Popular Speaking Topics

Listed are the most requested topics for Dr. Borba, but because every presentation is customized if you desire something different we should talk. Dr. Borba’s presentations range from 20-minute TED style talks, one-hour keynotes, full day or weeklong workshops, question and answer sessions, or any other format you desire. Michele’s programs are research-based and always focus on providing practical and immediately usable strategies.

Thrivers: What Really Helps Kids Today and Succeed for Tomorrow
The science is in: Thrivers are made not born. But in our test-driven world, the traits kids need for mental health and peak performers take a backseat largely due to a myth that cognitive strengths are the straight path to success. Dr. Borba dispels those myths with science and shares why character traits like perseverance, curiosity, and empathy often deemed as “soft skills” are crucial for both academic performance and resilience. She shares surprising findings as to why some kids struggle while others shine and presents an updated roadmap to help kids thrive both in school and life. You’ll also hear inspiring stories of educators and communities worldwide who are using that research to help all kids thrive now and tomorrow.

Thrivers: 7 Teachable Traits to Ensure Students’ Happiness AND Lifelong Success
Data shows that today’s youth are the loneliest, most stressed, and risk averse on record. Though well-educated, they are unprepared to handle life and failing to reach their potential. Dr. Borba shares findings that show seven traits are key to peak performance in school and life.

  1. Self-Awareness: Recognize personal strengths, accept weakness and apply
  2. Empathy: Understand feeling and needs of others and expand perspective to “we.”
  3. Self-Control: Manage strong emotions, strength focusing abilities and cope
  4. Integrity: Adopt ethical values and develop a solid moral code to guide life
  5. Curiosity: Be open to new information, make discoveries and stir creativity
  6. Perseverance: Keep on when things gets tough, learn from failure, and not give up
  7. Optimism: Handle challenges with a positive, realistic outlook and be hopeful

This session (one hour to a full day) focuses on seven traits students need to be mentally strong and more successful in school and life. You’ll learn why each trait is critical for academic success as well as mental health and dozens of practical ways to weave those lessons into existing content so all kids thrive.

Raising Thrivers: Parenting Tips and Tools to Help Kids Thrive in An Anxious, Uncertain World
Our kids are the smartest on record, but also the most stressed and risk averse and why we must rethink our parenting so they can thrive in an anxious, uncertain world. In this thought-provoking session, you’ll learn the traits that science says really matter for our children’s happiness and success. Dr. Borba shares practical tips and tools ways to help your kids learn them so they are more likely to thrive. When you sit in this room you’re going to learn things like how to help your child cope with everyday frustrations and self-regulate, identify their stress signs and triggers, become more resourceful and self-reliant. In doing this you’ll be able to help your child bounce-back, boost their creativity and find their personal passion and authentic confidence. The session offers hands-on tools to raise successful, self-reliant, and less-pressured kids who thrive in school and life.

Empathy, Character, Bullying, and Social-Emotional Learning

Of course, Michele still speaks on empathy, character, social-emotional learning and bullying prevention. Here are her most requested talks. If you’d like a related topic or something specific, it can be arranged.

Teaching Empathy: Why ‘The Other Side of the Report Card’ is a Must for Student Success
Empathy is often sidelined as a “soft skill.” Dr. Borba offers hard evidence that it must become an educational and societal priority. In this game-changing presentation, you’ll learn why creating empathetic, inclusive climates as the foundation for learning is the smartest strategy for ending the cycle of youth violence. You’ll also learn why empathy is one of the most important skills that 21st century learners will need to thrive in a complex, global, digitally-driven world. Dr. Borba shares how educators around the globe weave empathy-building practices into existing lessons and help students to develop empathic mindsets in a test-driven culture (that doesn’t always value it.) This inspiring session is guaranteed to be informative and filled with practical ways to create positive outcomes by cultivating empathy in your classroom and school.

Direct from TEDx- Empathy is a Verb: Lessons for Success in the Digital Age
What can businesses, organizations, institutions of higher learning and associations learn from the latest science on empathy? Plenty. Especially in today’s plugged-in world of virtual workplaces, electronic communications and increasing personal disconnection. Dr. Borba points out that we’re all born hard-wired to care, but like all human qualities, empathy must be constantly activated. The habits that achieve this also make us more effective leaders, insightful managers, collaborative colleagues, and compassionate community members. Drawn from her inspiring TEDx talk, Dr. Borba shows us how to use the “Empathy Advantage” to build valuable social capital within our organizations and with customers, patients, donors, and students. Her motivating presentation is a reminder that being more empathetic makes our workforce stronger, our communities more stable, our stakeholders more engaged, and all of our relationships longer lasting.

9 Essential Habits that Unlock the Power of Empathy
The “Selfie Syndrome” is leading to an empathy crisis in youth. Teens today are 40% less empathetic than just a generation ago; narcissism has increased 58%. This isn’t just a crisis of character. Dr. Borba explains why cultivating empathy is essential to creating caring children, compassionate schools, just communities and a civilized society. She shares her nine-step “Unselfie” plan to stop the Empathy Crisis and creative ways to raise successful, happy kids who are also kind, moral, courageous and resilient. You’ll also learn that our exclusive focus on grades, scores and fat resumes is destructive to children’s mental health and robbing their potential to lead a happy and fulfilling life. By putting empathy at the core. we’ll raise children that become the citizens we hope they’ll be.

How to Raise Caring, Successful Kids in a Plugged-In, Trophy-Driven World
Today’s parents are dealing with technology and digitally driven challenges that no previous generation has faced.  What really matters in raising successful, happy, compassionate and socially responsible children in a hyper-competitive, plugged-in world? Dr. Borba cites the latest research to identify nine crucial habits and one invaluable life skill: empathy. In this game-changing “how to” presentation for parents, you’ll learn proven strategies to give your child the Empathy Advantage and cultivate their social and moral competence. You’ll also learn common-sense ways to nurture the core habits of self-control, courage, collaboration, perspective-taking and leadership — the very qualities that colleges and employers say they’re seeking. This session is guaranteed to change the way you think about raising kids in today’s complex world.

Cultivating Empathy: The 6Rs of Bullying Prevention
Research is clear: Bullying is learned, and can be unlearned. What’s more, cultivating empathy is the best antidote for bullying. Drawing from her book, End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy, Dr. Borba shares the evidence-based principles, policies, and proven practices that have made her a leading expert in this field. Her empowering, informative presentation is brimming with real life stories, the latest behavioral research, and simple tools to reduce bullying and victimization. This includes mobilizing student bystanders’ compassion to be “Upstanders” to help stop peer cruelty. Audiences leave ready to use the “6Rs” right away in their classrooms, schools, organizations and homes.