Scott Kirsner

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Energy. Insight. Humor. Spontaneity.

As a long-time journalist, I've been to enough conferences, trade shows, panel discussions, and off-sites to know that those elements aren't always present. Event organizers spend months bringing the audience together, lining up the speakers, and taking care of a million venue details. My goal is to bring the program and the content to life, and get the audience to really connect with what's happening onstage.

Moderating at the Digimart digital cinema conference in Montreal, October 2006.
I often work with event organizers to:

    > help structure an event for maximum impact and interactivity

    > discuss session formats that will keep the audience engaged and learning

    > write intros and transitions to keep things moving smoothly

    > host the event from start-to-finish, moderate panels, conduct "fireside chat"-style one-on-one interviews, or deliver a presentation.

Feel free to contact me by e-mail or phone. I'll gladly provide references, audio, or video on request. Here's a list of upcoming and recent events I'm involved with; I also have compiled a list of my thoughts on assembling and running successful panel discussions (complete with photos). I also collected some of my advice on panels in this Harvard Business Review piece.


Some endorsements of my moderating, speaking, and hosting work:

    "Scott brings both humor and intelligence to the stage as moderator and event host. He has the ability to make you feel as if you're engaged in a one-on-one conversation, even in a room full of people. Scott entertains, amuses and informs with a grace and style that makes it look easy." - Judith Kittredge, Conference Manager, Executive Programs | CXO Media Inc.

    "I cannot count the number of comments made to me about how enjoyable people found your keynote. Thank you so much!" - Joel Welch, Director of Professional Development, SMPTE

    "Scott's ability to interview significant business leaders and innovators in a friendly, charismatic, and cerebral way helped shape our event tremendously. He has an uncanny way of directing the flow of a conversation while providing a compelling and fun event for audience members. I recommend Scott wholeheartedly." - Andrew Collins, Producer, MITX Fireside Chat series

    "What a great lunch speaker! Entertaining and challenging." - Participant, Making Media Now 2008

    Moderating at the Nantucket Conference in May 2005. To my right is Bill Raduchel, former CTO of AOL Time Warner. In my hand is the Sputmik, a "tossable" microphone from MIT and Design Continuum. Photo courtesy of Dan Bricklin.
    "Scott has been an invited speaker and an always-fantastic moderator at several technology-focused events I've organized at MIT over the past six years. Whenever I'm putting together panel discussions for conferences at MIT or private executive briefings for companies I work with, I reach out first to him. I know that the session will be lively, interesting and informative if he's running the show. I trust him to facilitate thoughtful and provocative discussions on any topic." - Neena Buck, MIT Industrial Liaison Program

    "Thank you so much for hosting the Fast Company/CEA Executive Forum at the Consumer Electronics Show. You were a lively, dynamic and engaging host who not only kept the audience entertained but informed with your unlimited knowledge of the technology issues addressed at the day-long program. We simply couldn't have done it without you! Thanks again for helping to make our program a huge success." - Gina Imperato, Director of Programming, Fast Company and Inc. magazines

    "As part of Constant Contact's innovation speaker series, Scott gave a unique and compelling talk on the role of innovation in Hollywood. Speaking to a packed house, Scott was engaging, funny, and dynamic, while pushing our audience to think differently about the role of innovation in the workplace. Any company looking for a thoughtful and different perspective on innovation would be well-served to invite Scott to speak." - Reed Bundy, Manager, Constant Contact

    "You did an amazing job and I look forward to working together in the future." - Jarod Neece, Production Manager, SXSW Festivals & Conference

    "Thank you for speaking at our Annual Meeting. Your presentation on the New England Innovation Economy was funny, engaging, and very informative. You were well received, as evidenced by the many positive comments we received from members since the event." - Roy Nascimento, CEO, New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce

    "The feedback has been great, and I know the partners enjoyed the intellectual and entertaining substance of your presentation." - Richard Scullin, Village Ventures

    "Every time I have seen you in action, from Convergence to the NEHI dinner, I have been extremely impressed with your thoughtful and personal approach. Conducting an interview is clearly an art form you have mastered." - Wendy Everett, President, New England Healthcare Institute

    "By all accounts, your skill as a moderator was the key to the success of the event. With your knowledge of technology, your sense of humor, and your ability to draw out the best in our panel (even Sir Arthur [C. Clarke]), you helped keep our audience on the edge of their seats for two and a half hours (no small achievement in this age of sound bites)." - Edward Alton Parish, President, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    "Would have liked to have heard even more from this speaker." - Participant, Making Media Now 2008

    "We have received very positive comments about you and the program." - Paul Guzzi, President & CEO, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

    "Your presentation was by far the highlight of the evening." - Laila Michaud, Assistant Director, Montachusett Regional Planning Commission

    "From those in attendance, it was clearly one of the best sessions at the show." - John David, EVP / Radio, National Association of Broadcasters

    "Scott is an engaging and effective moderator, who always keeps his audience in mind and uses the right touch of humour to bring lightness to the conversation when needed. Scott's extensive experience in the industry and his capability to shed thoughful insight on complex issues, coupled with his unsatiable curiousity about new and emerging trends makes him a dynamic and ideal moderator at international film and television events. It is a huge pleasure and privilege to work with Scott!" - Sheila de la Varende, Digimart: The International Digital Cinema Market


A sample of the folks with whom I've conducted on-stage interviews and moderated panels:

    > John Abele, co-founder of Boston Scientific
    > Clickstar CEO James Ackerman
    > Turbine Entertainment CEO Jeff Anderson
    > Colin Angle, CEO and co-founder, iRobot
    > McDonald's global marketing SVP Dean Barrett
    > Former J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather chairwoman Charlotte Beers
    > Rodney Brooks, director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science Laboratory
    > Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster
    > Walmart.com president Carter Cast
    > "Innovator's Dilemma" author and Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen
    > Sir Arthur C. Clarke
    > Forrester Research CEO George Colony
    > Akamai chairman George Conrades
    > Intuit chairman Scott Cook
    > Lycos founding CEO Bob Davis
    > Sycamore Networks chairman Desh Deshpande
    > Investor and analyst Esther Dyson
    > Anna Ewing, CIO of the NASDAQ Stock Market
    > Oxo Corp. co-founder John Farber
    > Evergreen Solar CEO Mark Farber
    > Internet memesmith Ze Frank
    > Investor and entrepreneur Chris Gabrieli
    Interviewing Malcolm Gladwell, author of "Blink" and "The Tipping Point," at the Harvard Faculty Club in May 2004. Photo courtesy of Dan Bricklin.
    > Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution president Robert Gagosian
    > Futurist George Gilder
    > New Yorker staffer and "Tipping Point" author Malcolm Gladwell
    > Cape Wind Associates president Jim Gordon
    > Former Bose president Sherwin Greenblatt
    > iRobot president Helen Greiner
    > Scott Griffith, former CEO of Zipcar
    > Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix
    > Hugh Herr, MIT researcher and founer, iWalk
    > Andy Hinton, global ethics and compliance officer, Google
    > Peter Hoffman, director, global research, Boeing Research & Technology
    > Author and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington
    > Inventor and philanthropist Dean Kamen
    > New England Patriots vice chairman Jonathan Kraft
    > Film director Randal Kleiser
    > "Heroes" creator Tim Kring
    > Inventor and writer Ray Kurzweil
    > Bob Lambert, SVP of Worldwide Technology Strategy, The Walt Disney Company
    > Jim Lanzone, CEO of Ask.com
    > Highland Capital Partners co-founder Paul Maeder
    > 3Com founder Bob Metcalfe
    > Textron CTO Phyllis Michaelides
    > ABIOMED CEO Michael Minogue
    > Frank Moss, director of the MIT Media Lab
    > Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist
    > Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea
    > Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick
    > Movielink CEO Jim Ramo
    > Indiegogo CEO Slava Rubin
    > Akamai president and CEO Paul Sagan
    > Mika Salmi, president of global digital media, MTV Networks
    > JWT Chief Marketing Officer Marian Salzman
    > John Santini, founder of MicroCHIPS
    > Virgin Mobile USA CEO Dan Schulman
    > Greg Selkoe, CEO, Karmaloop
    > Film director Brad Silberling
    > Coca-Cola chief compliance officer Mark Snyderman
    > Singer-songwriter Jill Sobule
    > Staples founder Tom Stemberg
    > Twitter co-founder & CEO Biz Stone
    > Judith Summerfield, Dean of Undergraduate Education at CUNY
    > Cyberkinetics CEO Timothy Surgenor
    > Author and Fast Company founder Bill Taylor
    > Monster.com founder Jeff Taylor
    > Peter Thiel of Founders Fund; author of "Zero to One"
    > NASCAR marketing VP Roger VanDerSnick
    > A123 Systems CEO David Vieau
    > Todd Wagner, Co-founder of 2929 Entertainment
    > Avid Technology founder Bill Warner
    > Filmmaker Lance Weiler
    > Writer and philosopher David Weinberger

A few of the events I've been involved with:

    > The Ad Club's Edge Conference
    > Association of Promotion Marketing Agencies Conference
    > Authors @ Google
    > BIO International Convention
    > Boston Book Festival
    > Boston Globe .COMversations
    > Churchill Club
    > CIO Magazine Xnet Consortium
    > CITE Conference
    > CMO Perspectives
    > Compliance Week
    > Convergence: The Life Sciences Leaders Forum
    > Digimart: The Digital Revolution
    > Direct Marketing Association conference
    > DIY Days
    > FIRST Robotics Kick-Off
    > The Future of Film
    > Future Forward: The New England Technology Summit
    > Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
    > Harvard Business School Cyberposium
    > Harvard Business School Entrepreneurship Conference
    > The Hillside Club, Berkeley
    > Inbound Marketing Summit
    > Institute for International Film Financing Gala
    > Los Angeles Film Festival
    > Making Media Now
    > Mass. Biotech Council Annual Conference
    > Mass. Life Sciences Innovation Day
    > MIT Sloan VC/Private Equity Conference
    > MITX Fireside Chat Series
    > Mobile Monday
    > NAMAC Conference
    > Nantucket Conference on Entrepreneurship & Innovation
    > National Agri-Marketing Association Issues Forum
    > National Association of Broadcasters Futures Summit
    > National Association of Broadcasters Radio Show
    > PopTech: The Impact of Technology on People
    > Producers Institute for New Media Technologies / BAVC
    > Producers Guild of America "Produced By" Conference
    > Rome Film Festival
    > Silverdocs Film Festival
    > South by Southwest Film Festival
    > Sundance Film Festival
    > TiECON East
    > Tijuana Innovadora
    > Telefilm Canada
    > Toronto International Film Festival
    > Value Studio
    > Web Video Summit
    > Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup