How would you define the “Poetic Voice”?
Well, first of all I would have to make a slight correction to the question. One of the most common mistakes people make is using the term incorrectly. Poetic voice should be used as a noun. I am a poetic voice. I am the creator of poetic voice, which is, in its simplest definition, a new category of speaking that blends inspirational speaking seamlessly with spoken word poetry. The seamless part is the key distinction. I wanted to create a speaking experience where the art was infused into the speaking in such a way that you can’t tell where the speaking ends and the poetry begins; where the business content ends and the storytelling begins.
Why is it important for you to be referred to as a “poetic voice”?
The current model for event planners is typically, they open the conference with an exciting performance or a dynamic video, using the power of art to raise the energy level, ignite engagement, and set the tone for the event. Then they bring on speakers who deliver the education, thought leadership and business value. Then they close with some emotive and empowering presentation that delivers the call to action through emotion, hope and possibility. Well, that’s the same structure of a poetic voice presentation. I start by creating a sense of what I call “wonderment,” that’s just unexpected enough to leave them asking “what is happening right now?”, but just delightful enough to leave them saying “whatever it is, it’s kinda cool so I gotta see where this is going.” That catalyzes engagement and sets the tone that this event, like this company/association/etc., will be more than what you expected. Then, before they even realize it’s happening, the audience is suddenly receiving valuable business insight. They’re learning in the way that all teachers strive for – to have students learn while having so much fun they barely realize they’re learning until they magically ace the test. As an ex-5th grade teacher I can tell you, that was like the holy grail of teaching - a class full of students who say “awwww man!” with disappointment when the bell rings because they want to keep learning. That’s the effect that education can have when it’s delivered through the vehicle of art. Finally, without warning, there is an emotional component to the presentation that seeps into their pores and may even leave them swelling up … with tears, with pride, with emotions that they were not expecting to feel at the event. The same thing that a meeting professional is trying to do over the course of an event is the same thing I do with a poetic voice keynote.
What are you hoping attendees gain and take away from your keynotes?
I always want attendees to embrace the power of storytelling and see themselves as storytellers who can deliver data and still connect deeply through stories. And I always want the audience to feel empowered with new possibilities and to feel they have permission to access their greatness in new ways. And to walk away with some clear tools and takeaways on how to do that.