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Public Speaking That Stands Out

September 21, 2016
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Thanks to Power Digital, I was able to attend the Yellow Conference in Los Angeles and left with all kinds of inspiration in tow. The Yellow Conference is designed to cultivate entrepreneurship and awaken the inner creative living in all of us.

By fostering relationships and banding women together, the conference has expanded into several female ‘Yellow Collective’ networking groups across the U.S. My experience at the conference was such a positive one, I decided to sign up for the Yellow Collective right then and there (and even recruited a few friends to join when I got back home). After all, if you want to be a lion you have to play with the lions, right?

What made this conference so life changing might you ask? Well, what is any conference without speakers? As attendees congregated in the Arts District of LA, the speakers prepared for what would soon change our lives and outlooks for the better. They spoke on the importance of perseverance, hard work, taking risks, following your passion, making a difference, and living a life you’re proud of.

Here’s a little glimpse into some of my favorites:

Jessica Ekstrom – Headbands For Hope CEO

Jessica kicked off the conference with a bang and ended her presentation with the whole audience in tears after she shared her heartwarming story. Jessica founded Headbands of Hope, which has a one-for-one business model and a mission to positively impact the life of every child affected by cancer. Since Headbands of Hope’s modest beginnings, the company has grown exponentially and hit its goal of donating headbands to every single children’s hospital in the United States. Jessica says that she prefers failure over regret and encouraged us to view our goals with the same determination.

Takeaway Quotes:

  • “Achieving a dream isn’t crossing a finish line… it’s crossing a border into new territory.”
  • “Gamble on the opportunity of a yes, or buckle into the safety of a no.”
  • “The only perfect time you’ll ever get is when your passions outweigh your fears.”
  • “Being an entrepreneur is not a title, it’s a mentality.”
  • “Just because something isn’t your job doesn’t mean it’s not your responsibility.”
  • “Every expert you ever knew was once a beginner.”

Kirsten Dickerson – Raven + Lily CEO

As the founder of a fashion company, you would think Kirsten would have a closet bursting full of clothes and a fancy house to show. However, Kirsten prefers living a life of simplicity and believes the benefits of learning to live thoughtfully are abundant. She and her family reside in a remodeled 1955 Spartan RV, and after successfully challenging themselves to not buy anything new for a year, they decided to make mindful purchases and put their money where it matters. Her company’s mission is to alleviate poverty among women and give artisans access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, and education. Every evening Kirsten’s family prioritizes taking the time to unplug, connect with each other, and share their high points, low points, and unexpected encounters of the day.

Takeaway Quotes:

  • “Living in the moment means letting go of returning to the present and giving yourself the opportunity to respond to those suffering around you.”
  • “You must be willing to ask the who, what, and where of your everyday choices.”
  • “Does the thing that matters most to you know it?”

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Jedidiah Jenkins – My Future Friend

When Jedidiah comes on stage, he’s immediately the most interesting and genuine human you’ve ever met (and I’m pretty sure by the end of his presentation each woman in the audience wanted to be his friend). Jed worked for Invisible Children and then quit the job he loved to take a non-traditional approach to the ‘dirty thirty’ and jump into the unknown (biking 7,000 miles from Oregon to Patagonia). He challenged us to hone in on the feeling we love the most, to shape our life around our passion, and to never be scared to ask the question behind the question.

Takeaway Quotes:

  • “Routine is the enemy of life. It’s what makes life fly by.”
  • “Do what you love, and what loves you back.”
  • “Vulnerability breeds vulnerability, you won’t receive it if you don’t give it.”
  • “If you do your best, people notice.”

Alexis Jones – I Am That Girl Co-Founder & Activist

Where do I even begin? She’s devoted her life to both empowering women and broadening the narrow definition of “manhood.” With the media and our peers telling young men and women the superficial ways they’re supposed to gain respect in today’s society, Alexis took rebranding manhood and womanhood into her own hands. According to Alexis, fear and excitement are where the magic happens and life isn’t meant to get too comfortable. If I’m about to take advice from anyone, it’s going to be her.

Takeaway Quotes:

  • “If you can’t understand what your insecurities are, those monsters will run your world.”
  • “Surround yourself with people who believe in your madness.”
  • “I hope people call you crazy, that’s where the fire lives.”

How They Impacted Me:

I personally left the conference feeling on fire, on fire to keep diving head first into my career, on fire to make a difference in the world, and on fire to inspire women to come together. Who says I can’t do it all?

Throughout the entire conference there was one quote I couldn’t seem to shake from my mind: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” To you, this quote might mean curing cancer but if there’s one thing I learned at this conference it’s the importance of starting somewhere. To me the quote means embracing all of the little things the world needs more of (being good to people, helping others, sharing success, standing up for what you believe in, spreading positivity, and not being scared to disagree with society). Okay, okay – cheesy right? Call it what you will but I believe it.

So what did these speakers have in common to leave me feeling so inspired?

  • Street Cred [Their resumes spoke for themselves]
  • Storytelling [They were engaging]
  • Influence [They’re changing the world]

There you have it, public speaking can spark a movement, but, social good brands also can be a huge catalyst for change. Check out my coworker Sam’s blog post here for more about the conference and the companies that were present.

If you have more questions about the conference or want to hear about the Yellow Collective in San Diego, feel free to shoot me an email, I’d love to chat! 🙂




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