In 2011, I bought snow chains for the first time ever. After hesitating for years while living in Nevada, I had no choice. I had to drive through severe snowfall, up the Sierra Nevada highlands and the treacherous Donner ‘s Pass over to San Jose in Silicon Valley for a presentation during the Black History Month.
Thanks to my friend George Goodwin, we made the trip together. It was a very slippery and scary drive. Good thing I had a new 4WD Honda CRV with good tyres. Without George, I would not have gone. Period. It was a tough ride. While I was presenting, George treated himself to different varieties of African food. Haha, George has a very adaptable tongue! George ate what is called “achu.”
To me, it was not an exceptional presentation by any means. I never thought much about it all. I even resented the fact that I after arriving Silicon Valley, we had to go for a 15mins car wash; because the car looked like it was dug out of the earth; should I say Jurassic Park?
Fast forward 4 years i.e. to last night, I was chatting via Facebook with the Event Organizer from 2011. She said, “Just last month, some staff of Stanford University wanted you to come and do a presentation.” It sounded too good to be true. I asked, “How the heck did they know about me?” “Oh, they were in the audience when you spoke at our event in 2011.” Hmmmm.
Well, she told them that I am no longer in US and no contact was made. As I thought about it this morning, I remember the words of Mr. Thomas Prather, whom I met through Mr. AbangAbu Abuayubul Ansari. Tom said to me, “You never know how far your words would go.”
To me, I had no clue there were Stanford “under-cover agents” in that audience, let alone checking out a guy with a weird accent across the land.
That they could remember my gig 4 years later, that was was heart-warming. I gotta check my notes what I said on that day. Well, it does not matter. What matters is that you and I now have a strong reminder that we Never Know who is sitting in the audience – listening and connecting deeply.
As you prepare your next talk or presentation whether in the showroom or boardroom, You Never Know How Far Your Words Will Go.
Even if the Stanford guys did not call me, it does not matter. What matters is that the next time they ‘d need me, my fee would have doubled or tripled.