A fantastic speaker: Dan Ariely

I think by now you know I am obsessed with excellent speakers.

I am starting a small experiment.

I will write about one speaker I love every day (or as often as I can) and briefly explain why. I will watch one of her or his talk and write about the speaker and tag it #speakeroftheday. Very simple.

I have seen Dan Ariely speak many times and was delighted to finally meet him in person at Google Zeitgeist London 2017 last week. The best part was having a drink with him at the party but the second best part was to participate in a small workshop around the topic of “how do we make decisions”. The closest talk to this session I randomly found on YouTube is this one:

People end up doing whatever is easiest and has the less resistance. That is why switching is so difficult (switching partner, job, getting rid of a bad habit) and most people do not switch. They will stay in a bad marriage or relationship as the efforts to switch seem too difficult. They will not quit that job because it’s too much work to change.

The problem is that what is easiest is most often not what’s the best for you.

For example going to the gym daily isn’t the easiest choice and that’s obviously why most people don’t do it.

People tend to default to the easiest. What’s the easiest for exercising? Not exercising.

Dan took the example of marriage. What would happen if by default all marriages in the world were set to last five years? Would you choose to go for another five years?

“Happiness is the difference between where we are versus where think we could have been.”

Dan also insists on our perception of the present versus the future.

It is extremely tough for us to make a decision based on what we will feel in the future versus now. If given a choice between half a box of great chocolate now versus a full box in two weeks most people will decide for half a box now.

Dan explains why it is so difficult to get anyone to care and modify their behavior towards climate change. You can’t project yourself in how your life will be in 20 years if we don’t change small things today.

Dan has great humor; you can hear the room laugh very often in his talks.

“What would be a problem that we could think about that absolutely no-one would care about? Think about something that for sure, no-one would pay any attention to. If you did, apart from rare exceptions in research labs, it would be Climate Change”. The entire room laughed.

I could watch Dan Ariely speak all day long. I also enjoyed his talk on Trust and if you only have two minutes “how to be more productive at work.”

Here is why Dan is an incredible speaker with a public calendar booked for months in advance.
-he is one of the most recognized in the world on his topics: behavioral economics, decision making, psychology.
-he has incredible charisma on stage
-he expresses his ideas very clearly. Everyone can understand thanks to the use of multiple examples and metaphors. He will often use simple games children could play to so everyone gets the idea.
-he uses humor and makes the audience laugh all the time, which connects him to the room

See more great tips to be a great speaker.

Make sure to also read his books. I have read Predictably Irrational, and it’s awesome.

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