054: Dan Pallotta - On Convincing People


I've got a special edition of This Moved Me this week! I gave a big hint about it in my weekly

This Moved Me newsletter

a few weeks back... so, for those who are not signed up for these emails (why aren't you signed up for these?!), let me see if I can set this up for you.

A few weeks ago I attended the

Minneapolis Foundation's 100-year anniversary conference

. They had some HUGE keynote speakers lined up -

Dan Buettner

from the Blue Zone project (hilarious, I'm dying to interview him),

Michio Kaku

- the physicist futurist (he is really something - a total entertainer) - and then our guest for today's show -

Dan Pallotta,

founder and president of

Advertising for Humanity

and the

Charity Defense Council


You see, Dan invented the modern-day charity event, and in doing so, raised hundreds of millions of dollars for some of the biggest causes of the day. But it wasn't an easy ride.

Dan's TED Talk - one of the 100-most viewed of all time

- inspires and insists on a new way of thinking about how we treat charities and nonprofits so that these organizations have a fighting chance at actually changing the world.

Here's my connection with this talk that I LOVE:

When I heard Dan's talk, I was working at a nonprofit, and his words resonated - shook me. I was listening to an audio version of it on a run while I was doing an event in Omaha, running through the beautiful grounds of ConAgra and being bowled over by how RIGHT he was getting it. I found it powerful, poetic and prophetic.

TMM Dan Pallotta Graphic
TMM Dan Pallotta Graphic

The thing is -

at the core of Dan's talk is a belief that we can change the world

- and that if we really invest in our dreams, in the possibilities -if we really believe that we can do big things and then act accordingly - then we might have a chance to actually change this world of ours...

 But it will require a change of mindset for all of us.

When I saw Dan speak at the conference, it was a moving experience for me. Now, I'm not someone who gives standing ovations. I just don't. It's not that I don't want to love up the speaker - I do! It's just that I think it should be a rare, rare gift. And at the end of Dan's talk, I stood up and applauded.

And I looked around and realized that maybe a dozen other people had joined me - out of an audience of 1,000. So, though I am drinking the Dan Pallotta kool-aid, not everyone is - such is the nature of someone who is pushing for change - which begs the question,

how do you convince people of something that they're not ready to be convinced of yet?

Well, I somehow convinced Dan to chat with me. In our brief conversation, we talked about audience, mobilizing people, the power of your own conviction and the role of language in convincing people. I'm super excited to share this with you.

Now, there's no This Moved Me Moment this week - No Coaches Corner. Just a brief conversation with a really talented and passionate speaker whose talk is moving the world.


Resources We Talked About:

Dan's Website

Charity Defense Council

Advertising For Humanity

Dan's writings on HBR:

I Don't Understand What Anyone's Saying Anymore

Delivering the Speech of Your Life

Dan's Books:

Charity Case


Dan's Talks:

Dan's TED Talk

Dan on the TED Radio Hour