Interview with Eric Saperston
What is the message you hope people take away from your presentations?
My prime directive is to inspire people. I am one of the lucky ones in that over and over again people find themselves at the end of my talks having laughed, cried and learning something new about themselves. I always endeavor to have people leave feeling deeply invigorated and upbeat about life. I love my job!
How do you prepare for speaking engagements?
I typically get to connect with clients on the phone before my talks so I can learn about their company, their struggles, their values and what they are endeavoring to accomplish during the particular event at which I’ll be speaking. Once I know those details, I’ll take all that I have learned from my journey and craft a unique, tailor-made talk designed especially to exceed my client’s expectations.
Who or what inspires you?
People inspire me! Surfing inspires me! Being of service inspires me! And definitely living in wonder inspires me!
How are your keynote presentations unique?
My presentations are unique in that I often disarm the audience…in a good way. I speak from a place where every person in the room gets it. My story is powerful and compelling yet simple and easy to understand. It also has a long-standing ‘stickiness’ to it: people remember my story and the lessons I share even years later.
Another unique element to my keynotes is that I craft my talk in a three-act structure: I open with my story about how I traveled around the country for 4 years in a VW bus calling up the most powerful people on the planet and asking them out for a cup of coffee and inspired conversation.
For the second act, the audience gets to experience my story more directly by watching an award-winning short film, The Journey. Following the film, we have a spirited and lively Q&A which allows the audience to interact with me in a way that is memorable and personable, not typical in most keynote presentations. And finally, I tailor the closing segment around three sustainable and salient take-a-ways. These take-a-ways conclude the talk in a way that improves the quality of life both at work and at home for audience.
What are some tips for improving life quality?
Drink lots of water. Keep your mind open and your body limber. Become an expert listener. Pay attention. Ask for help. Live In Wonder! Trust your instincts. Have fun. Enjoy the ride. And, most importantly: Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.
What types of audiences benefit from your inspirational keynotes?
I have been blessed to have spoken for a diverse spectrum of companies and institutions from Harvard to Nike to the Million Dollar Round Table.
How does humor factor into your presentations?
My presentation is riddled with humor from my stories from the road. I love to make people laugh.
How do you find material for your keynote presentations?
I live an extraordinary life.