Cal Fussman

Cal Fussman

New York Times bestselling author, world-renowned interviewer, keynote speaker and corporate consultant on interviewing and storytelling.
Fee Range
$15,001-$20,000
Exact fee falls within this range
Traveling From
California
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Program Descriptions

THE QUESTION IS THE ANSWER
Key Takeaways

  • Understand powerful ways to open a conversation through the interactive exercise.
  • Learn the techniques of making deeper connections through Cal’s Heart, Head and Soul approach.
  • Gain insights into the power of storytelling.

    The session begins with an interactive exercise that demonstrates to the group how the right questions can lead to deeper connections and relationships. The exercise is also an incredible bonding experience for companies and conferences looking to bring people closer together.

    The core of the keynote showcases Cal’s powerful experiences connecting with Gorbachev, traveling around the world for a decade without a home, and spending a week with Muhammad Ali. Through these stories, Cal teaches techniques that quickly build rapport and stronger relationships.

    *A conversation segment follows most keynotes, where the audience has the opportunity to ask Cal about specific interests and issues.

    THE COMMON THREAD IN THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY INDIVIDUALS
    Key Takeaways
  • Burst through a dated or static way of thinking.
  • Enable people to use questions to push themselves to the places that they might be hesitant to go.
  • Activate people to think about how they can get more out of themselves.

    The session begins with an interactive interview exercise that allows people to identify their own fears of stepping out of their comfort zone and understand how the bold decisions they’ve made in their past enabled them to reach greater heights.

    The core of the keynote looks at how General Motors CEO Mary Barra, actor Tom Hanks, tennis star Serena Williams, fighter-pilot Chuck Yeager, billionaire T. Boone Pickens and many others pushed past their hesitations to get where they wanted to go, and then went even further.

    *A conversation segment follows most keynotes, where the audience has the opportunity to ask Cal about specific interests and issues.

    DISRUPTION STARTS WITH CURIOSITY
    Key Takeaways
  • Make people realize that losing their curiosity should be their biggest fear.
  • Make sure success doesn’t blind a company to curiosity.
  • Make it a routine to break routine.

    Realize that when in a storm, curiosity is not a waste of time, it’s a life-line. There is a short interactive interview exercise at the outset that focuses around the question. “If you could meet anybody who’s ever lived, who would that be and why?” Which leads to a surprising way to frame the responses, and ignites people to think differently.

    The core of the keynote offers many ways to refresh one’s curiosity through the lens of disruption. The keynote includes lessons from John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Jackie Robinson’s integration of baseball, Kodak’s inability to see the future of the digital camera and how companies like CNN were conceived with a simple question rooted in ordinary curiosity. By the end, everybody can see what he or she is capable of achieving with a good question.

    *A conversation segment follows most keynotes, where the audience has the opportunity to ask Cal about specific interests and issues.
  • Biography Read more

    Cal Fussman is a New York Times bestselling author, world-renowned interviewer, keynote speaker and corporate storytelling consultant.

    His keynotes and interactive workshops are derived from decades of interviewing hundreds of the world’s most extraordinary people for Esquire Magazine’s What I’ve Learned column. He inspires organizations to take a new look at their business through storytelling, communication and the fundamental idea that Changing your Questions can Change Your Life.

    Over the past year, Cal has delivered keynotes at dozens of companies, including General Motors, Pixar, Twitter, Apple Music, Snapchat, Samsung, Facebook, Turner Broadcasting, Vans, Lululemon; colleges like UCLA and Georgetown; and at conferences as far as South Africa. After Cal spoke at Facebook, Chris Sanders in Global Marketing Solutions said: “We literally have people using the term, ‘Cal Question.’ He has become a part of our culture.”

    As a writer for Esquire, GQ, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and The Washington Post Sunday Magazine over the years, Cal has transformed oral history into an art form, conducting probing interviews with the icons who’ve shaped the last half-century of world history, including: Mikhail Gorbachev, Jeff Bezos, Jimmy Carter, Serena Williams, Ted Kennedy, Quincy Jones, Jack Welch, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Muhammad Ali, and hundreds of others. The Austin Chronicle has described Fussman's interviewing skills as "peerless."

    Born in Brooklyn, Fussman spent ten straight years traveling the world, swimming over 18-foot tiger sharks, rolling around with mountain gorillas in Rwanda, and searching for gold in the Amazon. He boxed against then-undefeated world champion Julio Cesar Chavez, won a James Beard award and served as sommelier atop of the World Trade Center.

    He now lives with his wife—whom he met while on his quest to discover the world’s most beautiful beach—and his three children in Los Angeles, where he spends every morning eating breakfast with Larry King.

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