Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Toronto Keynote

For some strange reason, I like public speaking. I've attempted to analyze why but give up. Suffice to say, when I know what I'm talking about it's a marvelous experience.  Of course, the operative idea here is "I know what I am talking about."  What that entails is a lot of first person experience. That's what it's been for me. I cannot imagine talking to an audience about something about which I know little or nothing ... that is, using the ideas of others.

Think about it. 

When you are speaking to one person or many, it's really easy to talk about what you know.  The only caveat here is that your audience (of one or many) wants to hear from you.


That's the secret! Public speaking is making a subject compelling or relevant or important or fun or inspiring ... all, some, or just one of those will do.

Over the past 20+ years I've given many, many, many speeches ... some really fun and rewarding ... some near disasters ... some inspiring or compelling ... some maybe okay.  The deal is to get up there and risk it all.

The keynote I gave in Toronto last weekend (Oct 29) was quite a challenge.  For one thing, I had not spoken with the theme of that speech: rocket science and coaching.  It remained for me to connect the two and it took two-plus months to be able to do that (for my understanding much less sthe audience's understanding).  I knew I had a lots of first-person photos, first-person connection with projects, first-person coaching (duh), and experience relating coaching competencies to unusual and different metaphors.

Along the way I've been learning from the speakers: brief and brilliant.  I love PowerPoint but kept whittling down my slides to a slim 19 ... not many for a 60-minute talk.  Lessons learned like these are always important and will serve me as the future unfolds.

Oh yes, I met some terrific people at the conference, learned some things, and enjoyed my taxi journeys through Toronto ... a gorgeous city ... plus my beloved train rides to and from Toronto. 

That's about it.