About Ben Taxy

My mission is to help smart people develop the content and the skills to move the good ideas in their heads into the other heads in the room.

For the last twenty years I have worked with prominent national experts, senior executives at Fortune 500 companies, and small business CEOs to improve presentation skills, presentation content, and presence.

Previously I wrote for the network TV show Family Guy and graduated from Harvard University. My family and I live in Portland, Oregon.

(Read more of my supernerd origin story below….)

Origin Story

Growing up, no one would have described me as a great speaker.

They absolutely would have called me a nerd.

I was obsessed with math and science. My social world revolved around math team, chess club, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and talking about science-fiction and fantasy novels.

Inside my nerd circles, I felt confident and accepted. Outside, however, I was a fumbling mess of naiveté and arrogance, and I lost out on a few incredible opportunities because I didn’t understand how to express myself effectively.

Origin Story

Growing up, no one would have described me as a great speaker.

They absolutely would have called me a nerd.

I was obsessed with math and science. My social world revolved around math team, chess club, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and talking about science-fiction and fantasy novels.

Inside my nerd circles, I felt confident and accepted. Outside, however, I was a fumbling mess of naiveté and arrogance, and I lost out on a few incredible opportunities because I didn’t understand how to express myself effectively.

I thought my good ideas were obvious. I didn’t realize the distance between having an idea and bringing other people on board with that idea. I didn’t understand the difference between being smart and having an impact.

When the deficit in my presentation skills became clear, it was a terrifying wake-up call. What if my ideas and value stayed locked inside me? Would I find my purpose? Could I be happy and live a good life? Probably not….

Thoroughly daunted, I took my life in a very different direction. I moved to Los Angeles, worked as a ghostwriter and speechwriter, and, following the advice in books about improving communication and presentation skills, started studying improv and stand-up comedy.

For several years, I was immersed in a deeply social environment full of non-technical people and performed improv or standup on stage every week. It was humbling (to say the least) and exciting because I was learning so much.

Using my polymath nerd-brain, I created communication systems and templates that suited my introverted personality and left-brain skillsets. Soon, I was comfortable walking into any room and speaking with anyone, and activities like presenting, coaching, and selling became interesting, even, dare I say it… enjoyable.

I taught these same presentation skills to my coaching clients, and for many of them it was the first time they really understood how to create exceptional content and handle themselves when presenting 1:1, in small groups, and to large audiences. 

Client Stories

One of my first clients came to me because she had gotten a book deal from a traditional publisher and knew I had experience writing books as well as speeches. I worked with her to create a best-selling business book, keynote speech, and to prepare for national press. She gave the speech at Google and was featured by NBC's Today Show and the LA Times (among others).

A detail-oriented HR Director at a large multinational had to present a plan to change hiring practices to her department heads, regional directors, national VPs, and eventually, the C-suite. I helped her to reduce the number of slides by half, script her core message to make it a repeatable sound bite, and design special content to be used in the Q & A only if certain (likely) questions were asked. She got promoted.

An executive at a think tank fighting climate change wanted to bring on a big corporation as a sponsor. I worked with her to empathize with her audience and connect with them more deeply, which resulted in selling a piece of business ten times greater than what she had originally expected. She used the same material at a UN conference on climate change where she spoke to a large audience and, as a result, landed two new accounts.

An analyst for a small political consulting firm had been using the same presentation for years to get new clients. I worked with him to create a modular presentation that could be more easily customized and which would create the right client expectations from the start. He became successful enough that he left his company to start his own business and is now a top national political operative.

Soon, I started taking the most impactful ideas and techniques that I used when coaching and created half-day workshops to help nerds like me improve their presentation skills. I created custom workshops and training programs around themes such as leadership, psychological safety, presence, courage, and more.

>