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Keynote Speaker Marilyn Sherman Returns to Payroll Congress

By Bryan Kirk

It’s been quite a while since Hall of Fame Speaker Marilyn Sherman has been to a Payroll Congress, and she’s thrilled that she will be seeing some familiar faces when she travels to Las Vegas for the 40th Annual Payroll Congress, May 10-13.

Sherman, who is one of three Keynote Speakers who will share their stories with APA members at this year’s Congress, has fond memories of the first Payroll Congress she attended in 2005.

“I’ll never forget, Jeanne Robertson was the keynote speaker, the theme was TV shows, and David Cassidy entertained us,” Sherman recalled. “I was blown away by the theme, the decorations, the venue, and who could forget [APA Executive Director] Dan Maddux’s customized song. It was amazing.”

During the 2005 Congress in San Diego, Sherman spoke during several of the workshop sessions and admits she’s always wanted to return as a Keynote Speaker.

Sherman, who has been a public speaker motivating audiences of every sort for more than 25 years, made the decision to become a public speaker when she was still a teenager.

“I saw a speaker when I was in high school and was moved, inspired, excited, and made a decision that this would be my profession,” she said. 

Sherman started attending motivational seminars and conferences and would sit in the front row so she could introduce herself to each speaker to ask their advice.

“I was like a sponge learning as much as I could,” she said. “Then, I joined the National Speakers Association where I received my professional development and more inspiration. Like your members who attend Congress every year, I have not missed an NSA convention in 26 years.”

Throughout her career, Sherman has shared her message with corporate audiences comprised of health care and hospital professionals, payroll professionals, restauranteurs, and most recently, nuclear power plant consultants.

However, speaking to a crowd of payroll professionals is her favorite type of audience. Aside from the 2005 Payroll Congress, Sherman has taken part at other payroll events in Florida and Texas, chapter statewides, and she has tremendous respect for those who work in payroll.

“I know payroll is not all unicorns and roses. There are challenges that are common, yet can be overcome,” she said. “APA attendees will walk away with notes from my keynote that they can immediately implement in order to be a better leader. Leaders face the same challenges that sabotage success: fear, doubt, negativity, or even shame. Or as I like to say, ‘holes in their bucket list.’ I give people a perspective shift that they can use to overcome these holes, which can be patched with courage, compassion, and kindness.”

Aside from providing payroll professionals the tools they need to be more successful, Sherman says she hopes they will take away a sense of deep appreciation as well as feel a bit more relaxed.

“Payroll professionals are under constant pressure from all sides,” she said. “My keynote will be a reprieve from all that stress. I want attendees to feel celebrated for all their hard work and give them hope for the future. I want them to walk away, knowing that the time spent listening to me was of value. They walk out more positive then when they walked in. Their perspective has shifted, so they have a new way of overcoming limited beliefs, and they plan to immediately implement my ideas for getting to their front row.”

Be a part of Sherman’s Closing General Session presentation, “The SEAT of Success: How Top Performers Never Settle for Balcony Seats,” by registering for the Payroll Congress.

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Bryan Kirk is the Senior Writer and Editor of Membership Publications for the APA.