Interview with Dr. Brynn Winegard
How did you begin your speaking career?
Mine was a combination of compatriots, capacity, and competency: In a past life I was a full-time Professor and Director of an MBA program… My executive MBA students would graduate, go back to the workforce, attend their corporate AGM or annual sales conference, or townhall, hear the chosen keynote speaker, and circle back to me, asking if I would keynote for them the following year – hoping that their organization would hear from me as they had for a term or two.
To my pleasure, this happened frequently enough it developed into a side-business of its own, and later took over – my ‘side-hustle-passion-project’ became my full-time job! Now I speak for a living and lecture only a few times a year at the Universities to which I am appointed… and I love it!
What got you interested in brain science?
I have always been fascinated by the human brain and its inner workings – this malleable super-computer, 200 million years old, unique to each one of us, that controls everything about us, including how we perceive, react to, and experience the world. As a child of about 3 years I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and I wrote down ‘nerosirgin’, not knowing how exactly to spell ‘neurosurgeon’. Years later I discovered I wanted to work on the brain – but not surgically. I have a former supervisor who always told me that “Research is ME-search!’, so your insight is as good as mine about what that means for me!
Every day we are learning more about the human brain and it never ceases to amaze and delight me – like a deep space odyssey, but right inside your very own cranium, immediately accessible, totally personal. It is these frontier findings and the accompanying insights, wonder, passion that I bring to audiences. Business people can benefit immediately from what science is constantly uncovering – they just need it unpacked, decrypted, and re-packaged properly!
What are your 3 traits for success?
I think practicing active curiosity, optimism, and enthusiasm have gotten me pretty far in life – these traits help to continually learn, to always see the bright side, to have high energy for ideas and people, to overcome obstacles, to be constantly searching for new insights, unique perspective, practical ways of using what I learn.
I have a passion for marrying practice with theory – it isn’t enough for me that something would be interesting in theory or in principle – I am always pushing for what it means in terms of how we can do our jobs more effectively, live our lives more fully, feel more contented, be more successful, become higher performers, feel more motivated, etc.
My passion on stage isn’t put on – audiences are getting the latest frontier research – and the resulting insights I mix with management science (what makes me a ‘business-brain scientist’) first-hand and fresh: I am genuinely excited about what our newest learnings can mean for audience members, at their jobs, in their lives. It is exciting and powerful to de-code highly technical research and use it to help people change their lives for the better!
Why do clients typically hire you to speak?
There is a gap between what science knows and what business does – clients hire me to help explain – and close! – that chasm. I bring a good mix of theory and practice – someone who does and understands the research, but has also worked in industry and knows what it is really like, what is really required – I make science interesting and accessible in a highly practical way. Brain-science in particular is easy to do this with – everyone has a brain! – so audiences identify with the message on both a personal and professional level.
My talks are a unique whirlwind of energy – they are high-energy, fast-paced, interactive, and fun. In a male-dominated industry, I am one of the few females on the circuit. You will leave feeling inspired, energized, excited and motivated – armed with newfound insights to help you stay that way throughout your day and work-week!