Expert Spotlight: Matt Baca

Matt Baca is not only an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Colorado, he also likes to call himself a “Corporate Trainer with a Humorist Twist,” providing high-energy, highly participatory training sessions for international business students and professionals in universities and businesses spanning the globe, including Latin America, Europe, and Central and Far East Asia. Matt answered some of our interview questions about his life as a worldwide trainer.

What are your most popular presentation topics?

How to Use Humor in the Workplace, Effective Presentation Skills, Effective Writing in the Workforce, Organizational Development Strategies for SMBs, How to Create a Learning Organization, and Learning with Cases.

Three words that describe your presentation style:

Dynamic, interactive, humorous.

What’s the most unusual location (or circumstances) you’ve presented in?

I did some customer service training in Almaty, Kazakhstan. We were at the Ankara Hotel. This was in 2004, and it was interesting because Kazakh companies were still adjusting to the free market and exploring strategies on how to better meet the needs of their customers.

What are some things that surprise you or inspire you about your interactions with clients/participants?

I’m always blown away by the synergy that comes when participants bring their knowledge and perspective to the discussion at hand.

Why did you become a speaker/trainer?

Three main reasons: 1) I love to see people learn; 2) I love to connect with people; and 3) I love to entertain people.

Do you have a favorite quote? What/why?

It’s a Zen quote by Shunryu Sukuzi: “When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.” I like it because it relates to teaching and facilitating: the teacher helps the participants to connect and to come up with the answers that they already know. The teacher gets out of the way and makes the students/learners the center.