Speaking and Workshops

Speaking at Life-Long Learning Summer Institute

Keynote and workshop on critical thinking and Common Core education standards. Lifelong Learning Summer Institute, 2014.

As a philosophy professor for twenty years, and now as an independent critical thinking educator and speaker, I’ve given presentations on a wide range of topics to many different organizations, institutions and audiences.

Most of my speaking in recent years has been on the nature and importance of critical thinking, the nature of cognitive biases and the negative impacts they can have on judgment and decision-making, and on debiasing strategies that can help to reduce the negative impacts of such biases.

Philosophy of science workshop for students at Xidian University in Xi’an, China. 2017.

But I invite opportunities to speak on topics outside this domain. I’ve given talks on critical thinking for high school teachers, on the philosophy of science for science educators, on the nature of language and meaning for sign language interpreters, on the use of comics to teach philosophy for philosophy educators, on the psychology of persuasion to marketers, on academic entrepreneurship to academics who are considering leaving the profession as I have  … it’s a diverse list!

In every case, I develop presentations that are customized to be relevant and engaging to your specific audience.

If you’re interested in having me give a presentation for your event or organization, keep reading.

Presentation and workshop on critical thinking and the practice of art criticism, with graduate students at Cranbrook Academy of Art. 2014.

The Challenge: Finding Speakers Who Understand and Add Value to Your Audience

I’ve organized conferences and workshops myself, so I understand the challenges of finding good speakers.

When a speaking engagement goes wrong, it’s usually due to one of the following:

  • The speaker has relevant expertise and valuable things to say, but gives a presentation that is boring or dry and technical. Monotone delivery, death by PowerPoint.
  • The speaker gives an engaging presentation based on their work, but has made little effort to customize it to fit the background and interests of the audience.

I’m committed to avoiding both of these outcomes.

I Develop Custom Presentations That Educate and Engage Your Audience

When I agree to do a presentation or a workshop my goal is for it to be the highlight of the event, the one that participants think about and remember long after the event is over. I want to establish a relationship where organizations want to invite me back to speak to their organization for other events.

Keynote Presentation in Niagara Falls

Keynote presentation for a professional association meeting of performance and legislative auditors. Niagara Falls, 2016.

Here’s how I do that.

  • I research the themes of the event and I research my audience. This can mean many hours of reading and research. I educate myself to the point where I can plan a strategy for engaging with the audience in a way that acknowledges their background, their challenges and their goals.
  • I develop a custom presentation. I’ll adapt content from my previous work as appropriate, but I’ll also add content that is unique to the particular event in question.
  • I avoid conventional PowerPoint-style presentations. My talks are graphics-heavy and regularly use multi-media examples to illustrate points and solicit audience feedback.
  • My talks are designed to vividly illustrate the kinds of perceptual and cognitive illusions that our brains are prone to, and that contribute to errors in judgment and decision-making. They’re at once entertaining and counter-intuitive, and sometimes shocking. Audiences don’t forget them.
  • I assemble handouts and other take-away resources that can be used for review or follow up.

In short, I bring all the knowledge and skills I’ve developed as a researcher, a teacher, an entrepreneur, a podcaster and video creator to bear in crafting a presentation that no one else could deliver.

A Selection of Organizations For Whom I’ve Done Speaking, Workshops or Consulting

Neeley School of Business
Canadian Council of Legislative Auditors
Cranbrook Academy of Art
Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies
Life Long Learning & Associates
Canadian Comprehensive Auditing Foundation
Quester: Consumer Intelligence Consulting
Sign Language Interpreters of the National Capital
National Conference of State Legislatures
Inquarta: Graduate School Admissions Consulting
Geolumina: Geoscience Training

Check My Availability

Thank you for considering me as a possible speaker for your event! Please fill out the form below to start a conversation about my availability and fee schedule.