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Taiko and life lessons at Ignite Phoenix (with video!)

This past Tuesday, I presented my talk, “Everything I Know, I Learned From Taiko” during Ignite Phoenix, an evening of timed, 5-minute presentations (20 slides, 15 seconds each). The event, held at the Tempe Center for the Arts, was sold out, so I spent five minutes in front of 600 people talking about the joy of taiko, disguising everything I said as a life lesson — Stretch, Practice, Breathe, Be confident, Be ready, Finish, and more. The audience loved it! I used my own taiko drum during the talk, which really seemed to get their attention, and they offered up three rounds of applause in those 5 short minutes.

Here’s the video of my 5 minutes on that amazing and beautiful stage:

There were some amazing responses from the audience through Twitter (start on this page and use the Newer links to go in order from oldest to newest). The most complimentary and funny quote: “The next presenters could set something on fire and it wouldn’t be as cool as @rhjr’s.” (I’m @rhjr on Twitter). Very high praise indeed!

There is also a Flickr set with a few good photos from the talk. They start on this page. Just click the first one you see of a guy dressed in black and playing a taiko drum (that’s me) and advance through them.

The audience was absolutely fantastic. I speak at conferences quite often, but let me tell you, I’ve never gotten a bigger reaction than during this Ignite talk. I feel very fortunate to have been part of the event, and I thank the Ignite Phoenix coordinators for putting on a wonderful, lively event.

Ironically (and unfortunately), I had to miss practice to speak at the event, but hopefully, the group thinks I still did my job as a taikoist.

Posted on Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 11:37 am.
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5 Responses to “Taiko and life lessons at Ignite Phoenix (with video!)”

  1. April Holle Says:

    Wow! What a performance! I’m sure being there was 100 times better. Yet again you amaze me with your variety and expertise in life. ;)

  2. Chris Lee Says:

    Really enjoyed your presentation, @rhjr. Thanks for referencing the Flickr set!


  3. Robert Says:

    Thank you! I really appreciate it.

  4. Jeff Moriarty Says:

    It was a pleasure having you as part of Ignite, and hearing you play even so briefly. I’ve had many people complement your talk, and it was definitely one of the highlights of the night!

  5. Adam Helweh Says:

    I heard you talk about this and now I got to see the video! I briefly mentioned to you on Twitter already Robert, you silently inspired me to check out Taiko and now I am over 6 months deep into it and in the intermediate group here close by. Seeing your comments and tweets in the past made me curious and I understood that I might just be able to handle trying it out. I tried it and I love it. It is now a part of my “DNA”. Thanks for continually sharing. To think… I discovered you from a book I bought a few years ago.

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