FAQ's

+ How can we utilize Paul at our next event?

  • Keynote - This really sets the tone at the opening or sums things up at the end. Both sessions end on a very euphoric note.

  • As a unique collaborative presentation - if you also have more traditional speakers, Paul can really shake things up at your conference.

  • Break-out sessions (Often mixed in with the whole group being together at the beginning and the end)

  • Ice-breaker - Short on time but need a quick group unifier? Have Paul write and conduct a custom piece for your group.

+ What makes him different from other speakers?

Paul’s presentation is a culmination of the differing careers he’s enjoyed. He became a professional musician when he was just 16, playing 8 shows a week in a theatre orchestra and occasionally sleeping in the back of his car. Enamoured by the energy and the cool lifestyle (ah… youth), Paul decided to go to music school. After his university training as an orchestral percussionist, he freelanced playing with some big name symphony orchestras, opera companies, ballet orchestras, chamber music groups and other really artsy groups, the kind you might find either really challenging or interesting to listen to. He has made many recordings for radio and tv and has travelled the world living the musical highlife.

Paul also taught for 20 years at Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music. Along the way, he fell in love with World Music (music from a variety cultures) and began to study and play in a number of wonderful groups whose music was from Africa, Indonesia, Japan, The Middle East, Cuba, and Brazil, to name a few. Playing music from different cultures has had profound effect on Paul and inspires the work he does today as a speaker. In many non-western European cultures, music is the glue that holds communities together. It is part of daily life and woven into the socio-economic fabric of a community. This is the premise on which his collaboration and leadership work is built.

Paul's has found a wonderful way to use what he has learned from all these wonderful experiences to help non-musicians think differently about how to work together. He has been speaking to corporate audiences for almost 20 years.

+ How will Paul get his message across to our audience?

When you meet Paul in person off stage or talk on the phone, you’ll see Paul is a pretty gentle and soft spoken guy. But when he hits the stage, it’s showtime. He takes charge of the delightful chaos that always accompanies his presentations and commands the room using humour, patience, insights and stories along with plenty of group interaction to get the most out of your people. His presentation is unforgettable and the experience will definitely take participants outside their comfort zones. They won’t mind, though, because they’ll be surprising themselves with their own accomplishments and abilities and they’ll be different people back at work the next day.

+ Does Paul customize his presentation?

Of course. He is always happy to learn as much about your people as possible before presenting.

+ Is Paul’s presentation noisy?

A lot depends on the room you're in but it’s not hard on the ears at all (remember Paul is a sensitive classical musician and has never played in a Def Leopard cover band). There can be sound bleed into other rooms or hallways so you’ll need to clear it with the venue first. Most places are fine with it and can manage some type of workaround with timing or location. Nothing is amplified except for Paul’s voice.

+ Why does Paul use drums and percussion instruments in his presentation?

Playing music, particularly drums and percussion istruments, has been Paul's doorway to learning for decades. Not just the music part but everything that is required to make great music happen with other people. It only makes sense that he would continue to use music to share his knowledge with others.

Aside from that, drumming in groups has been around for a long time and has been an important part of the socio-economic fabric of many cultures. In the not so distant past, African tribes used drumming to prepare to go to battle. (Interestingly, Paul did a “Preparing for Battle” program for a sales team recently).

These days, there are many kinds of drumming groups. There are wonderful drumming groups, some that have been proven to help cancer patients boost their immune systems, others to help create community for down and out youth, others to assist in helping alzheimer patients have moments of clarity, some that help kids do better in school, and, of course, Paul's that is geared towards corporate outcomes. It is an incredibly versatile art form, and until you've tried it, you probably won't realize what you can gain from it.

+ So what’s Paul’s approach?

Paul’s specific approach is based on his experience as an orchestral musician, ensemble conductor, educator and as an expert in music from various cultures. His presentation draws from all of that in a fun, approachable way to give people the messages they need to hear to be more collaborative with the people in their organization.

+ What are the instruments that Paul uses?

Paul has spent three decades collecting drums and other percussion instruments from around the world. (His wife sees this habit as a bit of an addiction). While many differing instrumentations are possible depending on the desired outcome from clients, his typical set up uses hand drums of varying sizes (to allow for differing pitches), some drums played with a stick, a mix of hand-held percussion instruments such as African Bells, wooden blocks and shakers and some very special exotic instruments as well. There really is something for everyone to play. It is this combination of instruments that allows for an incredible diversity of sound and an infinite possiblity of pieces that can be performed.

+ Is it fun?

You bet, it's really fun! Even for those people who think they are “rhythmically challenged” and that’s pretty much everyone. Paul’s been working with all types of corporate groups for almost 20 years so don’t worry. He’s seen it all and you're way better than you think you are!

+ How do attendees feel by the end of Paul's presentation?

+ What are the venue requirements?

Paul has presented in typical hotel conference rooms, corporate training rooms, beautiful concert halls, lakeside, in tents, and even in the woods - really! For indoor presentations, it is advisable to get a room with a good high ceiling, no pillars or obstructions, chairs without arms and enough space for elbow room between people.

Paul has presented in a large number of venues and can always recommend some for you. Please take advantage of his knowledge and experience and give him a call before you book your venue.

+ Could Paul's programs be for a party?

The beauty of Paul's programs are that they always provide an aire of celebration and the room is always filled with big smiles and lots of laughter. Paul has delivered programs that have been incorporated into company parties (including spouses amd children and even Christmas Carols!). It is important to realize, however, that the outcomes will be much different than a daytime business session sans alcohol.

+ What is the best way to set up a room?

Paul prefers that people sit in a circular set up or circles within circles. It creates better connections because of the great eye contact. Paul presents from the centre of the circle, often on a small stage.

It is ok if, in some conference rooms, circles have to become ovals because the room is rectangular.

The typical front-of-the-room set up is ok for ice-breakers.

+ What are Paul’s technical requirements?

  • full house lights (so everyone can see everyone)
  • a PA system
  • a wireless headset mike (hyper-cardiod please)
  • a couple of bottles of water
  • plenty of time to pre-set a whole pile of instruments **

**Sometimes the perfect pre-set is not possible due to time constraints but Paul has a plan for that.

+ Does Paul travel with all his equipment?

Yes, the life of a touring musician has served him well and he is well equipped for local and international travel. His equipment lives in road cases on wheels also known as “flight trunks”. Locally, he moves equipment around by truck or van but for travel farther afield, he has people in place to arrange whatever shipping is necessary. His equipment has travelled by train, plane and even a barge. He has presented all across Canada and the US, the Caribbean and Europe.

FYI - Paul has a whole set of instruments living in Europe to help companies save on shipping costs.

+ Does Paul’s fee include shipping of instruments?

Paul’s tries to include shipping costs on all events within a few hours drive of his location (Toronto, Canada) but a lot depends on the situtuation. Most times it's possible, however going across borders or oceans can be more complicated and may involve extra freight charges.

+ What audio/visual needs does he have?

No Power Point for Paul. His program is live and interactive for the whole time. Paul does need a wireless headset mike (hyper-cardiod) for speaking. You know - just like Madonna.