In Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Adams described the inimitable Zaphod Beeblebrox as....
"He attacked everything in life with a mixture of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which."
Although I don't resemble Zaphod a lot physically (I have only one head), I think Adams really captured my spirit in that one sentence.
— jim barber
I'm Jim Barber, and I'm a serial entrepreneur. Over the years, I've been a technical trainer, keynoter, voice talent, master of ceremonies, podcaster, TEDx Talker, body double (I provided the body for George Washington on the cover of Dr. Rebecca Staton-Reinstein's Conventional Wisdom), workshop facilitator, copy editor, book publisher, e-commerce developer, web designer, and more.
I've been speaking professionally for over 40 years, addressing audiences around the world including the European Space Agency, the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Ontario Hydroelectric, the Atlantic Underwater Testing and Evaluation Center, Linköpings Universitet, Miami Parking System, Motorola, San Diego Gas and Electric, NASA, and Texas Instruments.
I'm also the author of 18 books, including The Complete Professional Speaker's Office Kit and The Professional Speaker's Mastery.
I've also lent my voice to a variety of audio projects ranging from product announcer ("But wait! There's more!") to medical voice-overs ("Now review the placement of the nasogastric, naosesophageal, esophagostomy and jejunostomy tubes" – that one took quite a few tries to get it right). I've also done voice work for a number of professional speakers, including Dr. Rebecca Staton-Reinstein, Ellen Bristol, Ruben Perczek, and Randy Gage.
Throughout the years, I've been committed to the speaking industry. I've....
- been an active member of Toastmasters International for over 30 years;
- twice served as president of the Florida Speakers Association;
- served as the Florida Liaison for the National Speakers Association; and
- received multiple honors, including FSA's Sam Edwards Award and the Bill Gove Lifetime Achievement Award,
- had FSA's Jim Barber Leadership Excellence Award to be named in my honor.
But it's not just speaking. I've been excited about the awesome potential of technology since before the World Wide Web was even designed!
- In 1981, I purchased my first computer system, a Radio Shack "Trash 80" Model II with 64 K (that's right, youngsters, "64 K") of memory, three 8-inch floppy drives daisy-chained together to give me a whopping 750KB of offline storage, and a daisy-wheel printer which could print an entire page in less than a minute (gasp!). The whole system cost me a little under $10K (in 1980 dollars), but it quickly paid for itself as I launched one of the first desktop-publishing businesses.
- I was developing content for the Internet in the early 90's (that's before the World Wide Web was even proposed),
- I created my first standalone web site in 1997, only 18 months after Internet Explorer was created.
- In 2000, PC World magazine declared my web site, The Barber Shop, to be a "top ten" site for professional speakers!
- Then in 2006, I became more than a participant in the World Wide Web... I created Jim's Web World to supply domain names, security certificates, hosting and more to Toastmasters, professional speakers, meeting and event planners - in short, all members of the speaking and special events industry.