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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 23-Apr-10


Friday 23-April-10

Great presentation, great networking

I went to an excellent lecture by author and consultant to governments Jeremy Rifkin recently, with my Gen-Y expert daughter who is also a fellow at the marvellous RSA. Rifkin's presentation was excellent. He spoke for nearly an hour but it seemed shorter, I was that engaged. So what did he actually do to achieve that?

First he stepped off the slightly raised dais, getting physically and so emotionally closer to his audience. He started with a surprising fact (the critical process of life on earth is photosynthesis) and launched into a fact-supported 'doom and gloom' scenario of human extinction and a 10M year recovery.

Then came the hope -- that we have evolved mirror neurons and empathy, and so, in our interconnected world, in a new age will work together to save ourselves. All explained in his new book, of course. The RSA is a stop on the global book tour for US professors and other high-end luminaries, and is one of London's secret gems.

I must say he worked the audience like a pro, he strode up and down, looking at the front row, the back and everyone in between. He used grand gestured and tiny finger-pinches. His voice modulated with the words. It was a master-class in oration. You can watch the performance here.

Afterwards my daughter decided she wanted to network with the guy. He is a global honcho, but that didn't deter her. She bought his book and queued up for his autograph. She then asked him if she could email him. Rather taken aback and clearly cautious about starting conversations, he asked her what for. She replied (full of charming smile) 'Oh, I am really interested in what you said about the dramaturgical impact on the millennial generation.'

Well that got his attention. Here was somebody who had listened and understood one of the finer points. She then drove it home with 'I research generational differences and have been looking at something similar.' Oho! Now she was not only somebody who understood but also someone with something to offer. He quickly fished out his card and told her how to contact his chief of staff and what to say.

That's my girl!

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