Shel Gives GREAT Talks on Green and Ethical Business Success—Have Him Address Your Group

Green, ethical businesses are actually better positioned for long-term success than their less socially conscious competitors—IF they understand how to market and position themselves properly. Conventional wisdom may say that these businesses succeed in spite of their commitment to higher goals, but Shel Horowitz offers the “business heresy” that these businesses succeed precisely because of their commitment to environmental and social good.

Using examples ranging from the Fortune 100 to solopreneurs, Shel brings this powerful message to audiences across the United States and internationally.

As a world leader and bestselling author in the green and ethical business sphere, quoted frequently in major media, Shel recognizes that different audiences will relate to this message in different ways. Thus, the range of presentation titles allows flexibility so that your particular audience will learn, understand, and presumably implement the best business practices for green and ethical business success in the 21st century.

Below, you’ll find many possible presentation titles and descriptions, as well as videos, testimonials, and more. Please click here to discuss your meeting format, needs, and possible dates with Shel.

Meeting Planners, Please Note: Shel is happy to work with you to design a custom presentation on any of these themes, just for your group.

Watch Shel’s 3-Minute Demo Video

View a 7-minute clip from Shel’s signature talk, “Making Green Sexy”

Partial List of Speech Topics

Click here for Speaking Testimonials

Listen to some of Shel’s interviews on Green, ethical, and frugal marketing

Speaking Venues (partial list)

Download Shel’s Speaker Onesheet

Watch Shel’s Two Talks at the Sustainable Foods Summit

Contact Shel

Partial List of Speech Topics


Green Business/Sustainability


Business Ethics


The Successful Green and Ethical Marketer’s Mindset


Clear Communication for Green and Ethical Businesses

Making Green Sexy: Marketing Green Products and Services to Green AND Non-Green Audiences

You have three audiences you need to market to:

1. Deep greens who already know why going green is important

2. Lazy greens: want-to-be-greens who will do the right thing only if it’s easy and cheap but won’t go out of their way

3. What’s-in-it-for-me consumers who will never be convinced that going green is worth extra trouble or expense, but who WILL buy on value, quality, and other attributes.

The committed greens are already onboard; now, you’ve got to reach the rest of the world! They’re not going to buy just because it’s the right thing to do—but they WILL buy when you show them how your offering is actually better: higher quality, greater comfort, lower price, and yes, sexier. You’ll succeed when you have different sets of messages for these three different types of customers. Using eye-catching slides and examples such as toilet paper, ice cream, and even the Empire State Building, Shel Horowitz, lead author of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, shows how to attract all three groups.

We’ll discuss:

  • What goes through the minds of these three different kinds of buyers, and how to harness their psychology to your advantage
  • How to identify the triggers for each audience
  • How to craft those triggers into powerful marketing messages that clearly show  the advantages of your products and services
  • How your superior green product can educate the nongreen buyer on why this stuff actually is important

Don’t waste money sending the wrong message to the wrong people! Learn how to create highly-targeted marketing messages that will move green, want-to-be, and nongreen prospects to action. Using case studies ranging from large, well-known companies to smaller niche brands (for-profit and otherwise), green marketing consultant and copywriter Shel Horowitz shows how to successfully market a green product to each of the three audiences. We’ll look at what kind of messages they respond to: what motivates them to buy. Finally, we’ll brainstorm together on a real-life green product: Participants will generate potential audiences, marketing ideas, and message points aimed at creating sales for this product—and then discuss how they could apply those techniques to marketing their own green products and services.

Business for a Better World: How Looking at Resources Differently Could Alleviate Hunger, Poverty, War, and Catastrophic Climate Change

Despite being so often positioned as the “bad guy,” business can and should be taking leadership in positive global change. It’s true that business practices have led to some of these crises. But because of this, business is uniquely positioned to address systemic and deep problems including hunger and poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change. And your business can reap multiple benefits by doing this work.

Learn how to turn touch points into tipping points—how to move the planet toward a sustainable world with enough for all, and how to benefit from the newly empowered consumer class you help create.

  • Why and how businesses can make a real difference
  • Benefits to the business: More revenue, lower costs, higher trust and credibility, easier and better marketing…
  • Additional benefits to society, and to the planet

    Transformative Green/Marketing the Transformation: How Deep Green Can be Deeply Profitable

      Learn how to:
    • Go a deeper shade of green—while saving big money
    • Change the internal culture toward sustainability
    • Educate and market to existing customers
    • Build loyalties with new constituencies and markets
    • Reach the green AND nongreen consumer with effective marketing messages

Capture Their Hearts: Winning Fans and Customers for your Green Innovations
Making society sustainable requires meeting people where they are and changing the way we think. The global shift we need will only happen when large numbers of people realize that a sustainable planet is in their own interest, and that this interest is stronger than other priorities. But this does not happen when environmental leaders try to press their case using guilt and shame and fear. It happens when you show people how their own value systems can and should incorporate green thinking, even if those value systems are based on narrowly defined self-interest.
  • How to get deep conservatives to embrace renewable energy
  • How cultures of water saving, energy saving, and recycling can become “the new normal”
  • Why it’s important to market differently to committed greens versus nongreen audiences
  • Message points that resonate with both groups

Green is Gold: How to be Market More Profitably by Being More Green
Suddenly, Green is chic. Everybody’s buzzing about climate change, carbon footprints, alternative energy, and more.

And if you have a business that takes Green positions–particularly if this is a long-lasting part of your operation that predates the current fad, but even if you’re new to it–you can convert that buzz into very profitable dollars

  • Why Green business is more profitable than traditional business
  • How to identify and market your Greenest elements
  • How Green businesses are better poised to build lucrative alliances with other businesses and nonprofits
  • What the continuing Green trend means to business over the long term

Using Your Sustainability Initiatives to Boost Meeting Attendance, Enthusiasm, and Revenue

Especially for green meeting planners: Going to a green conference is still something of a novelty these days, and that gives you the opportunity to get people excited, get them in the room, and get their preregistration dollars into your bank account.

Marketing consultant and copywriter Shel Horowitz will show you how to identify your current green initiatives, incorporate additional green initiatives, and use them to get people revved up about coming to your event.

We’ll discuss:

  • Green message points that resonate with potential attenders (covering logistics, program, publicity, and more—even waste collection
  • Points of contact where you can build enthusiasm
  • Ways to encourage them to pass the word
  • Post-event follow-up that can build your stature as a green-aware organization

Turning Your Green Enemies Into Allies: How to Turn Eco-Oriented Neighbors, Activists, and Customers from Hostile Adversaries Into Raving Fans

Aaugh! Does it feel like the whole world is against you? You’re trying to move forward with a sustainability agenda but a skeptical public won’t give you the benefit of the doubt. You face demonstrations, hostile media coverage, boycotts, or worse. How can you turn these hostile interest groups into allies and partners?

  • Clearly outline the sustainability steps you’ve taken or committed to
  • Demonstrate the sincerity of your green commitments and your willingness to work with all the stakeholders
  • Turn your hostile and skeptical public into active supporters

Green and Ethical Messages to Reach Green and Ethical Customers

  • Why responsible business is more profitable than traditional business
  • How to identify and market the Greenest and most ethical elements of your business
  • How responsible businesses are better poised to build lucrative alliances with other businesses and nonprofits
  • What the continuing Green trend means to business over the long term

Practice–learn how to:

  • Identify existing actions and policies most conducive to attracting socially and environmentally conscious fans
  • Create marketing strategies AND message points that easily bring these to the attention of your best prospects
  • Turn your customers into active participants in your marketing, telling their friends and colleagues about you because they are so in love with the experience of working with you, they have to share it

Painless Green: Easy Free/Cheap Shifts to Lower Your Carbon Footprint and Resource Use Without Impacting Your Lifestyle

  • Easy ways to save water, save energy, reduce waste, and lower your carbon footprint
  • Emphasis on methods that cost little or nothing and can be implemented immediately
  • Can often be tailored to address specific resource issues in your organization

Getting Buy-In (Level 1): Building Stakeholder Consensus for Sustainability

Real progress happens on the environment when all the stakeholder groups in an organization (or in an entire community or region) understand the need for action—and a majority are ready to move forward. In an era of backlash against environmental initiatives, getting the public, the politicians, and the press on your side is crucial. This is a marketing/education challenge, and therefore wants a solution rooted in marketing and education. Shel Horowitz, award-winning author of eight books including Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green and the monthly columns Green And Profitable and Green And Practical, will show you how to:

  • Demonstrate the consequences of inaction
  • Show practical, inexpensive, and easy ways to go green
  • Turn stakeholders into green ambassadors
  • Build community interest, acceptance, and activism—and move it to the next level

Getting Buy-In (Advanced): Building Support for Eco-Initiatives From Employees, Customers,  Politicians, the Press, and the Public

In times of tight budget, many government and corporate clients often think sustainability measures are an easy place to cut.

This session will provide you with some tools to:

  • Demonstrate the benefits (financial, quality-of-life, environment) to both decision makers and the general public of the work you do
  • Examine systems with a more holistic lens, where the interconnectedness of multiple systems exponentially increases the good results
  • Get a stronger understanding of marketing psychology that will help you not just defend your territory, but be seen as an active advocate for a better community who can harness a powerful constituency to lobby effectively for the work you do

Staying Profitable AND Ethical in Tough Economic Times

The market is crashing. Housing has tanked. Retirement savings are evaporating. If ever the temptation to cut corners, to bend the rules raises its head, now would be the time.

A word of advice: Don’t! In a down economy, it’s even more crucial to be the kind of company people want to do business with, and that gives you a big edge to survive and even thrive in troubled times.

  • Why companies based in Green and ethical principles can charge more for products and services, command much better buyer loyalty and evangelism, and slash marketing costs while retaining and increasing profits
  • How ethical lapses can kill your company (and jail your leadership) when times are bad
  • Why being ethical actually protects you from a broken economy

Turning Your Values Into Sales: Effectively Marketing Your Social/Environmental Commitment

Is your company’s commitment to improve the world a “best-kept secret?” Or are you openly using your values in your marketing, but not getting the results you want? Learn how to get the most possible marketing value out of your values. Treating the earth with respect, providing a healthy and welcoming atmosphere for employees, donating a portion of your profits, supporting social and environmental goals–are all marketing points to help you stand out in your prospects’ mind. Harness these points to build not only sales, but customer loyalty–to the point that they become part of your unpaid word-of-mouth army of fans and ambassadors.

  • Identify the existing actions and policies most conducive to attracting socially and environmentally conscious fans
  • Create marketing strategies that easily bring these to their attention
  • Involve your customers with a feeling of “ownership” and participation
  • Turn this reservoir of good will into a powerful, virtually free, marketing machine

Finding a Green Career You Love
An introduction to/overview of possible careers in the environmental world, with emphasis on finding your passion, harnessing your skills, and combining those into a deeply satisfying career. This can be either a hands-on interactive event for smaller groups—or large groups that break up into small groups (recommended), or an introductory lecture focused on ten possible careers for students or workers with different sets of interests and skills. The presentation will include career paths for:
  • Entrepreneurs and marketers
  • Scientists and researchers
  • Organizers and educators
  • Designers and builders
  • Technicians and analysts

How Business Ethics is Like Spinach: Don’t Make It Mushy—Make It Mouth-Watering

Too often, when you get served spinach, you get a shapeless, overcooked, flavorless mess. Yet, when properly prepared, spinach is a gourmet treat that warms the taste buds and makes you feel like spring.

Similarly, ethics is too often forced down the throats of unwilling students and business leaders “because it’s good for you.” It keeps you out of jail and has lots of vitamins and iron, but it may not feel good, or feel profitable.

Yet ethics, served properly, can be the magic key that unlocks the future of successful, profitable, sustainable businesses. It’s not only good for you, it’s the gourmet treat that makes it all worthwhile. It builds long-term customer, supplier, and employee relationships that actually make it much easier to succeed, if you understand how to position the enterprise to harness the benefits it creates.

  • How a commitment to ethics directly feeds a healthy bottom line
  • Why market share is the wrong metric
  • What Johnson & Johnson, Saturn, and Nordstrom understand about today’s changing business climate that Ford, Tyco, Worldcom and Enron failed to grasp
  • How Apple and IBM, GM and Toyota, even FedEx and the US Postal Service grow their enterprises through competitor partnerships—and how you can use the same principles to build a business of any size (even a solopreneur)
  • What Arthur Anderson would have thought of the fate of the company he founded, and why

Making Corporate Responsibility Sexy: Building and Marketing a Culture of Business Success Through Ethics.

  • How to build a stellar reputation that builds powerful referral business, even from competitors–and how not to get the legs knocked out from under you by messing it up (as happened to the CEO of Whole Foods)
  • How corporate stupidity and lack of social responsibility can kill even very strong companies–while accepting responsibility in a crisis can dramatically grow a business
  • Why most businesses shouldn’t worry about market share–and what they should concern themselves with instead
  • Why “nice guys” of either gender finish first, not last
  • How ultra-green practices can actually reduce expenses while providing marketing advantages

How to Be a Success in Business and Still Hold Your Head Up High

We’ve learned a lot about how NOT to do business from the likes of Enron and Arthur Andersen. The crooked approach doesn’t work; eventually, it catches up with you. Fortunately, it’s actually easier to run a business based on integrity, honesty, quality, and value. You’ll have better profits, better health-and when you look in the mirror, you’ll see someone to be proud of!

  • What Arthur Anderson, the man, would have said about the collapse of Arthur Andersen, the company
  • How to cope with crisis: What Johnson & Johnson understood that Firestone and Intel did not, and why its business is better for that understanding
  • How YOU can run a business based truly on ethics and service, and build a lasting legacy for future generations

Seduction, Sales, and Success: Three Magic Questions You MUST Address in Your Marketing—and One Easy Answer to Jump-Start Your Profits

What if you could triple the effectiveness of your marketing—without spending a single extra penny—just by focusing your message on three simple questions your prospects want you to answer? What if the answers to those three questions could move people right through the “marketing ladder”—moving from “Never heard of you” to “It sounds kind of familiar” to “Interested, tell me more “to “I want it” …all the way to “This is so great, I’m telling all my friends!”

  • Why most marketing fails to give you enough value for your dollar
  • Three of the biggest mistakes you may be making in your marketing
  • Three questions that anyone thinking about doing business with you is secretly asking
  • One word that should frame your answer to those three questions
  • How the framework that follows this word can make your prospects feel you’re speaking directly to their deepest needs and desires

Cross-Marketing: How to Turn Competitors and Complementary Businesses Into Partners

Why do some of the biggest and most successful companies collaborate closely with their supposed “enemies”?

We hear over and over again the “wisdom” that business is a cutthroat arena, and that you have to stab your competitors in the back. Well, oddly enough, the reverse is actually true. And that’s why we see wildly successful joint ventures among companies who should, according to the conventional wisdom, be sabotaging each other–but who have found it far more beneficial to work together.


  • General Motors and Toyota jointly brought out the 1986-88 Nova/Corolla and other cars
  • IBM, Apple, and Motorola combined forces to develop the PowerPC chip architecture, which powered many computers during the 90s and early 2000s
  • FedEx moves USPS express mail across the country in its airplanes–FedEx benefits by selling cargo space and filling planes that might have otherwise flown half-empty–and thus amortizing the costs of fuel, pilots, etc. over a larger load–while the Postal Service benefits by knowing that mail will actually arrive at its facilities in time to guarantee overnight delivery

Even the tiniest businesses can emulate these giant corporations and create successful partnerships with competitors. As one among many examples, I reprint in one of my books an ad from a group of 11 local florists, touting the benefits of getting flowers from a florist in an ad much bigger than any could have afforded alone.

This session will include a hands-on segment where attenders will network and explore partnerships with other attenders for businesses they might start after school.

Embracing Abundance: How to Get Past “Market Share” to What’s Really Important

  • Market share is usually irrelevant; the world is abundant and there’s room for everyone to succeed
  • You can actively profit from your competitors’ successes!
  • Harness the awesome power of your own customers to do your marketing
  • Honesty, integrity, and quality are far more important than quick profits-the Golden Rule actually WORKS in business
  • As you create value for others, you build value in your own business
  • The most important sales skill isn’t even about selling
  • How to turn marketing from a cost into a direct revenue stream

Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Affordably Starting a Business Based in Ethics and Integrity

You want to start a business but it seems the odds are against you. The vast majority of businesses fail within the first year; most of the rest are gone within five years. How can you be one of the successes?

This talk will give an overview of starting a successful ethical business, and using that ethical stance to leverage business, grow, and succeed

How to:

  • Analyze your skills and interests to see what businesses they can lead to
  • Determine if there is a market
  • Build ethics in from the ground up and use that cornerstone to drive success
  • Launch with little or no capital
  • Develop and execute affordable, effective, ethical marketing strategies

Note: This is an overview workshop. Any of those bullet points could be its own workshop

Tired of Chasing Customers? Let Your Customers Come to You!

Strategies and messages to change from the “pesty sales creep” to the valued advisor that clients actually seek out:
  • Establish yourself as the expert and the go-to person when your clients need help and advice, because you’re looking out for their best interests
  • Come to new audiences on the arm of an already-trusted partner who paves the way for you
  • Be known as the helpful consultant who helps solve problems and meet customer needs

Turn Customers Into Raving Fans! Energize Your Clients Into Sales Ambassadors

When you make a purchase, is it in spite of the firm’s marketing–or because of it? The best marketing is non-intrusive, reaches the right prospects?and tells them how and why your offer can solve their problem or improve their lives. The way to get clients isn’t to beat your chest and say how great you are–it’s to identify and solve your prospects’ problems, meet your prospects’ needs! Learn the secret of turning other people’s problems into your opportunity, and watch your business grow. Learn to focus marketing efforts on benefits to the client or customer, rather than product features: keep it “you” focused, not “me/we” focused.

  • Find the right prospects.
  • 10 points to great copywriting.
  • Objections as a sales tool: learn how to really listen.
  • Match the “personality” of a presentation to the individual person you’re addressing.

Frugal Marketing 101: How to Slash Your Marketing Costs and Boost Your Results

Successful marketing campaigns don’t have to be expensive. Let the author of four low-cost marketing books show you how to…

  • Get free publicity in mainstream and alternative media, from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times on down to your local shopper
  • Inexpensively set up and promote an effective multipronged Internet presence that extends far beyond just having your own website
  • Make excellent contacts at trade shows without even having a booth
  • Find ways to actually get paid to do your own marketing

Sales From a Marketing Mindset
Most studies say it costs at least four times more to get a new client as to retain an existing one. To the skilled marketer working in sales, this means three important things:

1) If you’re spending all that money to go after new business, do it as effectively as possible. Nurture the leads you get from your sales force, website, trade show appearances, etc.

2) Romance your existing customers to build those long-term–and cost-effective marketing relationships.

3) Learn to identify the most likely prospects, and how to spend your sales efforts on them, instead of wasting them talking to non-prospects

The “Triangle of Expertise”-How to Turn Marketing from a Cost into a Direct Revenue Stream
Are you getting paid to do your own marketing? If not, why not? At least some of your marketing should be earning money not only in the new customers it brings, but in direct transactional sales where people actually pay to receive it.
  • Understand the “triangle of expertise”
  • The three points that I’ve used to generate revenue from my marketing
  • Find the right points in your business
  • How to leverage referrals and develop an unpaid marketing army

Finding the No-Jargon Zone: How to Speak “Peopletalk”

Jargon is a deal-killer! So are “high-falutin’ words” that most people won’t understand. And so is passive language where the action gets lost. Sure, they’re OK, if you’re speaking to an audience of rocket scientists, or even Ph.D.s–but if you can’t find the right tone to reach ordinary people, you don’t actually reach them. If you fill your marketing with blather, you lose your audience. But when your message is clear, you create fans–and customers

Shel Horowitz, author of eight books and more than 1000 published articles, editor, and marketing consultant/copywriter, helps you put your writing and your speeches into plain English–tearing down the barriers between you and your audience while still sounding intelligent.

Bring the worst examples of convoluted writing. We’ll tear them apart together and rework them into something mighty and magical.

Media Training

Group or individual training in effective communication with the press, available in person or online.
  • How to get comfortable in front of cameras and microphones
  • How to develop and present sound bites
  • What to do if reporters ask the wrong questions
  • How to stay “on message”

Artist Partnerships = Business Growth: 5 Ways Businesses Can Benefit by Partnering with Artists, and How Your Business Can Take Full Advantage

We hear a lot about how artists can help their careers by working with business—but it’s a two-way street. As in any good partnership, both sides should benefit.

Together, in this interactive session, we’ll explore five categories of benefits business can receive by working with the arts, and go into some detail on each.

  • How working with visual artists, musicians, writers, and other artists can bring traffic, attention, and revenue
  • Ways to vastly increase the impact of your support of the arts, with almost no extra work
  • How you can leverage this to get capital, coverage in the media, and additional win-win partnerships
  • Specific tools you can use to get noticed as a supporter of the arts and a respected presence in your community


And more

It’s clear how passionate and knowledgeable Shel is about ethical/green marketing. With a warm and engaging style, he brought the interview to life with vivid examples that captivated my listeners. He’s welcome back on Smart Networking Radio any time!
– Liz Lynch, author, speaker, coach and host, Smart Networking Radio,



Speaking Venues (partial list)

A Few Among Many Venues Where Shel Has Spoken

SolarFest - New England Renewable Energy FestivalBosphorus Conferences, Istanbul, Turkey

Forum Davos Communication On Top International Conference, Davos, Switzerland

International Sustainable Foods Summit, San Francisco, CA

Infinity Publishing Author Conference Keynote

University of Massachusetts Family Business Center (multiple appearances)

GreenAmerica’s GreenFest, Washington, DC

GoGreenExpo, NYC

Boston GreenFest

Communitelligence “Communicating Sustainability” conference

Business for Social Responsibility Conference, Boston

Noteworthy USA National Conference, Las Vegas (Keynote and 3-hour solo workshop)

Ragan Strategic Media Conference, Chicago

Book Expo America, New York, NY (multiple appearances)

IBPA Publishers University/Publishers Marketing University (multiple appearances)

Regional publishing associations in six states from New Hampshire to California

Write Angles Writers Conference (at least nine appearances)

Public Relations Society of America International Conference

America Society of Journalists and Authors National Conference

Vermont Information and Networking for Entrepreneurs

Colleges and Universities: Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, University of Vermont, University of Massachusetts, Antioch College

Expanded list available on request.

You may contact Shel Horowitz with the form below.

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