I just returned from a 3 day trek to Elliot Lake in Ontario. I was asked to speak at the Elliot Lake & District Chamber of Commerce awards night. I want to take this opportunity to share with you my experience with this outstanding community. As a professional speaker you get to meet a lot of people and visit a lot of destinations. Elliot Lake was by far one of the best experiences for me. Although the drive was quite long (around 7 hours) the scenery was remarkable. The trees, the fall colours and the serenity was fabulous. I was not quite sure what awaited me in Elliot Lake and when I arrived on Tuesday evening, I was personally greeted by Todd Stencill, Manager of the Chamber at a quaint Inn known as Fireside. Todd displayed a heartfelt welcome and I really appreciated him taking the time to check me in at the Inn. We then met up with the Chamber of Commerce President, William Elliott over a cold pint of beer. The staff and servers at the Fireside were truly outstanding! After a great night sleep in my king size bed, I took in some sights, worked out and met up with William and headed over to the Elliot Lake Secondary School where I was asked to give a brief talk to approximately 400 kids. What an absolutely incredible high school. I was engaged with the many framed photo's of students that lined the hallways. You really got a sense of the excitement and energy that this high school offers to it's students. I was greeted in the gymnasium by a roaring sound of applause from the students and faculty, it was truly outstanding. I gave a brief a talk on the significance of uncovering your unique ability...my message to the students was to figure out your passion now and start to go after your dream. Keep dreaming and create the life you want. Don't wait until years later for someone to tell you what you should do, start to focus on yourself now.
That same evening I was to deliver an inspirational key note address to the delegates at the Awards night. I was thoroughly impressed with the level of detail and commitment by Todd, Diane and their team in making the venue a great experience. The overall decor and energy that resonated from the venue was engaging. This had to be one of the most well organized Awards night that I have ever attended. As I listened to the many speeches delivered I was touched by the sense of community that exists in Elliot Lake. Even through adversity, this community continues to thrive and is one that other communities should emulate. There are great businesses and a high level of entrepreneurial spirit that resonates throughout this amazing community. You can't help but feel apart of it.
I had the pleasure of sitting with radio sensation Bobby Alexander and the opportunity to meet his News Director Natasha Collett who was unfortunately suffering from a serious ear infection. At may table were William Elliott and his partner, Bobby and his lovely wife Erica and the Deputy Mayor Dawn Morissette and her husband. Dawn is magnificent and I enjoyed our conversation immensely. Bobby was a masterful MC for the evening and kept the crowd rolling all night long. Following the event I met the Board of Directors, local newspaper and television. Several of the delegates approached me with kinds words about my presentation. Everyone I interacted with was truly outstanding and added to the magic that exists in this community. My introduction by Bobby was stellar and I delivered an inspirational key note to the delegates. My approach is always to engage the audience and extract their energy which fuels mine. Unfortunately I was a bit constrained by the hand held microphone and cord. Anyone that has seen me speak knows I emulate the Energizer Bunny on 3 Red Bulls. I love to move quickly and interact with as many people as possible so you can understand why it is essential that I have a wireless mic at these events. My message to the audience was focused on harnessing their creative energy and collaborating as a team. There is no doubt that the businesses in this community are great, I want to help make them outstanding! I presented my 10 laws of creativity (you can listen to audio casts of all ten laws at www.redchairbranding.com/radio.asp )
I emphasized the significance of personal branding and developing a meaningful experience with your customers.
The next morning I was interviewed by Bobby and Natasha at the Moose FM, 94.1, a fantastic talk with the both of them. As I headed back to my studio in Burlington I was enjoyed listening to Bobby and Natasha and was saddened when I no longer could receive the transmission.
I was made to feel like a part of the community at every level. It is truly an experience I will never forget. It was the first time that I felt a level of sadness leaving a community.
Again, kudos to the entire community at Elliot Lake and a special thank you to the Elliot Lake District Chamber of Commerce.