Sunday, January 18, 2009

Listening to Patricia Schultz - 1000 Places to See Before You Die

It turned out that I was very unfairly biased against Patricia Schultz, the author of ‘1000 Places to See Before You Die.’ There are a number of variations of these books on sale, and I’d assumed that these were hack jobs. After all, with the help of the internet, it won’t take long to put together a list.

Patricia Schultz was the top featured keynote speaker for Sunday at the Chicago Adventure Travel expo. I had low expectations going in. However, within 5 minutes of listening I realized that I had grossly underestimated her efforts and her ability to connect with the listeners. Patricia is no hack.

For an entire hour, she had the audience of around 200 listening to her spellbound (100+ were standing). She had the unenviable task of picking 25 places from her list of 1000. (Here are a few places that she chose that might not be that obvious: Burma, Berlin, Prague, the Masai Mara herd migration, the Namib Desert, Monument Valley, Belize, Petra and Patagonia.)

She had picked one photo per place and had a small quotation to go along with it. For every place on her slide, she had stories about the country, about her trip. And from her digressions it was clear that she would happily talk about all 1000 places, if only there was time.

So what was it about her presentation that made it likable? First, it was the overall grace with which she conveyed her passion for travel. She didn’t come across as a know-it-all and was grateful for the travel opportunities that have come her way.

Ultimately, I think she resonated because she tapped into the universal longing (at least in that audience) for more travel to more exotic places.

No comments:

Post a Comment