Are you looking for someone to influence, educate, inspire and motivate your team?

Creating memorable, impactful learning events that influence the way people feel, think and behave is Michelle Holland’s superpower. With national experience across multiple industries, spanning all levels of leadership, Michelle is highly regarded by her peers. She delivers keynotes that are deeply tailored to each client’s needs to provide a powerful learning experience every time with standing ovations commonly proving their worth.

Michelle is available to entertain and educate a group of 1,000+ at a highly energised 60-minute keynote, lead a full-day interactive and influential workshop, or keep attendees riveted throughout the day as your event M.C.

About Michelle

Michelle is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, coach and business consultant. Leveraging her interest in people and business development, she traded in her accounting career to pursue her undergraduate and graduate degrees in human behaviour, organisational development and ethics.

In 2013, Michelle founded Synergy IQ a business consultancy, which she now runs with her business partner. Michelle specialises in leadership, strategy, change, and culture. In 2016, along with her partner, she launched an online platform that is revolutionising the music education sector (

As a keynote and professional speaker, she has spoken at conferences, live events and online events across Australia/New Zealand. Her speaking topics include leadership, business culture, courage and resilience, and leading change. An accredited leadership coach and culture profiler through Human Synergistics, a WholeBrain thinking practitioner for Herrmann Asia International, and a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, Michelle’s professional associations include the Australian Human Resource Institute, the South Australia Writers Centre, and the Leaders Institute of South Australia.

Michelle also volunteers as a mentor for young entrepreneurs and young business professionals. She has travelled and worked throughout Australia, Canada, the United States, England, Scotland, France, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Malaysia, Thailand, Borneo, Singapore, Bali, Fiji, and New Caledonia.

Michelle T Holland is the author of ‘Energy Vampires Suck’, ‘Unearthing Vampires’, and the international bestseller ‘Culture Inc’, and lives in South Australia with her two children, her partner, and two adorable dogs.

Michelle’s new book explores authenticity and embracing imperfection. Her passion and curiosity is helping her understand how comparison in leadership is fast-tracking burnout and regret. Her new book “Imperfect Leadership” is due for release through Global Publishing Group in 2022.

Michelle is a member of the new generation of speakers and authors who give generously to their audience and maintain relevance through continual research and development. Each presentation is a bit different, because as Michelle learns and grows, so does her ability to provide a unique look at the world through the creative and curious eyes of a corporate anthropologist.

Book Michelle:


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Signature Keynotes

“You will always fail when you are trying to be a perfect leader, you are a human after all.” Said my mentor. After a particularly challenging week trying to be everything to everyone I was ready to give up. This was the beginning of my journey to embrace imperfect leadership.


Imagine a world where people are able to give their best every day and reach their full potential. A world where we leverage strengths so that our leaders can be inspiring, caring and successful; and workplaces that support our wellbeing and our emotional lives…


Contrary to this utopia, we have created a world where our good leaders feel they are failing because they are not great. They look at the textbook leader with shame and longing, and work themselves to exhaustion trying to meet this perfect yet unrealistic view of leadership. This talk explores the phenomenon of working extremely hard, compromising our wellbeing, and trying to be the perfect leader. It’s time for a revolution in leadership that appreciates us for our fallible humanness.


Key takeaways:


1.  where the pressure for perfect leadership comes from and why its harmful to business success

2.  what is an “imperfect leader” and why its the only kind of leader for the future

3.  how embracing your own imperfection will create strength and courage you never knew possible

4.  four (4) pillars of an imperfect leadership mindset and skillset so you can be a successful (and healthy) leader now and into the future


This talk takes the audience on a journey to introduce them to the beauty and freedom of embracing imperfection. Based on Michelle’s personal leadership journey, her work with Dr Brené Brown, personal research, and her new book due for release mid-2022 called “Imperfect Leadership“.

Across Australia and the world, leaders are striving to be perfect. They have a picture of a “perfect leader” they believe that they are being judged against… unfortunately, they are right. You are faced with judgement when you become a leader.


There seems to be an expectation that we have to … know all the answers and coach our people, be compassionate and be tough, be strategic and answer all our emails, manage staff wellbeing while delivering every project outcome, collaborate with our peers and fix problems immediately, be innovative while following the rules, don’t challenge too much while creating change, implement new ways of working but don’t upset anyone doing it… all while looking like none of it is hard and we have it all together. Is it any wonder our good leaders are burning out?


People are fallible, and leaders are people. Leaders need to fill their own cup first to ensure that they are prepared to serve and support. We need to stop the worldwide trend of leaders dropping out of leadership and people saying that they don’t want to be promoted because leadership looks like a terrible career choice if you want to stay well and healthy.


Key take aways:


1. The 3 key reasons that people are quitting a leadership
2. The 7 elements we need for a healthy leadership mind
3. Setting and maintaining boundaries for self-care
4. Embedding a practice of reflection and self-compassion

This keynote is focused on giving leaders the skills, and most importantly, the permission to take care of themselves and become strong enough to lead effectively. During this keynote, Michelle shares her personal journey of ‘burnout and bounce’ to reconnect with her passion for leadership.

Gallup tells us that 85% of the world’s workforce is disengaged at work!


What if you and your employees could be 35% more satisfied and engaged at work? AND what if these engaged people actually deliver 30-40% more profit and productivity to your business? Would you be curious to find out how?

Current research shows that having the right kind of culture in your business delivers these kinds of results and more. It also shows that the culture you have is because of the results that you accept. So if you want better results, you need the right kind of culture.


So what is the right kind of culture…


Through years of research, trial and error, and experience working with business leaders across Australia, Michelle has discovered the three essential elements to creating cultures where success, satisfaction and sustainability happen.


Key takeaways:


1.  the conversation every leader must STOP having
2. the “Culture Killer Mistakes” business leaders make and how you can avoid them
3. the three key elements of culture that creates success
4. the key actions business leaders who lead successful change do every-time

Michelle takes the audience on a journey from bad to good to great in culture transformation. Sharing current research, case studies, and evidence she demonstrates the fundamental links between culture, success, results and leadership.


Based on Michelle’s new book “Culture Inc: Create a business that gets results and people love” OUT NOW.

Change takes many forms, but one thing remains consistent… the people. Whether you are making a personal change, a process or procedure change, an organisational wide change, or a change in technology you need the people who are affected by the change to adopt new ways of working if the changes you are making will be successful.


One of the perceived greatest challenges for leading change is when the group of people you are leading through change… refuse to budge. They are ‘resisting’ the change. Resistance to change appears to be a go-to reason why changes fail. But there is something you can do about this so-called ‘resistance’.


1. Explore the Top 10 Reasons why people resist change
2. Learn what you can do to manage change consistently
3. Discover the top secrets of an experienced corporate change specialist


Michelle has worked with business leaders to guide them through change and transformation for over 20 years. Based on Michelle’s eBook “Change Resistance – 10 top reasons people resist change and what you can do about it“. This eBook is provided free for participants.

Think about any change that you’ve tried to achieve or were a part of.


Now tell me what impact did your culture have on the success of that change?


More often than not my clients tell me that their “culture” is holding them back from the changes they want to make in business. The people aren’t engaged and are rejecting the new way of working. Have you thought about how much of that is to do with the individual and how much is systemic?


This talk explores the business culture as a living ecosystem and the impact that this system has on the individual ability to make a change in business. Through case studies, we explore why change fails and how understanding the ecosystem creates better outcomes.


Key Takeways:


1. understand why culture can be your greatest… friend or foe in change
2. discover the culture ecosystem and how knowing this can support your next change program
3. the key secrets of every great change manager and change leader

Based on Michelle’s new book “Culture Inc: Create a business that gets results and people love” OUT NOW.

Innovation starts with a spark of an idea.  Anyone can have this spark. But only the truly brave take that spark, create something new, build the fire underneath, engage others, and turn it into a reality.


Research conducted by the University of Virginia’s innovation team tells us that the only certainty in innovation is uncertainty. Dr Brené Brown* defines vulnerability as the feeling of uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. Tell me any time you’ve done something worthwhile and meaningful and haven’t felt vulnerable…


Michelle, after studying directly with Dr Brown in San Antonio Texas, discovered a gem that changed the way she viewed leadership and innovation forever. Michelle shares this gem of a discovery, and the research and the skills that are the keys to courage and therefore the gateway to innovation.


Key Takeways:


1. what goes up must fall down… the physics of innovation
2. the intersection between vulnerability and innovation
3. he proven skills of brave and innovative leaders


This talk is based on Michelle’s leadership and innovation journey (including co-founding an IT startup company), her work with Dr Brené Brown, and professional experience in leadership for over 20 years.


*Dr Brené Brown, is a researcher, storyteller, Professor at Houston University, and Author of five #1 New York Times best sellers. Her TED talk “The Power of Vulnerability” has been watched over 40 million times. Dr Brown has recently made a discovery that she calls the greatest of her career. That is, courage is the number one skill set required for the future of leadership AND it’s teachable, observable and measurable.

Michelle has a suite of talks (keynotes, masterclasses, and workshops) that help leaders to create change, improve their business results and become transformational leaders.

1. Dare to Lead™ training
2. Courageous and Meaningful Conversations
3. Leading Change
4. Authentic Leadership
5. Executives Leading Leaders
6. Culture of Belonging


Learn More by Contacting our Team

M.C. or Host for your event:

Daniel Franco is a steadfast optimist who believes that the power of trusting relationships is foundational to our bright future. He believes that the world is a better place when we work together.

As Director of SynergyQ and Host of the Creating Synergy Podcast, Daniel rises up every morning with the vision that he can help leaders create a business where their people feel safe, inspired and fulfilled. Daniel engages with leaders and organisations across all industries to help transform their company culture and become leaders in change.

Daniel is available to guest host your internal podcast or employee seminar, interview your team for energising content creation, or keep attendees riveted throughout the day as your event M.C.



She delighted our participants by using fun and energy... balloons... to teach them fundamental networking skills, which are more critical than ever in consideration of the current job market. I highly recommend Michelle as she is an engaging presenter with a tonne of positive energy to share.

Vy Collins

MTH Speakers Kit

Michelle is personable and approachable and a pleasure to work with and found time for all the delegates that approached her for further information at the event. I cannot recommend her enough and the expertise she brought to the event was invaluable to everyone inattendance!

Doug Power

Event Manager IQPC
MTH Speakers Kit2

Our participants left Michelle's presentation with a renewed sense of energy which was fantastic given it was the after-lunch session! I’m pleased to recommend Michelle as a speaker who engages and educates.

Taryn Sexton

CEO LG Professionals
MTH Speakers Kit3

Our expectations were exceeded as she engaged the audience with great stories and activities. She kept us hooked from beginning to end. Her knowledge of leadership branding was amazing and she gave us heaps of hints and tips along the way to help us all be better leaders.

Damien Walker

Chair YPG Rotary

Where you may have seen Michelle and the SynergyIQ Speak:

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