This week was fun. I love my job. The last few days were spent serving as the master of ceremonies for a large trade association. It was the third year that I had worked with this organization. This was a big conference with several thousand people in attendance. They have a highly produced show, and their keynote speakers are top tier. (Full disclosure… I was the opening keynote speaker three years ago).
It was the most playful I have ever been in my role as a speaker / EmCee. This came about because it was my third year in the role. Every time I get to work with an association, I leave everything behind on stage. One of the reasons I think my career has worked is that I go out and serve each audience with all the energy and dedication that is possible. But on those years when I am repeating my role as master of ceremonies it challenges me to bring a something new. Additionally, now that I have delivered over 75 comedy open mic performances, my style as a speaker is changing. While I am not “doing comedy”, I have become more courageous on stage.
After the last general session, one of the members of the association told me “it is clear you like your job”. I replied without hesitation, “I love my job”. When I get to work with great teams who plan amazing live gatherings, the combination of service, education, preforming, and getting to live out my dream is contagious. One person posted on Instagram, “Man, I wish I could harness the same energy of @thomsinger. Great start to Monday’s General Session”.
My client’s planning team did not script me. They let me be me. The meeting planner asked me to bring positive energy to the stage each morning and to “play” with the audience. Beyond that they wanted me to be “The Conference Catalyst” and do what I am known for doing at a conference. No matter what role I play in an event, my main purpose is to set the tone to a better experience for the participants. As an inspirational speaker or as the master of ceremonies, my goal is to get people to try new things while at the conference. When people engage more, they learn better and network more.
Too many speakers just lecture. They are the “Sage of the Stage”. Some talk like their presentation is a chore. Many secretly hate talking to audience after the talk. Those who are the best are those who go beyond the expectations. It is more than a keynote. The future of live events requires more from speakers. Meeting planners need to hear “I love my job” from every speaker.
What if in every profession we only worked with people who clearly loved their jobs. If loving your job was required to get more business, then people would only do things they love. I realize this is not possible for everyone, but it is interesting to wonder about a world where “I love my job” was a common phrase
Thom Singer is a keynote speaker and master of ceremonies. He is the host of the popular “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” podcast and the author of 12 books.