Speaking

Even though most of my work appears on paper or the screens, one of the most fulfilling parts of working with ideas is the chance to share and discuss them with groups of people. I’ve spoken at institutions like the University of Toronto, for organizations like CUTC and YENYR, and led workshops for companies like Shopify and Flipp. My work has been featured at outlets like Fast Company, The Fader, and The Globe and Mail. I’ve also interviewed leading recording artists like Ty Dolla $ign, Post Malone, and A$AP Ferg for my video series, Prologue.

My speaking topics:

Think Through Action

Life happens. People make changes in their vocation, education, and creative pursuits. They face the challenges of creative blocks, confusion and discouragement, and skill gaps or deterioration. This speech provides a flexible framework to work with the chaos of life, and actionable tactics to create greater consistency, momentum, and to learn faster. It is based on a series of articles that have been featured at The Next Web, Forge, and Fast Company, and read by over 300,000 people.

The Editor Is the New Brand Manager

The saying goes, every company is a media company. More and more, the best companies know they need to cultivate communities if they’re going to build a sustainable business. This speech is for teams and organizations who want to learn to build defensive marketing assets — books, blogs, and publications — that continue to pay off as time passes. It draws from my professional experiences with my editorial studio Wonder Shuttle, and building writing teams for companies like QuickBooks and Shopify.

High Output Creativity

“The chances are that in the course of his lifetime, the major poet will write more bad poems than the minor,” says poet W.H. Auden. This is an insight that we often forget about creative success; that when people attempt to make more hits, they also make more misses. This speech aims to provoke thought on how to improve the creative process, by weaving together insights from the academic field of historiometry, artists in all fields, the changing landscape of technology, to show artists, freelancers, and entrepreneurs how they can improve their individual and team productivity amidst perpetual distraction and disruption.

What other people have said:

“Herbert is an extremely driven and talented individual with the rare ability to turn complicated subject matter into an easy to follow story. He is instrumental in helping developing and evolving our voice. His work challenges you to think critically as a reader and allows you to apply your own context to the information being presented. This is extremely rare in today’s noisy content space, and something I find incredibly valuable.”

Tommy Walker

Global Editor-in-Chief, QuickBooks
Editor-in-Chief, Shopify Plus

“That was the best interview I ever did.”

A$AP Ferg

Recording Artist
Visual Artist
Designer