New video: JAPAN

My Talk on Empathy and Growing a Global Community

November 8th, 2015

On September 25, 2015, I gave a talk on empathy at CreativeMornings. Note: my Justin Timberlake “My Love” entrance music with laser lights didn’t make the final cut.

The first speech I ever made was about the Great Purple Hairstreak butterfly. I was eight years old. This third grade class presentation would not only be my first foray into public speaking but also my first intensive public speaking training, courtesy of my mother.

Make eye contact. No note cards. Enunciate your words. Slow down. Smile. My poster was propped up on an easel, and I was given a long chopstick to use as a pointer. So ensued multiple rehearsals, each videotaped and carefully reviewed.

“Notice how you repeat the same hand gestures?”
“Count the ‘ums’ in your speech.”

Tears were shed, but Mom’s patience won the day as we ironed out the kinks, dropped the filler words and memorized my first five minute speech.

Kevin speaking at CreativeMornings

Obligatory photo of me mid-sentence making hand gestures. Photo by Tory Williams

This memory has been top of mind, as I had the honor of speaking in front of 300 people at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) for CreativeMornings/NewYork in September. After producing dozens of similar events, it was a nostalgic, humbling and slightly alien feeling to be invited to take the stage myself.

I spoke about scaling CreativeMornings from four to 100+ cities over four years—the strategy, highlights and challenges. It’s a personal talk about growth, community and empathy.

As I prepared, I had flashbacks to Mom’s public speaking bootcamp. Her lessons were timeless, and I know for a fact she has proudly watched my recent talk at least twice. Thanks to the CreativeMornings crew for the wonderful opportunity to cap off my time on the team, and thank you for listening.

Watch the talk here, and there’s also a Q&A. →


Footnotes from the talk


From the Q&A