The Conference Whisperer

One of the exhilarating, some would say stressful, aspects of organizing a conference is adjusting to last-minute speaker cancellations. In the case of last February’s Winter Education Conference, NCTC did an amazing job of finding a replacement luncheon keynote after the original speaker had to bow out after inclement weather ruined his travel plans. Mark Cordes was eating breakfast and contemplating the day when he got the phone call asking if he could take the stage later that day.

Not only did he take the stage, but he learned a bit about the cable telecom industry and its audience and gave an hour performance that used humor to provide the consumer perspective on the industry, as well as common sense ideas for how to create a better workplace. If NCTC hadn’t said anything,  no one would have known that this Arizona based comedian and self-proclaimed “spouse whisperer ” wasn’t a planned part of the agenda.

As a bit of a postscript, one of the audience members at the WEC rightly decided that he Cordes would be a valuable addition to the INDATEL Conference and he was right. Again Cordes adapted his comments to the audience and had the crowd laughing and thinking at the same time. And most of his material was different from a few months ago, which in large part due to the interactive nature of his show.

The most impressive thing is that chatting with him after this week’s INDATEL event, he remembered meeting my 15-year-old son and asked about him. Cordes had also made an impression on my son with  anecdotes; fortunately, Cordes’ act is one that a 15 or 51-year-old can both appreciate and is appropriate for a corporate audience.

Note: NCTC & ACA will be hosting The Independent Show, July 24th-27th in Orlando.

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