Speaking to the World
Boston | Chicago | San Diego | Atlanta
Best-Selling Author & "Human Guinea Pig"
Immersing himself in alternate lifestyles and long, hilarious experiments (usually with himself the guinea pig), writer AJ Jacobs tests the limits of behavior, customs, culture, knowledge — and his wife's sense of humor. Read More >
A.J. Jacobs' writings stand at the intersection of philosophy, Gonzo journalism and performance art. Stubbornly curious and slyly perceptive, he takes immersive learning to its irrational and profoundly amusing extreme -- extracting wisdom and meaning after long stints as a self-styled guinea pig. For his widely circulated Esquire article "My Outsourced Life," he explored the phenomenon of outsourcing by hiring a team in Bangalore to take care of every part of his life -- from reading his emails to arguing with his wife to reading bedtime stories to his own son. A previous article, "I Think You're Fat," chronicled a brief, cringe-inducing attempt to live his life in Radical Honesty, telling all the truth, all the time.
His new book, The Puzzler: One Man's Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life, Jacobs goes on a journey to understand the enduring power of puzzles: why we love them, what they do to our brains, and how they can improve our world. In his book Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey, A.J. shares his journey of thanking every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee. The results take him across the globe, transform his life, and reveal secrets about how gratitude can make us all happier, more generous, and more connected. Jacobs is also the author of The Know-It-All, which documents the year he spent reading the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z, uncovering both funny and surprising factoids but also poignant insight into history and human nature. In 2007 he released The Year of Living Biblically, in which he attempted to follow every single rule in the Bible as literally as possible for an entire year. His book later inspired the CBS original comedy Living Biblically, which follows a man’s decision to live strictly by the Bible. His recent book The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment is a collection of numerous personal experiments, including living according to George Washington's rules of conduct, outsourcing every single task to India, and posing as a woman on an online dating site. Read Less ^
TEDTalk: My Year of Living Biblically
A Year of Living Biblically
In this keynote, A.J. reveals secrets about how gratitude can make us all happier, more generous and more connected. He provides wonderful insights and useful tips, from how to focus on the hundreds of things that go right every day instead of the few that go wrong to how our culture overemphasizes the individual over the team. "Thanks a Thousand" is a reminder to audiences of the amazing interconnectedness of our world, ultimately teaching us how gratitude can make our lives kinder and more impactful.
How can we apply the idea of method-acting to our business lives? This is the question that life-hacker and best-selling author A.J. Jacobs tackles in this insightful (and highly entertaining) talk on the benefits of faking it until you make it. Through a series of examples from his own life, Jacobs shows just how much our behavior shapes our thoughts and our perceptions. Thus, if we want to change our attitude about something, the best way is to “act as if.”
A.J. Jacobs lives his life as an experiment. In his New York Times bestsellers The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically, Jacobs tackled mental and spiritual challenges; in his most recent book, Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection, he physically challenged himself to live a healthy life from head to toe. Read More >
In this talk, based on his latest book (which he wrote on a treadmill!), Jacobs shares his journey following the latest medical advice to become his healthiest self—which included trying every diet plan, every workout routine, and every self-improvement tip he could find. Armed with a healthier diet and a healthier outlook, Jacobs encourages audiences to be mindful of the steps they can take to find their own “bodily perfection.” Read Less ^
In this engaging and delightful talk based on his New York Times best-selling book, speaker A.J. Jacobs gives a behind-the-scenes look at his journey to “become the smartest person in the world” by reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z, all 44 million words of it.
Raised in a secular family, but increasingly interested in the role of religion in our world, A.J. Jacobs decided to learn about the Bible firsthand: by living it. He vowed to spend a year following every single rule in the Bible, from the famous ones (the Ten Commandments) to the often-ignored laws (“don’t shave your beard,” “do not wear clothes from mixed fibers,” and even “stone adulterers”). The result is a fascinating look at religion—one that is both reverent and irreverent, funny and deeply serious.
Jacobs’s year of living biblically taught him that the most powerful way to change his mind was to change his behavior. The mind will catch up. As he says, “Fake it till you make it.” It’s how he claims he learned to be a better person and a better businessman.
Want to know what your customer is thinking? Live your life as the customer for a week. It’s the same with understanding how your rival thinks. Jacobs stresses the importance of immersing yourself in other points of view to make yourself a better businessperson.
After a 33,000-page experiment in extreme learning from the Encyclopedia Britannica, A.J. Jacobs reflects on his experience by formulating six core business lessons from all of history. Adapted from his Linkedin article entitled The Six Most Important Business Lessons From All of History, the author of The Know-It-All explains how taking risks, using your imagination, and stepping up to the plate can greatly benefit companies in any industry. You are sure to learn lots from this clever and engaging speech from “the smartest person in the world.” Read More >
"We were very fortunate to host author AJ Jacobs for a virtual event after our One Book One Community program featured Thanks A Thousand as our Spring book to read. The talk was attended by students, faculty and staff as well as community members of the town of Bridgewater. AJ was very engaging! His humor and his journey toward thankfulness and gratitude spoke to us all. We felt as though he was a friend we had invited in for coffee! We are still talking about his visit. He definitely left us wanting more. We highly recommend AJ Jacobs as your next speaker!"
"AJ was great! We’ve gotten a great deal of positive feedback on the event, and his talk was clearly the highlight. He was funny, insightful and thought-provoking, and he hit all the right themes. He was also a really easy and gracious guest. He was flexible, and it was fun to spend time with him. The Sunday evening event went extremely well, and that small group (45 or so) really enjoyed the opportunity to ask him questions and talk with him one-on-one."
"A.J. was absolutely fantastic in all venues yesterday: the Q&A with classes, the upper school talk, the middle school talk, and the luncheon. I'm particularly grateful for his concern for what might be inappropriate for the younger kids; perfect blend of humor and thoughtfulness; and kind and congenial manner with the kids. Rave reviews have been pouring in."
"A.J. was witty, charming, and just generally a real crowd-pleaser. I would highly recommend him to other non-profits, and in particular Jewish non-profits, looking for a fun, lighthearted speaker on an often contentious topic (i.e. religion, the Torah/Bible, etc.)."
"A.J. was fabulous. He was warm, engaging, funny and a great speaker. We have had many, many author events at our library, and he was by far the best."
"Thank you so much for coming to Pittsburgh. Your remarks were both light-hearted and funny, while being insightful and well-targeted to our audience. I have received nothing but accolades about the evening."
"Superb speaker, he was friendly, humorous and open, very communicative, responsive and sharing. The audience loved him. The Q&A seemed to last a bit longer because everyone was enjoying it so much!"
"I can’t thank you enough for recommending AJ. He was perfect for this conference. Furthermore, I’m a full-fledged AJ Jacobs fan now! If I hear any marketing peers seeking speakers, I’ll recommend AJ."
Email Your List
You’ve reached your maximum number of speakers for this list.
Email Your List