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Staff Spotlight On: Bryce Moloney, Senior Vice President, Learning and Development Division

Staff Spotlight On: Bryce Moloney, Senior Vice President, Learning and Development Division

Bryce Moloney, Speakers’ Spotlight’s Senior Vice President of the Learning and Development Division, is an Honours graduate from the University of Western Ontario. He spent the first few years of his career developing his business acumen as an Account Executive with IBM, after which he honed his eye for talent and developed his knowledge of an audience’s needs as a lecture agent for many successful years. He brought that experience with him as Account Director for Second City Communications, where for three years he led their Corporate Training, Event Support and Marketing Communications division, working with a number of organizations across Canada including McDonald’s, Rogers, Telus, IBM, Health Canada and Procter & Gamble. We’re thrilled to put Bryce in our Staff Spotlight On today:

Did you always want to work in the speaking industry? If not, what other careers did you consider?.

As a kid, I wanted to write advertising copy or illustrate comics. After University, there were no openings for poets, so I had no idea what to do. A friend’s recommendation (thank God) led to a sales job at IBM for 5 years in Vancouver. When I moved back to Toronto, I answered an ad in the paper that led to my (now) 15 year career in the speaker industry.  As it turns out, by luck or by chance, I believe this is where I belong.

Any advice for people getting started in the industry?

I believe the best speaker agents are curious, somewhat tenacious, articulate, they value ideas and enjoy small victories. If that’s you, could probably start tomorrow, although I’ve learned it’s a somewhat rarefied combination of traits and skill.

As a speaker, it’s more difficult. It’s like wanting to act on Broadway, or play professional sports: part of me believes you’ve either got it or you don’t. If you’ve got, nurture it through practice, practice, practice.  Every Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce that will have you — take the gig.  You’ll hone your craft, start to understand audiences, and develop the confidence you need to make it as a professional.

Do you have any great stories from events you’ve attended featuring Speakers’ Spotlight speakers?

W. Mitchell stunned me. I don’t know what I expected going in, but I saw a master class in storytelling and it affected me. Everything from the details he kept in and left out of his stories, to each pause and every moment of emphasis, his going up to the line of sentimentality before making us laugh, it moved me. I don’t know why you would give a speech other than to make someone believe in something, and he made me a believe his message, which is that it’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it.

What is your favourite thing about working with our speakers?  With clients?

My favourite thing about working with our speakers is the discussions we have before we get down to business. Chit-chat, just catching up. Many of them can be can be described as intellectuals with high emotional intelligence who are natural performers with great business acumen. What else do you want in a conversationalist?  No matter what you are discussing it’s usually a funny, fascinating and engaging experience. The downside is now I’m spoiled. I’m allergic to uninspired small talk!

Best subject in school?  

Literature and psychology.

Which Canadian city is your favourite?

City: Toronto.  Town: Point-au-Baril.  Place: Township of the Archipelago, in the 30,000 islands of Georgian Bay.

Desert island album?

  • Dark Side of the Moon 2) Abbey Road 3) The Who Sell Out 4) Moon Safari 5) London Calling

Last book you read? 

Ready Player One.  An stupendous pleasure, and Spielberg’s next film. Briefly: in the future, everyone ‘lives’ in Virtual Reality.  A Steve Jobs/Bill Gates-type figure dies, and in his will bequeaths his entire $100 billion fortune to whoever can find the Eater Eggs he’s hidden in this virtual universe, and in order to do so, and successfully solve a series of puzzles, you must have an encyclopedic knowledge of 1980’s pop culture.  I can’t describe how perfect this book was for me.

Last film you saw? 

Ex Machina.  If like me you are passionate about science-fiction films, you’ve probably been waiting your whole life for someone to approach the intellectual and aesthetic achievements found Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.  By comparison, this is a much smaller film.  But it asks the same questions Kubrick was asking, and it ends up being a beautifully made thriller.

What speaker(s) alive, or who have already passed away, would you love to hear speak?

Frankly, there’s nobody I’d rather listen to who’s passed than my dad.  I’d especially like for it to be when he was really riled up about something, really upset about some act of stupidity, because that could set him off on a virtuosic display of outrage and inspired elocution.  Man, could he let loose.  He was Irish, and if you’ve never had the pleasure of listening to an Irishman hold forth his opinions on the ills of the world, well, you just haven’t lived.