies (for the most part) ignored him now.  And the speaking opportunities kept on coming

     As college approached, knowing by now that he wanted to do something with this speaking gift Michael debated between becoming a pastor, an actor, or a lawyer.  Michael finally decided to study law at college with a minor in theater.  Quickly he realized that law was not for him Michael's perspective was that law was excruciatingly boring Michael Speaks to young kidsIn the meantime he had a work-study job at college working at a child care center.  Michael had so much success with children that he realized that this was his calling.  He really didn't want to be a classroom teacher but when he saw the major in the college catalogue called Child Psychology, he signed up! And the speaking opportunities kept coming

     One of these speaking opportunities was to speak to the six grade students in Michael's home school.  He did a program with the purpose of addressing substance abuse prevention and he did that in the form of a leadership program for these children.  It was quite dramatic for the students, for the school and for Michael also. Several of Michael's past teachers were teaching sixth grade that year and they were all surprised and impressed that that shy kid from their elementary school class was able to speak to an entire class!  And more speaking opportunities kept coming!

     Michael eventually received a degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan with a focus on Child & Educational Psychology.  Around this time aMichael speaking to very young kids language teacher recommended Michael should be tested for learning disabilities.  A very experienced therapist tested Michael and was initially surprised.  She then tested Michael two more times, with the exact same test, before she finally told Michael that he was the most severely dyslexic person she had ever tested!

     Michael ran home to his folks to inform them of his learning disability and to his great surprise they were not at all impressed.  He thought they would be shocked but, instead they finally confessed a secret they had been keeping for seventeen years.  Michael's mother said no honey you are brain damaged! In his entire life he really never suspected.  His folks handed Michael a ream of paper that were the reports of three different psychologists recommending that Michael be institutionalized for their lives!  He was shocked he never suspected.  Michael's mother pointed out that had she told him of his brain damage he may have used it as an excuse to not do his homework.  Michael sheepishly admitted that would have been all too true!Michael's Proofessional Headshot

     After college Michael was offered his fist professional job as the Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator for the state of Michigan (overseeing prevention programming in four Michigan counties).  Although the job was actually an administrative position overseeing the state funding of prevention programming Michael was offered several opportunities to speak at schools to children.  After several years in this position Michael already had quite a reputation as a speaker in schools throughout the state of Michigan and in several surrounding states thanks to a couple of national conventions.  He took several other similar positions and eventually found himself teaching at the University level.  Still more speaking opportunities kept coming

     When Michael started speaking (at the Rotary club) he got $20 at that time many of his speaking engagements included a free meal as payment.  Soon folks started to ask Michael what he charged to speak? and this surprised Michael.  He really never considered his love of speaking as a potential income.  Soon folks were offering him a hundred dollars just for a talk.  Then someone offered five hundred dollars then seven hundred dollars.  Eventually Michael got bold and started to say he charged $700 for a talk.  Then in 1986 Michael realized that if he did a few more talks he could actually make more as a speaker than his current job teaching at the University.  So he retired and became a full time speaker.

     In 1988 he met another person doing (basically) the same thing he was doing and she directed him to the National Speakers Association.  Michael arrogantly said to himself: I have been doing Michael Speaks to Teensthis for ten years, what would an association a club have to offer me!  However at his first meeting Michael quickly realized how much he had to learn.  He met many famous speakers and sat at their feet to learn.  He became friends of folks who were previously considered Heroes to Michael.  He moved from treating his speaking as a passion to a speaking business!  He realized that treating it like a business allowed him to do a better job at his speaking mission!  This allowed him to speak at more and more schools.

     As you know he started speaking at middle schools (6th grade) but soon the same schools were asking him to speak to the younger elementary kids� then some asked him to share the exact same substance abuse prevention message with the high school.  Michael never felt qualified for each new group and was surprised by the success at ever expansion.   The most difficult expansion may have been when the schools started to ask if Michael would also speak to the staff of the school!  Soon they even asked him to do programs for the parents.  The biggest shock happened when he realized that adults were in reality just older kids!  These parents and teachers and administrators and support staff found the same joy and fascination in Michael's message!

     When he started doing staff programs it quickly became evident that the ideal message was on facing stress and preventing burnout.  Although Michael loves the kids this program became Michael's crown jewel and perhaps Michael's most dramatically impactful program. 

     Then as Michael became known as a source for teacher in-services and parent trainings these same teachers and parents would often tell their spouses about Michael's talks.  Soon Michael was getting called to speak to corporate audiences and eventually associations.  Michael never lost his passion for speaking to children but he often found a great marriage when a corporation would invite him to do a program on dealing with stress, facing burnout or becoming resilient and Michael would suggest that this corporation (on the same day) sponsor Michael to speak at a neighborhood school.  The corporation or association got a great program and they also got great press for helping a school get amazing programming.

Michael Speaks in a gym!     Initially Michael's programs addressed substance abuse prevention.  Many schools were concerned by the students using drugs and alcohol.  However schools are famous for jumping from buzz word to buzz word one year every school in the world just wanted kids to not do drugs then suddenly they just wanted to address at risk kids.  These high risk children were acting out in many ways including substance abuse.  So Michael tailored his program to address this concern. 

     Then suddenly all the schools were talking about school violence.  This specific activity of many at risk kids became a bigger and bigger issue in schools.  Then some schools wanted to stop truancy, other schools were worried by teen pregnancy and pre-marital sex, and still others were dealing with children taking their own lives in suicide!  

     For years Michael found himself creating one new program after another for each new issue; then in the early 1990's Michael finally stopped and looked at all his programs and discovered there was one common theme in every program he offered.  Many experts always pointed out that each of these issues were a result of low self esteem.  Michael agreed that was a significant issue for each of these children.  Other experts said the reason these children made these destructive decisions was because of peer pressure.  Again Michael agreed Michael speaks to a large adult audiencethat that played into these kid's decisions and reactions.  However Michael finally asked Why are these kids susceptible to low self esteem and vulnerable to destructive peer pressure?  Michael came up with the unique conclusion that the common thread with all of these issues these children all had a lack of resiliency when a friend betrayed them, when their parents got divorced, when they were abused or called a mean name, when something bad happened, when they experienced something unfair or painful they were not resilient and didn't know how to deal with that pain and therefore reacted inappropriately.  That could have been drugs, or alcohol, or violence, promiscuity, or skipping school, or other risky behavior all because they were not resilient.

     Now regardless to whom Michael presents to youth or adults, students or staff, corporate or education Michael is known as THE RESILIANCY SPEAKER as he teaches folks how to become resilient in the face of pain, discomfort, unfairness, abuse, betrayal, or any bad experience!

     To express the reality of RESILIANCY Michael takes his story to his audiences Michael Speaks at ConventionsMichael points out that Nerds Rule as he has taken his ultimate insult and reframed it to a positive.  Indeed Michael, wearing his famous two different colored tennis shoes, tells his audience that he highly recommends brain damage to everyone because who would want to see the world like everyone else?  Finally and perhaps most impactful, Michael is famous for pointing out that we all have been flushed down toilets!  Ok maybe most of them were not porcelain, maybe your toilet was betrayal or perhaps divorce, or perhaps violence, or maybe the time you lost a job.  Some toilets are big abuse, death, violence and some toilets are small your socks don't match or you slipped on the ice or you said something dumb and some are actually porcelain but all of our toilets stink.  Michael's premise is our greatest strength comes from our greatest adversity our toilets!

     Your organization, your association, your community, your school with find amazing results when you hear Michael's stories and this powerful message on Resiliency.  He can't wait to meet with you.

INTRODUCTION FOR MICHAEL SCOTT KARPOVICH

(CAR-PO-VICH)

Please read slowly word-for-word

[YOUR OPENING WORDS...]

Michael Scott Karpovich Michael Scott Karpovich was raised on a farm in mid-Michigan. His father is a physicist and his mother is a bacteriologist....Michael says that he doesn't know whether he was born or mixed!

Michael has no depth perception and is dyslexic. At age four, doctors diagnosed him with brain damage but his parents refused to accept this evaluation. Finally, a psychologist said that "he is either retarded or a genius." Michael says that he opted to be a genius! By the age of thirty, he had accomplished more than many have in a lifetime! Michael has worked as a farmer, high school drama coach, radio disc jockey, counselor and a college instructor.

Professionally, Michael is often asked to keynote state, regional and national conventions across the United States and Canada. He is best known for his work as an inspirational keynoter for educational professionals, health care associations and mental health professionals.

Michael is the youngest person ever to be president of The National Speakers Association Of Michigan and is one of only four honorary lifetime members of the National Speakers Association of New England. In 1994, the International Federation of Professional Speakers granted him the Certified Speaking Professional credential, making him one of less than 600 people worldwide and the second youngest to receive this prized credential.

Now, Michael combines performance, professionalism, education, and entertainment to help us think about and understand . . . ____(insert title or theme here)____ was raised on a farm in mid-Michigan. His father is a physicist and his mother is a bacteriologist....Michael says that he doesn't know whether he was born or mixed!

[PLEASE HELP ME WELCOME MICHAEL SCOTT KARPOVICH, CSP...]

 - or you may choose to use this alternative introduction:

INTRODUCTION FOR MICHAEL SCOTT KARPOVICH

(CAR�-PO-VICH)

Please read slowly word-for-word

[YOUR OPENING WORDS...]

At age four, doctors diagnosed our next speaker with brain damage. Michael Scott Karpovich has no depth perception and is dyslexic. Nevertheless, by the age of thirty, he had accomplished more than many have in a lifetime! Michael has worked as a farmer, high school drama coach, radio disc jockey, counselor and a college instructor. Michael was also the youngest person ever to be president of The National Speakers Association Of Michigan! In 1994, the International Federation of Professional Speakers granted him the Certified Speaking Professional credential, making him one of less than 600 people worldwide and the second youngest to receive this prized designation.

Professionally, Michael is often asked to keynote state, regional and national conventions across the United States and Canada. He is best known for his work as an inspirational keynoter for educational professionals, health care associations and mental health professionals.

Now, Michael combines performance, education, and entertainment to help us think about and understand how we can find our greatest strength from our greatest adversities. . .

[PLEASE HELP ME WELCOME MICHAEL SCOTT KARPOVICH, CSP...]

If you are looking for photos to include in promotional material, just check out the photo journal.

 


Michael Scott Karpovich, CSP, was raised on a farm in mid-Michigan. His father is a physicist and his mother is a bacteriologist....Michael says that he doesn't know whether he was born or mixed!

         Diagnosed with brain damage at age four, beaten up and called a nerd by bullies... this unlikely hero has discovered that our greatest adversities are really what make us strong!  In spite of or perhaps because of his awkward start, Michael has worked successfully as a farmer, a popular radio disc jockey, a high school drama coach, a counselor and a college instructor!  Now he speaks to over 300,000 people annually as a popular keynote presenter, was the youngest president in the history of the Professional Speakers Association of Michigan and is one of less than 600 Certified Speaking Professionals on the planet! (Not bad for a brain-damaged nerd!)

         Professionally, Michael is often asked to keynote state, regional and national conventions and associations across the United States and Canada. He is best known for his work as an inspirational keynoter for educational professionals, health care associations and mental health professionals.

MICHAEL SCOTT KARPOVICH, CSP

            Described as half Robin Williams and half Mr. Rogers, Michael is more than a simple motivational speaker! Diagnosed with brain damage at age four, called a nerd by his peers, beaten up by bullies, and severely dyslexic, Michael has discovered strength comes from challenges.  As he puts it... Yuk makes you stronger! 

            A successful Certified Speaking Professional, Michael has presented in 43 states and 3 Canadian provinces, and last year alone, spoke to over 300,000 individuals in corporations, associations, schools and human service organizations. Incorporating personal stories with humor and priceless information, he is asked back again and again to speak on wellness, avoiding burnout, leadership, mental health, and violence prevention!

            Michael is co-author of three books, the youngest president in the history of the National Speakers Association of Michigan, a charter member of NSA Western Pennsylvania, one of only four Honorary Lifetime Members of National Speakers Association New England, and one of less than 400 Certified Speaking Professionals on the planet! (Not bad for a brain-damaged nerd!)  

1.      As seen on CBS's 60 Minutes, NBC's The Today Show & Fox New's Heartland!

2.      Co-author of Teen Empower, Lead Now, Teen Power & Beyond, Go Make a Difference & A Better Bottom Line!

3.      Increase YOUR success through Contagious Leadership!

4.      Save people by preventing Burnout!

5.      Your Convention's Insurance Policy!

6.      Humor & Inspiration with a practical message!

7.      The speaker they can't stop talking about!

 QUOTE:  Never in my years of experience have I met an adult that could reach so many young people in such an effective way... Michael is by far the best!   - Marlene Gonet, Substance Abuse Counselor, Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor, MI

QUOTE: He spoke to our hearts, to our minds and to our souls.  His message was loud and clear, quiet and subtle.  He was very deserving of the standing ovation given him.          - Nancy A. De Korp, Ed.D., SASH Coordinator, Lakeside Institute Director

TITLES of my most popular programs:

        The Art of Taking Care Of Yourself  (Prevent Burnout, Coping with Stress)

        Contagious Leadership  

        Becoming the Best Generation  (Finding Strength From Adversity)


1.      We work with people who want to find strength from adversity, and with associations that want to increase their members wellness.

2.      During Michael's programs the audience will enjoy themselves and receive practical information combined with humor and personal stories.

3.      This is the keynote speaker that makes Heroes out of meeting planners!

4.      During your event, Michael is your insurance policy.

5.      Whether you are looking for a keynote, a breakout, a training, an after-dinner speaker, a student assembly, a staff inservice, or a basic speaker Michael is your best choice!