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Writing + Photography

Memoirs and musings of Darius Bashar. Toronto portrait photographer and writer, in pursuit of all things real, raw and intimate. 

Blake Fly {Speaker of The Week}

I am so grateful and fortunate that I get to spend quality time with so many truly epic humans. Often, these are people who tour all over the world sharing their gifts and brilliance to sold out crowds.

Somehow I have convinced these remarkable speakers, coaches, healers and badass entrepreneurs to come to my home/studio and sit with me for hours as we get to know each other, prior to actually taking photos of them.

Most people are generous, and willing to share their most juicy life lessons, or a current book or podcast that has changed their lives. I walk away from every HEARTshot session with 1 or 2 new tools or tips that I can integrate into my life immediately.

My goal is to continually find ways to better fan the fires of these heart-centred thought leaders. By supporting them and the amazing work they do in the world, this will help me maximize my impact too.

So with that said, here is this week’s Speaker of The Week. My homie, the one and only Blake Fleischacker.

Name: Blake Fleischacker

Professional speakers since: 2010

Total number of (professional) talks given: 1,212

What do you speak about?

The leading reason why people drop out of school, quit their jobs and leave their relationships is a lack of appreciation. So... I have spent a decade talking about appreciation, recognition and how to use it as rocket fuel for better relationships on campus, in companies and life.


  1. When you were 10 years old, what did you want to be?

    I vividly recall writing 2 things in my yearbook around this age. “Happy” was the first one and “The Zamboner of Maple Leaf Gardens” was the second. I have always been a big-picture thinker and a bit of a black sheep. I figured those answers accomplished a bit of both.

  2. From all the talks you've delivered, which one stands out the most in your memory?
    The first ever “New Year’s Evolutions.” That was the first time I hosted my own event and I was the one responsible to get people to show up. It was terrifying because that was new territory for me as someone who usually speaks at events put on by other people (where they fill the seats). “Will anybody show up?” was the voice in my head that I was excited to quiet and prove wrong. That’s when people showed up.

  3. What is the BEST advice you've ever received about speaking?
    “Blend and lead.” This means that you must meet people where they are at and then invite them to where you want them to go with you in the speech. It’s kind of like bagpipes at a campfire. If someone just busts that out right after quiet, acoustic guitar songs, it messes everything up. If the bagpipe player acknowledges the guitar music, acknowledges the change the people are about to experience, and THEN plays... game on. Best. Bonfire. Ever.

  4. Do you still get nervous when you are about to give a talk? If so, how do you calm your nerves?

    Yes. One of my favourite musicians is Jason Mraz. Before speeches, I watch old YouTube videos of him playing secret shows at pubs in Holland. It shows him having the time of his life and creating a magical experience for the audience. It is all captured on the digital camera of an audience member. Low quality footage, but high quality look into the perspective/experience of someone in the audience loving every minute of the performance. These videos inspire me, anchor me and get me aligned for every speech.

  5. Name one thing that frustrates you:
    I have not yet felt the full range of my feelings. I feel frustrated about that. Ha. See what I did there? I know that consistently exploring my emotional range will elevate my abilities as a speaker, creator and performer. People want to FEEL someone on stage and know that they are human.



Instagram: @blakefly

Upcoming events: New Year’s Evolutions in Nov 2019. Year 4 of 55.

Link for Above: