Man, my speaking experience has changed so much in the last year. I remember traveling to places to speak and when I got there the people in the room looked like they were bored stiff and wanted no parts of a motivational lecture. However, once I got started talking, I could see the atmosphere in the room change. People no longer slouched in their seats. Instead, they sat up and leaned in… listening intently. I always enjoyed the challenge of going into a “cold” room and bringing life to the audience. As a matter of fact, I had become comfortable with it. As the days, weeks, and month’s rolled by, that is no longer my reality. A few weeks ago I spoke at an event in Times Square. I can’t explain it, but as I paced outside the door waiting to be introduced, it was like I could feel the energy of the people in the room as they awaited the message. Upon being introduced, the crowd in attendance clapped and gave me a standing ovation that seemingly lasted forever. Embarrassed, I tried hard to shhh them and tell them to sit down, but they kept applauding. Now I am not going to sit here and act like the acknowledgment didn’t feel good because it did. However, as I looked at them applauding, I quickly realized they weren’t necessarily applauding me, but they were applauding the information that I had given them. This was by far one of the most humbling experiences that I have ever had in my professional career. I got to be honest, the pressure to produce is much greater now than in previous years. It used to be easy because the people in the room had no expectations of what was to come. Now, I am well aware of the fact that when people come to see me speak, they come in expecting to see and hear greatness! But you know what? I am beginning to enjoy this challenge as well.