As I fly across the southwest US towards home, I’m reflecting on all that I learned this week at the Internal Branding conference. It was exhausting, but inspiring, and I found that more important than the ideas I gathered from the speakers was the connections we made with others. While I didn’t get to know everyone, the small setting of about 60-70 people encouraged interaction. It encouraged sharing of ideas and problem-solving. It encouraged learning from one another. And, I was reminded, once more, of how much it matters to connect with people who are kindreds. Who get you. Who understand the way you think. These types of connections feed your soul and reinforce your calling in the world. They help to define what purpose you were created for. When you find these kindred groups, you can hone in on that purpose, and it helps to chisel away at the person you’re becoming.
For me, this week strengthened the realization that I’m in the right field, and that all of my experiences up to this point have allowed me to do what I do. I’m believing that I have something of value I can teach others in my field, and that I could even volunteer to be a speaker at an upcoming event. I felt some of that when I attended this seminar last year in Canada, but I wasn’t in a place, emotionally, where I could think of putting myself out there.
I noticed, between the good speakers and the great speakers, that the difference was confidence and an engaging story. Rather than stating the obvious (this is a video I’m going to show you), the great speakers led into videos by introducing the hero (I’d like you to meet Max). The great speakers didn’t rely on words on a screen, they told a story and the pics on the screen reinforced the story. The great speakers involved the audience in a fun way rather than monologuing. And if there were words on a screen, people in the back of the room could see them because they were bold and large and few. The other thing the great speakers did was leave the audience with some key takeaways or some type of handout template.
With those guidelines in place, I could talk about some of the projects we’re undertaking, and teach the reasoning behind the choices. My team creates some amazing work, and we need to be proud of it because others can learn from our journey, our mistakes and our successes. Hmmm…maybe I’ve talked myself into volunteering next year.
DAY 188 HOMEWORK: Finding your kindreds in the way of affinity groups can do something to your confidence. If you haven’t found that group, dig in a bit deeper to find it. If you know a potential group, but haven’t attended yet, GO! You don’t know if it’s a fit until you put yourself out there.