Last week, I gave two speeches at the Bend WebCAM conference. On Monday, my keynote was the fifth of five keynotes. On Tuesday, I gave one of three workshops in the last time slot of the day. In both cases, happy hour was next, and the folks in Bend, Oregon are VERY serious about their beer.
By the way, my keynote - The Best Talent Is Bringing Out Talent in Others - had very little to do with the web/marketing/SEO focus of the conference.
Truth be told, I spent weeks wondering, "Is this really a good idea?" It was. Going to Bend turned out to be one of my best decisions.
After years of self-imposed absence from the speaker circuit, I discovered my true purpose: helping people do good, instead of helping them sell stuff.
I used to talk about marketing and innovation, but finally got to the point where I just couldn't do it anymore. Too many businesses wanted a magic formula for growing revenues, but few were willing to adopt the "serve, don't sell" mindset that can make that happen.
My new presentation is straight from my heart. It's not a pitch; it's what I believe. The core of it is my personal credo:
Be generous and expert, trustworthy and clear, open-minded and adaptable, persistent and present.
This message didn't bounce off the audience. Tons of people wanted to talk about it, and wanted to understand how to inject more meaning into both their work and personal lives. The conversations didn't stop when I left Bend; I'm still engaged in many a week later.
By the way, my Tuesday workshop explained how my credo can help professions who don't like to self-promote. It was called How to Self-Promote without Being a Jerk.