Motivation and Magic

"The magic happens in the lives of those who believe in the magic..." Get to know EJ McKnight and how he can help you bring the magic into your life.

GREAT NEWS!!! EJ McKnight is scheduled to be in the Philippines from March 19 to April 1, 2013! Contact us if you are interested to give your organization a unique seminar experience!

I can say I am one of the fortunate people who have “experienced” EJ McKnight. I say “experience” because I strongly believe he is one speaker who does not just give his audience something to hear or see, but to experience.

I met EJ McKnight during one of my trips to Tacloban. It was a “good morning”, “hi, hello” meeting, and I frankly didn’t think much about it. We exchanged cards, and I included him in my address book. We exchanged e-mails, but nothing of significance.

Until he offered me to represent him in the country. I was of course flattered that he would think I was capable of the job, but I had to turn it down at first because I didn’t think I could handle it that time. After a few years, he repeated the offer and I rethought it. I accepted because at that time, I already got to know him and his involvements in the country a little better and he won my admiration and respect as a person. I knew that he was making a difference in some people’s lives and I wanted to be part of that.

Aside from that, I found him to be a truly effective speaker. He delivers his messages clearly, in an entertaining manner. Oh, did I mention he is a professional magician as well? His magic highlights his messages, which is maybe what distinguishes him from the other motivational speakers around.

EJ McKnight’s background as a football coach and a teacher, plus his admirable personal discipline, dedication and drive complete the package. And, what I find so unique is that you can feel his heartfelt desire to help people change their lives for the better. And I think that is what matters most.

EJ McKnight loves the Philippines and comes to share his gifts here about thrice a year. Should you be interested to treat yourself and your employees to an encounter with him, do contact me For further information on EJ McKnight and our company, Standing Ovations, please click here.


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EJ McKnight - Work and Business Experience

Working his way to success

EJ McKnight also worked his way through graduate school. He sold and installed burglar alarms after classes from 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., then drove a taxi for Yellow Cab from 10:30 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. just to make ends meet.

There was a time when he worked for the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital as part of the housekeeping staff, cleaning operating rooms.

He was top salesman for Southern Ohio Security Systems for 9 straight months. He was the youngest and most inexperienced on the sales team, yet he outperformed the “veterans” because of sheer determination and hard work. “Plus the blind belief in a very simple formula,” he adds.

He also ventured into network marketing, and became a Regional Director of his own long distance phone business (Excel Telecommunications). He recruited a large downline of representatives and customers. He left the parent company because of philosophical differences in customer service, but he still receives residual monthly income from his efforts.

Together with his youngest son, he created and managed McKnight Real Estate Management and Development. They purchased, renovated, and resold or leased distressed properties. At one time, the company owned 11 rental properties, and the eventual sale of those properties allowed EJ McKnight to become financially secure. Father and son did everything, from contracts, actual construction or rehabilitation work, sales, negotiation, ordering, and dealing with subcontractors. They learned the whole business from the top down, and still believe that real estate is the greatest investment available today.

Today, EJ McKnight is a well-respected English teacher at the number 1 ranked high school in the U.S., (Stanton College Preparatory School), a professional magician, and President of Standing Ovations, a unique success training and motivational company, which has been nominated as Outstanding International Organization by The Florida Chamber of Commerce. EJ McKnight’s energized and engaging presentations have received enthusiastic response from audiences as large as 6,500 in 14 countries and 4 continents.
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EJ McKnight - Memberships

Being involved and Giving back

E.J. in Leyte

Member, Phi Delta Theta, an academic fraternity of students with exemplary grade point averages in the Graduate studies.

Member, International Brotherhood of Magicians, receiving the Order of Merlin distinction for continual membership and service. Member of two IBM Rings in the US and two in the Philippines. He has lectured at many magic meetings around the world and has been a professional magician for 24 years, performing in 4 continents.

Member, Lakewood United Methodist Church. He presently serves as Missions Chairman

Former Chairman of Elders at Christ Community Church, where he led a leadership group of 9, responsible for a congregation of 250.

Founder, TOGETHER, an international humanitarian organization that presently focuses on projects in the Philippines including the renovation of impoverished schools, providing surgeries for several children in the Philippines, sponsoring the education of deserving students, and donating books to a small island.

Founder and creator, UNTO ALL NATIONS, a Missions program with the goal of finding a church based representative to serve as Christian ambassador to every country in the world by praying, communicating hope, and eventually creating humanitarian projects within that country.

EJ McKnight has personally raised over $120,000 for various organizations, charities, and educational projects and has traveled on Missions trips to Ecuador, Columbia, and Mexico, and the Philippines.

EJ McKnight - Teaching Career

Shaping the youth and the shapers of the youth

Just recently, EJ McKnight received prestigious honor by being nominated and selected as one of AMERICA'S OUTSTANDING TEACHERS for 2005 by the National Honor Roll, and his biography will be published in the organization’s annual journal. He also recently received an “Excellence in Teaching" award from the National Education Foundation.

He has been awarded 5 times Teacher of Year at two different schools. Throughout his career, he has also been selected as Most Inspiring Teacher, Most Enthusiastic Teacher, Teacher with Most School Spirit, and Most Involved Teacher.

His expertise is in writing and Shakespearean Drama. He is, however, known for his versatile teaching credentials, having taught English Literature, Creative Writing (including the production of Creative Writing Journals), Journalism (produced award winning students and student productions), American Literature, World Literature, African American History, German, Latin, French, and Physical Education. He was also certified in Mathematics, and although he has never taught it, he has tutored many students in the subject.

He takes pride in teaching students who would normally not qualify to take the most difficult test, the Advanced Placement, and motivate them enough to pass that test. He has taught seminars to teachers on Writing Strategies and General Motivation and has spoken to principals about leadership, having the courage to make tough decisions, and sticking to beliefs even when times get tough. He has lectured to collegiate faculties regarding selected topics in African American History, particularly Malcolm X.

EJ McKnight has been instrumental in writing scripts for promotional and educational television productions for his school district. He has developed a great reputation for delivering inspiring talks to both elementary and high school audiences, and the administration uses him often.

EJ McKnight owns and expresses strong opinions as a parent and talks about the difficult decisions of parenthood. He says it is very easy to be a good parent when everything is going great, but the real evaluative measurement is how a parent handles crisis. Having raised 6 children in a mixed family, he says he has handled every crisis known to man. He counsels parents on their need to know how to be strong during tough times and on fostering and keeping the lines of communication open. “My children and I had some very difficult moments, but I never gave in to what I knew was the truth, and as a result we have wonderful relationships today.”

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EJ McKnight - Sports Resume

Beating the odds

EJ McKnight is an Associate member of the Association of Sports Psychology. His philosophy is that mental techniques are just as important as physical skills and that a mastering of these techniques can translate into significantly greater success. In fact a strong mental toughness is the quality that most often distinguishes the average from the good, the good from the great.

He played football at the collegiate level on scholarship despite weighing only 160 pounds. He lettered in 3 sports in high school, earning numerous athletic awards. He also lettered in football at college, earning awards for intensity and hustle. He is adept at golf, bowling, strength training, running, and has an extensive knowledge of thoroughbred horseracing.

He has been a member of the American Football Coaches Association since 1977. This organization works to build better strong ties between the high school, college, and professional coaches in the US. He was chosen to speak at their National Conference in 1984.

He has also been a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) since 1968. FCA is a large organization that promotes Christian values through athletics. He has been a featured speaker at several conferences, speaking on Christian leadership in every area of life, and the responsibility to serve.

After guiding his football team to an undefeated season in 1980, he was honored as Football “Coach of the Year” for Northeast Florida. His team was also selected as the Team Exhibiting Best Sportsmanship.

In the early 1980’s, he did a 10 week TV show called Football for Women, a show designed to explain the game to women, wherein he lectured, did magic, and interviewed guests. He has appeared on many local television and radio broadcasts as a resource for athletics, football, missionary work, and humanitarian efforts.

He has worked with professional golfer Fred Funk on his mental approach to the game. Mr. Funk recently won the 2005 Tournament Players Championship worth US$1.4 million.

He was Youth Director at Riverview Neighbors House, Cincinnati, Ohio, a recreation center for underprivileged youth. He created several competing athletic teams from youth who had never before participated. In less than one season, they were good enough to defeat the best baseball team in the county. He managed 14 employees, and recruited over 30 parental volunteers in a community that had the reputation for non-community involvement.

He was Recreation Director for Cincinnati Convalescent Hospital for Children, managing a staff of 8, creating and implementing athletic and development programs for handicapped youth.

He was Recreation Director for Vrooman Avenue Summer Program, Amsterdam, NY, supervising 5 counselors and managing daily athletic activities and a swimming program at the adjacent pool.

EJ McKnight has overcome numerous surgeries and disabilities. He has endured spinal, knee, eye, and abdominal surgeries. He has received over 250 stitches in his body, plus 21 broken bones, some twice. “I play hard,” he responds. He also suffers from arthritis. Despite these injuries and operations, his passion for athletics is undaunted. He had to relearn how to swing a golf club without relying on a right leg that lacks all feeling below the knee. He now still plays to handicap of 8 or 9. In 1997 E.J. suffered a major heart attack and survived a 5 bypass open heart surgery. Yet today he continues to run approximately 3 miles a day on a leg without feeling and has participated in nationally endorsed runs of 10K and 15K.

He holds Red Cross certifications in CPR and Emergency Care an as a trainer for Nautilus exercise machines.
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EJ McKnight-Philippine Engagements

Jul 2011 Total Nutrition GNC
“What needs to be done? An interactive workshop on the specifics of GNC"

Jul 2011 Philippine Wellness and Spa Association
“Creating Customer Service Superstars 
in the Health and Wellness Industry" 

Apr 2011 Total Nutrition GNC
“Sales, Salesmanship, Negotiations & Closing 101: Art of Procuring Knowledge - Yourself"

Mar 2011 Public and In-house Seminars by Bethesda Ministries and Sowers for Christ, Roxas-Isabela, Bambang-Nueva Vizcaya and Bontoc-Mt. Province

“They Call You Teacher"
"Excellent!" (Genevieve Bautista-Colay-an, Principal, Blessed His Place Academy, Inc.)

Nov 2010 MGC New Life Christian Academy
“They Call You Teacher"
“Thank you Sir EJ. For being a remarkable & jolly speaker.  May God bless you more… to empower, reinforce and rekindle teachers' purpose in life and in the kids.” (Analle Dizon, Lalaf Foundation)
“Make it Happen" for Parents and Children 

Nov 2010 Public Seminars by Salt and Light Ventures

“Developing Customer Service Superstars"
"They Call You Teacher"
"Make It Happen" for Parents and Children

Jul 2010 Public Seminar by Salt and Light Ventures“Developing Customer Service Superstars""E.J. McKnight seminar was like a roller coaster ride, wonderful til the end." (Lani Ramos, Mosbeau Philippines, Inc.)

Jun 2010 Public Seminars by Salt and Light Ventures
“Sales Motivation Practices"
"great speaker; good topic; lots of learning..." (Emmanuel J. Gupit, Asian Land Strategies Corporation)
"They Call You Teacher" "very relevant & revolutionary - Great workshop!" (Shariya Requejo, Reedley International School)
"Make It Happen" for Parents and Children

Nov 2009 Public Seminars by Salt and Light Ventures
“Developing Customer Service Superstars"
"They Call You Teacher"
"Make It Happen" for Parents and Children

Jun 2009 Hewlett-Packard Asia Pacific, Ltd.
“Developing Customer Service Superstars" 
 "Motivating the Motivators"

Jun 2009 Public Seminar by Salt & Light Ventures
“Developing Customer Service Superstars"

Feb 2009 LYS Company
“Inspiration, Motivation, Perspiratiion, Dedication, Innovation... Reshaping a Life and a Company for the future!!!"
"Great seminar. Enjoyed it so much. Great learning experience." (Rosalina B. Agpoon, HR & Admin. Officer)

Feb 2009 Public Seminar by Salt & Light Ventures
“Developing Customer Service Superstars"
"E.J. is a great teacher, communicator and motivator." (Nathaniel G. Santos, Fresh n Famous - Chowking)

Nov 2008 Public Seminar by Salt & Light Ventures
“Developing Customer Service Superstars"

Jun 2008 Sweet Crystals, Inc.
“An Introduction to Being an Engaged Team Player"
"The seminar was excellent and was not boring. It's a standing ovation." (Christian de Jesus, Basecom)

Jun 2008 All Asian Countertrade, Inc.
“Make It Happen"
"The Standing Ovations workshops by Mr. E.J. McKnight help me a lot. I feel more confident now than before." (Joanna Marie Dela Cruz, Quedan Custodian)

Jun 2008 All Asian Countertrade, Inc.
“Presentation Skills Seminar"
"E.J. is a great speaker and friend." (Eileen Ormita, Treasury Manager)

Apr 2008 Dedon Manufacturing, Inc.
“Building Better Relationships and Communication: the KEY to Partner Engagement"
"... fantastic and energetic presentation... you have touched the lives of the members of our Team and everyone will keep the good memories of this very special time that we all spent together with you." (Herve Lampert, President)

Nov 2007 All Asian Countertrade, Inc.“The Psychology, Development and Application of Leadership""E.J. is wow!" (Trey Ajusto, Trading Department)

Nov 2007 Dedon Manufacturing, Inc.
“Intelligent Risk Taking"
"... it was a great pleasure for all the members of the ManTeam to have Mr. E.J. McKnight during our planning. He has indeed set the tone and direction in our planning process." (Nemia Corilla, HRD Manager)

Nov 2007 All Asian Countertrade, Inc.
“Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)"
"It was worth it!" (Michael L. Escaler, President)

Jul 2007 Call Center Conference and Expo 2007
“Combatting Call Center Attrition"
Jul 2007 All Asian Countertrade, Inc.

“Building Better Work Relationships and Communication”
"Thanks and congratulations for a great and meaningful seminar." (Jose Ma. Gana, Vice-President)
Jul 2007 De La Salle University
“Make It Happen”

Mar 2007 All Asian Countertrade, Inc. and Sweet Crystals, Inc.

“The Creative Process and How to Revitalize the Company”

Mar 2007 Crowne Regency Group
“Creating Customer Service Superstars”

Jun 2006 Sweet Crystals Integrated Sugar Mills
“Make It Happen”
"This is exactly what we wanted!" (Jose Ma. Gana, President)

Jun 2006 Toastmasters International – Cebu Chapter board
"Effective Communication"

“The board members were very pleased with EJ’s presentation.”
(Richard Ramos, Board Member)

Jun 2006 All Asian Countertrade, Inc.
“Dynamics of Corporate Change”
“We’ll use EJ whenever he’s in the country.” (Michael L. Escaler, President)

Feb 2006 Gergreg Pharmaceutical Corporation
“Make It Happen”
“You really made an impact on the company. I hope that we can continue with the follow through (programs).” (Gelacio C. Cruz, President and Chairman)

Feb 2006 1st Cebu Youthfest, SM City Cebu
“The Power of Public Speaking” 

“Introductory Make It Happen: Discovering Potentials and Taking Off”
“EJ's motivational talk during the Cebu Youthfest 2006 left the attendees more curious and inspired to zoom in into things relevant to the youth's role in the community. Everyone seemed to be craving for more of his inspiring stories and thoughts. Indeed, the selected few who heard his inputs got empowered ; others overwhelmingly ended up asking for his autograph. His delivery was so alive in that the attendees could feel the fire burning--tending them to stay hopeful, inspired and persistent in every way.” (Rudynah Entera, Cebu Youthfest founder and Managing Director, Art Dynamics Cebu)

Jan 2006 Familia Marcelo and Mary Mother of good Counsel Parish,Marcelo Green Village, Paranaque City, Given for FAMILIA SOUTH 1 AREA MEMBERS and the MMGC Pastoral Communities
“Well Done, My Good and Faithful Servant:
A talk on faith, commitment and enthusiasm for service”

“God has blessed EJ with so many gifts … and has shared these blessings with others so we may know God more. EJ gave us more depth and meaning in our service to our Lord.” May there be more MCKNIGHTs spreading the Good News” (Nel Z. Pascual)

Nov 2005 Muntinlupa Maximum/Medium Security Prison
“Success By the Book: Looking for Unique opportunities to Serve”
"You made a difference today. You could see it on their faces." (Pastor Jimmy Lim)

Nov 2005 De La Salle University, Taft Avenue, Manila
“Make It Happen”
(2 hour version)
“I will continue to find ways for you to have (another) talk here. You definitely touched the students…” (Atty. Christopher E. Cruz, Chairman, Commercial Law Department)

June 2005 Smart Communications, Inc., Makati,

“Creating and Realizing an Empowering Everyday Meaning in Your SMART Work Environment

June 2001 Intoductory Public Seminar, Rockwell Center, Makati
"Make It Happen"
(2 hour version)

June 2001 Public Seminar, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel

“Make It Happen”

June 2001 Halganz Plating Corporation, Cebu

“Make It Happen: Focus on Changing Perspectives”
June 2000 Johnson & Johnson SE Asia
“Make It Happen: Starting with Yourself”'
"Absolutely amazing. Absolutely amazing!" (Greg Banzon, VP Sales)

June 2000 College of Holy Cross, Carigara, Leyte
“Success By The Book”
"You are a gift to us. And we are honored to hear such a wonderful message." (Sister Mary Anthony)

June 2000 Leyte Provincial Government
“Public Service Or A Paycheck?”
"You are so talented. This is exactly what we needed." (Former Governor Remedios Petilla)

June 2000 Public Seminar

“Make It Happen” Arranged thru Salt & Light Productions

June 1999 Public Seminars,
Manila Traders, Cebu Waterfront and Davao Marco Polo
“Customer Service”
"I am so glad I came to this. You are so exciting." (Honeybee Hubahib, Qantas Airways)"I'm so honored I was part of your seminar here. I learned so much. I owe you." (Gerrie Duran, Guest Relations Manager, Marco Polo Davao)

June 1999 Leyte Park Hotel
“Customer Service: The Little Things are Important”
" staff thoroughly enjoyed this experience. You really affect people" (Susan Tieng, Sales and Marketing Manager)

June 1999 Vera Luz Cosmetics, Quezon City
“Finding Inner Resources to Change and Improve”(Two successive Saturdays for two different audiences)
"Thank you so much for your energy. It has already made a diiference..." (Cora de Vera, President)

June 1999 Tacloban City Government
“Public Service Or A Paycheck?”
"He held the attention of 100 government employees with his energy and powerful message. It was memorable." (Mayor Alfredo Romualdez)

Keynote Speeches for Rotary Clubs: San Juanico, Leyte; Tacloban City, Leyte; Dasmariñas, Makati; Women’s Rotary Auxillary, Tacloban, Leyte; Cebu Business District, Cebu Banilad Metro, Cebu Mactan, Tomas Morato, Cebu Fuente, Makati Central
Spoken at over 30 churches in the Philippines.

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News Clippings

Women's Journal, April 15, 2006

The Freeman, June 17, 2005

The Freeman, July 7, 2005

Cebu Daily News, June 7, 2005

Standing Ovations Seminars

You have heard the long winded speeches. You have attended the workshops.
You have been exposed to professional development.

You have NEVER experienced ANYTHING like EJ McKnight's seminars!

Read more here...

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Make It Happen, the book, is now available at National Bookstore and Powerbooks. Grab your copy now!

Or contact me at