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Need a high-interest, thought-provoking professional speaker?

We do keynotes, breakout sessions, retreats, management/leadership meetings (in-person and virtual)

Erika Salina, PhD Speaker One-Sheet

Need a high-interest, thought-provoking professional speaker?

We do keynotes, breakout sessions, retreats, management/leadership meetings (in-person and virtual)

About Erika & WorkingSmarts, Inc.

Master Facilitator, leading organizational scientist, and author of “The Brain-Friendly Workplace: Five Big Ideas from Neuroscience That Address Organizational Challenges”, Dr. Erika Garms is on a mission to build healthy and high-performing organizations. 

Very real issues plague even the best organizations – burnout, distrust, underprepared managers, under-performing teams, floundering direction, communication snafus, turnover, even ineffective training programs. Erika addresses these challenges by providing cutting-edge and practical solutions.

Erika Salina is an award-winning, high content speaker with a strong background in learning design, adult learning, and group facilitation.


What does this mean for you?

Well, for one thing, it means she does not 'talk at' groups. She does not read PowerPoint bullets slide after slide. Her programs offer juicy nuggets of research on the brain, behavior, and performance served up in a delightfully packaged program with sides of memorable stories and just the right balance of information, practical application, and interaction.

An international speaker, author, and management consultant, Erika works with diverse teams in fields like technology, health care, financial services, government, natural resources, energy, human resources, insurance and engineering. Clients re-engage her as a favored facilitator and speaker at company meetings, management retreats, and association conferences.

Whether having Dr. Salina in for a speaking engagement, management retreat, or facilitating a group session , you can expect solid design and fresh delivery . . . people will be impacted by her warmth, humor, and memorability.

Erika is a member of the National Speakers Association, Past Speakers Academy Dean and Instructor of the Speakers Academy in Minnesota. She is a past winner of the NSA Speakers Academy Award and the NSA Newcomer Impact Award.


Popular Programs 

Building a Brain-Friendly Workplace

Disengagement in American workers tops 70%! We’re burned out, unhealthy, and unproductive. What’s going on at work? Many organizations inadvertently reinforce distrust, threat, high turnover, low tolerance for change, and weak performance. Discover the research-based explanations for this state of affairs, and hear turnaround suggestions that you can use tomorrow! Hear how a few simple secrets borrowed from neuroscience can be absolute game-changers when applied to the workplace. Also learn to use the “PICTuRe” model to decipher your own and other peoples' behavior.

What you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s no wonder staff and managers have a challenging time communicating directly
  • How we innately distrust anyone new to our team and how to combat this hard-wired reaction
  • Why it is that mixed messages are so common, what havoc they wreak on morale, and how to amend this
  • How to vastly improve attention and focus at work, to see organizational performance catapult
  • Where huge productivity sinks lurk at work, and how a little “brain hygiene” can make a world of difference.

“An essential presentation – fascinating connection of brain and culture!”

Find Out More About Building a Brain-Friendly Workplace

Radical Productivity

Wouldn’t you enjoy getting more done in a day, or in a week?

We may take a workshop or read an article on how to manage time well, handle incoming mail or another related topic aimed at saving us time and effort. But what we end up missing is learning how to get the best performance out of ourselves in whatever time we do have. So, we focus on time-saving methods at the expense of the quality of the time spent.

“Radical Productivity” addresses both time-saving and quality-boosting techniques for getting more out of your time. Learn new mental routines and also how improving how you treat your body and how you manage your emotions ALSO support your productivity. All three are needed for optimum productivity!

In this interactive and thought-provoking session, Dr. Erika Salina will share the ‘Top 10 Activators for Radical Productivity’ to cut through the sea of information on this topic and give you JUST the best, most research-based, practical tools to use now.

Find Out More Radical Productivity


Organizational change initiatives fail to reach their intended goals more than 66% of the time! This statistic hasn’t budged in decades.

In any other professional practice, would a 34% success rate be acceptable? Why hasn’t this metric improved in so many years? And why does workplace change cause so much stress and drama despite all the change management training and resources allocated to help people through the discomfort?

We’ve done the best we’ve known how to do, based on the science we had available to us. Our change management approaches and techniques have not taken into account our biological responses to change simply because we haven’t had access to the research we now have within reach! We’ve been shooting ourselves in the foot, so to speak, because until now, we haven’t understood how significant the impact our biology has on the success of our change efforts in the workplace.
In this program, we lift the veil.

Program includes activities where participants practice remodeling approaches and messages from “Before/Not brain-friendly” to “After/Brain-friendly” and discuss the difference in impact. Managers and leaders learn about the specific language choices they can make that greatly influence the beliefs and behaviors of teams they lead, related to change and transition.

What you’ll learn:

  • How the most progressive organizations and B-schools are updating their change management approaches for radical improvement in managing change — individually and organizationally
  • The secrets of introducing change efforts that will attract others, not subconsciously threaten them. More harm than good can be done if leaders and managers are not aware of the physiological impacts of their words and actions.
  • Exactly what techniques DO work best with our brains’ natural processes.
  • How word choice and key phrases can draw in support and curiosity of others, not repel them
  • How to adapt your existing change approaches to become more brain-friendly, saving you huge time and money, but most importantly, giving you results. 
Find Out More ChangeSmarts

The Focus Formula

Most of us would probably say we could focus better.

We have busy lives, a multitude of issues, challenges, decisions, and interactions on our minds at any given moment. Life is more complicated than it was a decade, three decades, five decades ago, and our bodies and minds are challenged to sustain optimal health in the face of the complexity, stress, and pace of activity.

Yet, when you find your attention wandering from the task at-hand, do you say to yourself, “Ah, yes. Here is a situation where my brain feels overwhelmed by the ridiculous amount of stimuli I’m throwing at it to assimilate.”

Probably not. More likely, you’re saying something like, “Focus! Focus! C’mon, self . . . get with it!”

And sometimes, we say things like this to ourselves: “I’m so spacey. I’m not committed enough. I’m not very smart/good at this. Maybe this job/task isn’t a good fit for me.”

It is no wonder we struggle to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of some days. On average, we spend less than four minutes on a task before becoming distracted!

You need to learn the three necessary components to awesome focus. Most programs or training simply address time management (in often ineffective ways) or self-discipline.

Those won’t get you where you want to be. They’re not the complete set.

You need to self-examine to see specifically what aspects of focus you’re already strong at, and which you need some new, brain-based techniques to improve.

In this program, you will take a quick self-assessment to determine the ease or challenge you experience in each area of focus.

Then, narrow in on techniques designed to help you with your personal trouble spots.

What you’ll learn:

  • The THREE critical components of focus
  • Which strengths you already have, to leverage
  • Exactly where you struggle & which techniques you need
  • Techniques to better manage external distractors
  • Methods for minimizing internal distractors
  • How to sustain deep focus when you want to
  • Ways to coach others to improve their focus
Find Out More Focus Formula

Inquiring About a Possible Speaking Engagement?

Speaking Demo Video 

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Featured Interviews and Podcast Appearances

High Performance Mindset Podcast, Interview by Cindra Kamphoff
"Practicing Mindful Leadership" Interview for Association for Talent Development Podcast