What an experience! There are no words to describe the amount of information, motivation, and inspiration all jammed into those three days.
It was the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS) convention, which took place in early December. Wow, am I ever glad I decided to attend! While most of the keynote presentations and break-out sessions were geared towards people in the speaking profession, I walked away with so many lessons that apply to all areas of life. Here they are....
1) Even the best keep practicing - I attended Funnier U, a pre-convention workshop designed to teach the 'science' behind learning to be funny. It was delivered by three of the funniest people EVER. Here was their secret - they were always practicing being funny. Even now, after all these years of being funny, they create and share new jokes every day. If those talented individuals need to practice being funny, so do you and I!
2) Give, Give, Give - Not only did many of the speakers have this message embedded into their presentations, they also followed through with their actions. Some of the best speakers in the world were presenting at this convention and they were all more than willing to share their knowledge and ideas. Everyone can learn from this and 'give' a little more.
3) Everyone has a story - I met a man who ran 250 marathons (in one year!) to raise money for a charity that was dear to him. He was attending the convention (not even as a presenter) and I just happened to sit beside him at breakfast. Listen to and learn from the people around you - it is amazing how inspiring the 'average' person can be. http://www.marathonquest250.com
4) Be yourself - This was a definite theme throughout the convention. By observing all the speakers, it was noticeable that despite all of the 'rules' of public speaking, they were all SO different in how they delivered their messages...Some had music or video or power point slides while others just spoke without any fanfare, some sat down to share their stories while others moved all around the stage, some were funny, some more serious... Yet, they were all amazing speakers and so inspiring in their own way. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to do things so choose the way that works best for YOU.
5) Enjoy the ride - Ron Culberson was my absolute favourite presenter at the convention. He told some of the funniest stories I have ever heard and his message was so simple, awesome, and universal - 'Do it well, make it fun'!
I cannot sum it up any better than that...'Do it well, make it fun'.