Last weekend, I kicked off the launch of my new book, Body of Work (which ships on December 31, 2013) with a live event in Phoenix, Arizona.
I was joined by an amazing line-up of speakers, who shared deep and meaningful lessons and stories with the 75 people assembled.
I was very thoughtful in my selection of outside speakers, since I wanted to introduce the ideas of my new book with care and depth, while introducing my long-time community to new and important voices.
Boy did they deliver.
I chose Ericka Hines to be our Master of Ceremonies for two reasons: she has a great blend of inspiration and whimsy, paired with strong, clear leadership. I knew that she would keep the entire group engaged and on track for two days. She delivered!
Our first speaker was Michael Bungay Stanier who did an amazing, engaging talk about doing great work, per his bestselling book Do More Great Work. He was kind to incorporate fellow presenters Josh and Angela Slim, aka my children, who decided that he needed backup speakers on stage.
Michael got all of us buzzing with connections to each other with his dynamic speaking style, and pushed all of us to think about the places where we can make the most impact in the world with our work.
Acclaimed and charismatic Arash Haile, aka DJ Shammy Dee shared insight about how he tunes in and reads a crowd, discovers exactly what they need, and delivers the right thing at the right time. We laughed at his stories of clearing the dance floor with the wrong choice of music, and how he learned to quickly recover from mistakes by coming right back with what got people moving again. Shammy reminded us of the importance of building a strong and powerful connection with our audience, and giving them what they need to thive (as well as get down on the dance floor).
Hear and Play Founder Jermaine Griggs shared the powerful story of how he started his 8-figure online business at 17 years old with just $70 and his grandmother’s piano that she won on The Price is Right.
Jermaine shared the principles of automation that have allowed him to massively scale his business while maintaining a great quality of life and strong connection with his wife and small children. We were all scribbling as fast as we could, and reminded to “outsource any work that is not our unique strength.”
Eric Keosky-Smith of Infusionsoft shared the planning framework that has led to Infusionsoft’s tremendous success in the last few years (I use the software to run my business). Infusionsoft was one of our corporate sponsors, and we appreciated their generosity so much!
Susan Baier of Audience Audit closed out the first day with an inspiring story of her own business journey, and how she used creative problem solving and great technology to reduce costs and drive value for her clients, while greatly increasing her own profits and quality of life. She shared tools from her research firm Audience Audit that allowed us to understand the driving needs of our audience, as opposed to their demographics.
Todd Henry, author of the book and podcast Accidental Creative, and his brand new book Die Empty, transfixed the audience with his passionate and exceptionally practical talk about about how to overcome the 7 Deadly Sins of Mediocrity, so we can deliver our best work into the world.
He cracked up at the nickname the audience gave him, “God Henry,” since his profound message and wizard like technical skills with the presentation clicker (which everyone else was cursed with technical glitches) led some people to a nearly religious joy.
Nancy Marmolejo of Talent and Genius encouraged us all to stay away from cookie-cutter business and branding models, instead finding unique positioning in the market with our own talent and genius. Nancy worked with two members of the audience who were in similar professions, and showed each how they can distinguish themselves in the market with their unique skills and talents.
Rasheryl McCreary of Tao Leadership shared the personal branding framework that she uses with executives and managers in her corporate work, as well as her transformational personal story. No one tells a story like Rasheryl, which was great modeling for the “Finding the Thread that Ties Your Story Together” tagline of my book.
Thanks to our sponsor Citrix, I interviewed Michael Bungay Stanier about his success licensing content, and we were able to patch in remote participant Brian Shea, using GoToMeeting. We learned amazingly useful things from Michael about licensing content, but also spent a considerable amount of time in hysterics, due to his amazing sense of humor. (I will share the recording of that conversation as part of the book launch).
Tim Grahl of Out:think brought it all home with his Connection System, teaching us how we can launch our brands, careers, products and services into the world. Tim’s book Sell Your First 1,000 Copies was the foundation of his talk. He is the marketing force behind bestselling authors like Daniel Pink, Dan and Chip Heath, and Dan Ariely. I am working with him on the launch of Body of Work, so you know I am in great hands!
Navajo Cultural Educators and artists Steve and Rose Darden, who are some of my and my husband’s dearest friends, closed the event with a wonderful teaching and circle.
COMMUNITY IS EVERYTHING
If there is one thing that I have learned in the past eight years with Escape from Cubicle Nation, it is that community is everything. When you bring the right people together, everyone is pushed to excel.
We had an amazing group of participants at Body of Work Live, who were not only totally open learn, but also open to share their many talents and skills.
We built lots of working time in the schedule, in what we called Learning Labs. People were encouraged to process and apply the content from the keynotes in the way that made the most sense for their learning styles.
Because I have done so much work with my client Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won’t Stop Talking, we paid special attention to the needs of the more introverted participants at the conference. We set up different learning zones, and made it totally socially acceptable to work by yourself, or go for a walk instead of participate in a small group.
INTROVERT AND EXTROVERT FRIENDLY SOUL TRAIN LINE
MC Ericka Hines put a dance break on the agenda, and proceeded to show us how it is done. How might a Soul Train be introvert friendly? By making no dancing required, and encouraging introverts to watch the extrovert explosion from the safety of their seats. They were wonderfully encouraging! We all felt respected.
One of the most important catalysts for our event was our conference ambassador Mike Bruny, who reached out to participants before the event, and started building connections before everyone got to Phoenix. Mike made the many new folks feel welcome, and the old time Slim community relaxed and appreciated. Thanks for sharing your genius at connecting, Mike!
If you were not at the event and want to get a peek at some of the speaker videos, be sure to sign up for my mailing list. As part of the book launch in November and December, I will be sharing stories, tools and videos from the event. Sign up here: http://pamelaslim.com/
This event could not have happened without the patience and genius of my assistant Sheila Sanders. Event planner Val Steiger landed us the fantastic Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak which treated everyone like valued family members.
Body of Work Live family, I am so appreciative of your support, enthusiasm and love! I could not have wished for a better kickoff for my brand new book, and piece of my own body of work. To a fantastic 2014!