about Brett thornton

Hi I'm Brett, have you ever written a bio for yourself...not going to lie here, it's actually really tough since everything sounds so cheesy when you write it out!  I'll just stick to the basics.  I was watching ESPN one day and they were airing an old interview with Magic Johnson.  They asked him if the game moving from college to the pros was faster. His response always stuck with me because he said no.  He explained that to him the game was actually slowing down and that when he was out on the court he would enter into this other zone where he was just purely in the moment and nothing else in the world mattered besides the ball and the basket.  As a young basketball player myself, I hoped to develop that same ability to focus that Magic had.  Well, in a way I had, as I’ve been blessed with that same feeling, only it comes when I am up in front of a group speaking.

I was born and raised in Northern California and moved down south to attend San Diego State.  Growing up I always relished telling stories to my friends and family and quickly realized that I was able to captivate large circles of people.  However, my roots in public speaking really came about in High School when I started to MC events in front of my entire School of 2000+ people.  Although I would be sick the night before and barely sleep because of nerves, once on stage I would completely transform and lose all my fears and become totally comfortable.  Just like Magic above I would enter a space where things seemed to slow down and all that mattered was the audience.  That was the birth of my PASSION for public speaking.  I grew up and transitioned into the workforce and quickly realized the blessing of having this passion.  It came as the National Sales Director for a surf/skate fashion line pitching clients or speaking at trade shows or running through the jungles of Burma in front of the camera making a documentary film.  Even as an Enterprise Director for a 4 billion dollar organization, or now as the Executive Vice President of Retail at Avocado, being able to speak is a huge asset!

However, I have come to understand that this blessing (although sometimes it feels like a curse because everyone thinks speaking doesn’t still scare me to death) is not shared by many.  So, I decided to start writing down my thoughts, but more importantly I started writing out things that I know work when it comes to speaking in public.  I don’t care if it is a board meeting with 3 other people or a huge auditorium, I’ve been there and I would love to share what I have learned.  I want you to steal shamelessly anything that sounds good and also share back.  The only way we are going to grow is if we are pushing one another.  This blog came about because I had been writing a 300 page book on presenting for years and years and finally realized that I don’t want to write books.  I just want to be able to get ideas out there so I can best practice with colleagues and new friends and hopefully help someone out who can learn from my mistakes and triumphs. 


A bit about me, I live in beautiful North County San Diego, have two amazing children who are my world.  Although I am a single dad, I am blessed to have a great parenting partner in their mom who has not only done an unbelievable job raising our children but also pushed me to be a better version of myself.  I love to golf, surf, skateboard and enjoy all that San Diego has to offer.  Thank you to my parents who have helped me out more than I could ever repay these past few years and my family and friends and colleagues who have supported me in getting this blog off the ground.


Thank you for reading, I hope somewhere inside the blog is a nugget you can steal!