I BEGAN my Keynote presentation at the 2014 Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) with that ubiquitous photo genre that has come to define the digital age – THE SELFIE.
Before I began my hour long talk on Travel Brand Storytelling I told the audience of 100+ at the Venetian in Las Vegas that I needed a moment to do what bloggers do when they want to remember a moment, take a selfie. I did the unexpected – turned my back to the audience, told them to smile as I framed my face with my iPhone and snapped a pic.
This simple gesture immediately let me connect to my audience and change their state of awareness to one of active participation (it was the end of a 2 day conference and folks were starting to look a little tired…). Stopping to take a selfie also let me get conformable on stage and help calm whatever nerves I had about presenting to such a stellar group of high-level travel and hospitality leaders.
Mostly, I took my keynote selfie to illustrate the main point of my presentation before I even began; that creating original content for social media publication is more action than theory – that at the end of the day you just need to capture authentic media in the moment and tell a story. Social storytelling has many layers and there are a million ways to create, curate and publish digital stories – selfies are one of them.
After I snapped and shared this pic I felt %100 in my element – ready to take a deep breath and share the passion and work of my life – Travel & Story.