V.J. Smith

Professional Speaker and Author of The Richest Man in Town

V.J. Smith has been a professional speaker for more than a decade. He is also a published author.

Smith has also been a bill collector, solar collector salesman and a fundraiser. “Being a child of the early ‘70s, it took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to do with my life,” he says.

As for his speaking ability, he credits that with growing up with three brothers and four sisters. “You had to learn to talk loud and fast or you didn’t get much to eat,” Smith muses. Drawing on his lifetime experiences, Smith peppers his talks with anecdotes and personal stories to illustrate key points. He feels he is better equipped to be a storyteller, not a preacher.

Smith honed his speaking skills through his membership in Toastmaster’s International. On two occasions he was a finalist in that organization’s ‘World’s Championship of Public Speaking. ’

A 1978 graduate of South Dakota State University, Smith spent the decade of the 1980s working for the Allied Signal Aerospace Company in Kansas City, MO. He returned to his alma mater in 1990 to serve as Assistant Athletic Director for the SDSU athletic program. He was appointed Executive Director of the SDSU Alumni Association in 1996 and resigned from that position in January 2007 due to the overwhelming requests for speaking appearances.

Smith’s book, “The Richest Man in Town” was published in 2005.  His latest book, “Jackrabbit Tales” was released in April 2009.

To book Motivational speaker V. J. Smith, call Executive Speakers Bureau at 800-754-9404.

See Below for Full Bio

  • Speaking Topics:

    Attitude, Employee Retention, Inspiration, Life Balance, Motivation

  • Travels From:

    South Dakota

  • Price:

    $5,000 - $7,500

    Notes on Fees

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V.J. Smith - Keynote Speaker

V. J. Smith

V.J. Smith has been a professional speaker for more than a decade. He is also a published author.

Smith has also been a bill collector, solar collector salesman and a fundraiser. “Being a child of the early ‘70s, it took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to do with my life,” he says.

As for his speaking ability, he credits that with growing up with three brothers and four sisters. “You had to learn to talk loud and fast or you didn’t get much to eat,” Smith muses. Drawing on his lifetime experiences, Smith peppers his talks with anecdotes and personal stories to illustrate key points. He feels he is better equipped to be a storyteller, not a preacher.

Smith honed his speaking skills through his membership in Toastmaster’s International. On two occasions he was a finalist in that organization’s ‘World’s Championship of Public Speaking. ’

A 1978 graduate of South Dakota State University, Smith spent the decade of the 1980s working for the Allied Signal Aerospace Company in Kansas City, MO. He returned to his alma mater in 1990 to serve as Assistant Athletic Director for the SDSU athletic program. He was appointed Executive Director of the SDSU Alumni Association in 1996 and resigned from that position in January 2007 due to the overwhelming requests for speaking appearances.

Smith’s book, “The Richest Man in Town” was published in 2005.  His latest book, “Jackrabbit Tales” was released in April 2009.

To book Motivational speaker V. J. Smith, call Executive Speakers Bureau at 800-754-9404.

The Richest Man in Town 
This is V.J.’s signature talk and is based on the best-selling book of the same title.  Audience members will go on an emotional roller coaster ride as V.J. describes how Marty, an unforgettable cashier at a local Wal-Mart store, had a profound impact on the people who went through his check-out line.  Marty became a legend in an unexpected place because he treated everybody with dignity, kindness and respect.  As V.J. says, “Marty was living proof that you don’t need money, power or title to make a difference in life.  You just need to care.”


The Exceptional Employee 
Ask most employees and they will tell you they are performing at an above average level.  V.J., drawing on over 20 years experience as a supervisor, offers ten specific traits that separate the exceptional employee from the average employee.  This talk is filled with anecdotes and humorous stories to illustrate key points.  Every person in the audience will relate to the various categories and be able to judge where they are on the “Exceptional Scale.”  For some, it will be a real eye-opener.


Got Goals? 
This is a journey from procrastination to destination.  According to V.J., “Most people drift in life and their destinies are shaped by the wind and the waves.  They aren’t in charge of their lives; daily obstacles are in charge of them.”  What do you want to do with your life?  What do you want to do in your life?  The purpose of this inspirational talk is to give people a soft kick in the pants to make dreams become reality.  “It’s a life changing moment when you take the time to write down your goals,” V.J. says.  “After years of avoiding it I finally did and nothing has been the same since.”

Pants on Fire 
The difference between right and wrong is easy, most kids can figure it out, it’s the application that’s difficult.  This one-hour talk focuses on business and personal ethics.  So often we are faced with tough ethical issues.  Do we ignore or do we engage?  V.J. states, “Speaking up, taking action and living by your values requires courage.  Besides, everyone has someone who looks up to them as a role model.  What kind of example do you want to set?  What kind of legacy do you want to leave?”


Simple Choices, Big Rewards 
We are judged by the choices we make.  In our personal lives and in our business lives, we are faced with simple choices on how we interact with the people around us.  In this talk, V.J. focuses on five key situations we face each day.  Members of the audience will laugh and reflect on their choices during this one-hour rapid-fire session.

HR Manager

"I wanted to let you know that V.J. was an excellent speaker. We are so glad that he was able to talk to us yesterday. What a great message he delivered."

Conference Attendee

Everyone needs to hear that talk!”

Conference Attendee

A most wonderful speaker. Humor was great but the points made were astounding.
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