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This week I’ve been thinking about success and failure. I’ve experienced some of the former and a lot of the latter.

There’s a certain cold comfort to be gained from failing at something; after all, it happens more often. We get used to it. It’s familiar.

In this week’s speaker profile—see below—internationally bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert, gives a fantastic (and beautifully brief at just seven minutes) TED talk on how success, after years of “failure”, can be just as hard to deal with as its opposite. Success can be hard? I was sceptical too, until I listened to the talk.

The tips and personal stories in this week’s newsletter come from a really useful variety of successful people, from household names to industry secrets. I hope you enjoy them and glean some things you can use in your work and life. If you do, let me know at @rjrodger or richard@voxgig.com!

  – Richard


Make time for yourself

“I learned to delegate from a young age. Actually removing myself from the office has helped me look for the next big venture. I try to exercise every day – whether it is a swim, a game of tennis or a kite-surf when on Necker island.”

Richard Branson

Don’t forget the free space

“Many top executives fill every hour of their workday calendars with meetings or phone calls. That leaves little room for dealing with unanticipated developments. I try to keep at least one hour open each day so that I can respond quickly to new events or issues.”

Robert C. Pozen


Be humble

“Mind the line between confidence and arrogance and keep communicating. Given that only two-thirds of small businesses survive the first two years and fewer than half make it to the four-year point, we’d do well to embrace humility. After all, we never know who’s listening and more important, who will have a great idea that helps us make the leap toward memorable, instead of becoming another forgettable casualty on the road of business.”

Erika Napoletano

Slow down

“The last thing you want to hear, when you’re drowning in to-dos, is that cultivating patience might be part of the solution. But our urgency-addicted culture is at the core of the busyness problem, according to the addiction researcher Stephanie Brown. We’re convinced that with just a bit more speed we could stay in control―and so we grow unwilling to tolerate the discomfort of slowing down. When you’re already on this urgency treadmill, it can feel excruciating to attempt to slow down―but you may end up getting more done if you try. Experiment with doing nothing at all for 10 minutes between tasks: the harder that feels, the more you may need it.”

Oliver Burkeman





Voxgig Podcast

Coming Soon… 

I am delighted to announce that  voxgig is starting a podcast series! The title of the series is ‘Fireside with voxgig’. In each podcast, I’ll be interviewing leading experts from the events industry.  The aim is to deliver high quality insights, valuable public speaking tips and enjoyable personal success stories, all in a relaxed, informal and chatty style. Keep an eye out here for the first podcast in the series, coming soon. 

Speaker Profile

Picture of Elizabeth Gilbert on stage at TEDx

Success, failure and the drive to keep creating

“I had to find a way to make sure my creativity survived its own success. And I did, in the end, find that inspiration. But I found it in the most unlikely and unexpected place. I found it in lessons that I had learned earlier in life about how creativity can survive its own failure.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Author of the successful best-selling memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert reflects on the success of her book (that also went on to become made a movie) and offers insight into dealing with success and how it often can be as disorienting as failure.

Learn from the Best

Picture of Sara Cameron on stage

How to turn busy into balance
Sara Cameron,TEDxTemecula

“We all need to respect the need for balance in our busy lives and balance is all about the white space; little moments between tasks that allow these activities to complement each other rather than compete with one another.”

Tell me…

What is your biggest challenge as an event speaker?

This newsletter is for you. I want it to resonate with you.

So go ahead, hit reply, and tell me what you want to read about. Or email me at richard@voxgig.com. You can tweet too: @voxgig.

I’ll address the most pressing issues in each edition.

Blog Post

12 ways to handle success
Lev Novak

“Remember your failures, both to humble you and excite you. Success can feel natural when it comes, and it’s important to savor it, to feel grateful and aware.”

Speaker Training

Do you speak at conferences? Want to learn how to give the very best talks? Or are you just starting out and want to overcome the fear of speaking on stage?
We are running speaker training workshops in Dublin, Ireland and London, U.K. over the coming months.

Speaker workshops are £150

There is an early bird price of £100 if booked a month in advance.

To find out more follow the links below.

Public speaking with Debbie Forster

London, UK – Thursday October 18, 2018 | More Details

Giving great talks with Russ Miles

London, UK – Thursday November 8, 2018 | More Details


Three Conferences

SoCraTes Day Ch Logo, International Conference for Software Craft and Testing

SoCraTes Day is a single-day International Conference for Software Craft and Testing that is part of a series of conferences across Europe. It’s about the dev community coming together to engage, learn, code, and share their experiences with each other. Taking place in Switzerland’s largest city in the north of the country, there are plenty of opportunities to see the sights, and the weather will still be quite pleasant for outdoor activities.


View over Montréal at night time

Ready to learn, share and discuss all things Apache? Then a trip to Montréal should be on your radar soon! The latest innovations in containers, cloud, DevOps, Iot, servers, web frameworks and other Apache projects will be the focus of this years Con. You’ll be conveniently located in the heart of downtown with your peers to enjoy the conference and then see some of the city.

Cyber Security Chicago conference logo

Chicago is home to more than 10,000 IT security professionals, so a cyber security conference is only logical! This year Cyber Security Chicago comes back again to cover the hottest topics in the technology market, offering valuable insights from security experts on all aspects of cybersecurity and risk mitigation. With over 4,000 attendees, 100 talks, and 60 vendors, it promises to be a busy event, but you’ll still have time to find Chicago’s best deep dish pizza!




A favour…

Can I ask you for a favour? If you enjoy this newsletter, and if you find it useful, please consider recommending it to a friend who is learning to give technical talks, or who aspires to do so. I meet so many cool programmers who have brilliant things to share with the world—that’s you!

Please help me to improve this newsletter – I’d love to hear your suggestions! You can email me directly at richard@voxgig.com. You can tweet too: @voxgig. Thank you so much for reading!

A special thanks and shout out to TammyCora, and David for helping to make this newsletter even better!


Thank you! Please let me know what you think!