Tag: Keynote Speaker

The Courage to Be a Keynote Speaker

Candace Doby is a talented keynote speaker, one who has exceled in record time in the speaking and event planning industries. She’s spoken to nearly 100K people in a relatively short time, which is pretty incredible if you know the speaking industry. Her latest accolade is a TEDx Georgia College talk that has people sitting up and paying attention – including me, and I’m her speaker agent!

Take a listen – it is only 12 minutes long and will inspire you to consider some serious changes in your work and/or life. (Seriously, it is that impactful!) One friend told me that this talk replaced about 10 hours of therapy. (Listen in, then be sure to read to hear how courage played a role in Candace’s own speaking career below.)

Dang, she’s good, right?! 😉

I knew Candace before she left her full time job as a marketing executive to focus on her speaking career.  (As you can see from this TEDx Georgia College talk, she clearly is killing it!) You’ll never believe how I met her –  we met at a camp for adults – one that allowed participants to regress in the best ways possible – we made art, ate smores, and giggled like girlfriends do when they are housed up in any situation that involved bunkbeds.

In this case, I didn’t interact with Candace as a bunkmate, but rather as a person who seemed to move through our shared space with joy, an energy that drew people in, and a smile to share. I was curious about this person – she had my attention. I took a risk and asked her about her life, travels, and if she had ever spoken publicly about a topic outside of her marketing work. It turned out she had a really interesting story about travel – or in this case about not traveling outside the USA for a very long time. My gut told me to keep in touch and to learn more, to stay curious about this woman. I did and this resulted in a relationship that had me booking Candace speaking at colleges about the risk and rewards of traveling as a black woman.

Candace’s TEDx Georgia College talk opens with her story of finding courage to travel abroad – and to do so alone as a black woman who experienced racism and bigotry in the US, both as a young woman in school and in the workplace. It took a lot of courage to share her reservations about travel and other subjects with strangers in a vast room. What I love is that she frames her vulnerabilities in terms of risk and courage, not fearlessness. As she says in her talks, fearlessness is rash decision making. She continues to teach me not to be “fearless”, but to be courageous. This has applied to not only my work, but my life at home – especially as a parent. Courage requires more careful consideration that can pay off in spades.

Candace wasn’t fearless when she left a full career in marketing to pursue a full time speaking career. She was courageous and assessed the risks, made a plan, and executed it thoughtfully. I deeply appreciate that she offers her study of courage to the world with her own evidence of how the process can work. Her talks support employees showing up fully at work without apology.  This is especially important for BIPOC and diverse employees – to know that they can exercise their courage muscles to be more fully themselves in all settings with guidance from Candace’s learnings and wisdom.

I’m truly humbled to know this incredible and powerful woman. She’s an absolute joy to work –  professional, creative, prepared, a dynamic speaker. She consistently receives rave reviews from clients. Why? Because she exercises courage at every opportunity and shows up each time fully as Candace Doby – not who you think you want Candace to be in a specific moment…but courageous Candace, the true Candace. Not some performance. She’s Candace, 24/7.

You can learn more about Candace’s talks here.