Karel Murray


Think Forward…Capture the Momentum!

"Going where the brave fear to tread." –it’s what Don Quixote believed and it’s part of the message I want to bring to you: Find, and follow, a path toward great things! My mission as author, motivational humorist, management business expert is to connect with you, to engage your hopes, and to inspire you to action.
... And to laugh all the way there.

“Karel has the unique ability to 1) listen to what the client wants, 2) structure a program to meet those needs in an informative and fun way, and 3) engage her participants. Karel ensured the program incorporated something for everyone, yet stayed true to the core program desires. Karel Murray is excellent and I would recommend her to anyone who wants to improve their organization.”
Susan Kubiesa, Vice President, Zurich North America Commercial, Chicago, IL

I’m thrilled to make a new connection and to have the opportunity to share information about what I can do for you and your organization. Thank you for your interest.

Simply put, my job is to do everything I can to make your event a success. I understand that it isn’t about me; it’s about helping you achieve a great return on your event investment.

What have organizations such as Zurich North American Commercial, DuPont Crop Protection, and the National Association of REALTORS® experienced with me at their events that you too can expect?

Content. I create relevant, up­to­date, content rich presentations that are customized for your organization.

Reaction & Interaction. Making the audience comfortable is a high priority. My sessions aren’t a success until I connect, respond, and positively interact with attendees.

Focus & Motivation. I deliver on track, active learning that has sticking power beyond the day’s session and is guaranteed to enhance your event message and objectives.


Great Stories. Great stories make the message memorable and meaningful – the art of bringing characters to life is something I focus on which in turn enhances the participation and enjoyment of the participants.

Laughter. Clutched sides and cheeks that hurt from smiling too much? I’ve done my job.

What’s in it for you, the Event Planner?

Ease. I am dedicated to not only making you “look good,” but to making sure working with me is the easiest part of your day. I promise personal, professional, top­notch service . . . I’m known for it!


Straight Talk: Getting off the Curb

What lessons about life can a big ballerina, a Fabio fantasy gone awry, and a masseuse armed with hot rocks possibly convey? Find out with some Straight Talk, Karel’s most requested keynote.

Laugh till it hurts and smile with recognition as Karel brings the ordinary to life in extraordinary ways. From trusting your gut reaction to ceasing to be a victim of circumstance, rediscover the intrinsic value of you and your experiences through the magic of laughter. Based on her book Straight Talk: Getting off the Curb (co­authored with K.C. Lundberg, Arnica Publishing) Karel delivers witty, straight­forward advice in stories that will captivate you and give your inner ballerina a boost!

The Great and Powerful ‘Ah’: Think Forward and Get Remarkable

Regain perspective and forego fear with Karel as your guide. Rapidly shifting attitudes, loyalties, and expectations have made clarity of purpose more important than ever.

Gather memorable insights from stories of Cowboy Bob and Anita the Waitress to the world of bagel shops, reality tv, and “living large.” It’s about finding the The Great and Powerful ‘Ah’ moment in your life and acting on it.

Get a Grip! Finding Your Balance Without Losing It

Stop pleading insanity and Get a Grip! This fast paced, content packed presentation identifies the internal and external influences that create chaos and stress in our daily lives. Get real life suggestions on establishing balance. Examine change, motivation, personal accountability, stress survival, time management, and how to diagnose your “stumbling blocks.”

More Programs:

  • All the Squirrels Aren’t in the Trees! How Personal Styles Interact
  • How Successful Business Managers Prepare, Plan and Prosper
  • Doughnuts on Fridays Aren’t Enough. How Good Bosses Become Great Managers
  • Start Up and Stay Up. Strategies for New Managers
  • It’s About Leadership. What’s Your Style?

A Little Bit About Karel . . .

Karel brings meaning to mayhem with her “nothing but the truth” approach to business and life. An accomplished author and humorist, Karel has made radio and tv appearances and she enjoys local, regional, and national publication of her articles. In addition to her first book Straight Talk: Getting Off the Curb, Karel is a featured author in Extreme Excellence: Dynamic Interviews with America’s Top 10 Performance Experts, and publishes a monthly newsletter—Think Forward!— to nearly 4,700+ subscribers. She is author of both The Profitability Blueprint Series® and the CPR for Managers Series.

Karel holds a BA in Human Resources and has earned numerous designations and certifications, including the prestigious DREI (Distinguished Real Estate Instructor). Her resume includes experience as a human resources regional executive of a large commercial insurance firm, as an award winning sales person, as a manager of a top producing real estate office, and now as owner of Our Branch, Inc. and national and international speaking and training company. She has received several awards for her community service, including the Blue Springs Missouri Chamber of Commerce Award, and once taught a pig named Nelson to dance . . . but that’s another story.

She is a member of the National Speakers Association, Meeting Professionals International, and has served as a Director and officer for the National Real Estate Educators Association. As a professional speaker, Karel has had the pleasure of connecting with audiences for 250+ clients throughout the US and abroad.

When not on the road, Karel can be found in Waterloo, Iowa, with her ever wonderfully patient husband Rick and their attentive brood of (4—at last head count) cats and dogs.

What they say about Karel . . .

“Being an ‘ex’ executive with the Ritz Carlton Hotel Co., I was exposed to awesome speakers from Horst Sheltz, President and CEO of Ritz Carlton, to Stephen Covey . . . She is right up there!”
Julie Naberhues

“Words aren’t adequate to tell how great Karel is. Here are a few to use: Funny, personable, wise, caring, inspiring, challenging, tell­it­like­it­is, professional, etc. There is no better speaker/instructor to add value and quality to our education program. Karel is engaging, knowledgeable, experienced and gives students information they will actually use.”
Sue Hutton, Education Director, Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS®

“Karel is a great presenter with lots of compassion and very sincere in her presentation. She makes her audiences feel involved, inspired and sets an excellent role model. She has a way of bringing people together from age 20 to 75. Karel is terrific and awesome.”
Janice Nielsen, Head Start


Karel has spoken for these groups and many more:

American Business Women’s Association
Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation
GMAC Home Services
Heart of Illinois Hospitality Association
Meeting Professionals International
Mount Vernon Bank
Professional Photographer’s Association
Project Managers of Iowa
Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.
Quad City Advertising Federation
Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC)
Real Estate Educators Association (REEA)
Society of Human Resource Professionals
Southwestern Community College
United Fire & Casualty Insurance Company
University of Iowa
Women in Leadership Organization
YMCA of the USA
Zurich North America Commercial



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