Penguin Speakers Bureau

Philip Delves Broughton

Journalist and Bestselling Author of Ahead of the Curve and The Art of the Sale


Philip Delves Broughton was born in Bangladesh, raised and educated in the United Kingdom, and now lives in the United States. He reported from over 25 countries as a foreign correspondent for The Daily Telegraph of London before getting his MBA at Harvard Business School. He has since worked as a writer at Apple Inc. and the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship and Education and as a contributing columnist at The Financial Times. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. His first book, Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School was a New York Times bestseller and a Financial Times and USA Today business book of the year. He is married and has two sons.

Speaking Topics

  • The Art of the Sale

    Without a sale, there is no business. Yet for all the science applied to business and management, sales remains a stubbornly human discipline. Why? Despite the new opportunities in social media, marketing and measurement, selling still frequently comes down to two people looking each other in the eye and deciding how to sell and whether to buy. Business continues to need great salespeople and all the creativity, tenacity and optimism they bring. This talk draws on the case studies in The Art of the Sale: Learning From the Masters About the Business of Life to explain both the art and science of selling, and why both remain necessary to succeed in this most human of business disciplines.

  • The Greatest Salespeople in the World

    Great salespeople come in very different packages. Some are best at high volume transactional selling, others thrive at building long-term relationships. Some are motivated by rejection, others by an urgent desire to win other people over. Some are natural showmen, able to create value around works of art or movies, while others do better tenaciously selling products to make your white whiter. What kind does your organization need? This talk presents several different kinds of sales archetypes, using well-known examples, from the Wooer to the Outsider to the Happy Loser. Every salesperson will identify with one of these, and managers will develop a clearer understanding of whom to hire for specific sales.

  • The Soul of the Salesman

    Most top business schools don’t teach selling. But it should be the first thing they teach, as everything in business flows from the sale. It requires creativity, to come up with a product or service to sell, intelligence, to understand the customer’s needs and willingness to pay, and optimism, to keep selling in the face of endless “no’s.” It is also the business activity which throws up the most intense ethical and personal challenges. What are you willing to do to close a sale? What are you willing to say? Who are you willing to be? When non-business people look at business, salespeople are often the first people they see. When Arthur Miller wrote about the corrosive effects of capitalism on a man’s soul, he did so through a salesman, Willy Loman. David Mamet depicted salesmen as sharks in Glengarry Glen Ross. When the business and non-business worlds no longer understand each other, the effect on society can be ruinous. By better understanding selling, and the many challenges it involves, we can build invaluable bridges between these worlds.

See More Topics

More About This Speaker

Featured Book

The Art of the Sale: Learning from the Masters About the Business of Life

"Broughton has met with top sellers around the world, traveling to Japan, Morocco and the United Kingdom in search of the keys to success in sales. In addition to his interview research, he examines academic studies, history, self-help literature, academic research on the psychology of selling and the character attributes of sales people. He explores the differences in theory and practice, and he draws from the history of the field...Entertaining, balanced, and provocative."

Kirkus Reviews

Book This Speaker

Interested in this speaker? Please contact us for booking requirements and availability.

Contact Us By Email


About PSB

Bringing award-winning and best-selling fiction and nonfiction authors to audiences everywhere.

Sign Up For Updates

Join PSB and get updates on new speaker announcements and much more.


Connect With Us

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr for our latest updates.