I had the incredible experience of being the closing keynote at my friend, Chris Guillebeau‘s World Domination Summit in Portland a week ago. You can find Chris’ wrap up and links to others here. They do the experience far more justice than I could, with powerful words and gorgeous images.
This post is about something more personal, something I did a bit different in Portland.
Something that helped me reframe an experience that often scares me in a new light…
I love speaking, but I’m always pretty nervous before I go on. Which is why I’m usually nowhere to be found in the minutes leading up to a keynote. Plus, the setting for my talk was the Fields Ballroom at the Portland Art Museum and Chris had titled my talk “Jonathan Fields Reveals His Greatest Work Ever.”
I know, nothing like adding to the pressure than speaking to a group of 500 people in a room that bears your family name, after a weekend of deeply-moving presentations with the promise if revealing your greatest work ever. Easy peasy!
I don’t take much on stage with me when I speak.
One of the things I learned, taking depositions and investigative testimony as an enforcement attorney for the S.E.C., was to distill everything into a few key ideas and take and only a brief reminder of where the conversation needed to go into the room. Usually just a piece of paper with a few key concepts jotted on it.
Doing that forces you to listen, to converse, rather than preach. And I rarely ever hold it or even refer to to once I’m up and running. It’s just my insurance policy, in case I lose my place…or my mind…while on stage and camera.
But, this time, I took something else on stage…
You can see it in the picture above. It was resting on the monitor, right next to my far less important notes.
A heart, drawn for me by my daughter, before I left.
It was a reminder of what really mattered, no matter what happened on stage.
A visual prompt that even if I messed up…in a ballroom with my family name…in front of 500 people…awaiting my greatest work ever…to be immortalized in a later documentary…I’d still come home to giant hugs and lots of kisses.
That the most important role in my life, beyond husband, brother, son and friend, would be unaffected by what happened over the next hour.
And, it was a reminder that the greatest thing I could share with others is that same sense that when you bring yourself to the world from a heart-centered place, everything else is icing.
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