“Pack your bags – you’re coming to Zurich.” I read that line in the email about 50 times. Me? Zurich? Google? They WANTED to hire ME to speak!??!!

A week earlier, a gentleman who worked at Google in Europe saw my new website and he was intrigued at my new career as an Inspirational Speaker. We conversed through email and phone. He told me that there was a conference for his team with all his colleagues across Europe which would be held in Zurich. He thought it would be a great idea for me to speak there and inspire the team. He asked me to put together a proposal on what I would speak about in a 1 hour time slot.

I was a little surprised (I am in Toronto, this conference is all the way in Europe) and thought – this is SUCH a long shot (ie…NO way this will happen), but of course, I diligently prepared a proposal. I outlined the speech that I thought would resonate with the audience.

  • In the 1st Half, I would talk about my story and the biggest challenge I faced (having a stroke, emergency brain surgery, my recovery).
  • In the 2nd Half, I would discuss the positive coping tools I used to overcome my challenge successfully. I mentioned that IF Google were to hire me to speak, we would need to have a conversation regarding the top challenges that the audience faces.

To me, that is critical. Understanding the audience, what exactly they do at Google, what obstacles the employees and team are encountering and why. I need to know the audience so that I can put myself in their shoes.

The 2nd half is all about the audience, bringing them in and giving them a new perspective on how to look at challenges. The positive coping tools I used during my recovery can be applied to any challenge they face.

It is my job to paint that picture for the audience in such a way that when they walk out of the room, they look at their challenges in a BRAND NEW light, have a new plan of attack that they can implement RIGHT AWAY and are INSPIRED to tackle their challenges head on!

I give a lot of vivid examples so the audience can really visualize how the positive coping tools are used in THEIR daily life. I completed the proposal and sent it to my contact at Google…..I really didn’t think too much after sending it (meaning…..I wasn’t waiting to hear back because ……come on….this is sooooooooooo far fetched!)

Barely 2 days later, I got the email with the 1 line that shocked me – “Pack your bags – you’re coming to Zurich.” I was dumbfounded. I pretty much sat in my apartment trying to make sense of it all. GOOGLE wanted me to speak – GOOGLE!!??! For the next hour – no coherent sentences were uttered. Just “Holy s****”, Google?!, Me?!, WhATTTTT, Seriously……I’m going to ZURICH! (I’d like to think I am quite articulate when giving speeches but man oh man………this was NOT one of those moments……..I was a blithering idiot………or as I’d like to think of it – “Happy-Shock-Talk”

To be Continued….