Thank you for visiting my site. I’m an entrepreneur, writer and speaker, and this is a place where I share information about the topics and projects I care about. I am particularly passionate about transformational leadership and organisational change, and enjoy helping fellow business owners, executive teams and CEOs get the best out of their people, especially in the midst of rapid political, environmental and socio-economic change. In this line of work I am often invited to offer business commentary for industry publications, on TV and on radio.
In 2006, after a short and colourful career in sales (that included peddling welding machines and earth-moving machinery spares), I took the entrepreneurial plunge and started a company called Cerebra. With a specialist focus on digital content and engagement, Cerebra won numerous multinational accounts and grew quickly to become South Africa’s leading social media agency. In my role as CEO of the business I had the privilege of working with Coca-Cola, Samsung, Toyota, Vodafone, AB InBev, Google, Ford, Huawei, Barclays, and many other remarkable brands. Cerebra was acquired by global advertising giant WPP in 2013.
In 2007 I co-founded a web start-up called Afrigator.com that was acquired by Naspers just 18 months later. Around the same time, I began hosting a popular networking event called the 27dinners, which went on to catalyse business collaborations and relationships through hundreds of successful events.
A big thank you to the talented team at Epitome for some of the photographs on this site.
Talks and Facilitation
I’ve spoken at over 300 conferences, corporate functions and industry events both locally and abroad, and facilitated a variety of workshops for over 40 major brands. I talk on the subjects I know best – media, social business, consumer behaviour, communication, marketing, advertising and branding – but am also happy to tailor content to your requirement.
Click on the link below to request a quotation for the format of your choice: a TED-style 20 minute presentation, a 45 minute keynote presentation, or a 3 hour (or full day) workshop facilitation.
Click through to read recent blog posts and articles below.
Leigh de Jamaer
Mike’s keen interest in understanding our market, combined with his enthusiasm for his areas of expertise, made for an engaging, entertaining and highly relevant presentation. His energy was positively infectious and his talk received huge compliments from our audience.
Mike is irritatingly good at public speaking. Irritating because he has an uncanny ability to read the audience and pitch the content and tone at exactly the right level. Irritating because he delivers profound insights in a common-sense manner, and because his wry sense of humour makes each presentation more like a chat with a mate than a lecture.
Mike was a keynote speaker at our recently held Digital Ignition Symposium. Mike was given the unfortunate graveyard shift but due to the insightful, enthusiastic and passionate way in which Mike delivered his talk made it the most interactive and interesting session of conference. He is one of the most dynamic speakers I have seen in a long time.
Linda van der Merwe
Having the pleasure of listening to Mike addressing – amongst others – the topic of personal branding, the word “extreme” came to mind when I think of him. Not only an extremely entertaining and engaging speaker, but truly gifted with being extremely knowledgeable.
I have had the privilege of listening to Mike speak on two occassions in the last two years. He was by far one of the best speakers at both events. Mike has the full package – he is intelligent, witty, insightful, energetic and colloquial – a rare combination. I look forward to hearing Mike speak again in the near future.
Mike’s participation at Tribe Thursday made the event! If you’re looking for a razor-sharp intellect who is not shy to mix it up and really get people thinking then Mike’s the man! Unconventional, outspoken, lateral, and thoroughly entertaining Mike’s speaker debate at Tribe Thursday ensured we had the jagged edge to keep people talking!