The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.

How Does Giving Advice Benefit the Giver? Angela Duckworth and Lauren Eskreis-Winkler Explain

When it comes to advice, it might be better to give than to receive. Lauren Eskreis-Winkler and her doctoral adviser Angela Duckworth ran a large-scale experiment measuring the surprising motivational effects of advice-giving.  

If you know your colleague is struggling to complete a project at work, chances are you might offer them some tips and tricks based on your own experience. Reason dictates that those tips would be helpful to your co-worker. But what if you, the advice-giver, also experience a benefit? “The net result is that I myself am more motivated and more effective at engaging in exactly the same behavior that I was advocating for,” explains Angela Duckworth, appearing on Katherine Milkman’s Choiceology podcast. “The benefits of advice-giving are non-intuitive, but I think they’re very real.”


Why does this happen? “It’s in the nature of advice-giving itself that we focus on things that other people can change, and in so doing, of course we’re also focusing on things that we ourselves can change,” Duckworth notes. “I think that gets to a very related mechanism, which is confidence. The idea that when I give you advice about how you can do better, I indirectly motivate myself, I increase my own confidence in part because I’ve drawn attention to things […] I have control over.”


Lauren Eskreis-Winkler had the original idea of turning students into mentors. She was sparked by the sophisticated motivation tactics that students were already putting into practice: “Yes, we’re psychologists, and we for sure we have information to share with people, but maybe, when it comes to motivation, half of the battle […] is getting people to enact what they already know.”


You can listen to the full podcast here.


To book one of a Psychology Speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency and speak with a representative.

When did College Turn So Cruel? Paul Tough’s Upcoming Book Profiled in The New York Times

In The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us, bestselling author Paul Tough re-evaluates the state of higher education across the United States. Does college still work? What are the flaws in our current system? And how can we do better? 

“In an increasingly pessimistic country with fewer manufacturing jobs than decades ago and a widening chasm between the haves and have-nots, college looms enormous in young people’s psyches. But the mechanics of getting to and through it are messier than ever,” writes columnist Frank Bruni in his latest opinion piece for The New York Times. In it, Bruni discusses the new book by Paul Tough, an author renowned for his previous work How Children Succeed. Tough’s latest release The Years That Matter Most—hitting shelves September 10th—explains how higher education evolved from a rational decision yielding a promising return on investment, to a necessity to simply keep us afloat. “Today, for many young Americans, a B.A. is simply an insurance policy against moving down,” Tough writes.


The Years That Matter Most is filled with anecdotes that illustrate what an anxiety-inducing experience has become for many students, but also offers an alternative vision for the future of education. Bruni writes, “Among his book’s many vital contributions are its portraits of schools and programs that model a better way.”


Read the full profile here.


To book speaker Paul Tough for your next speaking engagement, contact The Lavin Agency today.

Anthony Jack’s Book The Privileged Poor Honored by Harvard University Press with the Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize

This year’s historic Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize goes to Anthony Jack for his first book, The Privileged Poor. Bestowed by Harvard University Press, the prize acknowledges an exemplary first book manuscript, and is judged for its outstanding style, content, and presentation. It also highlights the author’s special contribution into illuminating a major problem in their field.  

The Privileged Poor explores what it really means to be a poor student on an affluent campus: how having debt unduly influences academic performance, and creates an environment where underprivileged students experience distraction from post-secondary learning due to their socio-economic status.

With personal and professional insight, Anthony Jack’s award-winning book (he is the 48th annual recipient) unpacks how it’s not just enough to get into school. To graduate from it in one piece is the real challenge for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds—be they the “privileged poor”, (low-income students from upper-crust academies) or the “doubly disadvantaged” (students from under-resourced public schools).


Jack sheds light on all the latent—and blatant—institutionalized ways lower-income students are socially and academically excluded in institutes of higher education, but also provides practical, hopeful ways we can come together and improve the equity and equality of opportunity in the education system.


To learn more about speaker Anthony Jack, contact a sales agent at The Lavin Agency today.

Reforming Education: Top Ten Teaching and Learning Speakers

From boosting economic growth, to living healthier and happier lives, the benefits of education are rich and plenty. Lavin’s Top Ten Teaching and Learning Speakers address how we can reform our public institutions, deepen our knowledge, increase productivity, and ultimately, achieve more success.  

With a New York Times bestselling book and Viral TED talk under her belt, psychologist Angela Duckworth has become highly sought after teaching and learning speaker. Her speciality is grit, which she defines as unique combination of passion and perseverance, or the tendency to “live life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” In talks, she reveals why cultivating character is more crucial than talent when it comes to reaching our full potential.


Grit: the power of passion and perseverance | Angela Lee Duckworth


In his first book, How Children Succeed, Paul Tough challenged the assumption that intelligence is the sole predictor of a child’s success in school and in life. In his second book, The Years That Matter Most, the bestselling author leads a dynamic inquiry into higher educationnamely, does college really provide the opportunities it claims to for its students? A brilliant speaker who dares to challenge the status quo, Tough outlines the creative solutions we need to overhaul our nation’s education system.



The Khan Academy started as a passion project for its founder Salman Khan, who began the venture by tutoring his cousins and friends for fun. Now a non-profit school boasting more than 62 million users across 190 countries, The Khan Academy seeks to provide free, accessible, and world-class education to anyone, anywhere. In talks, Khanan in-demand teaching speakertells the story of how the academy blossomed, sharing his revolutionary vision for the future of education in the process.


Let's use video to reinvent education | Salman Khan


Anthony Jack rebukes the assumption that all disadvantaged students who arrive at elite schools automatically thrive. Once a low-income, first-generation college student himself, Andrew Jack is now an Assistant Professor at Harvard and author of The Privileged Poor. Despite his personal success, Jack’s landmark research reveals a troubling trend: elite schools fail to properly care for the few low-income students they let in. His revelatory education talks tackle the systemic change necessary for these students to reach their full potentialbefore and after graduation.


On Diversity: Access Ain’t Inclusion | Anthony Jack | TEDxCambridge


Success requires more than abilityit requires the motivation to keep going when the going gets tough. David Yeager is an authority on the psychology of persistence, studying concepts like the growth mindset (the belief we can adapt), belonging, and how to build a sense of purpose in the workplace. Yeager has been profiled by education speaker Paul Tough for the New York Times, and co-authored landmark grit-testing with Angela Duckworth. He is a well-respected leader in the field of education and his talks offer a social-psychological perspective to student success.


David Yeager: How teachers can use youth Purpose


Elizabeth Green explores the hidden science behind the art of teaching in her New York Times bestselling book Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone). She studied the nation’s best teachers to try and discover what makes them so greatand how we can implement their success across the country. Teaching is a skill like any other, Green contends, and it can be improved by investing in the right tools, training, and infrastructure. Her talks identify what’s missing in the classroom, and how we can bring it to light.


How Teachers Can Direct, Not Just Correct Behavior | Elizabeth Green


Science may concern itself with the facts, but the human brain evolved to love a good storyfilled with drama, intrigue, and surprising plot twists. As a result, humans tend to learn better when teaching involves elements of storytelling. Evolutionary biologist and former host of Daily Planet Dan Riskin uses  biological evidence to show us that passion is a crucial component of learning. Hilarious, charismatic, and with a contagious enthusiasm, Riskin’s teaching talks demonstrate his hypothesis in real-time.


What’s with all the Gliders in Borneo? | Dan Riskin


John Elder Robison grew up with Asperger’s Syndrome, but remained undiagnosed until age 40. Now a leading voice on autism committed to improving the quality of life for those living with it, Robison champions neurodiversity in schools. As a teaching and learning speaker, he imagines an education system that is inclusive, and therefore more successful.  


Organic education: John Elder Robison at TEDxCollegeofWilliam&Mary

In his book Drop the Worry Ball, clinical psychologist Alex Russell explains how experiencing failure helps children develop a healthy sense of resilience and emotional stability. Unfortunately, he says, parents often try to cushion the blow of failure from their children, so by the time they reach college, they are largely unfamiliar with the concept. In his education talks, Russell explores how we can support our children without over-protecting them, and help ease their transition into post-secondary life.


Dr. Alex Russell: Understanding Our Children's Reality


The science of expertise shows us that peak performers aren’t born prodigiousthey were once beginners with modest abilities. In his book Peak, psychologist Anders Ericsson reveals that purposeful and deliberate practice can improve anyone’s performance, no matter the discipline. His teaching talks not only bust the myth that genius is innate; they show us the importance of coaching and mentorship to success.


The New Science of Expertise: Anders Ericsson


Interested in learning more? You can visit our dedicated Teaching and Learning Speakers page, or contact The Lavin Agency today.