Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Missoula native Brandon Smith, who has been a local businessman and lately a best-selling children’s book author, just got the news that his application has been accepted to participate in a TEDx (Technology Entertainment and Design) Talk Program in Billings on October 19.

I spoke with Smith this week who described his journey including his education at Valley Christian School, and to Texas for college. Smith gave a brief overview of his professional life.

Missoula Native Brandon Smith to Give TEDx Talk in Billings

“Through these last 19 years, I've worn several hats,” began Smith “I started off in just service work, and then into sales and management into an executive role. Over the course of the last two decades, some of the things we were doing in business were starting to get noticed, including from corporate America, from large insurance companies and investment firms, where they began asking me to come and speak at their sales conferences, their events, and this whole new door opened to public and motivational speaking.”

Smith’s daughter encouraged him to pursue an idea he had for a children’s book, which became ‘Happy as a Hippo’, which actually became a children’s book best-seller, with over 10,000 copies sold.

Smith also Authored a Best Selling Children's Book 'Happy as a Hippo'

“The Hippo tries to find happiness and thinks that if they have stripes like the zebra they might be happy, or if they're as smart as the elephant or as fast as the cheetah, or if they can climb and swing in the trees like the monkey, then they'll finally be happy. At the end of the book, the little Hippo realizes that she has everything she needs to be content in life; a loving family, a great home, and great friends, and realizes that happiness is a choice and that daily choosing contentment and choosing to be happy is how you end up happy as a hippo.”

Smith described his efforts to be on the stage for a coveted TEDx Talk event.

“There were thousands of applicants and they select 100 of the applications and divide those up amongst four different teams,” he said. “They have some sort of scale where they grade the applicants, and so these four quadrants all look at the same 100 entries and rank and score these applicants and they narrow it down to 15 applicants based on the highest score and that's who they select to be their TEDx Talk presenters. So, on February 1, I got the call that TEDx Billings is taking place here in 2024 in October.”

His TEDx Topic will be 'The Power of Presence'

I asked Smith about his TEDx Talk topic.

“I was completely humbled and honored,” he said. “It's a dream come true that my application was selected and on October 11th I will be stepping inside that red circle and delivering my TEDx talk. My title is ‘The Power of Presence’. So, the idea I'm speaking about is that the secret to happiness is simply being present in the moment.”

Smith is currently an entrepreneur, public speaker, author, and business coach.

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Gallery Credit: Ashley

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