James Geary

Best-selling Author, Expert on Aphorisms and Metaphors in Business & Politics

James Geary Biography

James Geary is the author of the New York Times best-selling The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism and Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists, both of which celebrate the lively, witty, and provocative art of the short, philosophical sayings known as aphorisms. I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We See the World (Harper), Geary's latest book, offers a fascinating look at metaphors and their influence on every aspect of our lives, from economics and advertising, to politics and business, to science and psychology.

A sought after keynote speaker and presenter, Geary has appeared in a wide variety of venues across the country. He has performed his Juggling Aphorisms and Mixing Metaphors show -- literal juggling of words and balls, a performance based on his aphorism and metaphor books -- at TEDGlobal, "Live from the New York Public Library", the Foreign Policy Association, University of Michigan, the English Speaking Union, the Genoa Science Festival, the Sun Valley Writers' Conference, the Guardian Hay Festival, and at literary festivals throughout the United States, the U.K., and continental Europe.

According to Geary, Elvis Presley was more than just a rock star -- he was also a master of metaphor ("She touched my hand, what a chill I got / Her lips are like a volcano that's hot / I'm proud to say that she's my buttercup / I'm in love; I'm all shook up"). But as Geary posits in his lively talks about one of our most basic forms of language, metaphor does more than provide a good chorus for us to dance to. It also wholly forms how people look at and experience the world and drives invention and creativity. Although most people would assume that metaphor's only place of influence is in literature and song, as Geary argues, metaphors are found in all aspects of life from economics to neuroscience to advertising.

In I Is an Other, Geary takes us from Aristotle's equation for metaphor x = y (as in 'Juliet = the sun,' one of Shakespeare's most well-known lines, "Juliet is the sun") to showing how metaphors such as a soaring housing market may have contributed to the most recent economic downturn and the rise in foreclosures. For Geary, metaphor is so ingrained in our daily lives, it actually influences how we see, react to, and affect the world around us.

Formerly the editor of the European edition of Time, Geary is now editor of Ode, a magazine about optimism and positive news, and a regular contributor to Popular Science. During his tenure at Ode, the magazine has won a silver Eddie, the accolades handed out by Folio: Magazine, and two Maggie Awards, given out by the Western Publishing Association. Geary's Popular Science story on the murder of former Russian KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, "The First Assassination of the 21st Century," was selected for inclusion in the Best American Science and Nature Writing 2007 anthology. During his decade with Time, Geary won three Luce Awards, Time Inc.'s awards for journalistic excellence, and the British Environment and Media Award. As founding editor of timeeurope.com, he won three NetMedia Online Journalism awards and was nominated for an additional nine.

• Advertising & Branding: Why Metaphors (Visual Imagery) and Aphorisms (Taglines) are Crucial to the Creation of Memorable Ads and Successful Brands


• Finance & Economics: The Use of Metaphors in Financial Commentary and How They Can Dramatically Affect Personal Finance Decisions


• Innovation & Creativity: The Essential Role of Metaphorical Thinking in Business Innovation and Scientific Discovery


• Leadership & Management: What Metaphor and Aphorisms Can Teach Us About Everything from Motivating Others to Navigating Office Politics


• Politics: The Power of Metaphor to Form Public Opinion and Shape Political Debates

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James Geary is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book James Geary for your event is $10,000 - $30,000. James Geary generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling James Geary for an upcoming event.


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