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Speaking Engagements


M atthew E. May has a deep passion for ideas--the lifeblood of innovative thinking and the main event of the imagination. But not just any ideas. Only ideas that solve a difficult problem in an elegant way. Matt defines an elegant solution as one that is both uncommonly simple and surprisingly powerful, and that achieves the maximum effect with minimum means.

Matt-actionMatt shares his passion for elegant solutions when addressing audiences who want to create meaningful change, which makes him a popular keynote speaker, seminar leader, and workshop facilitator. He regularly speaks to conferences, companies, governments, associations and universities all over the world on achieving elegance and simplicity at the crossroads of business, innovation, and design.

Matt aims to achieve four things in every address:

  1. inspire new thinking
  2. share a unique perspective
  3. tell compelling stories
  4. deliver practical takeaways

He blends his frontline experience as a creative catalyst and innovation strategist with case studies and stories in his books in order to deliver useful concepts with immediate application.

Matt does not fancy himself a "motivational speaker" or "business guru," but rather a practitioner of business strategy and innovation with powerful lessons learned and war stories to tell from years in the trenches with companies ranging from small startups to companies as large and multinational as Toyota.

Consider Matt if you'd like to engage the imagination of the audience at your next event!



A s a rule, Matt tailors keynote messages and interactive sessions to resonate with your audience, underscore event themes, and reinforce the objectives of your event. The following topics represent Matt's most popular talks, drawing on his books, articles, and research in his three specialty areas: innovation, culture, and strategy.



5 Questions for Designing an Effective Strategy

S trategy means different things to different people. Some define strategy as a vision, some as a plan. Others define it as optimizing the status quo, or perhaps following best practices. Still others deny that strategy is even possible, especially in times of great and rapid change.

Matt defines strategy as it was taught to him by colleague and mentor Roger Martin: as an integrated set of choices that enable a player in a given space to create the competitive advantage needed to win. It's the act of making and acting on choices produces winners. Clear, tough choices force your hand, confine you to a path, but free you to focus on what matters most. Great firms don't choose to simply play.

They choose to win.

At the heart of strategy lie two key decisions: whereto play, and how to win. In this highly engaging talk, Matthew reviews the essence of how great companies have used the where-to-play/how-to-win framework to deliver superior value to their customers and dominate their market.

Based on Matt's work with Roger Martin, Matt delivers three key takeaways, including an understanding of how strategy really works, a clear framework for making strategic choices, and a process for developing strategy that is simple, fun, and effective.



6 Simple Rules for Winning in the Age of Excess Everything

Laws-3D-240 2 A daunting challenge for everyone, no matter their walk in life: how do you stand out and stay relevant in a world that is massively distracting and mostly disruptive.

We live in the age of excess everything. Success in this new age looks different, and demands a new skill: Subtraction.

Subtraction is defined simply as the art of removing anything excessive, confusing, wasteful, unnatural, hazardous, hard to use, or ugly . . . or the discipline to refrain from adding it in the first place. And if subtraction is the new skill to be acquired, we need a guide to developing it.

Enter The Laws of Subtraction.

In this keynote which draws upon his book, Matthew outlines six simple rules for winning in the age of excess everything, and delivers a single yet powerful idea: When you remove just the right things in just the right way, something very good happens.


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A full arsenal of videos may be found on Matt's YouTube and Vimeo channels. Here, though, are a few favorites.






Email Matt's Speaker's Bureau

A sampling of noteworthy keynote addresses: 



TEDx Bay Area

California College of the Arts

Intuit Innovation Network

Commission Junction/ValueClick

Intuit Strategic Partner Summit

McGraw-Hill Nat'l Sales Meeting

Hy-Tech Drilling Canada

American Assn. of Medical Society Executives

Computer Associates (CA World)

Forrester Research (IT Forum)


TED Salon London

World at Work

Red 7 Media (Event Marketer Summit)

Catholic Healthcare Parters

BringDialog Norway

Stena Group Sweden

Harman International

Fletcher Allen Healthcare






Sears Holdings

Fidelity Investment

Reed Elsevier

3M Corporation


Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

Razorfish/Avenue A

Kaiser Permanente

Manheim Auctions


Lockheed Martin

The Conference Board

Hospitality Design Magazine

Pacific Coast Builders Conference

Orion Health

Massachusetts Hospital Assn.

National Reconnaissance Office

Department of Defense

National Restaurant Association

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Book Matthew E. May For Your Next Event!

Matt is exclusively represented by Keynote Speakers Inc. To inquire about Matt's schedule and availability, please contact Katrina Smith, president, at (650) 325-8711 or simply send her an inquiry email by clicking the button below.

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