HELPING PEOPLE SHARE THEIR DARK TO FIND THEIR LIGHT THROUGH WRITING, STORYTELLING AND MORE

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KEYNOTE #1: HOW TO WEAR YOUR LABELS

Many argue that the word “addict” is offensive; they say that labels keep people from achieving what they’re meant to and stigmatize those who would thrive if they weren’t being penalized by some pejorative identity. In this presentation, Anna David explains why she disagrees and how she believes that it’s only through using the addict label that we can destigmatize addiction. She argues that we shouldn’t be trying to avoid certain words but bringing them out in the open so that we can change the public perception of them. She explains how she believes labels can help us to thrive.

Attendees will be able to evaluate and discuss if the recommendation to not use the word addict—including the recent AP suggestion that journalists use the phrase “person with addiction” instead—helps or hurts the cause. They’ll be able to compare her argument about the benefits of using the word “addict” to the many arguments people make that we must eradicate the word from our vocabulary altogether—and see the potential pitfalls of that philosophy. They’ll be able to examine their own labels and share them with the world, in turn giving other people who may be struggling permission to do the same.

See reactions here and here

KEYNOTE #2: HOW TO FALL IN LOVE (WITH YOURSELF)

Many people aren’t sure how to navigate romantic relationship waters.

Falling for Me author Anna David has spent years advising people about sex and relationships (as the sex, dating and relationship expert on G4’s Attack of the Show for three years and also on The Today Show, The Talk, The CBS Morning Show and various Fox News shows). Through that, she discovered that every question she fields is, at its core, about perception. Whether people are asking about how to reveal interest, ways to break up, faking orgasms or anything else, the answer always comes down to figuring out the truth about how to perceive it.

Her lecture, “How to Fall in Love (with Yourself),” is the result of that realization. As she sees it, people struggle in romantic relationships for two main reasons: one, most of us were never taught how to have healthy relationships and two, we over-value our egos and thus our perception of what happens. Through examining her own history, David learned that she’d spent so long focusing on the other person in her relationships and what she believed that person’s behavior meant about her that she’d never looked at herself. And so she put together 8 steps, culled from Buddhist principles, Vedic principles, recovery principles and what she calls “getting in enough pain that you’re willing to change” principles, for people to follow.

Her live show (and subsequent book), True Tales of Lust and Love, allowed comedians and writers to follow this process—and participate in one of LA’s biggest phenomenons. The performers in this much-heralded storytelling show publicly broke through their barriers and fears so that they could tell the truth about the painful, educational and sometimes just funny experiences they’d had in romance.

David’s program, “How to Fall in Love (with Yourself),” walks audience members through the process of taking themselves out of the victim role, having the sort of relationships they want and making themselves the hero or heroine of their stories.

KEYNOTE #3: SURVIVING AND THRIVING IN AN ADDICTIVE SOCIETY

In the past decade, admissions to recovery programs have increased 143% for students between the ages of 18 and 24. And yet few schools have adjusted their curriculum to address the increasing need for information about addiction and recovery. Anna David takes the information gleaned from her own experiences with addiction—which she’s been able to share through best-selling booksnumerous TV appearances and hundreds of published articles—and breaks down how addiction starts, develops and ends. Through anecdotes that are relatable to addicts and non-addicts alike, David tracks the part low self-esteem, family of origin and genetics play in addiction as well as the role of self-esteem in young people everywhere. The talk is for those with burgeoning addictions, the loved ones of addicts and anyone who wants to learn how to better cope in a society that’s always gunning for more, more, more. It’s designed to help college students conquer self-defeating insecurities, deal with family members who are addicted and take the shame out of mental illness, addiction and self-doubt.

TESTIMONIALS:

“Anna’s candor in sharing her story challenged students to critically reflect on the choices they make in their lives. Her story invites honest dialogue and deep transformation of heart, mind and soul. Students were riveted.”

––Anthony Nicotera, Adjunct Professor, NYU Silver School of Social Work

“Anna’s timing, poise, clarity, confidence and terrific sense of humor made it the best talk I have helped on! I was expecting it to be good, even great, if all the stars aligned. I was not expecting it would be amazing. She has a gift and she needs to use big stages to deliver her message.”

—Leading motivational speaker and coach Joel Weldon

“Anna captured the attention of our students with her honest, insightful, and thought provoking recount of her personal struggles. Thankfully this wasn’t your typical lecture, and because of this, students were engaged from beginning to end.”

––Laura Singletary, Student Programs and Leadership Coordinator, Whatcom Community College

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