DLS Event: WTAMU hosts best-selling author, Erik Qualman


Ceasar Escalante

Erik Qualman speaking in a virtual keynote February 23 at 6:00pm


Best-selling author Erik Qualman hosted a virtual lecture series dubbed, “The power of focus: stepping into your story.” This event, which was held via zoom took place at 6 p.m. on Feb.23, 2021. The best-selling author was hosted by the West Texas A&M University Distinguished Lecture Series and the Department of Communication.

The speaker is credited with having a lot of books to his name, much of which are centered around how communication needs to work hand-in-hand with the new digital age. His books also inform readers on the need to be careful while sharing information via social media. Known as an entertaining speaker, many people enjoy listening to him address his audience.
Qualman has given addresses in 55 countries, with a total of about 50 million audiences. The best-selling author has been voted the “2nd Most Likeable Author in the World”. As proof of his writing prowess, his business books are used in over 200 universities.

“I can tell you, when I’ve used one of his books in my classes, I had students tell me ‘This is the only textbook I actually read the entire thing’,” Dr. Emily Kinsky, department head for the Department of Communication. “You know that’s kind of good news, bad news, because I wish they would read all their books, but it told me how much they really enjoyed and how much they got out of the book.”

Like all DLS events, students of WTAMU were the main target audience, but the event was also open to faculty, staff and the community at large. Primary among the reasons for hosting a virtual event this time was due to COVID-19 restrictions: observing social distancing being the most important. The virtual space created a safe environment for everyone to still listen and learn.

“We’re really just kind of trying to set up the actual meeting. And so, what I’m doing right now is I have been trying to set up this like post events game for people to play, so that’s what I’ve been doing,” said Mason Curry, a senior PR and Advertising major.

The university created the Distinguished Lecture Series primarily to enhance education in the classroom by inviting people of national prominence to speak to WTAMU students and the community about important issues. In addition to this, the planning committee set up games before and after the speaker’s presentation so students could win signed copies of his latest book, and where they could also ask questions more about him and the books he has written.

“I read one of his books, ‘What Happens on Campus Stays on YouTube’, and the way that he customized it to WT students was really cool and it had like a maroon cover on it,” said Rachel Widder, a junior digital communications and media major. “It also had like a little message to WT students in the beginning and I just feel he has a way of presenting and writing stuff that everyone no matter your major could read and check out.”