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Rhonda Scharf

Professional Speaker | Trainer | Author | Consultant

Professional Speaker | Trainer | Author | Consultant

Insightful… humorous… entertaining…even contagious… words that are often used to describe Rhonda Scharf.  A speaker with the uncanny ability to look at the normal and see something quite different. 

Rhonda will share some things she has learned to help you thrive in your work environment, emerging at the end of the day with a smile and a sense of accomplishment. Audiences far and wide sing her praises for her relevant and useful tips on administration, communication, and workplace effectiveness!

Rhonda is an author, speaker, trainer, and grandmother! She has earned her Certified Speaking Professional (less than 7% of all speakers worldwide have earned this designation), is a member of the Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame, and is one of only 35 speakers worldwide who have earned their Global Speaking Fellow (meaning she truly has an international business), and been awarded the Spirit of CAPS award. She is the only speaker in the entire world who has earned all four awards. Her natural warmth and sincerity are balanced by a healthy sense of the absurd, a combination that is useful in any situation.

Rhonda’s professional speaking career began at age two… when her mother would offer her 25 cents to be quiet for five minutes!

  • HALF-DAY MASTERCLASS: Project Management for Administrative Professionals

    Face it, you didn’t study project management, yet you’re being asked to run small to medium sized projects while you learn on your feet. Save yourself the frustration and mistakes of learning while you go by attending this program designed specifically for administrative professionals running projects as part of their job description.

    You will learn the importance of planning, how to develop achievable plans, work well with all members of the team and achieve the credibility you deserve. This workshop provides a unique and simplified look at the field of project management, and demonstrates many skills that can be used immediately.

    You’ll learn practical, proven techniques for running any project thrown your way.

    Learning Outcomes

    • What’s involved with project management
      from the admin perspective
    • Understanding stakeholders, sponsors,
      leaders, and clients
    • Project management fundamentals and
      key terms
    • The project management life cycle
    • Tips and tools for project management


    Benefits of Attending this Workshop

    At this workshop you’ll learn how to influence, inform and manage projects through the use of real-life examples, group discussions, roleplays and interactive hands-on exercises.

    You won’t just hear the theory about current project management information; you will take the knowledge and apply it to real-life situations immediately. You will walk out of the program with skills that are immediately applicable in any situation.

  • WORKSHOP: Business Writing Tune Up

    Let’s face it – times change. Fashion changes, music changes, and language changes. If this weren’t true, we could all be speaking the same way Shakespeare did (which makes me glad that language changes). 

    If language changes, so must our writing styles. Just because it was “right” when you were a kid doesn’t mean that same writing or grammar rule is still right. Grammar and business writing is evolving as well, and if we are professionals, we must evolve with it. 

    This session is going to bring your writing skills up to date. 

    Learning Objectives: 

    • How to create polished business documents 
    • Avoiding run on sentences, comma splices, and transitions 
    • Watching the hot spots and how to avoid them 
    • Grammar refresh (honestly this won’t be painful!) 
    • Red flags to watch for (lie or lay, bi-weekly or semi-weekly) 
    • Easy memory tricks to help you (remember I before E except after C?) 


    The danger of not keeping your skills up to date is your reputation. You can fix that! 

  • KEYNOTE: Can’t Get No Satisfaction

    Do you feel like you are just putting in time when you come to work? 

    Hopefully not. Do you feel appreciated, valued and like you are an important part of the team? Don’t fear if you don’t – You’re not alone! 

    Learn to get “satisfaction.” Just like Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, we are going to do things a little different. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that it’s about your “authority”. It’s about how you act, how you ask, and the credibility you bring to the office every day. By learning how to communicate professionally, you can learn “To Get Satisfaction!” 

    • Learn how to take control of your own satisfaction 
    • Are you setting yourself up for disappointment and don’t even realize it? 
    • The tiny secret that makes work much more satisfying! 
    • Learn when to change gears 


    Prepare to have fun, laugh and learn. When you go back to your office, you’ll have a new bounce in your step, and a smile on your face. After all, what is satisfaction if you don’t feel good? You will! 

  • WORKSHOP: Customer Service

    The smartest companies have the best customer service. It’s no secret that the smartest companies seek to provide the BEST customer service. What’s your Customer-Service Strategy? 

    • Are your customers or clients happy? 
    • Do your employees understand exactly what your customers want and need? 
    • Do you have a consistent “Customer-Service Strategy” that employees can easily follow? 
    • Is your management team focused on achieving superior customer service? 

    Learning Objectives: 

    • New theories and new techniques, based on scientific studies of quality customer service. 
    • Why Apple’s 5-step plan works: A case-study of Apple’s ideas and techniques. 
    • How to identify a customer’s personality: Aggressive, expressive, passive, or analytical? 
    • 10 ways to improve your own Customer-Service Strategy – without spending a dime! 
    • Techniques for building rapport with customers, on the phone and in person. 
    • 3 ways to develop a friendly, customer-focused attitude that will keep your customers happy. 
    • Questions you must ask customers when determining their wants and needs. 
    • 7 ways you can frustrate customers, drive them crazy, and lose their business. 
    • 5 techniques to calm your customers when they’re angry or upset. 
    • Why you must learn to accept complaints as gifts to improve your customer-service strategy.  
    • 10 ways to create a real and honest, long-lasting relationship with customers. 
    • 8 rules of great customer service that everyone can use immediately. 
    • Customer-Service Myths: (Are you following a policy that doesn’t work?) 
    • 4 ways to allow employees to vent their frustrations – so they don’t vent to customers! 
  • WORKSHOP/KEYNOTE: Dealing with Difficult People

    Learn powerful strategies and techniques for handling the difficult people in your work life. Learn what to say and how to say it, strategies for maintaining your composure while defusing angry people and what to do to improve your working relationship with people who challenge you to the limits of your patience. 

    Learning Objectives: 

    • 5 strategies for improving communication with difficult people (so you can end your frustration!)
    • How to defuse people who are angry, upset or just plain rude and how to calm tense situations (improve your reputation as the professional and reduce your stress)
    • Understand what motivates the attitudes and behaviours of difficult people (knowledge is power for future interactions)
    • Techniques for giving feedback to difficult people to help correct or even improve their behaviour (make it easy for you)
    • Learn to face life confidently, knowing you’re up to any challenge (stop getting kicked around and increase your self-esteem) 
  • WORKSHOP: Effective Team Meetings

    Meetings – are they a waste of time, or do they help accomplish goals?

    Teams need to meet regularly (if not frequently). Effective teams are essential to your success, and great leaders need to run effective team meetings. But not just “any” kind of meeting (those “check-box” meetings to say we had one), but meetings so the team can incorporate the best practices of effective team meetings. 

    To effectively engage your team and lead them to high performance, both team leaders and members need to equip themselves with the right stills and tools. This program is designed to give you the tools you need to conduct team meetings, build team interaction, and improve team dynamics. 

    Learning Objectives: 

    • Proven practices to improve team communication 
    • Learn a simple three-step format for your meetings 
    • Tips to planning and facilitating effective team meetings 
    • The Top 10 “Must Do’s” for your effective team meeting 
    • Rules your meeting must follow so your meeting doesn’t get off track 
    • The importance of an effective agenda (and how to create one) 
    • Team decisions – which is best? 
    • Get your meeting scorecard. How does your meeting rate? 
  • WORKSHOP: Difficult Conversations

    Having difficult conversations isn’t fun for anyone. Telling someone they don’t smell nice, saying no to a client, or having to tell someone they no longer have a job is something that no one looks forward to doing. We feel anxious and uncomfortable. 

    Yet, our roles often demand that we know how, and are willing to have those difficult conversations. We need to be effective and build trust and respect, without damaging relationships along the way. 

    This workshop will show you what you need to know to have difficult conversations. They won’t be fun, but they will be done and done professionally and respectfully. 

    Learning Objectives: 

    • Identifying your strengths and weaknesses prior to your difficult conversation 
    • What level of assertiveness is appropriate and knowing how to adjust as necessary 
    • Performing a SWOT analysis on your own skills when having difficult conversations 
    • 5 steps to ensure communication 
    • Barriers to effective communication and what to do to avoid them 
    • Understanding perception and how it affects the conversation 
    • 10 tips for handling difficult conversations 
    • Creative problem solving approaches 
    • How to use questioning to your advantage in a difficult conversation 
    • Giving negative feedback 
    • Handling your emotions (and the emotions of the other person) 
    • A step-by-step model to follow to make it easy 
    • Role plays guaranteed to make you feel like you can have a difficult conversation after the workshop 
  • WORKSHOP: Introduction to Project Management for Admins OR Project Management for Non-Project Managers

    Face it, you didn’t study project management, yet you’re being asked to run small to medium sized projects while you learn on your feet. Save yourself the frustration and mistakes of learning while you go by attending this program designed specifically for administrative professionals running projects as part of their job description.

    You will learn the importance of planning, how to develop achievable plans, work well with all members of the team and achieve the credibility you deserve.

    This workshop provides a unique and simplified look at the field of project management and demonstrates many skills that can be used immediately. You’ll learn practical, proven techniques for running any project thrown your way.

    Learning Objectives:

    • What’s involved with project management from the outside perspective
    • How to plan a project
    • Understanding stakeholders, sponsors, leaders and clients
    • Managing the different phases of project management
    • Key skills of project management: vision, direction, technique, analysis and approach
    • The project management life cycle
    • Constructive problem solving and decision making
    • How to communicate with various stakeholders and clients within the life cycle of the project
    • Communicating the good, the bad and the ugly of your project updates
    • Managing “mission creep”
  • WORKSHOP/KEYNOTE: Invisible Influence

    Your job requires you to influence people just about all of the time. Whether you are in a supervisory position or not, you need to gain support, inspire others, work well with others, get things done without support and improve your relationships. 

    Whatever form it takes, being an excellent influencer makes your job easier. We all want to have influence with the people we work with, but are unwilling to be manipulated, or be a manipulator.  Invisible Influence explores the science of influence – by maximizing our own personal strengths.  You won’t manipulate anyone, but instead recognize what your invisible influences are, and maximize their power. 

    There are many ways to influence others – and it isn’t about right or wrong – it is about being aware of the impact you have when communicating. Invisible Influence skills require a healthy combination of interpersonal, communication, and assertiveness techniques. It is about adapting and modifying your personal style when you become aware of the affect you are having on other people, while still being true to yourself. Behaviour and attitude change are what’s important, not changing who you are or how you feel and think. 

    Learning Objectives: 

    • What is Invisible Influence? 
    • Boost communication skills both at work and in your personal life 
    • Evaluate your impact on others 
    • Improving your ability to influence others 
    • Understanding rules and conventions 
    • Speaking your mind without offending 
    • Finding out how others see you 
    • Verbal and non-verbal communication 
  • WORKSHOP: Leadership Bootcamp

    You have earned your senior role. You are respected and you know what to do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it better. By learning to be a leader, you will find you standout on your team and your team stands out. Getting things done is easier, the frustration level is lower, and you’ll enjoy what you are doing.  

    But what is “Leadership” anyway?  Leadership in 2017 is different than Leadership in 1987.  It doesn’t mean you supervise, and it certainly doesn’t mean you are a “manager”. It means you lead through your actions. Do you know how to lead through your actions?  Do you know how to lead without authority? 

    Through the use of a fully interactive, fun and applicable workshop activity, we’ll discuss what leadership means to everyone, and how they can apply the same leadership skills that are used to run organizations of thousands to their own roles back at work. 

    Step into your potential – become a leader today! 

    Learning Objectives: 

    • What is leadership? The difference between a boss and a leader 
    • Why do men and women lead differently, and what do we need to know to be successful regardless of our gender? 
    • Four unique management styles. Identify your own, identify your manager – and identify which works best for you at your workplace (and why it works) 
    • The top 10 attributes of an effective leader and what that means to today’s senior admin 
    • Avoid the 5 mistakes that most leaders make – hit the ground running, not stumbling 
    • Six pieces of advice that will make your job easier and your life better 
  • WORKSHOP/KEYNOTE: Make the Leap to Remarkable

    Are you remarkable? Do you really stand out as “one of the best” in the administrative field? And if you have been doing our job for a while now (5+ years), how do you know if you are good anymore? Are you relying on your own self-taught skills to make you remarkable? Think about how much has changed in the last five years alone!  

    The reality is that we learn on the job. We learn as the tasks get sent our way. There isn’t a “manual” on what this job means anymore. The administrative role isn’t what it used to be. It probably isn’t what it was when you started – and it certainly won’t look like this in 10 years either. Are you keeping up? Are you aware of the changing dynamics to be an administrative professional in this day and age? 

    We are going to talk about the top 10 things you need to do to Make the Leap to Remarkable! 

    • Self-assessment tool to see how you really rank as an administrative professional in 2018 
    • 100+ secrets and tips to make you stand out at work 
    • Things to do (and not do!). These have changed over the years, so don’t assume you know them anymore. 
    • Top 10 attributes of a remarkable assistant. How do you compare? 
    • What skills are needed in 2018? And what skills have become redundant. 
  • KEYNOTE: Maximizing Your Inner Super Hero

    All Super Heroes have Super Powers, and when they use them for “good” rather than “evil” they can leap tall buildings in a single bound, catch a speeding bullet, or stop a runaway train in its tracks. 

    We all have super powers, we just don’t always know what they are, nor what to do with them. Learn to harness the super powers you have to be a Super Hero every day at work. 

    Come along for a fun ride as Rhonda shares how to find your super powers, and how to use them to help you maximize your Inner Super Hero. 

    • The top 10 super powers, and how you can apply them everyday to improve your life, both personally and professionally 
    • What do the Beatles, Starbucks, Amazon, and YOU have in common? Learn how innovation can make you stand far above your competition 
    • Easy to apply techniques to maximize your inner super hero 
    • Laugh, play, learn, and enjoy as you share your journey with Rhonda
  • WORKSHOP: Minute Taking Made Easy

    Have you ever avoided applying for a job because it indicated you needed minute taking skills? 

    Do you avoid eye contact at a meeting when they are looking for a minute taker? Maybe even come to the meeting deliberately late so that you won’t be chosen? Does the thought of taking minutes scare you to death? Worry that you don’t have shorthand and can’t write fast enough? 

    You are not alone. 

    Most people learn to take minutes from copying the previous minute takers example, but what if you have no previous example? What happens if what they have created in the past doesn’t make sense to you? Most people are not even remotely confident when it comes to taking minutes because they were never taught how to take minutes. 

    “Minute Taking Made Easy” will give you the skills you need to get started. We will ensure you walk into your next meeting knowing you can do what they need you to do. 

    Learning Objectives:

    • What should be in minutes (and why) as well as what shouldn’t be in minutes and why not.
    • How to avoid the “Bob said” and “Mary said” challenge.
    • What is current with taking minutes in 2021 (it is NOT the same as 2001) and why.
    • How to protect yourself and your company legally.
    • Using laptops, recorders, and artificial intelligence.
    • Taking minutes for online meetings.
    • Learn about taking live minutes to save yourself hours of time.
  • WORKSHOP: Reboot Your Job!

    Everyone needs a reboot in life occasionally. Sometimes it is our diet, sometimes it is our exercise habits, sometimes a massive clean-up is required. And sometimes, it is our job and our relationships that need a reboot. 

    Achieve satisfaction at the end of the day because you know you excel in what you do – and others know it too!  Be proud, stand tall and be confident in your abilities!  Using your strategic skills to work together in effective partnerships with others to ensure you are amazing (and they look amazing as well!) 

    Learning Objectives: 

    • How to communicate with your everyone you work with – with confidence, credibility and charisma – without being either pushy or a pushover 
    • Build and strengthen your “people” skills through service-oriented thinking 
    • Develop the credibility you need to get things done
    • Develop a winning combination of diplomacy and professionalism 
    • Create a passion for your job, by loving what you do 
    • Increase your effectiveness, productivity and satisfaction! 
    • Handle the stress of changing priorities, the economy and the reorganization changes that Shell is currently experiencing  


    By having as much participation as possible, the participants become part of the learning process instead of being expected to absorb the learning through just listening.  Learning by doing is an integral part of the success of this program.

  • KEYNOTE: Sometimes You’re the Windshield - Sometimes You’re the Bug!

    How to take control of your own life.  

    Sometimes life gets the better of us, and we ask “Whose life is it anyway”?  When you stop living for yourself, and live only for everyone else, something is missing!  In this humorous keynote, Rhonda shares that not only do we all experience this feeling – it’s OK to be frustrated!   

    Learn how to stay away from contagious negativity, look at life through a positive focus and stop blaming (whether it is the economy, government, organization or just bad luck!)  For those people that do this naturally they will learn addition skills to keep on top! 

    Take control of your own life is the message – and through realistic, easy and fun approaches to change, Rhonda leaves everyone laughing about life, instead of crying – but most importantly, the knowledge on how to get back the life we want to have!  

  • WORKSHOP/KEYNOTE: Stress Strategies & Solutions

    Are you stressed? 

    The bad news is that stress (the body’s non-specific reaction to any demand made on it) can eat away at you until you explode – and that never happens at an opportune moment. 

    The GOOD news is: You will learn exactly where stress comes from and precisely how to cope by using an individualized approach to dealing with stress when it arises (as it’s bound to, right?) 

    That’s why I’m offering this workshop, Stress Strategies and Solutions – based on my years of research – which will: 

    • Help you cope with the stressful situations that are bound to occur in your life – without feeling like you’re going to explode.
    • Increase your productivity at work and at home.
    • Improve your relationships with your spouse, family members and co-workers.
    • Dramatically increase your satisfaction levels at work and at home. 


    Learning Objectives: 

    •  The source of your stress (it might not be what you think it is)
      3 methods of coping with stress
      Dozens of activities to relieve stress – do 5 per day and you’ll be on your way to a better life, FAST
    • How to identify your major and minor causes of stress, and attack methods that will give you the biggest stress-reducing impact in the shortest amount of time
    • The Top 10 Sources of workplace stress – are any of these affecting you?
    • How to recognize and relieve the symptoms of stress
    •  5 stages and symptoms of chronic stress (with hard-hitting counter-attacks for each stage!)
    • How stress might be affecting you (you may not even realize stress is the cause of these common stress-related ailments)
  • WORKSHOP/KEYNOTE: The Amazing Assistant

    Refine and expand the critical skills that make you better than good, they make you “Amazing.”  

    Finally, come to work because you want to and because you know you make a difference!   

    Achieve satisfaction at the end of the day because you know you excel in what you do – and others know it too!  Be proud, stand tall and be confident in your ability to be an Amazing Assistant! 

    Learning Objectives: 

    • How to communicate with confidence, credibility and charisma – without being either pushy or a pushover 
    • The 15 vital interpersonal skills that amazing assistants need to master to build and strengthen your “people” skills 
    • What you need to do to create the leadership qualities that make you stand out from the crowd 
    • Develop the credibility you need to get things done without authority 
    • Develop a winning combination of diplomacy and professionalism 
    • Project a “take-charge” image that wins respect and recognition 
    • Increase your effectiveness, productivity and satisfaction! 
  • WORKSHOP/KEYNOTE: Time & Workload Management

    Do you complain that you don’t have enough time? Do you seem to always get behind on your organizational work, but aren’t sure why? If you don’t identify it, you can’t fix it. Come to our workshop to out where you are guilty and more importantly, where you can manage your time better to get the things done that you need to get done!  

    This workshop will introduce you to practical techniques in helping you achieve better results though better time and workload management. You will learn how to organize your time more effectively and will be introduced to tools and perspectives to better manage your workload. 

    Learning Objectives: 

    • Identifying time management challenges 
    • Discussing common time management mistakes 
    • Prioritizing a constantly changing workload 
    • Evaluating current time use (and misuse) 
  • Desa Chipman, EA to Northern Health President & CEO

    Rhonda Scharf is one of the most engaging speakers I have had the pleasure of listening to. When Rhonda speaks she is speaking with you and not at you, which has attendees feeling connected and engaged to what she is speaking about.

  • Amy Ruddell, Senior Director, Diversified Communications Canada

    Your knowledge of the profession at our Administrative Professionals Conference of Canada engaged the group immediately, as did your ability to engage, inspire, and motivate. As one attendee wrote: “You NEED to have Rhonda back every year!

  • Rachel Reynolds, Manager Professional Development, International Association of Administrative Professionals

    Rhonda Scharf is one of my favorite presenters. Not only is her fun, engaging, interactive style and meaty material a favorite among attendees; but, as the conference education planner, her attention to detail, meeting of deadlines, and easygoing manner is a job and pleasure to work with. When I hire Rhonda, I am assured to get quality, customized presentations that give our attendees the information they need in a way they don’t feel like they are sitting in a conference workshop.

  • Pat Muenster, MHCEA President

    I wanted to say Thank You for taking time out of your busy schedule to attend the MHCEA Education Conference. Your presentations were informational, insightful, mixed in with a lot of humor. I heard so many wonderful comments after the conference from our attendees.

  • Joy Rice, Manager Training & Special Services, Electrical Cooperatives of Arkansas

    Rhonda’s rates are the highest rating I’ve ever had for an Administrative Professional’s Conference in all the years I’ve been coordinating them, and among the highest I’ve every had for any conference speaker. Everyone really enjoyed her and we are all very, very pleased.

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