Wake up!

Keynotes | Breakouts | Panels


Karen Schmidt shows people how to wake up and turn their dream career into reality


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Research by the Gallup Organisation over the last few decades has found that across all countries only 13% of people are awake at work (Gallup call it being engaged), 17% are actively disengaged or in a coma, contributing nothing, being kept alive by the system and the remaining 70% are not engaged. They’re like zombies, mindlessly sleep walking through their careers.

My keynote is designed to be a wake up call. It’s suitable for entrepreneurs, small business owners and professionals. It fits with a range of themes including:


Success | Sustainability | Authenticity | Mindset | Mental Health |  Wellness | Engagement


It’s an honest and revealing presentation that shares my story of going from success to failure and back again. Along the way I introduce the audience to a process they can use to wake up and turn their dream career into reality.

I show them how to reduce their stress and increase their enjoyment by developing a career that gives them meaningful success. They will discover:

  • Why most of us are successfully miserable
  • How to challenge your definition of career success
  • The real reason career change usually fails
  • 5 step process to make your dream career a reality


I also host panel discussions on creating your dream career. Using my experience as a facilitator and interviewer I have the skills to ensure your delegates and the panel all gain maximum value from the session. This format also gives participants an opportunity to tell their story and share their experiences.

I work with you to plan, prepare and deliver an effective panel discussion, including:

  • Making recommendations on the panel
  • Briefing the panel
  • Suggesting different panel formats
  • Designing panel questions
  • Keeping the session on time
  • Creating audience engagement


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My experience

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I have over 15 years experience as a speaker at events in 8 countries throughout the Asia Pacific region.  I am a Certified Speaking Professional, a title held by less than 10% of speakers internationally. My qualifications include a Bachelor of Adult Education degree and I am the author of 5 books on leadership and personal development.

My style is energetic, entertaining and authentic. I enjoy interacting with my audience before, during and after my session so everyone gets the maximum benefit from your event.

I’m available for conferences, professional development days, retreats, inhouse learning sessions, networking events and webinars. I can present keynotes, deliver breakout sessions and facilitate panel discussions.


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Past clients

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What clients say

“Karen was colourful, professional and polished. Even though she is a very well recognised and awarded speaker, she is still very much ‘real’ and, from an event organisers perspective, so wonderfully easy to work with.” Lynne Wilbraham, Manager Economic Development, Gympie Regional Council

“Karen’s thought provoking approach generated very positive insight, learning and great feedback from our clients. I would highly recommend Karen as your next presenter.” Paul Jagger, CEO, The Business Centre Pilbara, WA

“Karen is remarkably easy to work with. She is professional, reliable and always delivers what she says she will. On top of that, her sessions are creative, inspiring and most importantly, applicable. Guests always leave with ideas they can implement immediately and easily. As an event organiser this is a recipe for success. I recommend Karen without reservation.” Joanne Nyland, Manager Alumni Services, Griffith University School of Business

“I admire and appreciate your ability to address your topic armed with passion and knowledge, as opposed to PowerPoint presentations full of dot points. The questions that flowed from the audience at the end proved without doubt that you engaged everyone’s attention.” Lynette Palmen AM, Founder and Managing Director, Women’s Network Australia Pty Ltd

“Karen is very passionate about what she does. Her session is considered to be one of the popular ones during this year’s Asia HRD Congress.” Grace Rudd, Conference Organiser, SMR HR Group, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia