Jim's Blog

Hitting the Road as a Speaker

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I was contracted by a company that hosts conferences for Government/IT divisions for various state governments around the country last year, to deliver morning keynote addresses throughout 2015.

With a lot of help from my friend Jack Mortimer, who first came up with the idea that I would make an interesting speaker to this group, I put together a one hour presentation, Finding Your Voice, which I have been delivering now for a couple of months at different far-flung locations in the U.S.

It’s been very interesting on many levels; trying to take what I have learned about impressions, performing, communication and presentation, and breaking it down into something that could be of use to people in Government and IT has been challenging, to say the least.  But now, about six talks in, I am up to speed and I am more convinced than ever that I do have something to offer this community, and the business community in general.

I find that people outside of the show business world are unused to being as exposed as we all have become in the new Social Media age we find ourselves in.  So some good, simple and practical advice from someone like myself, who is not a superstar but has been a working actor and voice professional for thirty years, is received very warmly.

The talk also allows me to use my improv and man-on-the-street interviewer skills, as I go into the audience to illustrate points.

I make the keynote addresses as entertaining as I can, which means I throw in as much comedy and as many celebrity impressions as I can, but always in the service of the larger point, that in this digital age, we have to be able to control how others view us, and that means constantly improving our communication skills, and taking more responsibility for all the ways we interact with people.

I really enjoy meeting people who I never in a million years would have met, and hearing that what I have to say is helpful to them.  It’s really gratifying.

And along the way I’ve been able to schedule some TV interviews to promote IMPRESS ME on Pop cable, so that we get to make a season two!

So, that’s what I’ll be doing, in among all the animated shows, films, shorts, audiobooks, TV and radio commercials, video games etc., etc, right thru almost to Christmas.  And, if it continues to be as fun and enriching as it has been so far, I will be finding more opportunities to speak and share my insights with others from here on out.

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    John Gaskin

    Your article resonates as so true, particularly the way you have aligned your show business experience with those in business. I deliver workshops on Film Accounting, often to CPAs and to "emerging" producers. In every workshop I take a gregariousness, or insouciance, into the workshop which those outsi of the industry appreciate but just hadn't thought of duplicating - at least until after my workshop. My background is behind the camera; however, it rubs off. Thx for your exuberance!

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