One of the many valuable things I learned on our most recent book tour, was that in giving a book talk to a new audience, the interpersonal connections being made are more important than the words spoken, or even the words written.
The study of all things Antarctic and the resulting books have added a depth and meaning to my life. Working with Brad, creating When Your Life Depends on It: Extreme Decision Making Lessons from the Antarctic, and then travelling—to Oslo for the South Polesium v3 and to Dundee for the Shackleton Appreciation Society—to introduce it were their own reward. My talk on my new book, The Livie Boatworks of Dundee had a similar result.
But the experience of having given three talks on two books, to three different audiences who had come together because of their own shared passions, gave me something new to think about. It’s not about the words; it’s about the interpersonal connections. All these people had come together, some from quite a distance at considerable expense, not just to hear us—there were plenty of other speakers and topics just as interesting—but to meet like-minded folks. And they did, renewing old friendships and forging new ones, on the spot.
Much like Brad and I did at the 2015 South Polesium v2 in Croabh Haven, Scotland (see photograph accompanying this blog)
Sure, we sold a few books on our book talks in Oslo and Dundee, but the new relationships we came away with are worth more than gold. The relationships would not have happened without the conferences, which would not have happened without the many speakers and writers who came to share their ideas, each in turn with all of us who came to learn, to share, and to connect.