A Family Affair

Make no mistake about it, presentations and public speaking is in my blood.   I’ll just caption these two images to demonstrate my point.

Exactly 100 years ago, a local club was founded – inspired by a simliar club in England founded in the 1700s. Part literary society, part salon, part bonding just for the dudes. Here, my father (87 years young) and I attended the 100th anniversary dinner of this group, where 39 men gather monthly to share essays on topics unrelated to their profession (and while I’m not a fan of their discriminatory policy, I do respect it). My father’s papers over the years have spanned reviewing all the works of George MacKay Brown, a poet from the Orkney Islands, to answering “Was the American Revolution a Mistake?” and arguing why an Indian tribe had no rights to building a casino in Shelby County, Ohio (refer to the Greenville Treaty if you are really interested). The papers are given without slides but always read verbatim and exquisitely researched. It’s fair to claim that my inspiration to be involved in TED/TEDx was in part fueled by how he was involved in this club —  and moreover — how I couldn’t be.



At home I have a podium that sits on a table. It travels with me to various clients and at times, my children enjoy pretending to be speakers. Last night, my six year old daughter and her friends found it after a cookout, and they decided their entertainment would be to…you got it, give a speech. But after at least 30 minutes of debate, they couldn’t come up with a topic. A common problem, and not just for the young school-age set.


They settled on talking about “parents.” Here is a screen shot of my daughter’s talk. She followed our instructions to think of three supporting messages, and had a lovely concluding line that would certainly pass for a governing thought. They each stood proudly and read their 1 minute talks, which took about an hour to produce. Yep, that’s about right for us adults too.

Here’s to having influence and inspiration bookend your week, from octogenarian to first grader.