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Michael Lum

Speeches & Workshops

Workshops Write-up


How to Manage Failures Successfully

Excerpts from "I Once Wore Diapers"

Cartoons from "I Once Wore Diapers"

Order for Books

Newspapers Publicity

Television Publicity

Foto Gallery

Drawings & Caricatures

Community Service

Dear Dr. Failure

Contributions Wanted

Public Programs





HardKnocksCollege.com Pte Ltd design and deliver
keynote speeches and workshops

Job Restructuring

“Who Broke My Rice Bowl?” Job Recovery
“No Failures; Only Success Delayed” Motivation

Creativity and Innovation

Wake Up Your Ideas!” Creative Thinking Skills
“Innovate now or Evaporate soon!” Innovation Skills
“Grow your Ideas” Staff Suggestion Schemes
“The Innovation Journey” Action Plan


“The Empowered Supervisor” Development Program
“Victor or Victim?” Working with Difficult People
“Warrior or Worrier?” Working Effectively with your Supervisor
“I’m Okay; You’re Okay” Becoming More Assertive

Leadership and Management

Louis Allen Leadership Management Program ®
“The Vision” Strategic Planning
“Chameleon or Dinosaur?” Managing Changes in a Dynamic Environment

Personal Effectiveness

“Evelyn Wood” Speed Reading Program ®
“Whole Brainscaping” Managing Information Explosion
“8 Days a Week” Time Management
“Fight, Fright or Flight?” Stress Management
“Standing on the Shoulders of a Giant” Personal Effectiveness

Interpersonal Skills

“The Customer is King!” Delivering Superior Customer Service
“Octopus or Ostrich?” Handling Multiple Bosses and Projects
“Emotional Intelligence” Managing Emotions in your Workplace
‘Win-Win” Transaction Analysis for Managers
“Interviewer or Interrogator?” Interviewing and Recruitment Skills
“The GodFather” Coaching, Mentoring and Counselling Skills


“Stand Out from the Crowd” Impactful Presentation Skills
“Gift of the Gab; Power of the Mind” Persuasion Skills with NLP and TA
Abe Wagner “Breaking the Communication Barrier” ®

Selling Skills

“Dare to Sell” Sales Program

Study Skills

“Flying Colors” Whole-Brain Study Techniques
(Brainscaping, Speed Reading and Memory Works)

Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP)

“The Ace Within” NLP Skills for Managers

NLP Practitioner Certification (7 days)


HardKnocksCollege.com Pte Ltd
1 Sophia Road #04-26
Peace Centre
Singapore 228149

Tel: (65) 6338 1128 | Fax: (65) 6333 1128
Mobile: (65) 979 11128
Email: lum1128@HardKnocksCollege.com

No Failure; Only Success Delayed

"Failure is the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true" John Keats


Creative Thinking Skills

Become a more creative person at the workplace! Contrary to popular beliefs, creative thinking skills can be taught. Believing you are basically creative is the first step towards creative thinking. Jump out of the uncreative box and you will be amazed how creative you can be. Your brain is the most powerful, portable and creative computer ever created. 

Learning Objectives

This experiential and creative workshop will enable you to

  • Generate ideas easily

  • Create and improve products, processes and services

  • View problems as opportunities

This workshop will equip you with individual and group creative thinking techniques that can germinate and nourish ideas within your organisation.


Insights into Creativity

  • What is Creativity?

  • The left and right brains

  • The concept of multiple intelligences

  • Creative versus analytical thinking

  • The world’s most creative genius

  • Aids to creativity - Baroque music and brain food

  • Nine ways to kill your creativity

  • How to increase creativity quotient

Principles of Creativity

Creative Tips to release your creative juices

Creativity Techniques

1. Linear Techniques

  • False Faces – reversing assumptions
  • Slice and Dice – breaking up and improving parts
  • Brainscaping ® - brain-mapping
  • SCAMPER – 7 individual techniques

2. Intuitive Techniques

  • Relaxation
  • Using dreams

3. Group Techniques

  • Brainstorming
  • RiceStorming

Instructional Methodology
Lecturettes, teasers, videos, slides, Baroque music, creative commercial applications, group mini-projects and presentation

For whom
For executives who recognise that “creativity” is the missing dimension in their management skills and accept that “creativity” can be taught, learnt and applied in the corporate world.

Mr Michael Lum, B.Acc, M.Com, Grad Dip (Trg & Dev), NLP Trainer, Author,
“Who Broke My Rice Bowl?”

2 days (9am to 5pm)



Supervisory Development Program

Supervisors are linking pins in the organization pyramid. They linked management with operators on ground level. Empowered supervisors ensure the pyramid is robust with a solid foundation of front-line operators. Learning the right supervisory techniques prepares the supervisors for empowering and proactive roles instead of reactive styles of daily fire-fighting.

 Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will understand the role of a supervisor viz-a-viz his subordinates and the organisation.

  2. Participants will understand the duties and responsibilities that come with the position of a supervisor.

  3. Participants will be able to execute his supervisory duties in his organisation effectively.


The Management process and levels
Management’s and subordinates’ expectation
Roles of supervisors

Work Assignment
Difference between delegation and coaching
The coaching process

Team Building
Effective teams
Team identity
Keeping the team

Handling conflicts
How to resolve conflicts

Motivation for Productivity

Motivation theories
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs
Herzberg’s Hygiene factors

Effective Communication and Interpersonal skills
Barriers to good communication
Factors influencing communication
Listening skills

Handling criticism and constructive feedback
The art of criticism
Factors that hinder constructive feedback

Instructional Methodology
Lecturettes, videos tapes, training games, role plays, case studies, group discussion and presentation.

For whom
Newly promoted and existing supervisors who need to improve and sharpen their supervisory leadership skills. This program is also appropriate for executives who are preparing for supervisory positions in the near future.

Mr Michael Lum, B.Acc, M.Com, Grad Dip (Trg & Dev), NLP Trainer, AMA Trainer, Author
, “I Once Wore Diapers”

2 days (9am to 5pm)



Becoming More Assertive

Many fallaciously equate being assertive to being aggressive. Being assertive is standing up for our own personal rights and expressing our beliefs without violating others' rights. Assertive people influence others in positive way, possess non-judgment attitude and adopt a proactive rather than a reactive approach. From either a passive or aggressive person, you can develop to a more assertive person.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this interactive workshop, you will be able to:

  1. Clarify your rights as an executive as well as a representative of your organisation

  2. Enhance your understanding of the essentials of assertive communication

  3. Identify and overcome common barriers to assertive behaviour


What is assertiveness?
Benefits of assertiveness
Areas that require assertiveness

Basic human behaviour
McGregor’s Theory X, Y and Theory Z
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Our personal rights
Our rights in dealing with others
Definition of individual’s basic rights
Giving due credits/recognition

3 types of behaviour and their communication styles

  • Passive

  • Aggressive

  • Assertive

Influencing others through assertive communication

  • Assertiveness management
  • Communication analysis
  • Open questioning
  • Reflective listening
  • Body language

Building Blocks to assertiveness

  • Building good self-esteem
  • Listening Skills
  • Learning to say “No”
  • Asking assertively
  • Managing constructive feedback
  • Handling criticism

Instructional Methodology
Lecturettes, videos, training games, role-plays, case studies, group discussion and presentation

Who should attend
This program is for passive or aggressive executives who want to equip their assertiveness skills in discharging their managerial and customer services functions

Mr Michael Lum, B.Acc, M.Com, Grad Dip (Trg & Dev), NLP Trainer, AMA Trainer, Author, “From Beggars to Millionaires”

2 days (9am to 5pm)



Managing Changes in a Dynamic Environment

Change is inevitable. With external pressures, changing technology, info-communication, rapid product obsolescence and new products, every organization has undergone change. In the last few years, change has impact all workers especially with the advent of internet and mobile phones. In fact, the only constant characteristic about change is change itself. This workshop helps you to understand, coping and participate in changes in your organization.

Learning Objectives

  • At the end of the intensive workshop, participants will learn to
  • Define and understand change
  • Overcome barriers to change
  • Understand change management techniques
  • Contribute to the change process


Understanding change

  • What is change? Why change?
  • Understand the causes of change
  • Recognizing causes of change
  • Categorizing types of change
  • Analyzing change scenarios
  • Levels of change

Resistance to change

  • Individual resistance
  • Organization resistance
  • Levels of resistance
  • Overcoming resistance to change

Understanding change management

  • Unfreezing, changing and refreezing
  • People’s problem during change
  • Characteristics of good change workers

Change management diagrams

  • Input-output
  • Systems diagrams
  • Influence diagrams
  • Force-field analysis

How management manages change

  • Tells
  • Tells and sells
  • Consults
  • Participates

Planning Change

  • Focusing on goals
  • Involving people
  • Choosing timescale
  • Making action plan

Implementing Change

  • Communicating change
  • Assigning responsibility
  • Developing commitment
  • Changing culture

Consolidating Change

  • Monitoring progress
  • Reviewing assumptions
  • Maintaining momentum
  • Building on change

Participating change in your team

  • Stages of team formation
  • Motivating the team

How to manage stress

  • Causes of stress
  • Stress management techniques

Instructional Methodology
Lecturettes, videos, training games, role-plays, case studies, group discussion and presentation

Who should attend
For staff whose department or organization is implementing or undergoing change

Mr Michael Lum B.Acc. M.Com. Grad Dip (Trg & Dev)

2 days (9am to 5pm)



Managing Information Explosion

We are bombarded with 60,000 bits of information every day from radio, television, newspapers, journals and reports. In the new economy, there is an avalanche of information from the internet and info-communications. How to we sieve the wheat from the chaff? Accessing and retaining the right information go a long way to assist us make correct decisions in management.

Learning Objectives

  1. To learn BrainScaping as a productive office tool for summary, planning, creative thinking and note-taking and making

  2. To read faster without the loss of comprehension

  3. To remember and recall without difficulty


The Brain
Your left and my right brains
Multiple intelligences
The world’s most creative genius
Baroque music and Brain food

Basic Mapping

The rules and applications
Different types of Brain Mapping

Whole Brain Reading
Check your reading speed
History of speed reading
How the mind read and process information

Reading Environment

Reading Problems
Reading word by word, Sub-vocalisation, Regression, Back-skipping

Ways to increase reading speed
Shorter Fixation, Reduce pausing and regression, Stop wandering,
Minimize vocalization

Eye Power
Control of eye movements
Peripheral vision
Skimming and scanning skills

Reading Skills
Pacing Techniques - Finger, Pencil
Increasing vocabulary
Reading newspapers, magazines, computer

Instructional Methodology
Lecturettes, teasers, videos, slides, Baroque music, reading exercises, group mini-projects and presentation

Who should attend
Busy executives who desires to be more productive and effective in the information-loaded corporate world.

Mr Michael Lum, B.Acc, M.Com, Grad Dip (Trg & Dev), NLP Trainer, AMA Trainer, Author,
“I Once Wore Diapers”

2 days (9am to 5pm) 



Delivering Superior Customer Service

With technology and communication narrowing the gaps, there are little differences between the features of products. What separates the distinctiveness of your product is the level of quality service you provide. Delivering superior customer service will imprint your products in the minds of the consumers. Exceeding your customers’ expectations is their deciding factor in your battle for consumers’ dollars.

Learning Objectives

This experiential and intensive workshop will enable you to

  • Manage your customers’ expectations
  • Retain your customers
  • Handle difficult customers


What are customers?
What do customers buy?
Meaning of customer service

Quality Service
Qualities of good customer service
Value added service

Working with Customers
Meet and greet
Listen and evaluate

Managing Customer’s perception
What do customers expect?
Why do customers buy?
Customer Satisfaction
Achieving customer confidence

Achieving extraordinary customer service
Customer focus

Service Recovery
Why do customers complain?
Steps to service recovery
Methods of service recovery 

Customer Retention
Why do customers leave?
Strategies for improving customer retention
How to maintain customers’ loyalty


Customer service resource
Customers’ survey
Customer service information
Meeting customers’ needs


Instructional Methodology
Lecturettes, videos, role-plays, case studies, group discussion and presentation

Who should attend

Front office staff, customer service officers, executives who interface with the public and others who desire to upgrade their level of service quality.


Mr Michael Lum, B.Acc, M.Com, Grad Dip (Trg & Dev), NLP Trainer, Laughter Yoga Instructor, Author, “From Beggars to Millionaires”


2 days (9am to 5pm)



Handling Multiple Bosses and Projects

In the new economy, staff are expected to work in a matrix workplace where they handle multiple bosses and projects. Knowing the right tools will enable staff to function effectively. In this workshop, you find equip your toolbox with communication skills, time management, constructive feedback and conflict resolution.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the workshop, participants will learn

    1. To handle multiple bosses and projects concurrently
    2. Effective time management and project monitoring tools
    3. To handle conflicts, criticism and feedbacks


New economy
Handling multiple bosses and projects

Techniques in handling multiple bosses and projects
Setting of SMART objectives

Allocation of time and resources

Monitoring and control system

Charts and diagrams



Effective Communication with your bosses
Barriers to good communication
Factors in effective communication


Listening to your bosses
3 basic Listening skills


Giving Constructive feedback to your bosses
Factors that hinder constructive feedback
Approaches in giving constructive feedback

Receiving criticism from your bosses
Giving criticism to your bosses

Conflict Management
Techniques to resolve conflicts

Time Management
Principles of time management

Time saving devices and monitoring tools

Stress Management
Different techniques
Aids to relieving stress

Instructional Methodology
Lecturettes, videos, training games, role-plays, case studies, group discussion and presentation

Who should attend
For supervisors and executives who is working with multiple bosses or handling concurrent projects

Mr Michael Lum B.Acc. M.Com. Grad Dip (Trg & Dev)

2 days (9am to 5pm) 



“Managing Emotions in your Workplace”

According to Daniel Coleman, EQ (Emotional Quotient) is more important than IQ, the traditional method for measuring our intelligence. EQ consists of inter-personal and intra-personal intelligences. Groundbreaking research concluded that people with high EQ generally outperform those with high IQ. While our IQ cannot be improved, EQ can be enhanced. How then can we develop our EQ? Managing our emotions increases our productivity and level headedness in our workplace.

 Learning Objectives

This intensive and easy-to-learn workshop will enable you to:

  • Control and manage your emotions for higher productivity

  • Manage stress and re-energise yourself



  • IQ versus EQ

 Identifying your trigger points

  • What triggers you emotionally?
  • Hidden emotional triggers
  • Words/events triggers
  • Action plan to manage triggers

Identifying emotionally charged situations

  • Dealing with them
  • Learning to listen better

Increasing your self-esteem

  • Causes of low self-esteem
  • Effect of childhood influences on adults
  • Changing your negative self image
  • Self-esteem plan

Re-energizing yourself

  • Your personal quiet time

  • Ways to recharge yourself

Handling criticism

  • Types of criticism
  • Assertive skills to handle criticism
  • Giving and receiving criticism

Handling constructive feedback

  • Factors that hinder feedback
  • Approaches in feedback

Instructional Methodology
Lecturettes, videos, role-plays, case studies, group discussion and presentation

Who should attend
Executives and managers who desire to control and manage their emotions in the workplace

Mr Michael Lum, B.Acc, M.Com, Grad Dip (Trg & Dev), NLP Trainer, IACT Stressologist, Author,
“From Beggars to Millionaires”

2 days (9am to 5pm)




Impactful Presentation Skills

Most people would rather die than to deliver a speech. The number one fear in the world is that of public speaking. The ability to present well in front of an unknown audience is one of the greatest gifts an executive can possess. Good public speakers are like ducks gliding in the pond. While they appear calm and cool; beneath the water level is a pair of legs desperately paddling away. Using the techniques of NLP, you too can be a great and charismatic speaker. Your corporate persona is how well you present to the public. Remember, your projection is the public’s perception.

Learning Objectives

This action-based and highly-charged workshop will enable you to:

  • Deliver a powerful presentation
  • Acquire the confidence and charisma of an influential speaker
  • Use audio visual aids effectively


  • Different types of presentation
  • Analyzing your audience
  • Preparing your presentation using resources
  • Developing a presentation using visuals
  • How to begin a presentation
  • How to organise the body
  • Concluding your presentation with impact
  • Applying Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP)
  • NLP techniques: Perceptual Positions, Representation systems, Submodalities, Anchoring, Modelling, Chunking.
  • Peppering your presentation
  • Visualization: Conquering fears of public speaking
  • Vocal Charisma: Using the right vocal techniques and variety
  • Gestures: Using the correct body language
  • Thinking on your feet: Making impromptu speeches
  • Managing difficult questions and audience

Instructional Methodology
Lecturettes, videos, individual impromptu and prepared speeches, debates, group discussion and presentation. Participants are to stand up and deliver impromptu speeches regularly and a 15 minutes presentation towards the end of the workshop.

Who should attend
For executives and managers who want to stand out from the crowd and refine their presentation skills using NLP techniques.

Mr Michael Lum, B.Acc, M.Com, Grad Dip (Trg & Dev), NLP Trainer, Advanced Toastmaster (Gold), Championship Speaker

3 days (9am to 5Pm)