Testimonials


Business and Corporate Workshops


"Otto Schmidt's 'Accent on Essential Life Skills' Training Workshop provided us with a refreshing change from typical corporate training which often focuses on job-related strategic selling, writing proposals, or selling value propositions to senior levels. Otto's book and training session helped us focus on several skills that allow us to be more successful in any endeavor. For example, developing a business plan can be more effective by brainstorming for limitless ideas rather than using typical approaches that aim for one or two new ideas. How can you improve your corporate workforce? Teach them the essential life skills found in this book and workshop!"
David Ruuskanen, VP Mid Markets, SAP Canada Inc., Toronto, ON
 

"As an education consultant, Otto introduced our Inventor group to a Personal Life Skills Training that he describes as ‘The Missing Link’. He started to explain how by utilizing some simple techniques any individual could enhance their creativity and self-development skills. It is an interesting topic for innovators and entrepreneurs, who constantly strive to better their general awareness and problem-solving abilities. With his vast experience in this field, Otto went on to demonstrate some practical techniques interactively with the audience and definitely managed to impress most of us with his knowledge on the subject. In his book "Accent on Essential Life Skills " he collected 48 of the most important skills that can benefit everybody. Otto’s presentation was well received by the group and afterwards there were several calls for a repeat performance at another time."  
Bob Huybrechts, Speaker Recruiting, Inventors’ Alliance of Canada, Toronto, Canada


“I admit I was a bit skeptical and excited about what I might achieve at Otto’s creativity skills workshop. His gentle and non-judgmental approach put me quickly at ease and allowed me to go deeply inside myself. Otto skillfully directed me to follow the simple instructions of the well-planned exercises and relaxation techniques. At first we uncovered blocks to my creativity and then discovered gems of new insights. Since I had no idea what to expect, I was delighted to feel my heart opening up even as I was driving home. When I arrived home I was able to finish a project in a way I didn’t expect. It’s made a huge difference to freely create what I love. I used to believe I was limited, but now I know that’s not true and I’m excited to see what wonderful creations will reveal themselves in me. Thank you.”
Dianne Scott, Portrait Artist, Toronto, Canada


“This brilliant and innovative book offers formal instruction for learning and developing empowering skills. They act as the golden keys - to “Open Sesame” – into an ongoing well-lived life. Otto is to be applauded loudly for his gift to those desiring more fulfillment in their lives.”
Jeannie MacKay, Chapter Director, Business Innovation Group, Thornhill, Canada

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Conference Presentation Evaluations

Topic: Getting the Most Out of Gifted Learners
"it was great; really focused on areas that resources seem to miss ... very informative ... website is super ... practical ideas, lots of food for thought and new directions of thinking ... good focus for teaching skills ...great resources presented ... thought provoking seminar on teaching process skills; great ideas"

Topic: Levels of Perception
interesting use of examples ... very enthusiastic presenter ... captivating presentation ... inspiring and lively ... his activities will be easily implemented in any classroom ... very informative ...good ideas for new ways of looking at things... great way to focus attention and encourage creative thinking"

Topic: Secrets of Creativity
...course was the highest degree of relevance to this conference of the three I was in ... good interactive component ... practical ... I would recommend it to others ...great energizing ideas to release creativity"

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"Accent on Essential Life Skills" Children's Workshops


"Mike and Kait seem to be two new children since your skills workshop. Kait has blossomed; the positive reinforcement has done wonders for her inner self. She was out the door this morning singing she was special and that she will be strong and has the courage to be the best person she could be. She came home with the same attitude still intact. She initiated some of the exercises right after breakfast. Mike was lost in the pages of your book today. After lunch he was really excited and thought the teachers at school needed to be taught the lessons that he learned yesterday. He was able to brainstorm all the topics you covered. He asked me to type you the following: From Mike: I enjoyed the get together on Sunday, Nov 7th. I would like to introduce some of the skills to the school as a presentation and tell other kids that they are special and that they are not alone. I liked everything about the presentation yesterday. It was fun to come and see that I am not the only gifted child. He remembered everything, details that I could not remember. We have reviewed the beginning of the book and will continue to work on How to use Body Language effectively. You are special and I thank you for your interest and love of teaching. It was evident in your presentation. People are surprised when you tell them they are special."
Mike, Kait and Lorna O’Neill, Owen Sound, ON

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Children's Inventing Workshops

"My son had the wonderful experience of attending your very thorough and inspirational Inventors College workshop through his school program. Your step-by-step instructions, support and encouragement inspired him to create an invention that has sincere potential. In fact, it has garnered him several interested investors along with much media attention including a feature spot on a new kid inventors' TV show "Think Big" premiering this fall on TVO. Thanks to you and all of the wonderful partners (support team members) that you have collected for giving my son this incredible opportunity. Best of luck to you and your continued good efforts."  
Olga Conforti, mother, Brantford, ON.


“I just wanted to thank Jim and Otto for teaching us at the young inventors workshop. I learned so much. Most of all it was fun. It was well organized. This experience will surely stay with me for the rest of my life. I enjoyed going there each week and I wish it were longer. Let’s do it again next year!"
Giselle Alexander, 9 year old participant, Brantford, ON


“Thanks to all who were involved in the Young Inventor’s Convention on March 29th, 2008. It was wonderful. Jim and Otto must have been very proud to see all the young faces with their inventions on show. As a parent, I am especially proud of these two gentlemen for being so supportive during and after the workshop. Seeing my 9 year old coming home with her business folder and talking about putting her business plan together and going online to research patents and the market was just unbelievable. This would not have been possible without the assistance of the two of you. Again, thanks for the resources, time and consideration. Jim and Otto you two are amazing!
Theresa Inglis, mother, Brantford, ON


"I volunteered as a support team member for the Inventors College Organization. A few months later, I was invited to their first invention exhibition where 22 young children were presenting their new inventions after taking just a short 5-week course. Speaking to several of the 'budding innovators', I was pleasantly surprised by how they understood and carried out all the steps involved in creating an invention: patent searches, prototypes, business plans and all! I was totally impressed by the candor and confidence each of these children displayed in announcing and discussing their creations. Schools should implement such 'real life' programs because they have an undisputable formula for success."
Bob Huybrechts, President, Innovation Initiativen Co-Operative Inc., Inventor, Toronto, ON

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Secondary School Graduation Retreats


"A professional, organized and imaginative presentation pitched at the right level for graduating students. A day filled with excellent activities that focused on coming to know your inner strengths. Great day; don't change anything. The whole day was very well received by the students."
Majda Ambrozic - Chaplaincy, St. Robert CHS, Thornhill, ON


“Otto has facilitated retreats for St. Martin’s graduating groups for 4 years and has had a truly positive impact on students. He has a warm personality, keen sense of humour and displays a real love for our youth. Otto brings a wealth of experience from his teaching of gifted children. He shows versatility and knowledge in personal and spiritual development in his retreats. Students are always impressed by his ability to memorize all their names and use them all day. This adds a personal touch to the retreat experience and is welcoming to each participant. Otto offers retreats that fit the needs and we have selected his graduation retreat for our Gr. 12 students often. They feature a variety of experiences, both relational and personal that add depth to life. Otto guides and facilitates retreatants on a path of self-discovery. As a good listener and communicator, Otto is able to “read” his audience and respond to needs throughout the day. The day’s activities end in a meaningful climax that clarifies the theme. I highly recommend Otto as a retreat facilitator for his blend of openness, energy, enthusiasm, and careful planning. He has had a solid impact on our graduating students.”
Mitch Cairoli, Chaplain, St. Martin CHS, Mississauga, ON

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Elementary & Secondary Student Retreats


Elementary

"We had the privilege of having Mr. Otto Schmidt facilitate our Grade 8 Confirmation retreat. His theme was on 'Community Building' which really set the tone for the entire retreat. Students worked on co-operative games,in small diverse groups and in individual reflections. Otto is well-prepared and high-energy. He is flexible and can adapt to the needs or mood of students. We liked the way he really made an effort to talk with students during non-instructional times. Students came away with a sense of the ideas that Otto tried to get across - that community building begins with the respect of the individual and a respect for their ideas." 
Robert J. Gomes, Teacher, St. Anne CES, Brampton, ON


"My grade eight students had the honour of spending a day with Otto Schmidt who facilitated a wonderful retreat on Community Building, using inspirational words and spirtitual life lessons combined with fun-filled activities. My students responded well to Otto's presentation and positive energy and in the end felt completely rejuvenated. Just read the following words my students wrote the day after in their personal journals: "I think because of yesterday it made me a better person. The most amazing part and it really surprised me was the honouring, thanking and healing ceremony...The way Otto talked to us about community and confirmation. I think it had a real impact on my life..."
"I will never forget all I learned about community building through a series of enjoyable games. Otto Schmidt did an extremly good job and I can't believe I learned so much about bonding and community through fun games...."
"At the retreat I learned to get along with people I never thought I could get along with...Yesterday was a fun experience and I would love to do it again..."
Pina Hall, Teacher, Metropolitan Andrei CES, Mississauga, ON
 

"Otto organized and conducted a Confirmation Retreat for our Grade 8 students. The activities were age appropriate for the students, and were well balanced between group activities and individual reflection. The students were engaged in a meaningful manner the entire day and thoroughly enjoyed the experience."
Mary Catherine Badali, Teacher, St. Gabriel's CES, Toronto, ON


Secondary 

“Otto has had a truly positive impact on our Gr. 9 students. He brings a warm personality, a sense of humour, and displays a real love for what he is doing. He is patient and encouraging. His versatility and knowledge in the field of personal and spiritual development are evident in his guidance and facilitating on the path of discovery of self and relationships with others. Students are always impressed by Otto’s ability to quickly memorize their names. He is then better able to respond to their needs. An important strength is his retreats are not a collection of random exercises and activities. Each individual module builds upon the previous and leads to a climax that brings all the elements together. I highly recommend Otto as a retreat facilitator. He makes a solid impact and adds greatly to our school spiritual growth program. The “Building Community” retreat has been very successful and well received by our Gr. 9’s.”
Mitch Cairoli, Chaplain, St. Martin CHS, Mississauga, ON

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Other Retreats


"Otto's enthusiasm, expertise and the abundant resources he has at his fingertips makes his retreat facilitation valuable beyond measure! Having attended numerous events of his, I am in awe of Otto's ability to tie together fun and education, using creative and pertinent activities that engage people of all ages. With optimism and a sense of possibility, Otto always strives to bring out the best in every situation and person he encounters. It is truly a gift to know that he is doing the work he is doing."
Jill Hewlett, Speaker, TV Host, Personal & Group Leader, Toronto, ON



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