Do you or your employees avoid presentations because of fear of embarrassment?  It has been said that the two things people fear the most are death and public speaking (not taxes!).  True or not, public speaking is undeniably an area where many people are uncomfortable and try to avoid at all costs.  This can be the hurdle between success and failure, because it is a person's ability to get in front of others to inspire, educate and motivate that closes deals and creates new and better relationships.  Oral communication skills are key to success.

Outlier Creative Solutions offers techniques for any level of public engagement.  Bob and Gary have over 40 years of experience as speakers, educators, presenters, pitch men and actors.  You can learn from this experience in quick and affordable 30-minute classes. Outlier will transform inexperienced speakers into confident presenters.

Improv To Improve - Presentation Confidence

This course was developed by Gary from his experiences as an improvisational performer in Los Angeles and Chicago, taking classes at Second City and being a part of "Saturday Night Live."  Improvisation is a technique that gives the student in this (or series of) seminar a more confident approach to presenting before live audiences, whether meeting presentations or large groups.  The group learns basic rules of improvisation and various games to stimulate listening skills and to develop trust in one's own spontaneous ability.  The result is greater trust in oneself and more confidence in front of groups of people.


The course is customized for the group in 2 hour or half day sessions.


"When we overcome the fear of failure, the only thing left is success."

Public Speaking Instruction
Customer Service Training

Customer Service has almost become a lost art.  Many companies have neglected the design and training of what good customer service requires.  Years ago, Disney figured it out and has maintained the highest standards of any industry.  This 45 minute to one hour session is an interactive discussion of how to achieve outstanding customer service and is based upon experience with the famous Disney model.  Bob is a three-time graduate of the Disney Institute in Orlando, Fla.  Since 1989, he has been sharing what he learned with businesses large and small.


This program is one of Outlier's defining services.

Website Design / User Experience / Social Media

Improving your web presence equals building your business. We offer a complete Expert Review of your site, with a detailed list of potential issues and recommended solutions. We can also help you solidify a loyal customer base through an easy-to-use, seamless site, based on customer research, best practices, and award-winning design. And we can help engage your customers through timely messaging on social media.

When it comes to messaging, Outlier has years of collective experience in all forms of media.  From television, radio and video content to print communication, public relations and promotional materials.  Nancy leads the team because she actually paid attention in high school English.

Production Services

We work with several production companies giving us maximum flexibility to accommodate scheduling and specific needs. From commercials, online content, industrial, educational or entertainment videos that require studio or on location shooting, editing, animation, motion graphics, scoring, voice-overs, copywriting, and concept development; we have the arsenal. 

Political Messaging

Political messaging?  Like what?  Campaign commercials?  Position statements?  Speeches?  Yes.  Gary ran in a primary for the US Congress and in the general election for the Iowa House of Representatives.  He lost both.  So why would he know anything about "political messaging"?


"Not winning (the politically correct term for "losing")," according to Gary, "was the best way to learn how to message effectively. I wanted to win, of course, but the process showed me the complications, risks, advantages and disadvantages, rewards and pitfalls of articulating ideas.  Being an underdog in each race, I had to pivot, and adjust on a dime, yet I stood clear with my principles at all times.  My issues, convictions, and ethics remained solid, but I had to learn how to reach a broader and broader electorate.  In the end, I didn't win, but the experience gave me a professional perspective on how to be persuasive."


Gary has been a political blogger for years.  Check out his writing at: 

Media Training

The greatest ally you have in promoting your programs  or business is the media.  Positive relations with the media is very important.  Outlier will help you learn methods of communicating with the media, the rules of media etiquette, tips on how to be interviewed, how to develop and implement a media operations plan, and crisis planning. 

Using Improvisation Techniques to Improve Teaching - with Doug Shaw

Crucial teaching skills include being able to listen completely, react quickly, and to make bold choices. Applied Improvisation will help you learn to teach "in the moment.” The fact that it will also be fun is an unavoidable byproduct of the work, and we apologize in advance. It is led by Professor Douglas Shaw, and builds on work he has done with the Applied Improvisation Network. Doug is a mathematics professor at the University of Northern Iowa. Doug has facilitated applied improvisation workshops since 1995, and presented at the International Applied Improvisation Conference. He’s done workshops for UNI and other places in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Montreal. He’s waiting to be invited to present in Hawaii, Scotland, or any other place his family wants to visit.

For over 40 years, John Tarkington has provided strategic creative direction for clients large and small. His award-winning, and his words, “most importantly, business- and market share-building”, efforts have helped clients in the B to B,  B to C, and Consumer Branding sectors grow and prosper. 


When beginning to work with a client his attitude is “Don’t just get to know your client’s business, know their customers even better.” He approaches the business not as an art form, but as a science of persuasion. As he puts it, “Success in your marketing efforts is about knowing your customer so well, you can move them to do things they may never have known they desperately needed to do before.”


His strategic approach to the creative process makes him a valuable asset to the Outlier team. Oh, and he plays well with others. Just ask Gary.

Creative Strategy