When was this passion born? And how? As a kid I didn’t play the public speaking game (as I see Jackie do). But in middle school and high school I had a handful of passionate teachers who simply inspired me with their natural and well honed gifts.
I am an introvert with honest and connecting social skills. And what still makes me come alive is public speaking. I’ve listened to and been inspired by many great speakers and writers. One of them said that the secret to captivating public speaking is talking about what you are passionate about. If you don’t believe in what you say, don’t get up at all (if you can). It will steal your joy and make you doubt yourself and your abilities.
Today, people’s attention is harder and harder to capture. We are a distracted society. Only the best things will draw us in, and even fewer things will make us stay engaged.
For the last month I’ve been reminiscing about my time at Apple. And it filled me with joy. The validation, the connection, the learning, the clarity and honesty. I’ve made the best of my half a decade there. I’ve given it all and I received a thousand fold back. Because everything was intertwined with emotion, everything I learned and I practiced stuck. Forever. Once an Apple, always an Apple. Another half a decade later, I can still pay it forward and share the wisdom.
I have hosted hundreds of group trainings, with employees and customers, and I’ve attended inspiring keynotes. I lived a golden age there. A treasure and a spring of endless applicable knowledge.
Over the last decade I coordinated events, I hosted conferences, and I facilitated workshops for Managers and IT people. The favorite topic by far has been Feedback. It occurs to me that feedback creates connection, it brings validation, it encourages development and brings out the best in people. It requires a considerable amount of courage and vulnerability (on both parts) but the benefits of embracing feedback as part of a work culture are immeasurable. The workplace is a great context to keep practicing, with boundaries and direction.
Yesterday I hosted another such workshop for cafe managers. It was energizing, it was brilliant! The fast pace of retail offers countless opportunities for growth, connection and developing soft skills.
Last minute I consolidated a 16 slide keynote and it was spot on. I used to love to speak freely. But the keynote offers the audience a visual consolidation of information and keeps the conversation on track. Going forward I get to do regular workshops for this group of young leaders who are hungry to learn. My heart rejoices! My mind is thriving! I get to do what I love and get paid for it.