l found this out during high school when my freshman English teacher realized I had potential and asked me to try-out for the speech team. Did Mr. Mazzucco comprehend what he unleashed? I think not! He started a journey where the keys to who I am have been illuminated over the years. I discovered my voice and that I have the ability to successfully amplify messages I am passionate about. And people listen to me! What a concept.
While I love all kinds of presenting, keynotes are especially exciting. According to current adult learning theory, I need to say something provocative every 7 minutes to keep the audience’s attention. That’s some pressure, people. Thankfully, pressure-packed situations provide juice.
I used to only tell other people’s stories lamenting that great stories never happened in my life. Then I read Sue Monk Kidd. I realized great stories were being unveiled all around me. I was not paying attention. Now I do. The stories offer great fodder for keynotes on all the subjects I speak on. From projects to research, coaching to consulting, from generation to generation, I am seeing or being shown great ideas that need voiced. Since my power is in my voice, it appears to be a match made in heaven. And I mean that last sentence.
Whether being the first-born daughter of a passionate Italian father and his feisty redheaded Irish/English/German bride or simple by exposure, I do know that keynotes offer a way to get the message out and also challenge me to help make concepts real. I appreciate connecting with people in a big way by seeing patterns I can illuminate to them. I simplify complex concepts — making sense of the wild stuff I see in the world. Keynotes are wonderful places to provide this.
One of my peers told me years ago that the author Geoffrey Moore said that less than 5% of the American population are synthesizers. For better or worse, I am one of them. I can play with ideas, weave stories together and recite research as if I conducted it myself. While I do a little bit of the latter, the real joy is in combining the great work of others into a story that helps makes sense of multiple concepts. My keynotes honor the concepts’ authors and provide a big picture view.
I like to think that I help provide perspective in a wooly world. Thankfully, the evaluations after my keynotes say I am on the right road.