Grant Ainsley

Grant Ainsley

Edmonton, Alberta
Leadership, Communications and Public Relations Expert
Grant Ainsley is a communications & public relations expert. He is one of Canada's most recognized communications trainers since 2008, Grant Ainsley has worked as a media trainer and spoken across Canada on topics related to the news media, social media and communications for a wide variety of organizations. He specializes in assisting leaders and teams to communicate better with one another to be more productive and manage difficult conversations. Grant also assists organizations in crisis situations or if they need to train their staff for media appearances or interviews, to guarantee the reputation of the organization is represented consistently.
  • Leadership
  • Business Growth
  • Business Management
  • Conference
  • Event Hosts & Moderators
  • Guest Panelist & Guided Q&A


Grant Ainsley is a keynote, workshop and training facilitator on the topics of leadership communication, public relations, media relations and social media solutions. Grant Ainsley has worked with politicians, CEOs, association leaders and people from dozens of professions to make them better communicators.

Whether he was preparing them for interviews with the news media, or speaking to board members and staff, he has used the knowledge gained over the past 40 years to make them better at saying the right thing at the right time. Grant Ainsley is an award-winning journalist and public relations professional from Edmonton.

Grant Ainsley has interviewed Wayne Gretzky, John Candy, Jean Chretien, Rick Hansen and many other newsmakers. He entertains audiences with some great stories that illustrate the necessary steps every company needs to take to protect and enhance its brand.

Grant Ainsley is the author of The Honest Spin Doctor, a book that provides a road map to effective media relations for people who speak to the news media and the companies they work for. Ainsley speaks about the need for organizations of all sizes to be more concerned about their corporate brand and to be aware of the impact on it, should something go wrong.

He talks about how companies need to change to take the necessary steps to protect their brands before bad things happen to them. Just as importantly, he talks about the need for companies and their leaders to learn how to react and what to say, if they do find themselves in the media for the wrong reasons. He preaches why taking responsibility, being organized and showing you’re really the most important things in any crisis. With the impact of social media and other forms of technology, the stakes are higher than ever for companies and their leaders.

Grant Ainsley’s sessions provide vital information for leaders of all kinds to protect their companies, brands and their futures. Ainsley spent 15 years in the news media in Edmonton as a radio news anchor, talk show host and reporter.  He then served as a spokesperson for the City of Edmonton, commenting on issues related to roadway construction, waste management and water quality and conservation.

He also spoke on behalf of Alberta’s $12 billion housing industry as CEO of the Alberta branch of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. Grant Ainsley lives in Edmonton with his wife Deborah and their four children. Grant is the spin doctor navigating the maze of leadership communications and public relations to enable organizations to be more efficient and maintain productivity and their reputation.




Warren Weeks Show

Warren Weeks

Grant Ainsley - Life as a Media Trainer

Grant Ainsley Topic Presentations

can we talk?

  • Keynote Presentation
  • Almost everyone knows the importance of communication in the workplace and in our personal lives, especially at times when we’re communicating much differently than a generation ago. The problem is, as people spend more time communicating digitally, face-to-face communication gets harder. As more digital kids enter the workforce, things will become even more difficult.

    Communications expert Grant Ainsley will show you how you can be a better communicator and how to prepare for and have difficult discussions. His presentation will point out why it’s important to get into difficult discussions and how to achieve the outcomes you want.

    In Can We Talk you’ll learn:

    How communication has changed and what you need to do to keep up

    How you can communicate better by becoming a better listener and asking great questions

    Strategic changes in the way people can speak add to the influence they have

    Ways to prepare for, and hold difficult discussions – the type of conversations that are often avoided, or if they’re held, they’re not done very well

    Ainsley draws on years of communications experience in the news media, public relations, business and his personal life to tell great stories that are not only entertaining but provide important takeaway messages about ways you can communicate better.

    His message is “Run to the conversation, not away from it.” It will change the way you communicate, regardless of how you tell your story.

talk like a leader - great ways for managers and teams to communicate

  • Keynote Presentation
  • It’s simply impossible to be a great leader if you can’t communicate well. Excelling in communication is consistently one of the highest-rated traits of great leaders, but unfortunately, communication skills are not inherited, or often taught in business school.

    Organizations also feel pain. One study reported that poor communication in a company with 100 employees costs $525,000 a year. Poor direction from leaders and disjointed communication between their employees results in huge costs for any organization.

    CEOs and their organizations need to work even harder on communication because many workers are talking less while texting and emailing much more. It’s getting more difficult to get many employees, especially younger ones, to communicate face-to-face.

    Grant Ainsley’s keynote presentation shows leadership teams the secrets to communicating effectively, resulting in better bottom lines. He talks about the key traits of leaders who communicate well and how to prepare for, and have important and real conversations with employees, customers and others. He’ll provide immediate takeaways to allow CEOs and their organizations to start talking again, building trust and getting results.

    As more young people enter the workforce who have spent most of their lives involved in social media, email and texting, getting teams to communicate is becoming more challenging and it won’t get any easier in the next decade.

    Here are some of the issues addressed in Ainsley’s presentation:

    • Why managers need to learn “it’s not all about them”
    • The importance of leading teams and saying what needs to be said, but doing it without attitude or a big ego
    • Why good listeners are good communicators
    • Ways to control conversations by asking questions
    • How to prepare for, and have difficult conversations
    • Ways to improve the body language
    • How to adjust your style, but not your message
    • Ways to build “cultures of communication”.

surviving a social media meltdown - are you ready if it happens to you?

  • Keynote Presentation
  • There’s never been a time that companies are in greater danger of having something go wrong in social media and having their brand and reputation damaged so badly it will take years to recover.

    Despite that, too few business leaders are overly concerned about the dangers lurking in the social media use of their employees. 70% of employees are on at least one social media site every day. One embarrassing Facebook post, or piece of video on YouTube can send companies scrambling to explain and recover. Ask yourself what you would do if it happened to you.

    We’re also seeing the first wave of people entering the workforce who’ve been involved in social media for most of their lives. They’re friends and followers of many of their customers. The coming years will bring more challenges related to social media as young workers integrate into the system and use social media to communicate and express opinions.

    Grant Ainsley is one of Canada’s top media trainers and a former award-winning journalist. He’s discovered that only a fraction of companies are fully prepared to stop something bad from happening to them in social media and understand what they should say to the news media if it does. To make matters worse, many don’t have written procedures in place to deal with consumer complaints made in social media. Ainsley’s presentation will result in companies understanding the risks they face and how to minimize them, reducing stress, embarrassment and potentially saving big dollars. He’ll also look into the future and let you know what you need to prepare for. Grant Ainsley will teach you to learn how to bulletproof your brand and avoid a social media meltdown.

    In Ainsley’s engaging keynote presentation, you’ll learn:

    • What can happen to employees and the companies they work for when offensive social media posts go viral
    • How to put policies in place to lessen the chances of it happening to you
    • Ways to handle difficult situations in the media if you become a victim of a social media meltdown
    • How to effectively handle consumer complaints in social media
    • Why young workers may provide more challenges than you expect.

why you need a social media makeover: start telling your story with style

  • Keynote Presentation
  • While many people may be good at managing their personal Facebook accounts, few of the organizations they work for are doing social media properly, even though it’s the biggest marketing tool ever.

    Most companies and associations are only scratching the surface when it comes to their social media activity and it shows in the results they’re getting. It’s not just about getting more likes and follows, it’s about using social media and other forms of digital media to increase engagement and get results.

    There’s a clear link between your website, blog and social media activity. They all have their roles and fit together to produce incredible results that can add to your profile and influence, while also saving rime.

    Grant Ainsley’s keynote presentation gives organizations simple, but powerful tactics to use immediately to connect with more people, save time, measure results and benefit their bottom lines. Each presentation is customized to the group he’s speaking to. Ainsley’s presentation gives organizations road maps to follow to increase their social media engagement, allowing them to have better interaction with customers and members. It will force you to look at how you communicate now and how you can do it better.

    In his presentation you’ll learn:

    • How to think like a reporter to tell your story effectively to your audience
    • Which social media platforms organizations should use and which ones to stop wasting time on
    • How effective a blog can be to help with engagement and build your brand
    • Why your “list” is one of the most important tools you have and how to leverage it
    • Ways to produce and use video, at a fraction of today’s cost
    • How to sell products and services online
    • Ways to track and measure your progress

corporate media training

  • Keynote Presentation
  • Unlike public relations and marketing firms, when you hire Grant to do media training, you don’t get a company with big overheads and you don’t deal with different people. You deal directly with Grant from start to finish and I’m the one who does the training.

    Grant has worked in the media for 15 years in roles ranging from reporter and anchor, to talk show host, to News and Public Affairs Director and Assignment Editor. He has done media training and spoken about the media across Canada for the past decade.

    His corporate media training sessions are usually a day or half-day in length. They include a presentation to let participants know how the media works and ways they can thrive in any media situation.

    We then work on developing key messages that your people and organization can use in actual media interviews. Finally, Grant assumes the role of a reporter and conduct interviews on camera to put everything taught into practice, followed by a critique. This is only the way it’s normally done.
    Your people will learn a new skill, it’s great for team building and they’ll enjoy the day. Most importantly, they’ll be much more knowledgeable and comfortable the next time they face the media.

    He is the only media trainer in Canada who’s a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS), that has a Code of Ethics for all members to provide assurance to you when you hire me. Grant gives back to the speaking industry by serving on the national Board of Directors for CAPS. He also the only Canadian media trainer whose media training course has received Gold Seal Certification from the Canadian Construction Association.

    Grant is the only media trainer in Canada that offers you the following:

    • An in-person or video conference meeting to plan and customize the session to you and your organization
    • An introductory video for each client to let participants know what to expect from the media training session
    • Everyone receives a signed copy of my book The Honest Spin Doctor
    • Participants receive a downloadable version of Grant Ainsley’s Media Training Manual with sample communications and social media policies
    • A DVD containing all interviews is provided to the organizer
    • Up to three hours of free consultation after the training just in case you have an issue you need to focus on and need my help
Grant Ainsley travels from Edmonton, Alberta & delivers customized and tailored keynote speeches, presentations, workshops and training sessions. on the topics enlisted below. These services are designed for a variety of audiences, industries, and event types and event formats.


Grant was absolutely wonderful!! He was a joy to work with, everything went incredibly smoothly, he was wonderfully prepared for our audience and I had fantastic feedback from our attendees on his presentation.

Angela Greter

Executive Director
Alberta Farm Animal Care

Grant understands what the media wants and how it gets it. If you want to protect your company from becoming the brunt of that sensational headline, you got to take this course.

Jay Summach

Director of Education
Edmonton Construction Association

Grant’s outstanding presentation skills and overall professionalism made for a very successful day and the whole experience exceeded my expectations.

Elva Fogarty

Marketing and Communications

Grant’s session was a great learning experience for our leadership team! It was insightful, and provided many key takeaways that we are already putting into practice.

Julia Jones-Bourque

Marketing and Communications Manager
University of Alberta International

Grant is an exceptional presenter. His session was extremely valuable to our leadership team. Not only does he make the material interesting, but he works with you in advance to personalize the content so those attending can connect to the topics.

Julie Williams

Director of Communications and Media Relations
Good Samaritan Society

Grant’s presentation was a unique blend of information and entertainment – his anecdotes, personal experiences and diverse knowledge provided an incredibly worthwhile session for both staff and elected officials. A presenter as dynamic as Grant is absolutely a gem that is hard to find!

Amanda Peterson

City Clerk
City of Brooks

Articles & Media

Coming Soon!


The Honest Spin Doctor tells you how to prepare for, and nail every media interview you do, along with tons of tips to deal with the news media under pressure.
How to book Grant Ainsley for an event?

Grant Ainsley keynote speaker is an expert presenter and has a wide range of experience speaking to a wide variety of audiences and organizations. Grant Ainsley delivers keynotes, workshops & training sessions. They may also host or emcee events. Hire Grant Ainsley from Edmonton, Alberta for your event to inspire the audience to take action and make change in their work and their lives. Your workplace will benefit from our keynote speaker and their keynote talks and speeches will shift the mindsets or behaviours for the audience members in Canada. 

Interested in booking Grant Ainsley for an event?

Are you looking to hire Grant Ainsley for your event? Grant Ainsley Edmonton, Alberta is a dynamic and engaging speaker that offers audiences researched content paired with expertise and a dynamic speaking ability. Grant Ainsley is also a Canadian corporate consultant and coach and facilitates workshops and training sessions for a corporate audience. Grant Ainsley is an expert keynote presenter and speaks on wide variety of topics. Hiring a great speaker for your event is important and working with a thought leader like Grant Ainsley from Speakers Canada’s roster will engage audiences into the content of the presentation to bring awareness and a fresh perspective for their approach to their work and their lives. Book Grant Ainsley to educate, motivate and activate the audience through an interactive and entertaining presentation at corporate meetings and gatherings.

Known as a popular key note speaker in Canada, Grant Ainsley creates life changing experiences for the participants with practical insights and strategic advice they can implement right after the session. Working with a one our leading expert speaker like Grant Ainsley from Edmonton, Alberta offers organizations a fresh perspective to assist the people of the organization. No matter if it is a government, association, or business crowd, Grant Ainsley is a perfect speaker for your event. Through unique practical insights for trending topics and years experience speaking to different organizations, Grant Ainsley focuses on changing individuals to make better decisions at work and their lives. No matter if you are holding an in person or virtual event, having an influential speaker such as Grant Ainsley will engage, motivate, and activate the audience to make a change in their lives and inspire action for results to meet organizational goals. Your workforce will benefit from Grant Ainsley’s presentations and speeches, with measurable results set to shift the people of the organization and core direction of the company. Book Grant Ainsley speaker for your annual general meeting, conference, summit, or convention in Canada.

How much does it cost to hire Grant Ainsley for a keynote presentation or virtual event?

Grant Ainsley is an expert professional key note speaker with a lot of experience speaking and delivering engaging talks to organizations and audiences in Canada. Each of Speaker Bureau Canada’s talent have different ways to assess their fees, and Grant Ainsley speaker fee ranges depending on the size of the audience, event format (in person or virtual), event location, and if the organization booking them is a non profit, association, government department/government agency or business/corporation. The speakers we work with are flexible with their fees, and it is important for us to learn more about your event before we approach them, as it is our role to work for you, and to help you find a speaker within budget. 

Please contact Speakers Bureau of Canada and provide us with your event details so that we can contact Grant Ainsley to check availability or confirm the pricing and associated costs to hire a great speaker like Grant Ainsley for your event. As Grant Ainsley's agent and as a Canadian top speaker bureau and talent agency for speakers, we are able to propose each event opportunity from each host organization’s behalf to try to help you get in touch with Grant Ainsley and confirm them for your in person or online meeting/event. We can also provide and advise on the booking process and potentially negotiate their fee. Speakers Canada is a client focused speaker agency, and we work for you in finding good speakers for your team meetings and booking processes.

Grant Ainsley Disclaimer
Speakers Bureau Canada assists companies and event planning teams seeking to hire talent like Grant Ainsley for speaking engagements, virtual meetings, conference appearances, training sessions and workshops facilitations. Our Canadian speakers bureau does not claim to exclusively represent Grant Ainsley, however they are represented by Speakers Canada, and we work with them closely for their Canadian speaking opportunities and bookings. As Canada’s top speaker bureau, we represent Canadian motivational keynote speakers and professional guest speakers that will be available on your upcoming events date and location that are withing the budget. Our talented bureau speaker booking agency can help find business speakers or celebrity speakers that aligns with each organization, audience, event theme and the topic themes you hope for the speaker to address in their presentation. 

When SBC receives a request to book Grant Ainsley we provide you with their speaker fees, travel costs and check their schedules. We work closely with the host organization’s event planning team and the speaker to handle the logistics and to relay or negotiate associated costs. Our talented team members then will work with our talent directly or their agent/manager/assistant to confirm the Canadian speaker fee and travel expenses, so that event planning teams can receive an official quote for the speaker appearing at the event. Speaker fees and travel costs vary per speaker and our role is to contact Grant Ainsley about your event, after we have connected with the event organizers to learn all the event details and/or conference program. Each booking request is unique since session durations and audience sizes can vary which may affect the speaker’s fees. If you are looking to hire Grant Ainsley, we recommend filling out the booking request form so a booking agent from Speakers Bureau Canada can get in touch with our talent to help you coordinate with your team to engage the speaker for a successful event.

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