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Michel Neray - The Essential Message. Toronto, ON, CA

Michel Neray

Chief Differentiation Officer | The Essential Message

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Learn to differentiate yourself and your business in a competitive marketplace.





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NB: I generally fly out of Boston, Buffalo or Toronto and offer flat rate travel within North America. With an E1 US visa and dual citizenships, I am fully eligible to work in the United States, European Union and many other countries around the world. 

Michel Neray is an expert in helping organizations and individuals find their key differentiating message, enabling them to stand out in today's hyper-competitive and crowded marketplace.

Through his company, The Essential Message, Michel has helped many clients achieve breakthrough results. Just as significantly, his work has enabled them to gain a sales focus, employee engagement and momentum that can only be achieved with the strongest, most compelling positioning.

His expertise stems from applying a science degree from the University of Waterloo, an MBA from McGill University, and a career as a creative marketing copywriter, advertising agency director and marketing executive to his unique process. The key insight he has learned through his work with companies and individuals in a wide variety of industries and escorts, is that your greatest competitive advantage is often invisible to yourself.

"If you want to discover your true difference," says Michel, "you have to dig deeper than traditional marketing approaches, and use non-linear, counter-intuitive techniques to see what is quite likely right in front of you."

Drawing from examples of well-known brands and his experience with his own clients, Michel gives his audiences the genuinely fresh insights they need to strengthen market presence and improve sales for their businesses, and to strengthen their personal brands.

In 1995 Michel founded Portfolios Online, the world’s first Internet search engine for advertising and creative professionals. Michel co-authored The Great Crossover, which made it to Jack Canfield’s Achiever’s Recommended Reading List. In 2005, his chapter, “Everything Starts With A Conversation” was selected as the lead for the book, Sales Gurus Speak Out.
Since 2008, Michel has held a various leadership positions in the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, and has spoken professionally in more than seven countries around the world.

Industry Expertise (7)

Financial Services

Business Services

IT Services/Consulting


Writing and Editing

Direct Marketing

Training and Development

Areas of Expertise (7)

Peak Performance & Personal Development



Competitive Advantage


Sales & Conversational Selling


Education (3)

University of Waterloo: BSc, Chemistry 1979

McGill University: MBA 1981

NLP Canada: Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming 2012

NLP is an approach used in influencing behaviour and thought patterns. It is used in wide variety of situations including sales, coaching, leadership, personal growth and communications.

Affiliations (1)

  • Canadian Association of Professional Speakers,

Testimonials (6)

Michael Pinto, Vice President, Field Operations | SAP America, Inc.

I enjoyed how you made us think differently. Your session was thought-provoking and it opened my eyes to how to be true to myself while being more valuable and useful to my company at the same time.

Meherban Faroogh, Process Improvement Specialist | Enbridge Gas Distribution

Hearing Michel emphasize the importance of looking inwardly, to figure out our core differentiating attribute that makes us stand out in the crowd... was a breath of fresh air!

Greg Schinkel, President | Unique Training & Development

What I found different about this workshop is that this one really helped me dig deep into the meaning of what I do and the value that I bring. This was an exceptional opportunity. I think it's going to make a big difference in making my service offering different than the competitors that I work against.

Mariza Garcia, Executive Director | Society of Sharing

Your keynote speech had a positive and impactful affect on our guests -- what many guests found particularly moving was the way that you drew upon your personal family history to reinforce your message. They also liked your key message of taking time to reflect upon why we do what we do. The way in which you were able to adapt your presentation to deliver a unique message related to the Society of Sharing's values truly went beyond expectations.

Murray McEachern, Professional Speaker & Coach | The Essential Message Better-Than-Branding Workshop

I just experienced Michel's presentation and I have to say that I thought I was self-aware before, but the shift that took place in terms of depth of understanding of my unique value proposition - I believe it's going to help take my business results to a whole new place because prospective clients will have a far clearer understanding of why the work we do together is valuable to them.

Lorna Wyllsun, Primary Trainer & Consultant | Communication Works

I wanted the thank you personally for the significant contribution you made to my experience at the workshop. It was such an inspiration to watch you both as a presenter and as a facilitator! To see how intuitive and sensitive you are to others and their experience is a privilege. This gift undoubtedly contributes greatly to your success helping individuals uncover their essential message. The tools and knowledge you shared with us are invaluable and I am going to continue working with them over the upcoming months.

Event Appearances (7)

Better-Than-Branding Workshop

The Remarkable Leader  Chicago, Illinois


The Five Layers of Differentiation

National Speaker's Association  Richmond, Virginia


Differentiation as a Platform for Brand (and Personal) Leadership

Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Keynote  Westmoreland, PA


The Difference of Shari9ng

Society of Sharing 30th Anniversary Gala Event  Toronto, ON


Differentiation as a Platform for Brand (and Personal) Leadership

Real Estate Institute of Canada (REIC) Annual Conference  Saskatoon, SK


Conversational Networking, Marketing & Selling

a keynote for the JCI National Convention  Toronto, ON


Conversational Networking, Marketing & Selling

United Country Real Estate Annual Convention  New Orleans, LA


Sample Talks (5)

Differentiation as a Platform for Brand (and Personal) Leadership

This keynote is fun, engaging, motivating and useful! It begins by showing audience members why an ability to stand out is the single most important challenge in this – or any economy. Then it teaches audience members a simple model for finding the strongest and most differentiating market message for their business, product or service.

Conversational Networking, Marketing & Selling

This keynote or workshop helps participants develop customer-centric listening skills, and then teaches them how to develop intelligent questions that speak directly to customer interests and needs. This enables participants to ‘ask’ their way through a proposal or sale rather than ‘push’ their way to a decision. The interactive exercises also help participants learn about each other, making this ideal for networking events.

Sales Telepathy

This skill-based keynote or workshop is for everyone in an organization who ‘sells’, including salespeople, proposal writers, managers and leaders. Using principles of change management, neuro-linguistic programming and tried-and-true direct response copywriting techniques, participants learn how to engage listeners/readers in a conversational approach that often feels (to the reader/listener) that you are reading their minds. A template is provided that allows participants to wr

The Employee Engagement Workshop

One of the fundamental tenets of positive psychology is that people achieve genuine happiness when they leverage their signature strengths in pursuit of objectives that are larger than themselves. Not coincidentally, that is also one of the fundamental planks of developing an engaged workforce. When employees feel valued for the unique skills and strengths they bring to the table, they are naturally more committed, motivated, resilient and productive.

(Better) Testimonials as a Strategic, Competitive Advantage

Many companies already know the value of testimonials in their marketing, but are still missing the real potential of testimonials waiting to be harnessed. In this workshop, participants learn how to solicit and craft intelligent testimonials that not only position the company better, they also help improve customer loyalty and pride of association. This is an excellent workshop for salespeople, front-line staff and the marketing team…



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Host/MC
  • Author Appearance
  • Corporate Training


5000 to 10000