Monday, February 13, 2012

TEDx Austin 2012 - Penny de los Santos

There were many great speakers on the agenda at the TEDx Austin 2012 event.  In talking with other attendees  the cool observation is that different people had their souls touched by different parts of the program.  The whole experience was one that was designed to resonate no matter the learning style.

There were a few presentations that I will not soon forget.  As a professional speaker and corporate trainer I am equally interested in a speaker's ability to connect with an audience and how they captivate the mind.  I have long professed that just because someone is smart, or has done something cool -- it does not mean they belong on the stage.  At TEDx Austin everyone was smart, cool, authentic AND they belonged right there at this time and place!

Penny de los Santos, a culture and food photographer, was one of the ones that stood out.  As she began her talk I wrote in my notes "wow, she seems really nervous".  However, something happened as she shared her life experiences -- she blossomed.  

She tells the stories of people and culture through the pictures she takes of food, and all that happens around food.  She pointed out that "food connects us", and she is right.

As a still-life photographer she captures moments.  She showed her work and gave us the back-story of those from all over the world whom she has had the honor to share moments.  Much of her work includes documenting the lives of people who otherwise might pass without being seen.  "So many people in the world have never been noticed.... they have never been celebrated".

She engaged the audience like few speakers ever can with the mix of images and  the spoken word, and left us with the powerful nugget that "some moments are not to be photographed, but are to be lived".  Wow.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

No comments: