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The Event

The Event 2019 Round-Up: What We Learned

From the secret to making your message resonate with your audience every time you speak to the habits of purposeful leaders, we’re sharing what we learned at The Event, an annual professional development conference hosted by three Meeting Professionals International (MPI) chapters — Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal and Quebec.

Our own Tami Adams, client services executive extraordinaire, attended The Event this past weekend which took place in Montreal, April 4-6.  Speakers’ Spotlight sponsored not one but TWO incredible keynote speakers: neurocommunications expert Gregor Jeffrey and change management and leadership expert Sébastien Sasseville. Tami gave us a rundown of what she learned from them.

Gregor Jeffrey

Gregor was the opening keynote for the conference on Friday, April 4, delivering his talk titled “Neurocommunication: The Science of Influence”. Drawing on neuroscience research, Gregor is able to show people an incredibly simple way to deliver the right information at exactly the right moment to engage each member of your audience every time you speak — whether it’s in a meeting, on a conference call, or during a presentation.

This comes from knowing and understanding the four different “brain preferences” that govern how people think and process information. Gregor walked through each preference, outlining their likes and dislikes, so his audience could learn the “secrets” to connecting with each of them, including how to present information in the exact way they like to hear it — from incorporating data, to following a clearly defined agenda, and presenting in an authentic and genuine way.

Tami learned that she is mainly a “conceptual” thinker, which Gregor explained is people who have big ideas and like to think “big picture”. They are highly intuitive and creative, and are likely to turn to their team to help them bring their ideas from conception to reality.

Tami immediately used Gregor’s messages when she presented on stage later in the conference to great success! She also heard from many attendees — all raving about Gregor’s keynote — on how they already put into action what they learned from Gregor while networking at the conference. Even the other speakers referenced Gregor’s talk while on stage!

FINAL REVIEW: Tami said Gregor was the perfect opening keynote as he had high energy and infused humour into his information-packed talk perfectly. His enthusiasm was infectious and set the tone for the entire conference, with attendees feeling motivated and encouraged to engage in more networking activities to practice what Gregor preached.

Sebastien Sasseville

Sébastien closed the conference on an inspiring and motivational note as he delivered his talk “Inside Inspirational Leadership,” which explored the key practices of purpose-driven leaders.

He dove deep into purposeful leadership, defining it and sharing the key principles behind it so each audience member, no matter their position at work, could use them to help their organization live and achieve its purpose.

He peppered this learning with stories of his amazing feats as an endurance athlete — from running across Canada to climbing Mount Everest — all while living with Type 1 Diabetes.

Tami’s big takeaway from Sébastien’s talk was the importance of defining your purpose. He says that purposeful leaders are not only clear on their purpose but use it to guide them in everything they do. Plus, as a leader at work, they connect an organization’s purpose to their employees to empower them to work towards a shared purpose and set of values. By doing this ourselves, it can help us, as individuals and as employees, to get through even the toughest times because it reminds us why we’re doing it in the first place.

Sébastien illustrated this point with his summit of Mount Everest. We all know it’s incredibly difficult to reach the top, but so many fail not because of the rough conditions but because it takes great patience. It’s not a simple journey from point A to point B, it’s a constant back and forth between basecamps all the way to the top. It’s crucial in acclimatizing yourself but difficult to see through. Sébastien called on his purpose to help him succeed.

This message resonated with Tami as she remembered how difficult it was for her to complete the Polar Rush, a winter obstacle challenge hosted in support of Sick Kids, Toronto’s children’s hospital. It was very cold which made the obstacles even more difficult. At one point in the event, she wanted to give up, but she took a moment to remember the purpose behind her participation — to raise money for Sick Kids, to challenge herself, and build her confidence. Taking the time to connect what she was doing back to her purpose gave her the motivation she needed to complete the race.

FINAL REVIEW: Tami said that Sébastien was an excellent closing speaker because he left everyone motivated and inspired, while also giving them concrete and practical advice that they could immediately implement. While his storytelling centres on his athletic achievements, Tami said that Sébastien excels at connecting his story to the audience so that, no matter their circumstances, they leave with a clear understanding on how to use his knowledge and experiences to help them succeed in life as well.

We’re already looking forward to what these MPI chapters have in store for us next year!

Interesting in learning more about Sébastien or Gregor and what they can bring to your event? Email us at info@speakers.ca