"Adventures of a Geek Dad" -- my Ignite Asheville 2013 talk

I'm sharing this post on the IATF website because so many from the IATF community supported me in the following project (thank you all!)...

On February 19, 2013  I spoke at IGNITE Asheville. See my video below.

My talk was entitled "Adventures of a Geek Dad" and I won 1st place! The crazy thing is, I tried to back out of this event a couple of times. I honestly didn't think many people would be interested in what I had to say.

Although I've given many talks, this one was among the most difficult to prepare for and deliver. 

The difficulty stemmed from the format:  5 minutes long and slides auto advance every 15 seconds. 5 minutes is such a short amount of time. Every word counts. You'll see in the video that I got behind / out of sync with my slides - - so easy to do.

Assembling my slides took way longer then expected because I realized I had too much to say in 5 minutes and that meant I had too many slides. I had to eliminate, pair down, refine, etc. Not easy for a guy that likes to talk a lot.

The event organizers (all great people) provided a speaking coach and she was AWESOME. Her name is Angie Flynn-McIver of Executive Repertory. Angie met with me one-on-one and listened to my talk and asked me to make a couple of simple yet important changes. One tip she gave was to "get rid of the light saber". I was going to use a light saber during my talk but Angie said it would be distracting for me and the audience. I'm so glad I followed her advice on that one. 

Here are a few resources that helped a lot:

Scott Berkun -- Why And How To Give An IGNITE Talk

Scott Berkun's blog post on the same subject

IGNITE's tips for beginners

Jason Grigsby's "How To Give a Successful Ignite Presentation"

I bounced some ideas off of Ken Denmead at GeekDad.com (Thank you Ken!).

The biggest realization I had was how vulnerable I felt talking about parenting, my kids, and doing geeky stuff with my kids. The place was sold out with 420 in attendance and I just wasn't used to talking on a subject so personal in front of so many people. 

Towards the end of my talk you'll see me get a little choked up when the slide of my daughter's thank you card is on the screen. That was a surprise. I practiced my talk so many times and not once did I have an emotional reaction to my daughter's card. Sharing that image with hundreds of people really did get me connected with why I do this Geek Dad stuff - - it's a great way to spend time with my kids.


My May sailing and camping trip with my 8 year old son and brother

I took my 8 year old son Joseph on a big sailing and camping adventure to the Outer Banks of North Carolina May 16 - 20. 

On the drive to the coast we stopped at the airport in Raleigh, NC to pick up my brother Brian who flew in from Colorado.

It was a long drive (12 hours) but it was worth it.  We had great camping weather (other than the driving rain one night) and great sailing weather.

We pulled our Hobie Wave down on the trailer and as always, that little sail boat performed great (see photo below).

We did have one day of super strong winds - - blowing 20 knots and gusting to 26 knots.  The windsurfers and kiteboarders were loving it but that was too much wind for us so we went for a hike up the famous Cape Haterras light house  and road the ferry to Ocracoke.

Our longest sail was 4 hours and we found "bird island" 5 miles out into the Pamlico Sound. There were large gulls nesting on this island, most of the nests had 1-3 eggs but a couple had some small chicks (see photo below).

I'm really grateful for fun adventures with my family. 

My newest focus -- teambuilding wealth -- has provided me this. 

It's the perfect vehicle for teambuilders, like you, to create financial freedom.  Learn more HERE.

Photos of our trip.  Click on the thumbnail images to enlarge:

Camp Hobie_wave Eggs_in_nest Brian_and_tom Lighthouse Sunset

Mother's Day

We had a wonderful day celebrating Mother's Day today.  We hiked up to Max Patch (close to our home) for a picnic.  The wind was nice so that meant kite flying.  After lunch we drove down the mountain to Hot Springs, NC to enjoy a soak in the natural hot springs.  It was a beautiful day. 

Click on the photos to enlarge.

Kiss Picnic Flying_kite

Trebuchet Golf Ball Launcher -- teambuilding fun

I've been fascinated by catapults ever since I was a little kid.  Word must have gotten out because I received a trebuchet kit as a Christmas (2006) gift.  I built the kit with my seven year old son between Christmas and New Years.

I put together a little video to show you my trebuchet (see below).  That's me (the adult) in the video.

This device is actually a "floating arm trebuchet" and it can launch a golf ball over 100 yards with 15 pounds of counter weight.  How cool is that?!

And there MUST be a way to turn this into a teambuilding game.  Any ideas?

Oh, and if you're wondering, my trebuchet kit came from the folks at rlt.com.  The kit was easy and fun to make.