Neal is a captivating, entertaining, and enlightening speaker and storyteller, and with a special and very unique take on mental wellness, brain health, and stress management.
After more than 50 years struggling with a variety of mental illnesses, compounded by nearly thirty years of chronic stress that eventually led to burnout and a close call with suicide, he quit his award-winning forty-year cybersecurity career to follow a completely different path.
He started with a curiosity about the brain, his and brains in general. What causes mental illnesses? What’s the science behind stress? Why do just half a dozen hormones seem to be in complete charge of everything we are, think, and do?
His expedition took him deeper into the territory of the mind, and specifically, the science behind all the purported treatments and even cures – from positive psychology and emotional resilience, to talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, thinking and breathing, diet and exercise. Do they really work and if so, how?
What can cows teach us about oxytocin, the glue that holds the human race together? Why are horses more empathetic than people? Why is going to the dentist a possible treatment for depression? How do Botox injections trick our brains into thinking we’re happier? Why could city buildings be the next personal therapists.
How come we can’t just rewire and reshape our brains but grow new brains, just using our brains? Why do scientists believe that the cure for the aging body might lie in the brain? Why does flossing your teeth slow cognitive decline?
Using himself as a guinea pig, he didn’t just research these treatments, he tried them for himself, documenting his progress.
Neal approaches the science, biology, chemistry, and philosophy of the mind as a student, not a teacher. As a patient and not a doctor. The relentlessly curious child constantly asking “But why?” until he’s completely satisfied with the answers. Don’t tell me what works, tell me why it works. Don’t just say trust me. Show me.
Talks and Topics (Scroll down to see Neal in action)
Get A Grip – What Neal discovered about the science of mental health, wellness, and happiness, and how easy it is for all of us to get a tight grip on how the mind works. Read more.
****ing Stress! – How I tamed my chronic stress through a mixture of mindfulness, breathing, and hacking lessons (why, what did you think I meant?). Learn more.
GetWell@Work – Creating a workplace that embraces mental illness and wellness, and why it’s great for the bottom line too.
Mental Health Initiatives
Neal is currently leading a variety of innovative mental health initiatives, including the PsyberResilience Project, an effort to address the chronic stress, burnout, and mental illness amongst the country’s cybersecurity workforce.
He’s leading an effort as part of NIST’s Global City Teams Challenge to see how smart cities can be harnessed to improve the mental health of the people living and working in them. He’s also the founder of Mynde, offering every city its own dedicated mental health website at no cost.
And he recently launched Get A Grip!, a workplace-focused mental health program.
Interested in having Neal as a speaker or trainer?
Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact his agency at Eagles Talent.
Past Speaking Events
Neal has keynoted in Las Vegas, spoken at the headquarters of Facebook in Menlo Park, and presented online to participants across 50 countries. Other audiences have included The Institute of Management Accountants, the Global Business Travel Association, Ameriprise, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, US Bank, and the National Association of Secretaries of State.
“We could not find a better way to help articulate our March 11th 2021 #SVBTA Event Speaker’s Smart and Charismatic style, so … here he is! Take a minute to listen and imagine the Great Value that you will take-away when you attend: “Get A Grip! Taming The Emotional Chaos In A Disrupted World” Neal received our Highest 2019 Attendee Satisfaction Survey Results. 95% Overall Value and 93% Education Value. Huge.”
The Silicon Valley Business Travel Association
“The presenter is absolutely wonderful, and the information is EXCELLENT! I am delighted at how the presenter openly and unapologetically discussed his personal experiences with mental health. So many people suffer from anxiety, depression, etc., and this just helps to reinforce with people that they are not alone. THANK YOU!!!!!”
“Thank you for your amazing and truly relevant content in today’s environment which is heavily impacting Mental Health.”
Seminar Participant, 2021
“I strongly recommend Neal as a speaker! Neal’s honesty and self-reflection on his experiences helped remove any stigma around the conversation; resulting in excellent audience participation including sharing their concerns, stressors, and coping mechanisms. Thank you Neal!”
Drew Mitchell – President, Silicon Valley Business Travel Association
“I really enjoyed Neal’s presentation today about Taming the Emotional Chaos in a Disrupted World. Lots of useful ideas with backed science behind them. I look forward to attending his talks again in the future.”