Cal  Fussman

Cal Fussman

New York Times Bestselling Author and Writer for Esquire Magazine

In-Person Fee Range:
$20,001 - $30,000
Traveling from:
North Carolina
2024 Speaker Reel
Cal Fussman
Change Your Questions, Change Your Life

Cal Fussman

New York Times Bestselling Author and Writer for Esquire Magazine

In-Person Fee Range:
$20,001 - $30,000
Traveling from:
North Carolina

Why Book

  • Cal is a corporate consultant on interviewing and storytelling.
  • He is the renowned author of Esquire Magazine’s “What I’ve Learned” column.
  • He shows how changing your questions can change your life.


Cal Fussman’s extraordinary career spans over four decades, during which time he has interviewed hundreds of the world’s most influential individuals – presidents from Jimmy Carter to Joe Biden, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Jeff Bezos, Serena Williams, Richard Branson, Leonardo DiCaprio, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Kobe Bryant, and the list goes on. 

Cal is a New York Times bestselling author. A sought-after keynote speaker. And the host of the popular ‘Big Questions’ podcast. He’s not just a storyteller; he’s a narrative alchemist. His keynotes, rich with wisdom gleaned from the world’s most iconic figures, offer profound insights into leadership, innovation, and the power of connection. 

Cal’s expertise has been sought by an array of top-tier companies including General Motors, Coca-Cola, Pixar, and Samsung; esteemed academic institutions from coast to coast like NYU, Notre Dame, and USC; as well as conferences from Berlin to Cape Town. His influence is so profound that his interview techniques have become embedded in the corporate culture of giants like Meta, where a member of the Global Marketing Solutions team said: “We literally have people using the term, ‘Cal Question.’ He has become a part of our culture.”

His experiences are as diverse as the individuals he interviews. Cal’s had daring encounters with 18-foot tiger sharks, gone hunting for gold in the Amazon and stepped into the ring with Julio Cesar Chavez when the Mexican champion had 83 wins, no losses and 75 knockouts. His experience as a sommelier at Windows On The World atop the World Trade Center just before the towers were attacked on 9/11 led to a story that won a James Beard Award.

In every talk, workshop, or podcast episode, Cal doesn’t just speak; he brings to life the voices of hundreds of world icons, all channeled through a unique perspective that enables audiences to bring forth the extraordinary in themselves.

Read More



After deep conversations with the icons who’ve shaped the last 75 years of world history, Cal observed that every person he’s ever met who’s done something extraordinary in the world has made a profound connection with others. He uses his experiences with the greats to show why it’s important that we all refocus on authentic human connections as we move past the pandemic and remote work and into the age of artificial intelligence. 

Cal’s experiences with the icons we’ve all wanted to meet are filled with laughter and pathos, as well as tools and motivation that can set off personal growth. Attendees will leave empowered and equipped with strategic connection techniques. They’ll have tips on how to reboot their curiosity, elevate their listening skills, and on the art of asking transformational questions. 

This goes way beyond a keynote. It’s an experience that redefines the essence of connection in the age of AI, making it an ideal choice for organizations looking to elevate a culture of unity, innovation, and impact.

Problems faced:

  • Challenges in fostering team unity and collaboration in diverse or fragmented environments.
  • Difficulty in inspiring and motivating teams, especially in remote or hybrid settings.
  • Struggles to effectively communicate vision and values across the organization.
  • Inability to leverage storytelling as a tool for leadership and organizational growth.


  • Using the right questions to get a fresh look at your organization.
  • Elevated listening techniques bring forth and capture new points of view. 
  • Utilizing storytelling to create a shared vision and culture within the organization.
  • Tools for leaders to effectively convey their messages and inspire action.
  • Strategies for using storytelling to bridge communication gaps and build stronger team connections.

Audiences learn how to:

  • Ask insightful, open-ended questions to deepen understanding, forge connections, and uncover new discoveries in both their professional and personal lives.
  • Elevate their listening skills, becoming more attentive and empathetic to truly grasp and appreciate the perspectives of others, thereby forging stronger bonds.
  • Master the art of strategic storytelling, captivating and engaging their audience effectively, whether leading a team, pitching a sale, or interviewing for a job.
  • Develop the essential skills needed to create genuine connections and trust, which are foundational in leadership, sales effectiveness, hiring practices, and team dynamics.
ELITE INTERVIEWING: Uncover Excellence with Every Question

Transform your recruitment approach with Cal’s insightful workshop. Learn how a pivotal question can alter the course of an election—and how rethinking your interview questions can revolutionize your hiring process. Cal’s techniques will elevate your ability to uncover the most compatible and capable candidates, propelling hiring to new heights.

Problems Faced:

  • Ineffective interview techniques lead to suboptimal hiring decisions.
  • Challenges in assessing the true potential and compatibility of candidates.
  • Over-reliance on conventional questioning methods that fail to reveal deep insights.
  • Difficulty in differentiating between merely good and truly exceptional candidates.


  • Innovative questioning strategies to delve deeper into candidates’ capabilities and fit.
  • Techniques to craft questions that encourage candid, revealing responses.
  • Methods for creating an interview environment conducive to authentic dialogue.
  • Insights into understanding subtle cues and responses for more informed hiring decisions.

Audiences learn how to:

  • Design and implement unexpected, thought-provoking interview questions.
  • Gain the ability to uncover deeper layers of a candidate’s personality, values, and potential.
  • Develop skills to analyze and interpret candidate responses beyond surface-level answers.
  • Master the art of conducting interviews that are both informative and engaging.
  • Enhance the overall effectiveness of the hiring process by adopting innovative interviewing techniques that align with organizational goals and culture.


STORY-POWERED SALES: Connect to Convert

Geared towards sales representatives, account managers, and business development teams, this session equips front-line professionals with narrative tools to enhance client engagement and drive sales.

Problems Faced:

  • Difficulty in engaging clients and maintaining their interest in sales conversations.
  • Challenges in differentiating products or services in a competitive market.
  • Ineffective communication strategies lead to missed sales opportunities.
  • Struggles with building trust and rapport with potential and existing clients.


  • Leveraging the art of storytelling to create compelling sales narratives.
  • Techniques for integrating storytelling into sales pitches and client interactions.
  • Strategies for using stories to highlight the unique value and benefits of products/services.
  • Methods for building authentic connections with clients through asking the right questions.

Audiences learn how to:

  • Master the skill of storytelling to enhance client engagement and interest.
  • Craft and deliver sales stories that effectively communicate value and benefits.
  • Develop strategies for using storytelling to build trust and rapport with clients.
  • Gain the ability to turn product features and benefits into compelling narratives.
  • Acquire techniques for using stories to overcome objections and close sales.


COMPOUNDING CONNECTIONS: Building a Strong Team in a Digital Age

Unite your team with Cal’s engaging workshop designed for the modern workplace. Through dynamic questioning, active listening, and the power of storytelling, Cal fosters a culture of trust and collaboration that transcends physical distances. These experiences not only strengthen team bonds but also leave lasting skills that continue to resonate and benefit individuals and the organization alike.

Problems Faced:

  • Difficulty in maintaining strong team cohesion and trust in remote or hybrid work environments.
  • Challenges in effective communication and collaboration among team members across digital platforms.
  • Struggles in fostering a sense of belonging and connectedness within distributed teams.
  • Lack of skills to effectively use storytelling and active listening to bridge physical distances.


  • Implementing dynamic questioning techniques to enhance team communication and understanding.
  • Training in active listening to improve empathy and comprehension in team interactions.
  • Utilizing the power of storytelling to create a shared culture and strengthen team bonds.
  • Strategies for building a collaborative and trusting team environment, regardless of physical location.

Audiences learn how to:

  • Equip team members with tools to communicate more effectively and connect deeply in a digital work setting.
  • Foster a culture of trust and empathy within teams, enhancing collaboration and team spirit.
  • Master the art of storytelling to share experiences and values, creating a cohesive team narrative.
  • Develop skills in active listening and dynamic questioning, leading to better understanding and problem-solving within teams.
  • Gain insights into maintaining strong, connected teams that thrive in a digital age, overcoming geographical barriers.
PANEL/EVENT MODERATION: Steering Engaging Dialogues

Cal’s prowess in guiding dialogues is amplified by his vast experience interviewing icons who have influenced the last 75 years of world history. He brings this depth of perspective to your events, ensuring discussions are not only engaging but deeply rooted in the kind of insight that only decades of thought-provoking conversations with world leaders can provide. His lively moderation captivates audiences and adds exceptional value, making him a favorite dual-role speaker and moderator at conferences.

Cal is frequently invited to corporate events to draw out company leaders’ visions through engaging interviews, offering a dynamic alternative to traditional prepared speeches

Cal Fussman Reviews

“Cal took our entire conference to another level. His talk had our audiences buzzing for days after the event. As an organizer, it’s always nerve-racking to bring in a new speaker but Cal took the time to get to know us and found a way to connect his message with our audience perfectly. Cal is a first-class speaker — 5 stars all the way!”

— The Value Builder System

“After watching a wide array of CEOs and Executives talk about management difficulties in remote and hybrid environments, it was startling the way Cal traced their problems to the questions they asked in the hiring process. They were talking about symptoms. Cal got them to see the root cause of their problems.”


“I’ve been a fan for over 10 years! Radically shaped how I go about asking questions when filming with talent. Thanks to you it’s been the “secret weapon: in my career. You’re the GOAT, Cal!”

— Brand and Marketing Consultant

“I’m sure I speak for the entire class when I say your stories and advice will be remembered for a long time”

— Notre Dame


We are here to help.
Speak with one of our experienced Program Consultants.

Call us or Live Chat Below

Decorative: Background Image
By continuing to browse, you consent to our use of cookies. To know more, please view our Privacy Policy. Hide