What makes a CSP giveaway keynotes?
It could be because I am not particularly good at this but if you read any of my mountain of testimonials you know that is not true. The CSP designation is not easy to attain. For those new to the acronym CSP stands for Certified Speaking Professional. It is the only earned by 10% of Global Speakers Federation members worldwide.*
So the question remains; Why would anyone who is skilled and determined enough to earn this designation want to give away his keynote presentations?
The change happened after reading a Fortune Magazine article entitled 35 questions that will change your life. The very first question was:
“What are you pretending not to know?”
There are certain questions that, if you are honest enough with yourself, change your thinking forever. This was one of those questions for me.
My unconsciously avoided illusion was that as a keynote speaker I could use superior storytelling, enlightening examples and life-lifting laughter to create lasting and significant change. I am not knocking inspirational experts, I have been recognized as such for almost two decades but there is something missing even misdirecting.
Like a master magician that distracts to delude there is an unspoken message from motivational masters (like me). We make it appear easy. A few simple steps, a slight alteration of the attitude, a few platitudes of possibilities and instantaneous elevation is available to all…….except it is not.
There are those that a single idea can alter forever but most need more, much, much more. I have invested tens of thousands of hours learning from experts in science, success, spirit and psychology and there is not a single day when I am not renewed by new understanding.
Why spend a lifetime mastering the art of influence only to give it away for free?
It is magical to bring an audience together in common experience, energized and enlightened, applauding and appreciative but the applause fades and life altering ideas are eventually overwhelmed by the forces of futility and we simply forget. Conversations crumble, decisions decay. We are re-infected with irrelevant irritations that undermine our awareness and un-do our happiness.
The solutions are:
Simple but not easy
Energizing but not automatic
Appealing and uncomfortable
Revealing and regrettable
Unpopular because they are not instantaneous
Most of all the solution is found in truth and truth is not always easy.
If you have not read Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath DON’T READ IT UNLESS you are willing to look some of your sacred cows in the mouth. I am not advocating any of his positions I am not an expert in our educational assumptions but I respect anyone who has the audacity to understand the revealing power of metrics. All you have to do is study the work of Nobel prize winning economist Daniel Kahneman to KNOW we are HIGHLY susceptible to misconception. The truth will set you free but freedom takes time, repetition, intention, honesty, vulnerability and community. We need time, teams, trials and tribulation to travel of the path of lasting transformation. If change were easy everybody would be amazing, and we are, it is just buried under layers and layers of posing, politics, pretending and performing all to be something different that we already are.
So the deal is this. Keynotes are free because they are merely an invitation to transformation. The real work happens before and after, and in every day we try and fail. It is not what we do that makes us better but who we become. That is the only thing that cannot be taken away. What is paid for is the coaching, conversation and illustration that supports the invitation. Each month the group, association, or team receives a targeted set of articles and illustrations designed to support lessons learned and encourage conversations.
Support is the science behind the lessons
Illustrations provide light-hearted reminders of serious skills
Conversation is what connects people through a shared process of trial and error, success and failure about real things of real importance.
Think about how much time we spend in dialogue that is merely mutual monologue. Conversation is the difference. Conversation is the key to innovation and the core of collaboration it is also entirely absent in most organizations. Sure there is lots exhortation but very little REAL conversation. Not the “hey how are you” pleasantries or “did you do this or that” necessities but the pursuit of purpose-full priorities. REAL Conversations are:
Intimate-close in spirit
Inclusive-transparent and open to everyone
Interactive-dialogue not just monologue
The vehicle for this process is dependent on what is currently in place, allowed or effective. It may be a private LinkedIn group, internal dialogue area, Google+ circles. My favorite is Chatter. It is mobile, flexible, transparent when appropriate, and private when necessary. My expertise is not the technology but, as my new UK friend Sir Gerry Neale describes it my expertise is that of Best Practices Advisor and “Cognitive Mentor”. I am exceptionally skilled as a Keynote Speaker but I am personally energized when given real problems to solve providing systemic and sustainable solutions.
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