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  • Testimonials

    • “I found Ignite Excellence had a new and fresh approach to an old topic – developing better communication skills. I’ve taken many courses in this area and appreciate you being able to address this succinctly.”
      Lisa Lapierre, Consultant
      Hunt Personnel

    • “I found Ignite Excellence had a new and fresh approach to an old topic – developing better communication skills. I’ve taken many courses in this area and appreciate you being able to address this succinctly.”
      Lisa Lapierre, Consultant
      Hunt Personnel

    • “Thank you for giving me great habits and the tools to get it right every time! Your course and its teaching methods have already proven successful, as I’ve been able to persuade and move people to action faster with greater retention of information! I will use the skills I’ve learned in every presentation I do, with the ability improve each and every time!”
      Mia Chang, Account Executive
      Desjardins Financial Security

    • “My experience at the training was terrific. Of course you shook me out of my comfort zone. It was engaging, interactive, emotive and very purposeful. I learnt about my personality strengths that are relevant to effective communication.”
      George Ogalo
      Africa International University

    • “This is by far the most enjoyable and effective training program I have been involved with… and ironically on my (previously) least favoured subject.”  

      Jillian Warren, Sr. Interior Designer
      IBI Group

    • “Over my career, I’ve taken many presentation courses, but none of them really pushed me to the limit as this one did. The Ignite Excellence approach makes you face your fears and tackle them head on! It also forces you to think and plan strategically when preparing for a presentation. The individualized skills learned in this program far exceed the cost!”
      Moe Renaud, Regional Director
      Desjardins Financial Security

    • “Having been in the Group Benefit business for over 20 years I have had the opportunity to attend many presentation courses over that time.  The Ignite Excellence Presentation program was by far the most valuable to date. The instruction is concise, well prepared and very encouraging in helping apply the tools. I would recommend this program to any individuals who present to potential clients!”

      Rod Trites, Account Executive
      Desjardins Financial Security

    • “I have, in the last few years, lacked confidence in several aspects of my life. This program has helped me gain it back. I will speak up in the future and feel good about it. Thanks.”
      Susan Roach, Direct Sales Rep
      Hanson Brick

    • “The unique thing about Suzanne Stevens is her innate ability to quickly identify how a particular community works, figure out how to craft communication to be effective in that context and then show how to use those skills.”
      Lois Shaw, Communications
      Africa International University (AIU)

    • “Quick session – a must have to grow as a Manager. It prepares you to carry out a difficult conversation. It makes you comfortable to lead.”
      Ambles Kock


    • “We continue to get requests from our staff for the Influence Without Authority Program and positive feedback from those who have attended in the past. To date, your program is the top rated program with our staff.”

      Ian MacRae, Director
      Rowan Williams Davies and Irwin Inc. (RWDI)

    • “I thoroughly enjoyed the Influence Without Authority program and would highly recommend it to anyone in the work place. I knew it would be helpful but didn’t realize just how beneficial and insightful it would be. I am much more confident now in how to communicate ideas, concerns and proposals and plan on using what I’ve learned in all facets of life. Thank-you!”
      Christine Tompa
      News Canada

    • “This program was a big eye opener for me, as well at times a humbling one. That said it was very instructive in helping me see the skills I need to improve on in effective influencing.”
      Dave Carpenter, Business Development Manager

    • “This was a very well structured, dynamic program. I have left feeling more comfortable and confident with my ability to communicate with more senior or experienced clients and colleagues.”
      Natalie York
      Rowan Williams Davies and Irwin Inc. (RWDI)

    • “A great training that should be taken by all Leaders who have direct reports. It offers excellent tips and facts that are essential for all business and even personal communications.”
      Helga Kriska, Team Leader –

    • “Firstly, I would like to thank you for offering such a program that gets to the heart of communication and more importantly, leadership. I found the three-day program to be exciting and extremely useful. It allowed me the opportunity to look back on the way I have been communicating, understand it and improve it. I feel empowered with new skill sets that will allow me to get the most value from the people I work with.”

      Richard Aubry, Associate
      IBI Group

    • For our Women’s Leadership Network, Suzanne Stevens created a session on influencing, differentiating and engaging, specifically aimed at women.  Suzanne herself is an excellent role model for other women and the session was a big hit!  Her presentation was engaging and the content was interesting, relevant and thought provoking.  Every participant enjoyed themselves and all of the feed back I received was positive.”
      Nancy Forrester, Manager, IT – ERP & BW,
      Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group Canada

    • “After just recently participating in the Leadership and Perception Selling Programs through Ignite Excellence, I have found a higher, conscious level of communication. Having attended a number of different Sales Training programs, Ignite Excellence is by far the most valuable in all facets. This has lead to stronger coaching abilities, higher levels of communication and understanding with upper management, as well as establishing and solidifying client relations.”

      Sandi Leonard, General Sales Manager
      Astral Media Radio

    • “Suzanne Stevens came to speak to our Women’s Leadership Network and we thoroughly admired her endless energy and insight into how women can be successful in all areas of their lives.”
      Allyson Kinsley, Vice President Strategic Business Development,

    • “The senior team at Research House has just completed three days of training with Ignite Excellence. The session was truly outstanding! My team returned to the office refreshed, re-invigorated and I think a bit exhausted. The change in the buzz around the office is remarkable. In my impression, the three days we spent with Ignite Excellence will kick of a quantum change in what Research House is and what it will be for the future.”
      Graham Loughton, Vice President & General Manager
      Research House

  • Ignite Excellence Foundation

    Investment in your development is also an investment in tertiary education for the future women leaders of Africa. Five percent (5%) of every program sold will be donated to the Ignite Excellence Foundation. – focusing on investing, inspiring & developing women leaders for tomorrow.
  • Become an Affiliate Partner

    Do you want to become an Affiliate Partner and earn referral fees? Click here to learn more. International affiliates welcome.
  • Organization Development

    If you are interested in developing your team, email us at sales@igniteexcellence.com for special online training rates or visit the Group Solutions for more information and options on developing your team.
  • Blog

    Presentations Oxygen: How to get out of the Rough…

    Posted on November 17th, 2014 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    Presentation rough times




    In the course of discussions during the presentation, you may encounter difficulty in communicating an idea or reaching an agreement, at Ignite Excellence we refer to these moments as ‘rough times.’ If tension does develop below are some strategies to deal with it.

    • Don’t interrupt. Let people complete their question. If you don’t understand, ask them to restate the question.
    • Do not get into an argument, get critical or blame anyone. 
    Read More

    Everything you need to know about sales… in four words.

    Posted on November 20th, 2014 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    As a person responsible for sales do you ever think your clients will do or act a certain way and somehow they end up surprising you?

    • By making a decision to buy later, or earlier?
    • By buying less, or more?
    • OR not buying at all?

    There is often a discrepancy of what we ‘think’ our clients are going to do and what they actually do.

    Why does this happen?

    Often it is based on our experience.

    Read More

    Hiring a Speaker? Here’s How to Ensure You Get Change That Sticks!

    Posted on March 24th, 2014 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    Sticky on headEvery organization can benefit from bringing an outsider into their corporation to speak to their team. The problem is most organizations that engage speakers only experience a temporary benefit. What can you do to ensure that an external speaker has a lasting impact?

    Here are three ideas:
    Higher performance depends on a higher attitude
    Change in results comes from a change in behaviour
    For behaviour change to be sustainable, the system must change

    Read More

    Does social media dilute “real” relationships?

    Posted on June 21st, 2013 and posted by Ignite Excellence

    I thought I would share this post from Terry Brock, President and CEO Achievement Systems, Inc. I recently had the pleasure of delivering my UnSales Sales™ keynote to a group of Meeting Planners at MPI TEC Toronto. One of the concepts I shared with them is The UnEmail Email™. This concept focuses on email being [...]

    Read More

    The UnSales Sales – Debunking Sales Perceptions

    Posted on June 5th, 2013 and posted by Ignite Excellence

    As children few of us dreamt about being a salesperson, but many of us now realize it is a necessary component of any job. Regardless if you are an entrepreneur or work in an organization we need to share ideas, influence outcomes and win over stakeholders.  As a professional, you are good at what you [...]

    Read More

    How to Write Compelling Proposals That Win the Sale

    Posted on June 3rd, 2013 and posted by Ignite Excellence

    I thought I would share this great insight from Adrian Davis about how to write a proposal. His recommendations are spot on. It is important to understand your prospect, and play back their objectives as they see them, then design the proposal to address them. I have always found the most valuable element of the [...]

    Read More

    Keeping your Edge & Energy during a Presentation

    Posted on April 30th, 2012 and posted by Ignite Excellence

    DEAR SUZANNE: How Can I Keep my Energy Up When Presenting? Q: I provide training, education and technical support to prosthetists and the national sales team. I loved it. However my love for what I was doing did not shine through in my 4 and 8-hourpresentations, as I felt I was extremely focused, serious and [...]

    Read More

    Ignite your Edgeness ™: Persuasive presentation strategies that move minds

    Posted on March 19th, 2012 and posted by Ignite Excellence

          Golf is a sport I have always found expensive, unphysical, a waste of time, and something you can never perfect. If I was not going to make money at it, win at it, or perfect it, why bother? Ernie Els may not agree with my evaluation of the sport, but then, he [...]

    Read More

    Email – Friend or Foe?

    Posted on July 3rd, 2012 and posted by Ignite Excellence

    Email - Friend or Foe?
    Email can be a friend or foe. How you use it, organize it, compose it will dictate which category it falls into.

    By the time you have read this blog, your in-box will have new mail. Some of it will be for you, some of it won't, some of it won't be clear if it's for you or not, some of it will be important, good chance most of it won't. All of it has to be read, noted, forwarded, deleted, answered and filed. It all takes time.

    Read More

    Follow-up and Forge Forward

    Posted on April 4th, 2012 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    [...]So what should you do now to reengage clients?

    It is highly effective to contact people when we do not need anything from them. Our goal is to provide them with something of value. This approach will ignite a very powerful concept when it comes to influence: reciprocity.

    If we make this an individual, or better yet, a corporate philosophy to take the upper-hand and follow-up with clients, a  reciprocal cycle is initiated, and you will drastically increase the chances of your clients returning your call and considering you for new business opportunities, if they were to arise.

    Here are ten proactive tips to help you stay top of mind, as it is your responsibility to forge the relationship for the future. [...]

    Read More

    If you can dream it, You can prepare for it!

    Posted on November 3rd, 2011 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    Influence preparation techniques for sales, presentations and negotiations

    Read More

    Looking out on Kenya’s famous game reserve, the Masai Mara, at the millions of wildebeest, I could not help but be intrigued by their behaviour. To watch the wildebeest  roam the vast open space with no semblance of order, to all of a sudden fall in line behind this one wildebeest. One wildebeest would start [...]

    Read More

    Manners. Remember, What Mama Taught Us!

    Posted on May 20th, 2011 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    [...] I often wonder how as adults we know it is so important to instill manners into our children, but we so often forget to practice what we preach.

    This blog is not to educate anyone on manners, but to remind us what our mama taught us. Listed below are top ten manner reminders that are often not observed regularly enough in business. Reflect on these childhood rules, and think about how many you might have accidentally broken recently (I counted 3 for myself). [...]

    Read More

    When is Empathy too much Empathy?

    Posted on February 22nd, 2011 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    What does empathy actually mean? According to the Oxford dictionary it means: “the power of identifying oneself mentally with (and so fully comprehending) a person or object of contemplation.”  How this plays out in certain situations can actually be a tool that can make you more or less companionate. I see the use of empathy [...]

    Read More

    What do Colleagues, Clients & Kids have in Common?

    Posted on August 26th, 2010 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    Have you ever said: “Explain it to me as if I were a six year old”? Now, have you ever heard a six-year-old say to you: “Explain it to me AND make sure I understand it”? Last weekend, I had the pleasure of being in the company of my niece. I imagine that she is [...]

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    Take Control – the Game is Yours to Win

    Posted on August 20th, 2010 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    Last week my husband I went to the Rogers Cup tennis tournament, in Toronto. We were excited to watch The Roger Federer play Juan Ignacio Chela. It was a qualifying game. My husband insisted that we see this game, because Roger Federer is to tennis what Tiger Woods is to golf. He was referring to [...]

    Read More

    The VICTORious VOLUNTEER: Making or Breaking Your Career

    Posted on April 26th, 2010 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    Volunteerism: the principle of relying on voluntary action (according to Oxford). Volunteerism according to Suzanne F. Stevens: Giving your intelligence, insight, and time to a cause. A social phenomenon that provides opportunities to rub shoulders with diverse individuals with similar interests. Exposing yourself to learning new skills, industries, or perspectives. An opportunity to expand your [...]

    Read More

    Pushing to the edge: a prosperous perspective

    Posted on April 19th, 2010 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    Recently I had the pleasure of learning about a new industry, new research, new program, new brands and new processes for a new client. This process was so mind-consuming that I actually challenged myself to question, “When was the last time I learnt so much in such a short period of time? When was the [...]

    Read More

    Two-Way Communication: The Difference Between Winning and Showing Up

    Posted on March 6th, 2010 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    I am a Very Proud Canadian! As a very proud Canadian, I felt a little disappointed when the Canadian Olympic women’s pursuit skaters made the decision to not communicate with their coach during such an important race. That decision may have cost them the podium. The Canadian men’s team used trackside signs to communicate with [...]

    Read More

    A Rose by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet. But Why Not Call it a Rose?

    Posted on February 22nd, 2010 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    My name is Suzanne F. Stevens. Not Sue Stevens, not Susan Stevens, not Suzanne Stephens, not Suz, not Sam, not Susan, certainly not Mr. Stevens, and definitely not Suzanne Somers! Now that I have that off my chest, how many people will actually remember my name? Over the course of my life, I always thought [...]

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    Hugs & Kisses: A Valentine’s Gesture for Client Loyalty

    Posted on February 16th, 2010 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    My husband and I were enjoying a wonderful Valentine’s Day afternoon and decided to stop by our local pub.  When we arrived, we received a personalized Valentine’s Day card and a Hershey’s Hugs & Kisses chocolate from our waitress. I was flattered and impressed. As a businessperson I could not stop but think about the implications [...]

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    Hearing is Believing: Presenting to What an Audience Wants

    Posted on February 8th, 2010 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    In my last entry, I spoke about looking in the mirror, knowing when to look closely and when to avoid constant scrutiny. In this entry I am asking you to look closely at who is in your audience when you are presenting to win business. Let’s say you decide to buy a new computer. The [...]

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    Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Sales and Business Strategies You Can See

    Posted on February 2nd, 2010 and posted by Suzanne F. Stevens

    After the holidays, I was chatting with a girlfriend about the gifts our husbands had bought us. I was quite impressed with the amount of care my husband put into my gifts; but I must admit, one of my girlfriend’s gifts gave me more thought. She received a mirror that acts like a microscope highlighting [...]

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