“Brandon Sneed is such an engaging tour guide to a world I knew very little about.
Brandon’s core goal is always one thing: leave audiences with a better understanding of what makes us who we are — that is, how our minds work — and ultimately, a better understanding of each other.
Raised by preachers, as a speaker Brandon is a young blend of rebel writer, Southern storyteller, neuroscience fanboy, and raw, tell-it-like-it-is professor. His tone is friendly, grounded, self-deprecating, and bluntly honest.
In other words, if you’ll excuse a brief dose of salty language: with Brandon you get no bullshit.
Obsessed with learning, and never satisfied with answers that he hasn’t first questioned a million different ways himself, Brandon lives to share great stories that’ll rock your mind, make your heart pound, make you laugh, and maybe show you something new along the way.
With no shortage of humiliating tales of failure, a wealth of wisdom and inspirational stories from some of the world’s best coaches, athletes, and performers, Brandon draws on deep research, years of reporting, and ample firsthand experience to grabs you with thrilling stories built on truth. He shares the brutal failure it’s taken to get him where he is, and he’s spent years learning from — and continues to learn from — some of the world’s smartest people.
The result: Talks you’ll think about long after he’s gone.
At 30, Brandon’s travels have criss-crossed the country many times and he’s spent hours with some of the greatest athletes and coaches in the world.
Now a writer-at-large for Bleacher Report’s B/R Mag, over the past 10 years Brandon has also written for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, GQ, Outside, and more, with his work twice a Best American Sports Writing Notable Selection. His work has taken him around the globe and let him have in-depth conversations with some of the world’s most interesting, hilarious, thoughtful, inspiring people.
He’s passionate about a lot of things — great novels and movies, comedy that makes him laugh till he cries, good coffee, pickup basketball, pizza — but one of his chief passions in life, for better and worse, remains his deep need to understand.
To understand the world, the people living in it, what being a human even is anymore, and perhaps most maddeningly, himself.
Brandon has lived a multilayered life, one he often processed by way of writing stories, even as a young kid. He was raised by evangelical parents who threw big conferences and ran a big Bible study and started a church. That fostered his love of stories, gave him Hemingway’s built-in shock-proof bullshit detecter, and sharpened his hunger for critical thought. Then he gave baseball a hard run in college only to fail in fantastic and torturous fashion.
That story became the basis for Head in the Game. (You can now read that chapter — for free — right here.)
Learning his wife was pregnant with their first child four years ago drove Brandon to learn all he could about the human mind so that he could fix his and help his son if the time came for it.
In his research for Head in the Game, he turned himself into a human guinea pig to experience all there is to experience when it comes to diving deep into the mind, in order to understand what the world’s best athletes are doing. He had his brain scanned and hooked to a computer, trained in various meditation practices, learned shocking things about how religion affects our brains, used technology that sent electricity coursing through his skull, learned masterful breathing techniques from sports scientists who have coached Olympic gold medalists, he spent hours floating in sensory deprivation chambers — and he may or may not have ingested legally questionable substances.
Because hey, journalism.
It all coalesces into a single story not only about a revolution driving athletes into a new frontier of training, but a story about a revolution coming for all of us.
Brandon tailors this talks around his audience, and they work for everyone—sports teams at all levels, business executives, scientists, religious organizations, and conferences of all types.
With every talk, he helps people better understand their own mind better — understand themselves better, and ultimately, each other.