Ask More – to Maximize Success, Encourage Risk-taking, and Promote Understanding
How can you and your organization challenge colleagues, motivate the workforce, engage your leaders through brilliant and provocative questions at a brainstorming session, in a meeting, through a virtual conference? What are the questions that make people stop and … imagine? What are the listening skills that will maximize performance and leverage understanding? In this talk, Frank builds upon his book, Ask More: the Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Change, to help you think about your business, your industry, your stakeholders in new and imaginative ways. How can organizations harness the purpose and meaning that people want from their work? What kind of questions, conversations, and stories will build bridges at a divisive time? Where do questions come in when having a difficult conversation? How can inquiry catalyze risk-taking and creativity? This talk shows how the journalist’s most important tools – questions, curiosity, listening, and learning – can be translated to any field to make people more engaged, more aware, and more productive.
A Storyteller’s Paradise: How to Craft a Narrative to Inform and Engage Your Audience
As a journalist, author, and educator, Frank Sesno has often sought to find the counter-narrative to the doomsday scenarios that abound. In his Planet Forward environmental project, the focus is on innovation – the new ideas and breakthrough technologies that represent a fundamentally positive frame. His book, Ask More: the Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Change, explores how we can put inquiry to use to improve our lives through awareness, understanding, and creativity. His teaching at the George Washington University summons students to learn so that they may make positive contributions for the rest of their lives.
At a time when people are searching for silver linings and meaningful reward, Frank inspires and engages audiences with what-they-don’t-tell-you stories of accomplishment, heroism, and success. What’s your narrative? How can you and your colleagues capture the story of your mission and your work? What’s the best way to tell that story? In this talk, Frank will engage with you about your work, your goals, and your promise to inspire genuine storytelling about the projects that matter most.
The Future: Reading Trends, Mining Hope
There are plenty of things to worry about. Some warrant our attention. But they can overwhelm, especially if you’re glued to non-stop news or are on the receiving end of 24/7 text alerts, updates, headlines, and social media blasts. How can we see the future more optimistically, more hopefully? What are the trends in our culture and in your business that underscore human progress, the vast ingenuity of our species, and can motivate? In this talk, veteran journalist, educator, author, and commentator Frank Sesno makes the case for a hopeful future. From the environment to food, from technology to health care, from our culture to our planet, there are fascinating and important achievements that get buried by the daily drumbeat. With humor and a refreshingly conversational style, Frank engages your audience on a journey to a future that, while still challenging, holds vast potential and exciting promise.
Moderated Panels and Leadership Discussions
Few people are as accomplished or experienced at the art of moderating panels and leadership discussions as Frank Sesno, who combines broad expertise, genuine curiosity, warmth, and humor as he draws out guests and panelists. As an interviewer, anchor, talk show host, and public event moderator, he has engaged some of the world’s leading personalities on topics ranging from business to international affairs, politics to medical breakthroughs, bio-terrorism to globalization. Sesno has conducted one-on-one public conversations with such diverse personalities as Condoleezza Rice, Jack Welch, Madeleine Albright and Yasser Arafat. He has interviewed five American presidents: George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter. He has conducted high-profile panels, including a sold-out event with five former secretaries of state. And he has interviewed CEOs from Fortune 500 companies, including Bill Gates and Carlos Slim, bringing out their best and most interesting facets and creating a memorable, informative experience for the audience.
The Media and the Message
Social media. Fake news. The fall of legacy media. The rise of conspiracy media. The media landscape has never been more scrambled. Reaching the public is at once infinitely easier and agonizingly harder. Where is all this taking us? What happened to facts? How much “news” is actually in the news these days? Can the media report in ways that we will find credible? Can they “make” people listen?
Frank Sesno has been a correspondent, anchor, news executive, and academic. This talk deconstructs the media, examining what journalists have become and where they’re going. Sesno asks, are we better off with the media we have or are we fighting a losing battle? How can we be an informed public when there’s so much out there that misinforms? This talk will surprise, shock, and anger you, but will ultimately give you hope that we’ll survive and adapt to the information tsunami.
At a time when events, panels, and conversations have moved to a virtual format, having a skilled and experienced moderator who understands the special challenges and opportunities of online conversations is essential. Frank Sesno brings his unique curiosity, caring, and deft interviewing skills to this new world of convening. As an experienced moderator and facilitator, Frank connects audiences and discussants with knowledge and a keen sense of timing and respectful engagement in order to optimize interest, information, and participation. Sesno honed the skills of remote interviewing during his years at CNN as an anchor and talk show host. He will work with you and your organization across various platforms and technologies to maximize the effectiveness of virtual meetings, events, brainstorming sessions or community-building. Frank brings offers his subject matter expertise as well as his passion for engaging people to make this new virtual world as engaging as possible.
There is art to this. Leading a meeting, event, conversation online is not like doing it in person. It's a significantly different experience. Virtual conversations are deprived of the body language, eye contact, and in-person dynamic one has when sitting next to someone on stage or in a room. The group dynamic is entirely different. Participation is more challenging. Sesno knows how to structure a discussion, engage speakers and audience more deliberately, and manage the conversation so a speaker is invested and makes the most of the technology and format.