This past Saturday morning I thought I was simply introducing the world’s greatest ukulele player, Jake Shimabukuro, and then closing out the final session as Emcee of RootsTech, the largest genealogy conference on the planet.
However, as I settled in to gather my thoughts for the words I might say in half an hour I suddenly heard, “Jason, we need you on stage right now. Can you do a 30-minute show before the session starts?”
Rushed to the stage I winged my best set, accidentally not having warmed up my voice, while singing, doing impressions, telling jokes, and keeping the 10,000 person audience of children, parents and grandparents happy while the session got closer to the telecast start time, about to roll live, shown to hundreds of thousands around the globe.
Thus is the life of the Emcee.
I only Emcee a few events per year, and those are usually for clients that commit to having me return year after year.
The challenge of preparation for these types of events is enormous, and a giant promise is made between the client and me:
Trust me and you will get more than you paid for.
Over the past 18 years on stages all over the world, I have learned that being an entertainer is a universal language, as are the faces, voices, and comedy I utilize.
Transition that to Keynote Speaking, and it plays a completely amplified role – where stories, examples, and leadership lessons come alive – I am the antithesis of the Boring Content Industry Speaker – the rare shot to the system a conference is in need of mixing music, comedy, stories, and implementable business practices into a Keynote presentation attendees don’t see coming.
To combine these two elements, Entertainer & Speaker, allows me to also be a highly sought after Emcee, stringing together other speakers with high name value, keeping time, theme, housekeeping needs, crowd control, backstage assistance, pre-event planning, on the spot adjusting, needing someone to interview a celebrity and share the stage, or even to fill in if they don’t show up (thank you Chuck Norris from years ago), and at the same time be entertaining enough to have return year after year.
This is not to toot my own horn, this is to help you understand that you have developed a set of skills that you may not even have tapped into yet!
You have talents, gifts, and capabilities that, when combined, make you a Triple Threat in your job, in your community, and in your home.
I no longer promote the offer of being Emcee, as the workload is overwhelming and I can only do so many of those events per year for clients who commit to having me return and become a part of their team, but it certainly has proven a gift in my life to be able to play Host with some of the biggest names of TV, Stage, and accomplishment.
This past week at RootsTech, I was privileged to interview Emmy-winning actress, Patricia Heaton, and to listen to her inspiration as a Mother first, actress next.
From the greatest story of finding your way back home perhaps ever told, in the movie, “The Lion”, what an honor to meet Saroo Brierley and hear his powerful words.
The man named by Guitar Player Magazine as “The Jimi Hendrix of the Ukulele”, how incredible to follow Jake Shimabukuro to stage after his rousing closer of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” sing along with an astounded audience.
To finally meet Dancing With The Stars 6-Time Champion, Derek Hough, and hang with he and his Dad, my friend Bruce, it was so refreshing to meet a young celebrity so down to earth that he would even chat with my kids and make them feel special.
Most intimidating of the entire week was the opening day, to be asked to do comedy following men my religion considers living Apostles of Christ, in Elder Bednar, in great godly men such as Elder Foster, Steve Rockwood as FamilySearch CEO, and then of course, Martin Luther King III. Our Church united in donating $2 Million to the International African American Museum in Charleston, SC, and it was a magnificent, historic day.
Now – hey Jason – make us laugh…!
The most special part of the entire event for me was two-fold, and it involved two of my families.
First was the DNA Reveal where my cute little family came to stage and RootsTech revealed to me that I am 97% European and…wait for it…3% Raptor. Hahaha. It was a fun part of the event and I’m thankful my wife and children could be there. And I also think it also helped me realize it’s time to slowly phase out the Raptor bit from the routine since it’s now officially taking over my identity.
Second most special moment was Friday Night with my other family, involving a show of my dear friends and performers in the industry whom I wanted the event planners at RootsTech to see as capable Speakers, Entertainers, and replacement options for me as future Emcee’s. These guys were incredible even when the audience was going in and out of the main stage room attending other activities. Honored to know these fine gentlemen!
I’ll tell you, we all find our place in this world when we follow the very simple, yet profound, process taught in my keynote:
When we magnify our Promise to share our talents and gifts with the world, we become Legendary Leaders by using our Signature Moves.
Grateful for clients that would allow me to use mine on stages of such importance.
I pray for you to have every opportunity to utilize yours, and become the effective, promise making and keeping leader only you can be.
Leadership Expert * Author * Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer
The Promise: Become a Legendary Leader and discover your Signature Moves
Ready to become a Professional Speaker? Let Jason show you how click here