I believe that speaking is an incredibly important part of how knowledge is shared in the world. It has survived millennia and countless educational revolutions because there is nothing quite like hearing someone both knowledgeable and passionate about a topic. Having given hundreds of talks, I still find it energizing.
I do not accept speaker fees. While I do not begrudge others who make their living as speakers, I choose to make my living as a behavioral scientist and I have no intention of changing that. You can pay for travel and buy me a Diet Coke (with a lime!) and some nachos or a gift for my son Bear. If speaker fees are an essential part of your event, I’d ask that you simply donate to a domestic violence shelter in your area; to date, we’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to combat this systemic program and more is always needed.
In general, most of my talks revolve around the application of behavioral science to creating products and programs that change behavior and how we do that, at scale, in organizations. Outside of that, special topics include gender equity and inclusion (because of my work on GetRaised, SalaryOrEquity, etc.), entrepreneurism, and the powerful and important place that work plays in our lives and in our mental health.
If you want me to speak at your event, please send a brief email to firstname.lastname@example.org detailing the topic you’re interested in, the dates, times, and location. I select based on schedule, how recently I’ve given a talk in that region, and the diversity of other speakers.
Speaker diversity is incredibly important. If you claim to be selecting speakers on merit and still end up with an overrepresentation of white males, you are implicitly saying you believe that white men are simply better than others. I don’t believe that and suspect you don’t either. So if you are looking for alternates on topics I tend to speak about, please consider Neela Saldenha or Aline Holzwarth on applied behavior change generally, Stephanie Habif or Gina Merchant on behavioral change specifically in health, and Aubrey Blanche or Haile Owasu on the role of men in increasing gender equity.
For almost 20 years, Matt Wallaert has been applying behavioral science to practical problems. After leaving academia, his career as an executive lead from startups to the Fortune 500 and back again, before joining frog (a Capgemini company) as the Executive Director of Behavioral Science, where he focuses on helping organizations build their own applied behavioral science capabilities.
In his book Start at the End and other writings, as well as hundreds of talks from the UN to SXSW, Wallaert details how the cycle of behavioral strategy, insights, design, and impact evaluation can help us build products and services that change behavior. From the janitor to the CEO, his approachable frameworks show how everyone can incorporate behavioral science into what they do, no PhD required.
Wallaert’s side projects consistently focus on creating greater equity in the world, like GetRaised, which has helped underpaid women ask for and earn over $3.6B in salary increases, and his research reports, like MediocreWhiteMen, blend humor and science to help work toward change.