Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host & Director

Jay Acunzo

Fee Range

< $25,000

Travels From


At a glance:

Forged at some of the world’s best companies like Google, ESPN, HubSpot, and NextView Ventures, and fueled by refreshingly different stories and ideas, Jay combats conventional thinking and provides attendees with the inspiration and tools needed to do excellent work that is refreshingly different.

Jay Acunzo is waging war on conventional thinking. As a digital media strategist at Google, he was responsible for pushing marketing executives and practitioners more rapidly into the digital age in ways that benefitted both companies and careers. He held multiple leadership positions at high-growth tech startups, including Head of Content at HubSpot and Vice President of Brand and Community at the venture capital firm NextView Ventures. On the side, Jay created the award-winning podcast, Unthinkable, and co-founded Boston Content, the northeast’s largest community of content creators and marketers.

Courses at Harvard Business School have cited Jay’s work, as well as writers at The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fast Company, Forbes, and more. He has been called a “creative savant” by Salesforce and named to the city of Boston’s “50 on Fire” list.

Today, Jay is the founder of Marketing Showrunners, the author of Break the Wheel, and a decorated show host and executive producer. Marketing Showrunners teaches brands how to make original series, such as Against the Grain, a documentary series launched in partnership with the tech company Help Scout. As the host, director, and writer, Jay traveled the country in search of brands who put people over profits, community over shareholders, and helped spark a movement of for-profit businesses who seek to use capitalism for good. You can find the series at

In a world where “storyteller” has become a buzzword, Jay actually understands how to tell great stories–stories that entertain, surprise, teach, and push people beyond conventional thinking towards their best work. He believes his job is to hand out compasses, not maps with directions drawn on them. This equips audiences to walk into any scenario they face, get their bearings, find their true north, and feel empowered to proceed confidently and in the right direction.


  • BREAK THE WHEEL: How to Escape Conventional Thinking to Hone Your Intuition and Do Your Best Work

    Our world is overflowing with ideas and answers, available instantly, everywhere, from everyone. Yes, the dark side of the Information Age seems to be Advice Overload. But when everyone inside and outside your team has a million answers for what works best “in general,” the real question becomes: What works best for you?

    It feels like we’re caught on an endlessly spinning wheel of best practices, conventional wisdom, and trends we “have to” jump on. To do our best work, we need to break the wheel.

    In this fast-paced, inspiring talk, Jay Acunzo will hand attendees a sledgehammer. This talk takes attendees on a wild ride through Jay’s years of research, with hilarious but eye-opening stories of real businesses from diverse sectors who made the decision to break from best practices — only to do their best work ever.

    Finding best practices isn’t the goal. Finding the best approach for you is. Attendees will learn:
    -The hidden problems with “best practices” and the reasons end up average, not our best.
    -One transformative behavior teams and individuals can make to unlock greater innovation.
    -Six critical questions to ask to make better decisions, faster, when surrounded by too much information.

  • INNOVATION IMPOSSIBLE: How Brilliant Team Make Creativity a Habit, Not a Hail Mary, to Routinely Exceed Expectations

    When most teams hear the call to “innovate,” the work morphs into stress-induced, one-off attempts to be creative or juice the numbers. Teams try to “go big,” or trend-hop, or sprint all-out in a reactive, exhausting way.

    This is simply not sustainable. It would be so much easier if our everyday way of operating naturally led to creative breakthroughs.

    In this eye-opening, hilarious talk, Jay Acunzo helps attendees achieve what previously felt impossible: making innovation a habit. Using unexpected stories and powerful studies, Jay helps attendees understand why our tendency is to try and “go big” once in a while, instead of evolve all the time. In the end, they’ll walk away with a framework for making every little thing they do add up to something huge.

    Creativity isn’t a substitute for the real work. It is the real work. Attendees will learn:
    -The cultural and behavioral forces that causes our once-successful innovations to grow stale.
    -A repeatable system to answer three crucial questions: WHAT needs changing? WHEN should we change? HOW should we change it?
    -The four traits innovative teams share.

  • Start Here: How to Make Things That Make a Difference by Changing How You Begin

    Building a successful business or project is no longer about grabbing attention. It's all about holding it. Today's best teams embrace: Success isn't about who arrives. It's about who stays.

    When that's the job, the only "tactic" that works is to create better, more resonant experiences. This type of work has nothing to do with tools or budget. (With apologies to CapitalOne, it doesn't matter what's in your wallet. What's between your ears matters far more.)

    In this inspiring yet practical talk, author and showrunner Jay Acunzo takes you inside the hidden techniques causing some of the world's best creative experiences to feel so darn gripping, unpacking the powerful psychological frameworks and tiny choices that visionary creators use -- and you can use, too. You'll journey through science and story to uncover the root problem with so much mundane work, before learning how to turn passive audience into passionate superfans by changing how you START your process.

    We all want to earn trust and love, but our current approach actually hurts our cause. We're beginning our work in the entirely wrong place. It's time to learn how to more consistently make things that make a difference -- for our careers, our companies, and our communities.

    Ready to get started?

    Attendees will learn:
    -The fundamental difference between building things that last, things that are beloved — and things people skip, forget, or leave.
    -How to turn “transactions” and “touchpoints” into transformational moments — for others, and for your cause.
    -The specific frameworks you can implement today to move from relevant, to refreshing, to something rare indeed: their favorite.
Jay’s was the best session I’ve ever attended in my 25 years of conferences! (I grew up watching my parents do keynotes.) I had so much energy and aspiration walking out of there!

— Marketo Marketing Nation Summit

Jay’s presentation was perfect for our modern B2B marketing team. He put forethought in to understanding our team and creating a presentation to fit the context of our marketing off-site. We could not be more pleased with the outcome and content today and would have Jay back in a heartbeat!

— Blackbaud

Jay is among the top speakers at Content Marketing World every year...each time we ask him back, the scores come back better and better. An original thinker and dynamic presenter, Jay is becoming one of the "must-see" speakers at any marketing and communication event.

— Content Marketing Institute

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