Pat Reed, Bas Vodde and Brené Brown inspired me this year, here’s why.

I had never heard of Pat Reed but last year I decided that I would average at least one MeetUp a week so I go to a lot of things that I know nothing about. Some are worth it, some aren’t. I try to pick out at least one thing that I learn each time. Pat was a pleasant surprise.

What inspired me about Pat was her humility in spite of her amazing accomplishments. She had an uncanny ability to evoke participation from the audience. I had the exact opposite experience at another MeetUp where a presenter kept saying ‘’I am an expert in presentations.’’  Pat didn’t say that.  She showed it. What I learned from Pat is to let the audience talk. I was preparing a presentation for the following week and I changed my presentation after watching Pat. I added space for people to speak. She only had a few slides. She really listened to what people had to say. She actually walked over and looked directly at people. Even those people who are prone to go on and on didn’t.  Because they were heard. Most of what happened was in the room. Amazing woman, amazing experience. She was one of those people who made me think “Hang on, what am I doing with my life?”

Bas Vodde inspired me because he had walked the walk. His book is based on hundreds of experiments. What he says is, “This is what we tried. It might work for you too. It might have failed for us and work for you.” I absolutely loved the simplicity in his approach. His story about “I want to go very fast in the wrong direction” was brilliant. If you haven’t seen that one, Google “Fireside and Bas Vodde”. The Sydney one was great but he has done the same speech other places.

Brené Brown has one of the most watched TED talks ever. I kind of thought maybe I shouldn’t bother going because I can just watch her online and I don’t have to sit in an uncomfortable chair at the end of a long day. I’m glad I did. You do get more out of it when you make the effort in person. She started interacting with the sign language interpreter on the stage; it was hilarious. Brené takes her own personal experience and combines it with an admirable amount of study and experience. I loved her story about thinking that she had totally screwed up her talk and her husband saying “don’t worry, nobody will ever see it’’.  Of course it now has over 24 million views. After watching her talk I was inspired to be more vulnerable. Those real, human moments are what make her so memorable.

Thanks to all of you for your inspiration.

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