We included Jerich Benson in our Best Public Speakers because of his authenticity, self-awareness, and captivating storytelling. He is an great example of how to balance being personable and professional. Jerich Beason is the Chief Information Security Officer of Waste Management.
We reviewed Jerich's keynote address at the SANS Institute Conference, "Neurodivergent Associates are an Asset: A CISO’s Perspective on Retention and Inclusion", where he sheds the light on the impact and NEED for Neurodivergent employees in the workforce - in CyberSecurity specifically. He is extremely passionate about this as it personally affects him and his family. Brilliantly he sets up the case for why neurodivergent workers are beneficial and often overlooked or shunned by today's companies and what we are losing because of this ignorance. His storytelling is human and follows a logical flow, setting up the listener to really feel and connect with him in a meaningful and emotional way. Jerich is very natural in his delivery and helps the listener not only connect with his message, but understand it in a way that is motivating and inspiring.
What We Can Learn from Jerich:
Jerich artfully connects with his audience through empathy from the beginning. He gains credibiltiy and trust through personal strories and experiences. He is genuine in his feelings and words, making his "story" be the center of his message, and yet we hear it loud and clear. He uses very simple language, simple call to actions, simple things to think about and consider. He changes the way we think about our friends, family, and co-workers struggling to fit into a "normal" world.
He beautifully orchestrates his logic leading with his main message supported by three proof points or takeaways.
His slides are simple and kind visual support, they do not distract from his story.
How He Could Improve:
Jerich has a tendency to "pace". When being video recorded, speakers need to plan their movement more. Take just a few steps to the left and right on transition sentences. Standing still and commanding presence in one spot before moving to another would benefit his viewer and listener.
By Marissa Larson
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