Whenever I get an assignment to do a presentation, or gig as I prefer to call it, I take myself the liberty to include something around kids. Mostly because kids are the future – by definition. But also because they are experienced users of Internet, cool devices, knowledge making, brand management, creativity, and social media in general. It does not matter what the subject of the meeting is – “kids” should have a place. At least a few minutes of my time on stage, so to speak.
This Thursday was no exception when I did a Key Note about Passion för F-Secure at their SPECIES 2010 event. And again, the same thing happens. People, that’s right – one is human even though the title is Manager, CTO, CEO, Account Executive or whatever – really appreciate that I bring in the kids.
The BIG point here is that You (who have been with me at one of those gigs) thank me for bringing in the kids. Which I hope I do in a sense far beyond recognizing that they are digital natives. The most common comment I get afterwards, when someone approach me is something like:
“Thank you for a very inspiring presentation, and for bringing in the kids!”
True, not all add that about kids. Some ask if I really use Powerpoint, others might want to know the name of the X-thing I demoed, and some share issues with their employer or a business idea. But most people talk about (their) kids. Normally after some business matters, that feels like an excuse to open up for the really IMPORTANT thing.
If our post-gig encounter is a little more than brief, (grand)parents share their thoughts about their own (grand)kids. How they use computers, phones, Internet, games, you name it. Folks inform me about their strategies, worries, wonderful success stories – around (their) kids There is generally more concern, than scare. More curiosity, than ignorance. And a lot of “I wanna get more involved with my kids in this”. My advice is simple: go ahead!
Is it not strange that normally when parents meet privately we talk about our kids, but in business meetings the casual subjects tend to be eating, golf, skiing, cars, shopping, etc? When really everyone have a deep interest in (our) kids. Which I believe is extremely crucial. So important that we must sacrisfy ourselves for them, like our good parents did.
I am working for that kids will have a greater place in our lifes – including at business meetings. And hope you will join me in that ambition.
On a side note, my own kids have been at some of my gigs. They know that I talk about them, share their names, pictures, and experiences. I alwas ask them first if it’s OK to tell a new story that involves them. Actually, they also explicitly give me stories; “tell them this dad”. They also demand that I clearly mention the fact that my kids do eat cauliflower. Which I sometimes forget. Shame on me.
Thank you, for the (interest in our) kids!