Carmine Gallo is an internationally admired keynote speaker, bestselling author and communication advisor. He is also an instructor at the Harvard University School of Design.
Gallo’s award-winning books on leadership and communication, including The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, Talk Like TED and The Storyteller’s Secret, have achieved worldwide bestseller status.
He will be attending the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2017 and answered a few questions for Gulf News ahead of the festival.
Q: What is your writing process like?
Gallo: I’m not a linear writer. I start with an idea, a theme. Second, I look for stories through the lens of communication. I take extensive notes, conduct a lot of research and interview people in person. Third, I write the chapter or the section that I’m inspired to write at that moment. I only fit it together near the end of the process.
Q: What inspired you to start writing?
Gallo: I studied ‘rhetoric’ at university. Then, after receiving a master’s degree in journalism, I began my career as a television anchor. I’ve always loved the power of words to move people’s hearts and minds. Writing was a natural fit. I didn’t begin by writing books. I started writing columns for online platforms such as Forbes.com. Then, when I realised that readers were interested in my content, shared my stories and actually used my stories to become high performers and advance their careers, I began searching for a new channel through which to share my ideas.
Q: Who is your favorite author?
Gallo: This is the toughest question because it’s impossible to name just one! I read extensively. I juggle at least two books a week because I’m always looking for one or two nuggets that I might be able to explore in more depth. Two authors who inspired by non-fiction/business writing are Malcolm Gladwell and Thomas Friedman. Both authors explore global issues and both are excellent at using metaphors to explain abstract concepts.
Q: Name one novel that you think everyone should read.
Gallo: Once again, there are so many to choose. The novel that made an impact on me is John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the story of a family seeking a better life during America’s great depression. I see the book through the lens of storytelling. The story of the character of Tom Joad so resonated throughout America that, in later years, a songwriter named Bruce Springsteen would use Joad as inspiration for his music. That’s the power of story.
Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Gallo: Since I mentioned The Grapes of Wrath, let’s stick with the theme. John Steinbeck wrote about a subject he was passionate about. That’s the secret. Don’t write to ‘sell’ books. Don’t write to advance your career. Don’t write to make money. You write because the subject touches your soul and you are on fire with passion for it. The subject lights a fire within you that you simply cannot extinguish and a desire to share that subject with the world.
Carmine Gallo’s official website is Carminegallo.com and you can follow him on twitter @carminegallo.
For more details about the festival, visit www.emirateslitfest.com.