Do You Have An Idea That Will Change The World?

I often get asked by potential clients, audience members, and random virtual acquaintances if the idea they present to me as their candidate for a thought leadership program will sell. My reaction is almost always that that’s the wrong question. If you want to develop a thought leadership platform, and a profitable speaking career to talk about that thought leadership, don’t try to choose the message you think will sell. Because even… Read More

The Five Building Blocks of A Successful Speaking Career

This post is the second in an occasional series about professional speaking careers. I often get asked about how to become a successful (i.e. sustained) professional (i.e., paid) speaker. My response, from many years of working with people to establish, to ramp up, and to sustain professional speaking careers, is that there are five essential building blocks. People try to get by without one of the five, and inevitably suffer as a… Read More

Are You Overworked and Overwhelmed? Here’s How to Cope

When I first got the email from Scott Eblin, a friend and sometime client, about his new book, Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative, I was happy for him and secretly hoping that he wouldn’t ask me to do anything hard for him, like actually read the book. You see, I’m way too overworked and overwhelmed to need another book to read. They already pile up to dangerously high levels on, beside,… Read More

Useful Books for Speakers

Once again the pile of books that people have sent me has grown dangerously high, so here are a half-dozen quick takes to reduce the size of the pile and let you in on some interesting new reads. 1. The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change, Jannifer Aaker, Andy Smith and Carlye Adler I hate acronyms. They’re supposed to help you remember some… Read More

Seven Books for Public Speakers

The pile of books by my desk has become a block to the fire escape, so it’s time to read and review some of them for the insights that they offer public speakers and communicators in general.  Following are quick takes on seven that you may find helpful. 1.Absolute Value:  What really influences customers in the age of (nearly) perfect information, Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen The authors of Absolute Value want… Read More

Are You a Freak? Then Chris Brogan Has Words for You.

When I first met Chris Brogan it was as a stage presence; he was holding forth with his co-author Julien Smith of Trust Agents at SXSW about the new world of the Internet.  The crowd was SRO and the mood was friendly: there were clearly a lot of Brogan and Smith fans in the audience.  I noticed that Chris had a warm, easy way of engaging with the audience, and that he… Read More

How To Reinvent Yourself – Or Detroit

I’ve become a story in a book.  In fact, it’s a story about stories.  I have Josh Linkner to thank for that.  I started working with him about five years ago, and while I’ve gotten a little older, he’s become a) the CEO of a venture capital firm, Detroit Venture Partners, b) a wildly successful public speaker, c) the author of two New York Times bestsellers, Disciplined Dreaming the first and The… Read More

How the World Sees Speakers – A Review of Sally Hogshead’s New Book

I first met Sally Hogshead when she was at the beginning of her author-speaker-wisdom leader life, fresh from a meteoric career as the youngest advertising agency chief in the U.S. with the coolest clients.  She’d handled a difficult pregnancy by, among other things, writing an amazing little book, Radical Careering. That alone should tell you something about Sally’s creativity, drive, and general ability to turn life’s lemons into lemonade.  But the thing… Read More

Who Is the World’s Most Influential Leader, and What Does It Take to Lead Today?

Who is the world’s most influential leader?  According to our highly unscientific survey last week – a contest we ran in order to give away five copies of my new book, Power Cues – it’s Jesus by a whisker, followed closely by Nelson Mandela and Gandhi.  Martin Luther King, Jr, the Dalai Lama, the current Pope, Steve Jobs, Mother Teresa, and Mom also received multiple votes.  There were also two votes for… Read More

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Publishing A Book

In celebration of the publication of my new book, Power Cues, let’s compare the state of the industry in 2003, when my first book, Give Your Speech, Change the World, was published, 2008, when Trust Me, my second book, was released, and today, May 13, 2014, Power Cues’ debut. In 2003, there was an Internet, and email, but no social media to speak of.  Authors relied on traditional PR to sell books,… Read More