Merlin’s Speaking Work

Merlin Mann delivers practical, useful, and entertaining insight into the challenges of doing great work in an environment defined by distraction and incongruous expectations.

Photo of  Merlin on FlickrThrough his popular site,, Merlin has become recognized as an authoritative voice on how to help knowledge workers, executive teams, and all manner of creative types discover how to reclaim their attention, improve their productivity, and fundamentally reinvent their approach to doing the work that they love. (Plus, he’s really funny.)

[View Merlin’s Sample Slides and Videos]

Merlin has received rave reviews for bringing his energetic talks to companies like Apple, Google, Yahoo!, Adobe, and PIXAR, as well as appearing at a variety of technology conferences, including Macworld San Francisco, South By Southwest, the Mac OS X Conference, and O’Reilly’s Emerging Technology Conference. And, he’d love to visit with your group, as well.

If you’re looking for an inspiring message and useful advice that your team can start using today, inquire about bringing Merlin to visit with your group.

There are thousands of beige “motivational speakers” you can conjure up to jet in and tell you a handful of things you already know. But, as the fans and admirers who have benefited from his work can tell you: there’s only one Merlin.

For information about hiring Merlin to visit with your company, please drop us a line via our contact form or email “speaking” at this site’s domain name. Thanks.

Merlin’s Current Talks

These are two current talks that Merlin is featuring right now; additional topics and custom content are available upon request.

Inbox Zero: The Sane Solution for High-Volume Email

This energetic, highly targeted presentation will orient attendants to the attitudes, tools, and behaviors that are critical to surviving in the age of high-volume, ubiquitous email.

Merlin Mann of will show you:

  • Why your old email habits can’t work today
  • Why “catching up” with email is a myth
  • The five and (only five) things you can do about any email message
  • Strategies for processing email faster and quickly converting messages into action
  • Using filters and rules to automate repetitive work
  • Meet your new best friend: the delete key
  • How to run an “email dash”
  • How and when to turn email off (and for how long)

While starting from a context of how and why email has gotten out of control in most of our lives, the focus of this session is very practical, with an emphasis on tips, tricks, and handy “hacks” for getting email under control — ultimately for reclaiming your time and attention from the email black hole.

Note: videos and slides may not reflect the latest iteration of this presentation; it is now more awesome.

Video: Inbox Zero (Google, July, 2007)

Google Tech Talk: Inbox Zero

Sample Slides (2007)

Inbox Zero: Action-Based Email

Who Moved My Brain?: Revaluing Time & Attention

Time and attention are a knowledge worker’s most precious and irreplaceable natural resources. And, yet, most of us find our lives riddled with attention leaks that sap hours from every week. What can we do to understand where those leaks are coming from? And how we can start to command greater respect for time and attention — as well as ensuring that we respect that of our colleagues?

In this talk, Merlin Mann demonstrates how digital technology and cultural changes have upset the balance of scarcity and plenty in the lives of wired knowledge workers. You’ll learn why it’s critically important to set and honor boundaries that protect your time as well as how to develop new skills to guard against unwanted or unproductive drains on your already-overwhelmed attention.

This provocative and engaging presentation applies refreshing, high-level thinking to the problem of how to renegotiate and reclaim the attention you’ve ceded to others, as well as fostering discussion on the changes your team can start making today to improve work culture and create a more healthy, respectful, and productive work environment.

Note: slides may not reflect the latest iteration of this presentation; it is now more awesome.

Sample Slides (August, 2008)

Contact us about inviting Merlin to your event »