I came back on Monday from 3 weeks of “vacation”. This year, we left a little in June and a little in September, that’s the advantage of having big kids: to be able to leave out of school period, while we can.
For the month of September, it is a major event that marked the starting point of our itinerary and our organization: my conference in Barcelona!
In March 2022, via LinkedIn, I was contacted by Ksenia Manakova, the director of the Ufology World Congress who proposed me to animate a Feng Shui “workshop”, that is to say a conference in a room of about sixty people. I must admit that my first reaction was to check “ufology” in the dictionary… That’s right, the study of unidentified objects… But what was I doing there? And Ksenia explained to me that the name of the congress was not representative because it is in fact, more broadly, a summit linking science and spirituality, and that many disciplines are represented there: astrology, numerology, hypnosis, quantum coaching, cellular memory, Akashic archives, sacred geometry, etc.
This is an opportunity not to be missed so I decided to say yes first and stress later! I would like to share with you today my preparation process to host this conference.
Let’s get started!
Choosing a date for the conference
You don’t always get to choose the date of an event you attend. For my April conference, I rented a small room and was offered a few available dates. I was able to choose the one that suited me best.
I haven’t talked about it in detail yet, but I often tell you that feng shui helps you to do the right things, in the right place, at the right time. The notion of timing is crucial in feng shui. Now, some dates of the calendar are more favorable to us than others, depending on our Bazi, or more simply, our astrological sign.
For the Barcelona conference, as soon as the program was published on the website of the event, I saw that I was scheduled on Sunday 11/09. It was a “broken” day, because a Ding Mao (Hare) day conflicted with the current month (Rooster month). Darn! I immediately sent a request for modification to Ksenia, specifying why and asking her to schedule me on Saturday 10/09, a Bing Yin day, i.e. Tiger, like the current year (thus a favorable day for all) but particularly for me, as I am a Wood Tiger. She agreed and even scheduled me at 11am, one of the most favorable times of the day.
My next conference is scheduled for Saturday, October 8 at the Salon Bien-être et Gourmandises in Chevreuse (in the 78 region of France). The date is imposed. It is a Horse day marking the beginning of the solar month of the Dog: these two signs are the protective signs of the Tiger, this day is also a favorable day for me. Great, isn’t it?
When the date is imposed on us, and it is a broken or unfavorable day for our sign, we always have the choice not to register, right?
For your information, I do “favorable date selection” consultations if you have a big project in the works (buying a house, launching a product or an activity…).
Prepare technical content for the conference
The first thing is to define the topic of the conference. As I had already scheduled a conference on “Feng Shui and Health” in April, I immediately proposed the same topic, thinking that I would just have to translate it into English. Well, in reality, it was a bit more complicated than that…
Depending on the time available, the subject will not be treated in the same way. For the Barcelona congress, I had 1h30. That’s a lot of time, but the difficulty is not to want to say too much, to do too much… I always tend to want to give as much as possible to my audience, so I have to frame my content well so as not to turn it into a training module either! The topic should not be too general so that the audience can focus their attention on specific points.
The structure of the content of a conference is, not surprisingly, composed of an introduction, the development of a first point, a second, a third… to finish with a conclusion. But it is not about writing a dissertation or a thesis. This “technical” content must be presented in such a way as to capture the audience’s attention. And what better way than to appeal to the emotion?
For this, there are 4 keys.
Prepare the emotional content of the conference
As if by chance, also in March of this year, I joined the class of the Zero Limits Academy, created by Martin Latulippe. It’s a business-oriented training that prepares for infoprenariat. Martin was the youngest speaker inducted into the HoF Hall of Fame. In one of the modules, he gives the keys to an exceptional conference.
Here are his 4 keys:
- Connect: establish energy, open people’s hearts
- Confront: tell, demonstrate, explain why it is important
- Challenge: propose a practical application, give keys
- Contribute: invite action, deliver our message and be in gratitude
When we understand that being on the “stage” of a conference, whatever its size, is a privilege, and that we must therefore be at the service of the audience, it is much easier to find a way to be aligned, to be consistent, in short to be authentic. So, after watching the module, I was able to complete my conference with an “emotional” type of content.
How do I connect with my audience at the beginning of the conference?
How to involve them so that they feel concerned by my speech?
How to challenge them, so that my conference is not just a suspended moment but generates a real action?
As my conference was in English, and it is not my native language, I wrote everything down: the little humorous phrases, the little anecdotes… Everything that helps to create a connection and that I do quite naturally in French, but that I had to prepare in English so as not to risk breaking the emotion, the connection, by a sudden lack of vocabulary. I used different colors of text to illustrate the different keys as well as the pause times.
Take care of the conference presentation
Here, I am talking about the visual presentation, i.e. the slides that I was going to project during my speech. Having worked for more than 20 years in an international group, I have no technical difficulty in making a slide show. I have also learned to keep my slides as clean as possible: I don’t want to rewrite the entire conference! This is a typical beginner’s mistake: trying to put too much content in them. The consequence: the slides are unreadable, and your audience, while trying to decipher them, doesn’t listen to you anymore… A few lines are enough, if possible with an image, to describe the main idea. Plan for one focus point per slide, not more.
Faithful to my graphic charter, since I remind you that it was carefully elaborated on the basis of the favorable elements of my Bazi theme, I used its 3 colors: grey, orange and green. The shapes of my animations were rounded, for more softness and fluidity.
Mental preparation of the speaker
Public speaking is a major issue for many people. It’s not a problem for me, I manage to be quite comfortable. On the other hand, sometimes, for a reason I don’t know, I suddenly feel stress, usually within 10 minutes of the beginning of the conference… It shows up in a physical way: shaky hands, a shaky voice, a tight throat… It’s not pleasant, and most of all, it can be seen! So that was my main fear: to be finally betrayed by my body while the ego says to itself “it’s good, I can manage”.
My husband is a mental trainer… I am lucky! He gave me preparation sessions to adopt, from the start, the right mental state (confidence and motivation) and allow me to remain efficient in the “ordeal”. I also asked him to help me, with his techniques, to gain serenity and to manage last minute problems without panicking, remaining zen.
I coupled this preparation with a more spiritual approach based on the laws of vibration and attraction, and using visualization.
Creative visualization for the speaker
In my article on the Law of Attraction, I explained that in order for your thoughts to be creative, you have to give them power by charging them with a strong emotional energy. Visualization helps me a lot to connect my desires with the emotion that goes with it.
Every time I schedule a conference, I have one fear that comes up: that no one will be there. It’s exactly the same as when you’re a little girl handing out invitations to your birthday party… What if no one comes?
I get rid of this fear quickly thanks to visualization exercises.
For Barcelona, I knew that the room had a capacity of 60 people. So I asked myself: how many do you want? At what size will you say the room is full? The number 50 came to mind right away. So in my visualizations, I was facing those 50 people. Of course, I then took care of the context. Like a screenwriter, you decide the movie! So I saw my audience smiling, I saw myself at ease, in the flow… Everything was super fluid, and in that fluidity, I connected to a feeling of serenity and joy. It’s that simple!
Guess what? My room was full, the audience was lovely, and everything went wonderfully well… despite some last minute adjustments that had to be managed.
Feng shui for speakers
It is often said that it is the shoemaker who is the worst shod.
Well, I can tell you that at home, this maxim is not true: my husband has the mastery of mental preparation and coaching, I have the expertise of feng shui… and we use it every day to our advantage!
How can feng shui help to manage a conference?
As you have seen in the first paragraph, we already start with the date selection exercise. Then, we exploit the energies present in our environment that will allow us to fulfill our objective.
There are several types of approaches in feng shui.
There is the systemic approach, global, medium or long term, which allows to establish a lasting harmony and to limit the worries of health, relations, money… It is the goal of the complete expertise of the habitat (school of the form, school of the compass, natal flying stars). It gives you the sectors and directions that will be the most favorable for you. Take advantage of these areas as much as possible.
But there is also what Joey Yap calls the “targeted approach”: it allows you to do feng shui in the short term, to obtain results more quickly.
In this case, we use either the annual and monthly flying stars, the Purple White or the Qi Men Dun Jia. Depending on the expected result and especially on the problem encountered (lack of external opportunities, lack of self-confidence, lack of clarity…) one will use one or the other of these tools. It is in this context that it is interesting to use “activators” linked to the 5 Chinese elements, placed in the right places and at the right time. If you come to my house and find metal weights on the floor or a candle display in an unlikely (to you) place, don’t be surprised, they tap into the right stars!
For my conference, I did my visualizations in propitious places corresponding to my life palace and my “wealth and creativity” palace. I also identified in my house the place where, in July and August, my delusion door met the god Qi Men “Moon” and I used it to eliminate all negativity, all fear…
All these notions are part of an advanced feng shui, reserved for experts. They are technical tools and quite complex to handle. But what could be more exciting than experimenting with them on your own behalf in order to propose them with confidence to your own clients?
Adapt to last minute conditions
Finally, being well prepared also means finding the necessary resources at the moment so as not to be destabilized by last minute changes.
I arrived in the room 30 minutes before my conference (I was staying in the same hotel, so I didn’t have the stress of getting there) with my laptop, not knowing if they were going to use mine or not for the slide show. I had printed out my notes and had asked for a microphone with a stand instead of a headset. You’ll think I’m very pretty, but my lioness hair is not compatible with a microphone placed on my head! It doesn’t look good, and that’s all. But there was no stand for the microphone… And I needed my hands to manage the slides on the computer and to consult my written notes… I had to decide: a microphone in my left hand and my right hand to manage the computer and the notes, or to counteract my furious curls with a headset? I decided to keep the hand microphone and leave the headset to the translator…
Oh yes, I didn’t tell you! I was giving a talk in English, but the conference had scheduled an English/Spanish translator! I knew it at the time, so I couldn’t have anticipated that it wouldn’t be simultaneous but staggered: basically, I would say a few sentences in English, then hand over to the translator who would deliver the message in Spanish. I immediately regretted not having printed my notes in duplicate: she could have better prepared herself for the content… and I realized that my speaking time had suddenly been divided by 2!
But since it was a good day, I had worked on my visualization and my mental preparation was at its best… I didn’t stress. Not at all. I handled it at a moment’s notice, reducing the message in some places, speeding up the interactions at other times…
The only thing I finally regretted was that with this translation, it broke my rhythm. You make a joke, you smile, those in the room who understand English laugh… while the Hispanics wait for the translation to laugh in turn… not easy. So, there are 2 or 3 things that I didn’t dare to do… because given the configuration, I just didn’t feel it. Listening to yourself, adapting yourself, that’s also being in the moment.
As you can see, I had a great time. First international conference in English, how cool is that?
As you can see, I prepared this intervention in several ways: in the matter, as they say, with a very concrete action (content, slides, mental preparation) and in the energy, with a search for a vibration of joy and serenity.
Whatever the result, I decided to be proud of myself for having accepted this opportunity and taken up this challenge. I am even more proud of myself because my audience also had a great time and I received some nice testimonies in that sense.