How to Make An Article Go Viral — My Video Presentation (in Italian!) from the BiT Tourism Conference


in Productivity, Uncategorized

Today, I’m coming at you from London, UK. (Are you in London? Come to my meetup on Tuesday) About a month ago, I left my cozy apartment in NYC to start traveling in Europe—starting off by lecturing at a travel conference in Milan.

On February 15, I gave a short talk entitled ‘How to Make a Story Go Viral’ at the BiT Tourism Conference in Milan. But it wasn’t just any lecture—it was my first talk in Italian.

You probably know that I am an avid language learner — I spent 2008-2010 learning two languages a year (I speak five presently). I talk about how to learn languages in this post on ZenHabits, “How to Learn a Language in 90 Days.” Brian also recently wrote a guest post about how he used my methods to learn German.

Conversational fluency, however, is far different than real fluency. Giving a speech in Italian to a real audience was one of the more nervewracking things I’ve ever done—not helped by the fact that I wrote my speech the day before the presentation. Hey, cut me some slack—it was Valentine’s day!

The video is below. I talk about how I used viral marketing to make my Craigslist Slapper aticle go viral.

I REALLY want to say thanks to Mikaela Bandini of CantForget.It for hosting the panel and making this happen. Here is an article I wrote about becoming a digital nomad for The Digital Nomad Life.

Thanks as well to Friulia Venezia Giulia and to Giuditta Barduzzi for making this trip happen.

Have you ever had to present or lecture in a second language? How did it go?


Daniele April 7, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Hi Maneesh, I have just found out this post and too bad last night in Oslo during end of the world I wasn’t aware of it!You just saved yourself from 1 hour Italian lesson (but you don’t need it!:-)Really enjoyed the night spent with people from all over the world in Oslo, and it seems you are a party-machine, right?
Drop me a line whenever you come to Italy again!


Jonathan March 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Wow, that’s such a good one!
Thanks a lot, will definitely look into it…
But somehow I’m not surprised that there is a little bit of Tim under this…
Keep it up!


Steve March 7, 2013 at 4:28 pm


I have a degree in Italian from a Canadian University and I would swear your Italian is better than mine.

Congratulation buddy, that was incredible to listen to, you sounded like a native speaker.



Ago March 5, 2013 at 4:01 am

Se il mio inglese fosse fluente come il tuo italiano, mi considererei soddisfatto!
Il mio commento? Minchia! Ottimo Maneesh 😀


maneesh March 5, 2013 at 5:07 am

Grazie 🙂 Significa molto quando un italiano mi dice cosí!


Ryan March 4, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Hey Maneesh, been following you for awhile now… and gotta say you are LEGIT! Great job on the viral article, appearing on the panel, and doing it all in Italian. Props!


maneesh March 5, 2013 at 5:08 am



Alexander March 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Bravo Maneesh,

hai fatto un’ottima presentazione: si è capito tutto !

Continua così che sei forte e di grande ispirazione.



Stanley Lee March 4, 2013 at 11:45 am

You speak pretty fluent Italian.


Josh March 4, 2013 at 6:56 am

Nice video. It shows that you don’t have to speak perfectly in order to be able to give a speech and make an impact on peoples lives in that language.

I enjoyed the content of the video as well. I liked Tim Ferris’ idea about calling in tips to local radio and news stations about the content that you’re trying to get viral. I’m trying to get this video to go viral here in Brazil, and I’m going to use that strategy to take it from 8,000 to 80,000 views in the next week.

Valeu cara!


Heather March 4, 2013 at 6:37 am

Great job – congrats!


Selena Soo March 4, 2013 at 5:56 am

Loved the video. Congrats!


Anouar March 4, 2013 at 5:46 am

Dude this is awesome!
Doing sales presentations & negotiations in french were a real bitch.


Annie André March 4, 2013 at 3:41 am

You did an amazing job. I’m really impressed. My son is taking German in the French school he attends here in France and said that he and the other kids who have been studying for several years can’t even combine a descent sentence together.


Austin Wood March 4, 2013 at 2:23 am

Just this Friday I had to present several awards in Russian at a a banquet in Moscow. Nothing as impressive as this, but it was still quite nerve wracking.


maneesh March 4, 2013 at 2:41 am

Amazing! That’s incredible—Russian is nothing to joke about


Marcella March 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm

You did a phenomenal job! I lived in Florence for 4 months and speak Spanish, but I never got to your level of fluency. New goal perhaps 🙂

Soanish is my second language, and speaking ONLY Spanish is much more difficult for me than it should be. I live in Managua, but I was born in the US and attended Boston College. English is my thang. I gave my TEDx talk 100% in Spanish, which was harder than it seems in the video:


maneesh March 4, 2013 at 2:41 am

Your Spanish accent is incredible! When did you start learning?


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