Caught in a Wood Chipper
Keynote speaking at it’s best!
–By Jan McInnis, Comedian and Keynote Speaker
Actually, I’ve never been caught in a wood chipper and I don’t know anyone who has been. But, as a keynote speaker and comedian who has attended thousands of conventions due to her job, I’ve been privileged to hear many “caught in a wood chipper”-type stories from motivational speakers. You know people who have been forced to jump off a burning building or land a plane on a palm tree, and I think we love listening to these stories because we’re fascinated by people who live through tough times and come out ahead. We gain strength from those who’ve overcome the impossible, and aren’t bitter or resentful or disenfranchised by the human race.
This fascination of being your best despite the odds, the great keynotes we hear at these conferences, is how I recently found myself at a Tony Robbins convention in Dallas as a paying customer. That’s right: attending a conference in my free time! I first listened to his tapes 20+ years ago while driving my Honda Civic 60,000 miles a year doing comedy clubs. A friend copied them for me onto cassette tapes (ooooh, so high-tech!) and Tony kept me sane as I drove straight through from Minneapolis to Virginia one day/night/day (it’s 18 hours!). I loved the tapes, and put it on my bucket list to see him in person, as payback for the tapes I had copied. That item had been buried in my bucket for about 20 years. . . until recently. My sister and niece were attending his “Unleash the Power Within” experience, and they encouraged me to knock it off my list. So I went!
Now I’m not much of a “rah rah” (as I call it), motivational type person, but Tony is very high energy and very “rah rah”—in fact, he gets 8000 people to “rah rah” with him. You get more hugs in one hour than you do at a weekend of Burning Man (look it up). There was also screaming and yelling, but in a good
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