A venue full of happy people and a balloon-sea was my dream…Nov 29, 2023
“I want a bigger audience!” That was my wish, that was my plan. Every month I held my small but very fun event in a Japanese restaurant in Zurich where I talked about Japan and how to have an amazing time there while traveling. I taught about the do’s and don’ts, table manners and how to plan your trip. 22 people was the max of that restaurant.
After doing this for 3 years I was aiming for a BIG audience for telling Japan Stories and showing pictures. I booked the venue where we were attending the 20ies-party I told you about last week : ). 1100 seats would have been the max. I was so naive…
Three weeks before the event I’ve sold 35 tickets. OMG… what a failure!!! BUT I was not willing to give up. I also hired a video-team so that the whole evening will be recorded. I ordered pink, blue and yellow balloons and bubbles in pink, blue and yellow packages (my brand colors from day one were these 3 colors) and a tri-fold-brochure with Japanese vocabulary for going to the restaurant on it, designed by a dear friend. He also designed the flier for me. I even had sponsors who gave me chopsticks and prices for giveaways.
I did a lot of press work and finally I got lucky. VERY lucky. One of the big newspapers agreed on writing about me and the speech in the Zurich section. Picture included. Others followed that article. The ticket-selling got mooooving and I felt such a big relief.
When I think of all the things I did plan all on my own, I get dizzy. I didn’t have an assistant by that time, I didn’t have an exact plan of my speech until I started speaking (I can’t believe this looking back…), my tech only didn’t fail because of the support of friends lending me their computer and Ken did help me to place all the bubbles, balloons and flyers with me onto the chairs. Then he went home to have an evening with Mika. He wasn’t fond of listening to me telling stories about Japan and us for 2 hours. He did give me permission to show “all” of our pictures, even the one of him naked (yes, I put it into the collage, check it out ;)) in the hot bath of a very run down love hotel when we once visited his mother. She even drove us there as it is one of the cheapest and most fun ways to get a bed and a room in Japan.
I prepared my speech until my hair and makeup was done by the wonderful Odilia Rossi who once made me ready for a television appearance. I kept contact with her and asked her if she would do the job. She said yes! And then I heard that there were people lining up outside in droves to buy tickets… When I came out on stage I was soooo happy. This gigantic venue (I know, it’s not yet 50 thousand people…but….) looked… FULL.
I didn’t wear my earrings during the sound check…so after 2min of speaking the feedback came from one of the video guys, the audience and the sound guy… RONJA, your earrings make such a noise, take them off. Okaaaay. Taking them off 😀 I can’t remember all the tech-issues in detail but I remember that people were laughing a lot. I loved it. They came with me on these Japanese adventures and were fully captivated. I was in awe. Speaking is something I really love to do. It would have been great to have a slightly better plan though. I had no watch with me. The keynote-watch showed me 11 min… and it felt that I was speaking for a really long time though. So… I had to ask the audience. What time is it? I was talking for over an hour and my presentation was obviously too long. Ooooups. So, let’s have a break, and please participate at the origami-folding-competition, you can win awesome prizes…
One friend of a friend came up to me with the biggest smile telling me, Ronja, I didn’t expect it to be so funny. This is so cool to listen to. You need to do a Japanese course. You have to offer this, your explanations are brilliant. Okaaay : ). Noted.
The second part went smoothly tech-wise and I cut out about 40 pictures to catch up with time…and then, I showed a video clip of Mika in the game center where she plays with gigantic balloons and finished with: Please blow up your balloons on your seat and let’s have fun like Mika with them. Let’s blow bubbles to bring fun into our lives. Let’s take care of each other and celebrate that we are here… and they all did. It was beautiful and the applause was BIG. I did it. With sheer luck AND action I filled this venue… a little over 400 tickets in the end. I made it through my presentation. I got a video of the evening to sell or give away as a freebie. I was feeling really good and incredibly grateful. I thanked my audience from the deepest place of my heart!
“Oh, could some of you help me with the 1200 balloons in the room?”... Another thing I didn’t think through… Oh my… when the staff of the venue was ok for me to leave we gathered in the restaurant next to the venue for some celebratory drinks. I even got flowers. And so many more requests for a Japanese course. Not because I’m perfect in speaking it but because of my vivid explanations. Got it!
My bestie Tobi didn’t stop (up until now 8 years later) to make fun of me that I thought the first hour was 11 min long. “Oh, what time is it!?” and he burst into laughter again. But even he said: I really liked it. You were good. What a compliment from him.
The most beautiful feedback of a friend who organizes events herself, I put into the PS. I just found it in my facebook messages and thought wow… that’s even more amazing than I remembered. What a gift to have friends who give you feedback like this. A lot of people wrote me letters and emails after the event. They really liked it. I say it again: What a relief : ). One guy wrote that he and his girlfriend had to leave in the break because my picture quality was just tooooo bad. I could live with that because I never promised breathtaking pictures of Japanese landscapes. I promised pictures and stories and a journey through Japan and its culture from my personal perspective. I delivered that and I promised myself that I’ll be better prepared next time.
What I also promised was that I won’t do the job of “filling a venue” anymore. I’ll come to YOUR venue any given day if there are 50 or 50’000 people. I’d love to speak in front of your audience. The ticket selling is not what I enjoy. Other people are pro’s to do that.
I learned a ton. I did it. With luck and action. OMG….
What kind of crazy dream do you have which you could go for? A treehouse for yourself in your garden? Writing a book? Going on a travel adventure around the world alone? With your whole family?
I just got the news right now that a friend of mine passed away. His heart just stopped. He did fulfill many crazy dreams and for sure had a full life. But now retired he would have had so many things to do outside of his work-passion…
Let’s fulfill our dreams sooner than later! No postponing!! Sometimes while working towards a dream it becomes clear that the dream is not a dream anymore. That’s totally ok! It’s like a book which we don’t want to read until the end…no explanation needed. But dreams we don’t go for and that linger in our head and that knock on our souls door…let’s take those seriously. Let’s go for them!
For me it’s more public speaking! Writing this email gave this wish a lot of energy. And more artsy stuff! More creativity. More music. And next year I’ll have a garden plot… gardening, art and music besides more public speaking. That’s my list. What is yours? Will you tell me?
I’m sending you the biggest hug (if you want one… otherwise I send you colorful greetings…)
PS: Tomorrow is the last chance to get the 3 masterclass-packages and bonuses for only $144. Check it out HERE and book it today so that you can dive into your new journaling practice, uplevel your self care game to new levels and create your own daily intentional (morning)magic for your wellbeing and success. This will be $999 after Monday night again, so better buy it now : ).
PPS: The most wonderful feedback to my speech on November 16 in 2015.
I thought I write you what I loved about your talk yesterday:
1) You looked so beautiful.
2) You kicked off your speech right away - so cool!
3) The design you did of the map on Japan - so nice and easier for me to follow.
4) You spoke so freely, ordinary, heartfelt. You were 100% of service for your audience. You were accessible, funny, authentic and courageous while remaining yourself the whole time. It is a rare combination of qualities and skills. Bravo!
5) Even if some things didn't really go as you planned them - the way you interacted with the situation was so great! Free, easy, fast and with charm. Each glitch made you look even sexier and more professional at the same time. WOW!!!!
6) I love it how you have structured your presentation - the intro on the screen while we were waiting for you. Then all those nice gifts on the seat, so cool and practical tips that made me feel like an insider - chopsticks, phrases etc. And an absolutely brilliant ending with balloons - WOW WOW WOW!!!! Ronja, seriously, you set a new benchmark for presenters that will not be so easy to reach. I was so inspired by your speech.
7) Your charming courage of love hotel’s story, including Ken's photo - cool beyond cool (Ok, I should say: hot) 🙂 Thank you for that! It was a great chance to admire your ease, courage and joyful play at the same time. I don't know if you noticed it yourself - but we in your audience (and I mean the whole audience) absolutely LOVED IT!!!!
I could go on and on about how great you are. But now to summarize:
a) You do that event you planned to do next year - you will rock it when it goes live. You have all the skills to do it.
b) Ronja, you better get on the stage more often - people love the way you are on the stage. You are amazing and worth every minute spent by being in your audience.
Hug you dearly in complete admiration! Rock on, Babe!
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