John's Blog

02 Jul: Unveiling the Blueprint for a Fulfilling Life

As I reflect on my own journey and experiences, I am compelled to share invaluable insights that have shaped my…

09 Feb: Nice Vs. Kind

Kind is better than nice, and meaning must be mindful, so relax in the present. Watch the video to see what realizations helped me communicate better.

01 Dec: Practice the Gratitude Effect

This Thanksgiving practice the gratitude effect – take some time to be thankful and express gratitude.

17 Nov: Sharing Life Experiences With a Young Audience

Connecting with a younger audience, share your “pearls” of life with money management, importance of people and staying present.

10 Nov: If You Want to Connect Like a TED Speaker, Make It Personal

Share something personal and meaningful to help your audience connect with you.

03 Nov: It’s Only Funny (and Meaningful) if it’s Relevant

Don’t throw humor into your presentation, unless it makes sense.

27 Oct: What is Your ONE Idea Worth Spreading?

Your message will stick-the-landing.

20 Oct: Jack Canfield Asks John Bates Why He Is So Passionate About His Work

This is a slightly embarrassing admission about who I was, and who I became once I realized service is joy.

13 Oct: Failure and Shame | TEDx Taiz

Being aware of and Ok with shame.

06 Oct: I Had A VERY Embarrassing Epiphany… And I’m So Glad

Sometimes it takes an embarrassing situation for you to see what you offer the world.

29 Sep: Dolph Lundgren on Healing and Forgiveness

Points to the inner work that is so important to a fulfilled life.

22 Sep: Sharing my Mojo

Talking with Business Guru Jack Canfield

17 Sep: One of the Most Important Decisions You Make as a Speaker

One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a speaker.

07 Sep: Turbocharge Connection

Find These Four Stories and Share Them!

01 Sep: How to Avoid the Number 1 Supervillain of Public Speaking

Don’t be nervous, be at their service – best advice to overcome nervousness during your presentation.

25 Aug: The Board Presentation

Here’s a million-dollar tip that took me many years to discover.

18 Aug: Your Experience is Valuable… Just Relax, and Share it Well

Here’s a million-dollar tip that took me many years to discover.

10 Aug: How I Blew my First TED Talk

Sometimes the lessons you need to learn are the hardest ones to take on.

04 Aug: Content is King. Context Is Emperor

Let’s go back about five years to think about nonverbal communication.

28 Jul: Storytelling is Key

Embrace storytelling in your presentations and be amazed.

22 Jul: Excellent Executive Presence

Make sure your unconscious communication actually matches what your consciously saying.

11 Jul: The Astronaut Test

There is something incredible about NASA’s selection process. I believe you’d want to take it to your team, your company and your life.

06 Jul: Listening… the Most Important Skill for Speakers!

Perhaps the most underused skill in public speaking

05 Jul: Fear of Failure and Shame Preclude Innovation!

Reframe failure and just keep swimming.

29 Jun: The Bates Equation

What you Need to know about creating your TED-format talk a free 45-minute class.

20 Jun: Happy Fathers Day

To all Fathers, everywhere!

16 Jun: What it Takes to be a Champion and Entrepreneur!

Good leadership matters more now than it ever has…

10 May: Being Present

It’s surprisingly tricky. It’s gratifying. And, in speaking as in leading, it’s crucial.

03 May: Its a Science

Communicating with humans isn’t logical its biological. We communicate best when we take the science of communication into account.

26 Apr: TEDx Attitude

To create a TEDx talk that really works you need to be passionate, poised, confident and powerfully succinct.

24 Sep: How I Lost $80 Million

Focus on providing value; just making a difference.

21 Sep: One of the most Important Duties you have is…

One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a speaker.

19 Sep: In every good marriage, it helps sometimes to be a little deaf

When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best to tune it out.

18 Sep: Being Relatable… As a Leader, a Speaker, a Human

    You’ll hear me quote Les Brown a lot. He’s amazing and he’s definitely had an impact on everything…

06 Sep: Virtual Meeting Burnout

With Zoom Meetings… go slow. Avoid Burnout

30 Aug: Your Important Duty

The empowering context speaks to the purpose and is accessed most successfully through powerful storytelling.

23 Aug: What are you Thinking about?

Are You Making Time to Reflect, to Dream, and to Set Your Vision? I hope so!

20 Aug: Massive Change

Getting ready for changes.

20 Aug: Helping Leaders

I’m incredibly lucky. I help leaders at large corporations like NASA, Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific.

15 Aug: Public Speaking is Dangerous, but Snoop Doggy Dogg Can Assist!

Public Speaking is Dangerous! That’s right. Public speaking, stepping up as a leader, even just sharing something that really matters…

07 Aug: As a Leader This is More Important Now Than Ever Before

    Neil Armstrong’s birthday was August 5th and it got me thinking about one of my favorite stories of…

04 Aug: Procrastination Can Be Wisdom In Disguise

        Recently, I have really been noticing how much I’ve been procrastinating. I had a couple of…

03 Aug: Powerfully Connect Others to Your Passion

Embrace storytelling in your presentations and be amazed.

24 Jul: Stories are Like Songs… Here’s Why.

  OK, you know that stories are essential. But, I find that people hesitate to tell their best stories more…

22 Jul: For this week, I have two Fun Challenges for YOU

Two Challenges for you; Overcoming Imposter Syndrome and Leading Vulnerably.

17 Jul: Blowing It UP with Navy Special Operations, EOD

  I recently relearned a lesson I find myself teaching quite often. It was humbling. It was an excellent reminder….

12 Jul: Let’s Keep the Silver Linings

In the rush to get back to normal, remember what you learned.

11 Jul: Will YOU be MORE EFFECTIVE in the second half of this year

My bucket list of conferences, goals and events looks a lot different now.

18 Jun: Leadership in Difficult Times

You best serve yourself when you serve others. Here’s a gift for you and your colleagues that will make a big difference…

16 Mar: Leading in the Age of Coronavirus: Powerful Virtual Leadership


25 Feb: Stories Are Essential…

Would you like to know the story of this picture? Read on! Storytelling is essential to Leadership Communication and Persuasion….

20 Jan: “Luck” Means Something Different Than I Thought it Did!

    For most of my life I thought that luck was something that just happened. Something that was out…

30 Apr: Find a Great Coach and be Coachable

I recently got this question in my online course discussion area from one of the very cool folks at,…

24 Oct: Is Storytelling Fluffy? Maybe… But It’s Fundamental To Your Success!

Years ago I read a really good book called Tell To Win by Peter Guber who is a very successful…

26 Jul: What You Could Learn From Dolph Lundgren of the Expendables and Rocky IV and His TEDx Talk

In this photo Dolph Lundgren feels the catharsis, relief and emotion that comes along with the vulnerability and authenticity of his…

12 Jun: The Magic of a Woman’s Touch

I had always heard from married people that 1+1, in that context, equals a lot more than just 2. And,…

31 May: “Here” is Always on Local Time

I’m not a paragon of fashion, I know that. But, one thing I do love to do when I’m traveling,…

21 May: This is Probably the Most Powerful Leadership Tool of All.

And, it sure is a powerful, useful and amazing tool to have as a speaker. I call it your Super…

08 May: I Just Want to Make a Difference

This is a story which I find myself sharing with entrepreneurs I meet, all over the world, because it was…

04 May: I Crashed and Burned Onstage During a TED Talk. What I Learned Proved More Valuable Than Success

There are some great speaking lessons to be learned from the TED conference. I learned them the hard way! Read…

23 Aug: The ESS “Put Them at Ease” Challenge

  Here’s a potentially life changing challenge for you. It’s a great practice for public speaking, effective leadership, being a…

15 Aug: We Actually Do Want to Hear About You!

That’s right, we actually DO want to hear about you, if your intention and execution are right… And, it’s an important…

01 Aug: Look For Surprise!

Your Challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to: Look for Surprise! The Human Brain CRAVES surprise and if…

28 Jul: Powerfully Connect Others to Your Passion!

Human beings are deeply interested in other human beings. Knowing that, and taking it into account can give you a…

18 Jul: Children’s Stories for CEOs

Treat your employees like children? Well, in a sense, YES! Listen to this short video for an idea that could…

10 Jul: Speak to Them Like They are Great!

Are you up for a worthwhile challenge this week? It will put a fun flavor into your interactions and it…

29 Jun: Cool! I’ve Been Nominated for the Rule Breaker Awards 2016!

  “Entrepreneurs don’t play by the rules. Why should you be judged by them?” – from the Rule Breakers Award…

23 Dec: Thank you for an amazing 2015!

Happy Holidays to you from snowy Salt Lake City, Utah! I’m writing for Sharon, Nataly, Flash & myself to say:…

08 Sep: The Classical Guitarist at Portland Airport

As Sharon, Flash and I were changing planes in Portland Oregon on our way to Bend, where we recorded all…

29 Jul: Collaborating with Ben Zander: We Made the Ninja Cry

I had been turned on to Benjamin Zander’s purely excellent 2008 TED talk about Music and Passion by my friend…

20 Jul: From SXSW V2V: How to Use Neurobiology to Make a Successful Pitch

Thank you to everyone who joined us at SXSW V2V 2015 today! You are a 5 out of 5 star…

03 Jun: Absolutely Great TED talks: Benjmin Zander

  What do people remember about a train? The Engine and the Caboose! The opening and closing of your speeches…

12 Jan: Invaluable Resources for You

  You are up to great things … and it is my intention that this list of resources makes a difference…

06 Jan: A Hero of Mine Has Just Died

I just got the news that Tomas Dobrovolskis of Vilnius, Lithuania has died. A very bright light in the world…

10 Dec: Are You Using the Real Power of Story?

Here is a link to a great article: 6 Storytelling Tips to Tell Your Business Story Like a TED Pro in…

02 Dec: Scientist, Communicator, Vogon Bass Player!

Doing good science is important, as is communicating science well! Stephen, you’re the Associate Head of Biological Chemistry Department at the…

01 Dec: Take This Year’s Annual Meeting Speech From Awful to Awesome.

Or, Quit Being so Adaptable! I have a very important piece of coaching for any executive who ever speaks at the…

11 May: What the Human Brain Craves

Here is a story from my travels around the world on a year long surf trip. It won First Prize in a…

07 May: Innovation and Entrepreneurs at the Antrepreneur Center in Irvine!

I’m an honorary ANTrepreneur! I had the honor and privilege of joining Ryan Foland, David Ochi and their awesome students…

01 Apr: The REAL Reason I Love Attending TEDActive

Yes, the speeches are amazing. Yes, the locations are beautiful. Yes, the accommodations are posh. AND, what is the REAL…

28 Mar: Who Wants to Make a Difference?

At TEDxVilnius I got a last minute opportunity to share something I call the compliment experiment. If you’re someone who…

12 Mar: New LA Bootcamp Date just announced!

You’ve been asking me when the next bootcamp is happening and I’m very excited to say that I just finalized…

05 Mar: TEDxVilnius – I Wish You Could Have Joined Us

I wish you could have been with us on Feruary 22nd, 2014. Flash and I just returned from Vilnius, Lithuania….

18 Feb: You’re Always Practicing Something.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how “you are always practicing something…” I’ll tell you what I mean. I…

18 Sep: One big lesson I’ve learned working with TEDx speakers

What people want is one of the most frightening things to give. People want you. The real, authentic, you. If…