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(This is in third person because that was the official way of doing it, not because I’m super narcissistic like that. I’m only a little narcissistic.)
Sample Talk Titles
- What Athletes — and All of Us — Need the Most
- Redefining “Mental Toughness”
- Mind Over Everything: The Power of Belief
- The Invisible Things That Make All Great Athletes Great
- How Our Brains Can Basically Give Us Superpowers
- How Meditation and Religion Can Help and Harm the Athlete’s Brain
- How To Control Your Mind Instead of Letting It Control You
- Not Hardwired: How New Neuroscience Changes Who We Thought We Were
With no shortage of humiliating stories of failure, a wealthy of wisdom and inspirational stories from some of the world’s best coaches, athletes, and performers, and an obsession with questioning everything and relentlessly seeking out truth, Brandon’s core goal is always one thing: leave audiences with a better sense of understanding how their minds work — and ultimately, better understanding each other.
He considers it his job to show you what he has spent the last decade of his life learning: that if people could just get their heads wrapped around the truth of who and what we are, it could change the world.
Raised by preachers, obsessed with learning and experiencing all the world has to offer, never satisfied with answers that he doesn’t first live himself, Brandon lives to find great stories that rock people’s minds, pound their hearts, and maybe even teach them something. As a speaker, Brandon is a young blend of rebel writer, Southern storyteller, neuroscience fanboy, and raw, tell-it-like-it-is professor.
He speaks to you comfortable, grounded, warm, self-deprecating — and bluntly honest, about the things he’s learned from some of the world’s smartest people, and the brutal failure it took for him to get there, Brandon draws on deep research and years of reporting and firsthand experience to grab you with perspective-altering truth woven through great storytelling.
The result: Talks you’ll think about long after he’s gone.
At 30, Brandon’s travels have criss-crossed the country many times and he’s spent hours with some of the greatest athletes and coaches in the world.
Now a writer-at-large for Bleacher Report’s B/R Mag, over the past 10 years Brandon has also written for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, GQ, Outside, and more, with his work twice a Best American Sports Writing Notable Selection. His work has taken him around the globe and let him have in-depth conversations with some of the world’s most interesting, hilarious, thoughtful, inspiring people.
He’s passionate about a lot of things — great novels and movies, comedy that makes him laugh till he cries, good coffee, pickup basketball, pizza — but one of his chief passions in life, for better and worse, remains his deep need to understand.
To understand the world, the people living in it, what being a human even is anymore, and perhaps most maddeningly, himself.
Brandon has lived a multilayered life, one he often processed by way of writing stories, even as a young kid. He was raised by evangelical parents who threw big conferences and ran a big Bible study and started a church. That fostered his love of stories, gave him Hemingway’s built-in shock-proof bullshit detecter, and sharpened his hunger for critical thought. Then he gave baseball a hard run in college only to fail in fantastic and torturous fashion.
That story — you can read it here — became the basis for Head in the Game.
Head in the Game
Learning his wife was pregnant with their first child four years ago drove Brandon to learn all he could about the human mind so that he could fix his and help his son if the time came for it.
In his research for Head in the Game, he turned himself into a human guinea pig to experience all there is to experience when it comes to diving deep into the mind, in order to understand what the world’s best athletes are doing. He had his brain scanned and hooked to a computer, trained in various meditation practices, learned shocking things about how religion affects our brains, used technology that sent electricity coursing through his skull, learned masterful breathing techniques from sports scientists who have coached Olympic gold medalists, he spent hours floating in sensory deprivation chambers — and he may or may not have ingested legally questionable substances.
Because hey, journalism.
It all coalesces into a single story not only about a revolution driving athletes into a new frontier of training, but a story about a revolution coming for all of us.
Approach to Audience
Brandon tailors this talks around his audience, and they work for everyone—sports teams at all levels, business executives, scientists, religious organizations, and conferences of all types.
With every talk, he helps people better understand their own mind better — understand themselves better, and ultimately, each other.