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Anna Goldsmith

Anna Goldsmith

Founder, The Hired Pens; Producer, TEDx Portsmouth

Anna Goldsmith is the founder of The Hired Pens, a copywriting agency, and the producer of TedX Portsmouth. She shares her creative leadership journey, from balancing art and business to the influence of poetry classes on her copywriting skills. She reveals her process of finding the right partner in business, emphasizing the importance of shared goals and complementary skills and being selective about who she hires.

Anna also discusses both the positive and the negative impact of ChatGPT on creativity based businesses, and shares some tips on how she uses it. Finally, we talk about Anna’s role as the producer of a TEDx event, explaining how her leadership approach shifts when leading a volunteer team. In addition, for leaders who are interested in either delivering a TEDx talk or improving their public speeches, Anna provides valuable advice on preparing and delivering impactful TED talks, emphasizing the power of storytelling.


[2:58] – Anna introduces herself and explains how she started The Hired Pens.
[4:54] – How has Anna managed to balance the business and creative sides of her industry?
[6:07] – Anna argues that for a successful partnership, shared goals and complementary skills are crucial, fostering trust and respect.
[9:04] – Choosing contentment over constant expansion, Anna maintained a modest business size and avoided unnecessary stress.
[11:08] – Anna explains why she is very meticulous in her hiring process.
[13:45] – Hear how Anna balances honesty and client preferences, sharing her opinions but respecting their decisions.
[14:50] – Anna touches upon how she selectively declines clients misaligned with her values.
[16:38] – For her TED team, who are all unpaid volunteers, Anna has emphasized gratitude over payment.
[19:54] – Anna points out that crafting a compelling TED talk involves exploring passions and adhering to a formula for success.
[21:15] – Effective TED talks, like any public speaking, hinge on storytelling, emphasizing showing over telling for engagement.
[22:55] – As an undergrad art major, Anna found poetry classes most beneficial for copywriting, as they promoted concise creativity.
[25:08] – Anna explains how she has adapted to fast-paced changes, leveraging her speechwriting expertise.
[28:42] – Anna encourages listeners to keep in mind that AI isn’t going anywhere and to still find face-to-face interactions despite changes.
[29:50] – Learn how Anna can be contacted.
[30:14] – Anna reveals that engaging in daily walks, collecting found objects, and pursuing collage art and gardening provide her with a physical outlet.
[31:16] – Hear why Anna dislikes the word “synergize” and refuses to use trendy phrases like “bio break.”
[32:32] – Anna finds joy in making a sweet, milky cup of tea, especially in the winter.

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Alice In Wonder | Susan Cattaneo