Inspirational "Touch the Sky" programs
“Put Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell together, add a little Robin Williams, and you’ve got Eleni…!” — Martin Stone, Our Times Concert Series
As a six foot woman who never quite fit in, Eleni Kelakos knows a thing or two about being a square peg in a world full of round holes. She’s learned to celebrate and embrace her uniqueness — forging ahead in spite of obstacles and challenges — and she’s passionate about helping other women do the same. Passionate, warm and funny, Eleni inspires women of all ages to stand out, be heard, and move forward in their lives and their careers, so they can make the difference they were born to make. Wielding her acoustic guitar, original songs and witty, poignant stories, Eleni fills her presentations with a vibrant theatrical flair spawned from over 25 years performing on countless stages as a professional actress and award-winning, recording singer-songwriter in New York and Los Angeles.
Her unique flagship keynote program, TOUCH THE SKY, inspires people—and women in particular—to feel more alive, more empowered and more committed to realizing their own potential in spite of obstacles. “My goal,” she says, “is to leave folks with cheeks that are sore from laughing, mascara that’s ruined from crying, a fire in their hearts propelling them forward, and a wild urge to shout out and share their Great Big Voice!” She does this with an interactive, energetic program that is rich with stories and songs (“Hope Begins with Me,” “Gonna Find My Choir,” “Bernie, the High Flying Granny,” and “The Tallest Poppy”) that encourage people to think, laugh, feel and occasionally sing along. Filled with content and practical suggestions for discovering and actualizing the best that is in them, TOUCH THE SKY’s songs, stories and message linger in the hearts and mind of audience members long after the event is over.
Having lost both of her parents to long-term illness (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease), Eleni has a caregiver’s intimacy with the healthcare system. She has deep respect for the healthcare professionals, both paid and unpaid, who — in the face of great challenges — turn themselves inside out to care for others in hospitals, nursing homes and healthcare facilities across the nation. Her song, “Everyday Healers,” was written in celebration of — and gratitude for — the nurses, aides and doctors who cared for her mother during the final years of her life, and is featured on her third CD, WHERE I COME FROM.
Eleni completed a double major in Theatre Arts and Semiotics from Brown University. Through her record company, EEK! Records, she’s released four CDs of original music, including “TOUCH THE SKY: Songs to Inspire Uplift and Empower.” When not attempting to change the world from the speaking platform one song or story at a time, Eleni is President and Chief Catalyst of SPEEK (Speaking Powerfully and Effectively, with Eleni Kelakos) where she uses theatre tools to help business professionals bring more clarity, confidence and impact to their speeches and presentations. She’s also a proud member of the National Speaker’s Association, and past President of the National Speaker’s Association of Michigan.
Most Popular Programs:
TOUCH THE SKY! (Eleni’s Flagship Program)
A unique combination of original songs and stories, “Touch the Sky,” Eleni’s flagship program, is an exhilarating, interactive, theatrically-oriented experience. Entertaining, yet content-filled, it will inspire you to feel more committed to your unique passion, purpose and path, and to being persistent and resilient in the face of challenges and change. “Touch the Sky” is terrific as an opening keynote, kicking off a conference or event with energy, laughter and connection between participants. As a luncheon keynote, it helps raise flagging attention spans for better productivity during afternoon sessions. And as a closing keynote, it ends the day with a memorable emotional wallop that will cement key messages and ensure people leave filled with potential and possibility.
Popular versions of TOUCH THE SKY include:
TOUCH THE SKY! In Celebration of Every Day Healers
A great way to kick off or conclude a celebratory event for healthcare professionals, volunteers, or patients and their families! In this upbeat, positive and heartfelt keynote filled with original songs and stories, Eleni shares pivotal moments from her own life as she developed resiliency and determination in the face of continuous challenges. Songs like “Everyday Healers” and “Hope Begins with Me” reinforce appreciation for your commitment to heal others, or to heal yourself. You’ll leave feeling re-energized, re-connected to your humanity, and re-committed to your unique passion, purpose and potential.
TOUCH THE SKY! Stop Being A Parts Car, and Get Yourself Up and Running!
As women, and as human beings, we’re meant to run on all cylinders, as powerful vehicles of promise and prosperity. Instead, we often choose to be a “parts car,” giving away the best parts of ourselves to others so that they can flourish at our expense. No wonder we find ourselves stuck and stalled by the side of the road! This is especially true of healthcare professionals and caregivers, whose very nature is one of giving until it hurts. This particular version of “Touch the Sky” focuses on the boundaries you need to create, and the commitment you need to make to yourself, your voice, your dreams and your potential, so that you can do what you love without doing yourself in!
TOUCH THE SKY! Wrinkly, Wise and Wonderful Women
A certified “woman of a certain age,” Eleni is all too familiar with hot flashes, a mind that suddenly goes blank, and, well, sagging and shifting body parts. But she vehemently and cheerfully believes that the age we are — no matter what it is — is ripe with possibility and potential, and that we are always inherently beautiful and significant. This version of “Touch the Sky” is filled with songs and stories that celebrate and support women who’ve been on this planet a while. Songs like “Rockin’ the Boat and Robbin’ the Cradle,” “Bernie, the High Flying Granny” will make you laugh out loud. Others, like “The Application,” about an older housewife applying for a job, will make your heart ache and your head nod in empathy. A wonderful way to create community, and to encourage your commitment to live your life with pride, vigor and a willingness to contribute, no matter how many wrinkles adorn your face.
TOUCH THE SKY! Stand Out as a Woman of Power in Body, Word and Deed
This version of “Touch the Sky” is directed to women in business who are struggling to stand out and be heard as the capable and competent professionals they are. Framed with stories of her own hard-won struggle to claim her unique path in the professional world, Eleni shares tools and techniques culled from her work as a presentation skills expert that will help you show up in your life and work — fully and without apology — so you can make the difference you are born to make.
Please note: “Touch the Sky” is 60 to 120 minutes long, and can be customized and subtitled to reflect the specific themes of your event. One to two-hour, half or whole day breakout sessions, seminars or workshops based on the themes of self-empowerment and self-actualization at the core of “Touch the Sky” are also available.