Being Brave

One of my goals for 2014 overall is to give more keynote addresses.  For me, it takes bravery to get on stage in front of hundreds of people, deliver a keynote, be motivating, humorous, engaging and inspiring all at once for almost 60 minutes.

So, that's what I did last week.  I gave a 55 minute keynote to 450 faculty and staff at my college.  It was my third keynote of my lifetime.  Let's look at my keynote history so far....

Keynote #1:  For Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio.  Almost 500 people in attendance.  The topic was "Faculty Engagement." Every word of my keynote was scripted.  I even followed the script on stage.  It was good, but not amazing.  I knew I could improve; after all, it was my first keynote ever.

Keynote #2:  For a local public school district in my area.  The topic was "Fostering Creativity."  About 150 new teachers in attendance.  Hardly a word of my keynote was scripted and I loved talking about creativity off the top of my head.  Plus, the keynote was extremely interactive.  I received solid feedback from a handful of attendees.  Although I enjoyed my delivery of this keynote more than the first, again, I thought I could improve and streamline the topic a bit.  This keynote was almost 90 minutes long!  That's way too long for a keynote.

Keynote #3:  For my college.  I'll explain tomorrow how that invite came to be.  About 450 people in attendance and the keynote was streamed live to all of our campuses and desktops.  Again, the topic was "Faculty Engagement."  But, instead of citing research and data the entire time like I did for Keynote #1, I focused more on telling stories and putting the main points into my own words.  I tried - emphasis on "tried" - to make this keynote as TED Talk-ish as possible.  I don't know if I can gauge how well it went based on my colleagues' responses since they know me and are a little bias.  However, this keynote felt entirely differently to me.  I felt Brave.  I felt like I had something to say and it was my time to say it.

I even felt like I was delivering a TED Talk.  Just a really long one.

Tomorrow, I'll share with you how Keynote #3 came to be.  Talk about being brave.....