Well, there is no doubt that 2020 will go down in the books as memorable. Phrases like “working from home,” “hop on a Zoom call,” “unprecedented times” and “new normal” were peppered throughout our vocabularies. Things we once took for granted (like toilet paper) suddenly became front and center.
Up until mid-March of 2020, I was just living my life like I had for a number of years. I had traveled to several states in my job as a Funny Motivational Keynote Speaker. Then, in mid-March, everything changed. The speaking engagements on my calendar began to fall like lemmings off a cliff. For the first time in many years, I was unsure of what my future held. My 2020 calendar was nearly full and I had even booked several flights. That was how confident I was of the future.
There was so much to take in when Covid hit. Trying to understand the virus itself and what to do in relation to it. Adjusting to a little shutdown where about the only thing open in my small town was the grocery store and a few restaurants who offered takeout. I couldn’t even go to the gym to work out my frustrations.
I’ve always talked to my audiences when I was giving live presentations as a Funny Motivational Keynote Speaker about “letting go of what we can’t control.” 2020 was fraught with situations I couldn’t control. I had to relearn my own lessons and walk my own talk. Truth is, I was devastated and scared. I just didn’t know what to do. I found solace communicating with some of my speaker colleagues because we were all in the same sinking boat. There was talk of conventions pivoting to “virtual.” I had absolutely no idea how this worked. And, as a Funny Motivational Keynote Speaker, I was highly reliant on the audience for laughter and feedback. How could I possibly know if I was connecting with them while staring into a camera? I thought of a quote I had heard somewhere, “Double down on who you are.” I had realized that I just needed to do what I had always done, but learn this new medium.
I started attending online classes and reading articles and books about virtual presenting. I ordered everything I needed to give a professional online presentation; lights, a high-quality camera, a new computer and a green screen. It was a long, slow, frustrating process, but I eventually learned the mechanics of how to do it, then proceeded to figure out how I was going to translate my humor, content and energy to my Funny Virtual Keynote presentations. There was a steep learning curve, but 18 months later—and over 50 virtual presentations under my belt—I can now say that I love it! Like anything new, it just took some getting used to.
I’m fully vaxxed and back to “in-person” presenting, but I still do quite a few Virtual Presentations. I think this might be the wave of the future because there are many advantages of virtual events.
Either way, I’m ready! What started as a nightmare in March 2020 has evolved into something new and wonderful for me. And, I have to say, I’m finally “walking my talk.”