Stephanie picked up the violin for the first time at 17 years old. Always a self-starter, she took one lesson on basic violin use, and ran from there. Through her last year of high school and college, she continued playing as part of her church’s music team, then work and life took over and while she continued to publicly speak, training and offering keynote speeches, the violin took a backseat.
In summer 2019, she picked the instrument up again and found a unique combination: An outlet from building & running Grow Disrupt, a path to create more impact from the stage, and a uniquely tangible way to express some of the less concrete aspects of business.
In 2021 as the closing keynote speaker for the Grow Retreat she incorporated the violin into her presentation because she realized that music triggers the brain in a way that words fail. Using music, Stephanie discovered she could relate business guidance in a way that both resonates and lingers with her audiences, long after the keynote is over. In short, she found that she could bring a unique approach to the speaker world and increase her impact by incorporating the violin into her keynotes.
Because music bypasses the frontal cortex where speech is formed and taps directly into the emotional centers in the limbic system of the brain, crafting a keynote around the violin creates the opportunity to stir emotions and create memories that last well past the end of the event. As an added bonus, the violin also creates greater understanding in regards to the impact of less visible soft-skills of business, like communication, people management, marketing, and sales.
For example, “be intentional with how you start your day, and your meetings with your clients, vendors, and team because it sets the tone for the whole engagement” echos hollow as long as it’s just words whereas, hearing the difference a change to the opening note of a song makes on the mood of the entire piece permanently embeds in the audience’s head to be intentional with how they open every meeting.
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