It was a glorious October Thursday morning, and the yellow, burnt orange and mottled green leaves were blowing across Lake Circle. One speckled red and gold beauty landed on my windshield as I turned into #1 Lake Avenue in Colorado Springs. When I stopped at the guard’s gate, the leaf pirouetted away again just as the highly professional, friendly guard waved me in to surrender my jeep to the valet parking staff.
I had been invited to speak at the Philanthropy Southwest Annual Conference at the Broadmoor Hotel! As I arrived the afternoon before my talk, I had no idea how delicious a stay at the Broadmoor would be. As I checked in, the desk clerk said, “Dr. Hale, we’ve upgraded your room to a suite. Here is your key and a map,” Impressed, off I went to find my suite. It was so lovely that really it felt nearly like a whole house. I entered the foyer, and immediately there were three doors: A small kitchenette behind the first door on the left; A small walk in closet behind the second door on the left and on the right, a giant, beautiful bathroom. This mirrored and tiled masterpiece was appointed as luxuriously as any private home’s master bath might be. The tub was adorned with a cloth curtain. There were two sinks – toiletries of all kinds and plush towels aplenty.
The elegance continued in the bedroom with corner windows which beautifully framed the colorful dancing leaves that offered a private performance directly across from the four poster bed. I saw that there was a separated living space and I used that to stage down some of my materials.
Oh! look at the time! This room was so delightful and yet, I was there to serve my host as speaker. I unpacked, arranged my handouts, freshened up and went off to find the registration area so that I might listen to the afternoon speakers and get a feel for this audience. One thing I was certain of however, the welcome was already setting the tone for an extraordinary event.
I arrived in time for lunch and as I listened to the lunch speaker and got to know my table-mates I knew both, that I would have to show up in my best form for this audience; AND that I would do just that. This audience was filled with some of the most purposeful, visionary souls around. These were our region’s Philanthropists. And there is nothing like a bright light of purpose to bring out the best in a speaker.