Artwork for podcast Happy Space Podcast with Clare Kumar
Designing events for rich connection – with Robbie Samuels
Episode 2319th June 2023 • Happy Space Podcast with Clare Kumar • Clare Kumar
00:00:00 00:56:57

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Robbie has been recognized as a networking expert by NPR, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Inc, and as an expert in virtual event design by JDC Events.

His three books that have collectively received over 600 5-star reviews - a couple of them being mine, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his fourth is about how to effectively launch a book, or the bigger topic of how to effectively engage your fans to not only build your business but to also support your charity of choice.

Since 2016, Robbie has also hosted the On the Schmooze podcast and, since March 2020, the #NoMoreBadZoom Virtual Happy Hour.

For some of us, Zoom went from saviour and social glue in March of 2020 as to virtually satan in March of 2023 with far too much tedious time looking at faceless black rectangles.

Enter the latest book by networking enthusiast, Robbie Samuels: Break out of Boredom - Low tech solutions for highly engaging zoom events. Robbie had me at low tech, but what really drew me to this book and to everything Robbie does is his naturally inclusive spirit and chronic generosity.

The point of this podcast is to celebrate the design of inclusive performance and I can think of no one who thinks about welcoming people as intuitively as Robbie does. So think of this book as not only a guide to Zoom events, but way beyond that to small things you can do to have big impact #littlebigthings in creating a culture where people feel safe & comfortable enough to contribute.


00:00:00 Intro

00:05:39 Where does your warmth & grace come from?

00:10:37 The difference between being invited and feeling welcome

00:13:10 Achieving content & connection in a virtual world

00:15:04 What is an unconference?

00:19:50 The origins of book two: Small List, Big Results

00:20:14 From No More Bad Zoom to book three

00:29:30 The value of cueing transitions

00:35:20 Advance slides behind the scenes

00:36:10 Speak to each point on a slide

00:39:30 Adding music...or not

00:41:03 Universal design

00:41:55 Building community

00:43:12 Neurological safety

00:45:23 Purpose-first design

00:46:04 High-performing teams pay less attention to tone, but at what cost?

00:47:42 Continuous improvement - get 5% better every time



Susan Roane’s books

Robbie explaining SoJust

“Croissant vs Bagels” by Robbie Samuels book - Robbie’s website - Goodreads

Robbie Samuels Ted Talk - Croissants are the Key to Inclusive Networking

Dorie Clark website

“Small List, Big Results” by Robbie Samuels book - Robbie’s website - Goodreads

“Community” by Peter Block book - Peter’s website - Goodreads

Happy Space Podcast episode 2 - How to Design with Sensitivity in Mind


IMAGE CREDITS (see images on Youtube video)

Susan Roane headshot - credit Susan Roane

“Croissant vs Bagels” by Robbie Samuels book cover - credit Goodreads

Dorie Clark headshot - credit Mark Thompson

“Small List, Big Results” by Robbie Samuels book cover - credit Goodreads

Person using phone - credit Elements Envato

Hotel Lobby conversation - credit Elements Envato

Food on table - credit Elements Envato

Butter on croissant - credit Elements Envato

Speak & Spill group - credit Speak & Spill

Closed group of people - credit Elements Envato

Open group of people - credit Elements Envato

Person in wheelchair - credit Elements Envato

Closed vs. open feet posture - credit Elements Envato

Pause slide - credit Robbie Samuels

Subway map - credit Elements Envato

Clare's Zoom Room waiting - credit Clare

People laughing - credit Elements Envato

Annoying gif - credit Elements Envato

Screenshot of podcast launch party - credit Elements Envato

Clare with Leslie at resort - credit Clare Kumar

“Community” by Peter Block book cover - credit Goodreads

Ron Friedman headshot - credit website


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Highly sensitive executive coach and productivity catalyst, Clare Kumar, explores the intersection of productivity and inclusivity continually asking how can we invite the richest contribution from all. She coaches individuals in sidestepping burnout and cultivating sustainable performance, and inspires leaders to design inclusive performance thereby inviting teams to reach their full potential. As a speaker, Clare mic-drops “thought balms” in keynotes and workshops, whether virtual or in-person. She invites connection through her online community committed to designing sustainable and inclusive performance, the Happy Space Pod. Why? Because everyone deserves a Happy Space.

Believing that productivity is personal, the podcast is produced in a variety of formats so you can enjoy it in the medium you prefer:

Listen to the audio right here or on your fave podcast platform.

If you prefer to watch video, check out the episode on YouTube.

If you prefer to read, please see the transcript below.

Ready to learn more, or want to find out more about coaching with Clare or hiring her for your next engaging event? Contact Clare here.


If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a heartfelt review as this will help other listeners discover the podcast.  Please invite your colleagues, friends, and family to listen as well. Together we can design a more inclusive world where everyone can make their richest contribution.

Want to learn more about Clare and/or her guests?  Follow Clare on Instagram and Twitter.

And don't forget, everyone (including YOU) deserves a Happy Space.


Audio and Video Editing: To Be Reel

Production Assistant: Luis Rodriguez

Song Credit: Cali by WatR. from Pixabay





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