When Darden Smith gives a keynote address, he brings 30 years of songwriting, storytelling, and performing experience to the stage.
“I have seen some extraordinary speakers, but none more engaging, authentic and compelling than Darden Smith.”
Mike Williams – CEO Texas Electric Cooperatives
Each keynote shares lessons Darden learned from surviving as a songwriter and musician, remaking himself as non-profit founder and entrepreneur, and evolving as an artist. His unique perspective on life, and creativity, and connecting with our world is delivered with the dry humor of a Texas poet.
View Darden’s TEDX talk here.
In many keynotes, Darden engages the audience in a collaborative songwriting experience. Before each keynote, he will work with group leaders to explore topics that are important to the session. During the presentation, he leads the audience in creating a song that delivers this message. The song is then recorded and can be delivered to participants. The result is a truly moving and memorable experience. Watch as he writes a song.
“The session was excellent, as you could feel from the engagement and reception – we got great comments afterwards like “that’s the best thing I’ve had in a GE meeting in 18years.” Roland Rott — GE Healthcare
Though no two talks are the same, some keynote topics include:
– Embracing Change — Life rarely works out the way we think it will. Darden shows how he has dealt with change in his life and work and creativity. He gave this talk at the Business Innovation Factory (BIF10) Conference. Here is a video of “Do What You Do”
– Collaboration for Lone Wolves — The words “solo artist” give a good picture of why Darden wasn’t a good team player early in his career. He thought he had to do everything himself. As his life, and work evolves he sees how the collaborative process gives him more ability to, use his gifts, and bring about a positive effect on his world and the people he works with. Watch “Collaboration” here.
– Fearing Your Gift — Based on a TEDX Talk he gave in 2013, Darden talks about how we sometimes hold back from being our best self, because of the potential chaos and change that it will bring on around us. His story, one of change and embracing new horizons, constantly seeking new ways to use songwriting in his work, and where that has led him, illustrates why it’s worth being yourself! View Darden’s TEDx talk.
“I have seen some extraordinary speakers, but none more engaging, authentic and compelling than Darden Smith. He is real and relatable. His message is not only entertaining but more importantly truly transformational! I have never recommended a keynote speaker, but I am telling all my friends and colleagues about Darden Smith!”
CEO Texas Electric Cooperatives
“Darden. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I am forever grateful for our connection and for your contribution to making BIF10 amazing. Your story was inspiring and helped catalyze exactly the reaction the entire BIF community needed and wanted. You nailed it. Bringing song into the mix was perfectly executed. Please stay in touch and let’s find a way to collaborate.”
Founder and Chief Catalyst, Business Innovation Factory