Sunday, February 21, 2010

Being There

This weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Craig Valentine give two presentations at a local Toastmasters event. Craig is the Toastmasters 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking. He has many qualities that I admire in a person and as a speaker. He is humorous, entertaining, and his messages hit home and are memorable. The quality I admire most in Craig is his service attitude while speaking.

I first learned about this concept when I was working as a professional magician. I had the opportunity to watch many magicians at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. I discovered that there were two types of performers in the magic industry.

First, there were those that got up in front of there audience with an attitude of look at me, I'm a magician, and I'm special. As I watched these magicians and watched their audiences, there never seemed to be a connection.

The other type of magician I noticed are those that approached their audience with an attitude of it's all about you and I'm here to entertain you. These performers connected with their audience and really put on a great show.

Craig understands this concept. It was apparent that he was there for our benefit, for our learning and for our entertainment. As I watched his audience, they were on the edge of their seats, they were taking notes and they were truly being entertained.

We can take this concept into anything that we do. Whether we are doing slight-of-hand, speaking, cutting hair, waiting tables, managing people or volunteering our time, approaching any situation with an attitude of service can pay huge dividends.

Many thanks to Craig for reinforcing this concept and for being a wonderful example and role model of servant leadership. If you ever get the opportunity to hear Craig speak, take advantage of the opportunity. You will not be disappointed.

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