Stage Flight — My first keynote
Life is not about chasing, its about living. All our life, we are chasing things oblivious to the fact that it’s the journey which makes life interesting rather than the destination. I’m still a chaser trying to reflect on what little a journey I have scripted thus far.
As much as the journey counted, I stood before a strong college audience in the hundreds, like the way I had appeared for all my college exams; unprepared. I was to address PES University about my exploits as the Co-Founder of SuperText, a chat based service concierge for anything you wanted that had served more than 8000 customers then.
The first thing I had made up my mind on was that I would not be selling my company like a snake-oil salesman. To capture your listeners, it takes more than a biased view about what you built. Neither was I going to bulldoze them with VC lifted jargon. The goal was to impart something that all of us do and wish we don’t: Mistakes.
Since I was a PowerPoint whore, I whipped up a deck with vivid imagery and little text to help my cause and before I knew it, it was a 30+slide behemoth. I’m no Seth Godin and yet wanted to make sure that my audience didn't yawn through what I had to offer. As often as I have mocked a teacher who cannot win my attention, I found myself in those very shoes.
I blinked, looked at the rows of students staring right back, with an attention span that I had to compete to win, through the talk. As I bounced from one slide to another, I realized something. When you present what you truly believe in, you bring with it a certain conviction and zeal, which adds an element of authenticity that helps the audience connect with what you are trying to say. As I approached the end of my deck, I believed I had learnt as much through this journey of sorts.
“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” — Dale Carnegie
We are all heroes of our own stories, in our little worlds, in our little minds.
I then grabbed the complimentary sandwich and walked out, mulling about the tenets of life as I struggled against the traffic.
Thank God for the sandwich.