A year and a half ago I did something that both challenged and scared the crap out of me. That seems to be the theme of my life these days. I agreed to do an hour and a half speech for the #1 tourist destination in the world, even though I had never done a speech before. I walked out of that meeting wondering what I got myself into and realized I was in way over my head.
Over the next few months I worked my butt off and created a speech called "Creating Magic Moments." It was a mix of magic and teaching the audience how to create magic moments in their own life by using the techniques of world renowned magicians. I knew the magic would go over well, but it was my first time telling personal stories on stage. While working on something as personal as this, you question yourself over and over again and wonder if any of it will even matter to the audience...
The day arrived and I knew I had done just about everything I could to be prepared.. As I stood up and talked to a couple hundred people, I started to realize that it was possible to get the same type of reactions you get from magic while speaking. I also realized it wasn't nearly as difficult and scary as I thought it would be. I guess that was because of how much I prepared and the people I had around to encourage me.
Directly after the speech, the executive that brought me in came right up to me and said, "Jeff, we need to have a talk right now." This is when I I started to question if it went ok...
He walked me over to a private corner at the conference, looked me right in the eye, and said, "You Delivered man! One of the other departments already wants to hire you for another town hall meeting!"
The best part about this whole situation is that this executive knew I had never done a speech before, but he believed in me. He challenged me and he made me put a date on the calendar that made me deliver on something that would push me in a new direction. I will forever be thankful for this opportunity.
Now, a year and a half later, I have done more speeches and consulting for that company and a bunch of other speeches around the country for different companies and organizations. The thing I am starting to realize is that the more I open up about personal stories that have challenged me and are difficult to talk about, the more I connect with my audience. This is again both a scary and exciting reality because my speech is becoming extremely personal.
This video was created to give you an idea of what I speak about. Thank you to the incredible team I am surrounded by! Aven Pitts for helping me film and edit this together; James Carbary for help with scripting and being a huge inspiration; and Kelsey Goodwin for pushing me to finish this video up and finalizing the script.