I did my first ever keynote (their word) speech in North Carolina last week. I completely spazzed out before and drove people (Jill and IT) crazy. It was so cool though and everything went really well. I took off my glasses so I couldn’t see anyone, turned the lights down also so I couldn’t see them (I told them it was because they could see the videos better – the ones we showed at QEM’s), and took off my jacket. I would have worn sweats or pajamas if I could have gotten away with it, but suffice it to say I was as comfortable as possible.
As the talk got under way it felt like dancing*. It just flowed. Actually, this isn’t about me and my “keynote” today … it is about confidence and flow. You all have it. When you are having a day that just clicks and you are comfortable and happy – that’s it … the dance! Isn’t it cool? It feels normal and natural, and after you’re done you think “I’m stinkin’ awesome!”
On the way back from North Carolina I sat next to this guy who talked. Usually I like to pretend I’m foreign or deaf … but I decided to engage. It was a great conversation, and then we went through this massive thunderstorm and everyone was buzzing and excited because of the turbulence and lightening. Whee!! All in all – a potential dreadful situation was really awesome. And it was all because I let it happen as opposed to saying “no (I’m deaf, Chinese, not a public speaker, etc.)” What if we just say “sure” or “yes” more often? It worked for me.
*I say dancing like I’m a good dancer; I probably dance like Donald Trump. It’s really a sad image …
-Steve Simonin, President & CEO