Keynotes

“Vince Gowmon provided an energetic kick-off to The Better Workplace Conference 2012 by facilitating a ‘Leaders at Play’ session with our participants. He was able to engage the whole group in a fun way, which caused what one conference delegate described as a “transformation from quiet strangers to engaged and energetic conference attendees!” This is exactly the experience we wanted participants to have. In addition to having fun, and getting us out of our ‘boxes’ there were many take-aways for delegates to utilize as leaders in their own workplaces. This session was rated as one of the top ten highlights of our three-day conference. I would highly recommend Vince for any leadership training event!” ~ Deborah Connors, President & Managing Director, The Health Work & Wellness™ Group

My keynotes are unique, fun and interactive. As an opening session, they energize the room, give people the opportunity to get to know one another, and align the delegates with the theme of the conference. As a closing session, they rejuvenate everyone at the end of a long day, and leave them connected and on a positive note.

Keynotes can be led in either of the following formats:

  • Presentation style: A fun and interactive presentation with the room set up in theatre style, with fixed seating or round tables.
  • Experiential style: With an open space, no tables, everyone is moving and participating in fun and interactive activities, getting to know one another, while learning along the way.

Below is a list of topics I present on. I am also happy to custom design a keynote to meet your needs and conference theme.

Watch me present: To see excerpts of my keynotes, please visit my YouTube Channel. There are also a few videos below.

 

HEALING FOR A NEW WORLD

“Rarely in life do we meet such a gifted healer and teacher like Vince. Eternally grateful.” ~ Sarah

Healing is paradoxically both deeply vulnerable and empowering at the same time. It is scary, uncomfortable and liberating. In the dark, forgotten shadows of our body we uncover pain that has long awaited our kind attention. Yet there, under the frozen sorrows of yesterday, we also discover an inner sanctuary of peace and a reserve of untapped potential which includes our gifts and reason for being here. 

Healing is therefore not just a contribution to our individuality, but to the world. Our wellbeing and emerging gifts cannot help but touch others. More so, our pain is not separate from the pain others carry. Our sadness and fear, anger and shame are deeply connected to that of the world and our family line. For those who have the courage to travel the healing journey long enough, they discover how interconnected we all are, and that when we heal ourselves we contribute to the healing of the world.

“Pain travels through families until someone is ready to feel it.” ~ Stephi Wagner

In this inspiring, moving and evocative keynote, Vince talks about:

  • His adverse childhood experiences, specifically the abandonment and abuse he endured, and the impact they had on him
  • How he overcame long periods of isolation, financial hardship and eight years of chronic, undiagnosable pain, and how each served as a necessary gateway for fulfilling his purpose
  • The nature of trauma and its impact on physical health, belief systems, identity and relationship
  • How trauma shapes society and the “dream of normal”
  • Recent and relevant research on trauma and it’s impact on children and adults
  • Small ways we can relate to children differently in order to prevent developmental trauma
  • Simple tools for self-care that help soothe the nervous system
  • What’s required, internally and externally, in order to heal, as well as different modalities for healing
  • What’s possible when we do heal—what awaits for us inside and out

Related reading:


REMEMBERING TO PLAY ~ Inspiring Joy, Freedom & Self-Care

The world needs our playful spirit more than ever! But for many of us, we have been taught to be anything but playful. We have been taught to be adult-like since we were young, infused with expectations and ideas on what is right and wrong. Remembering to Play invites us back into our heart where our authentic Self and inner child reside. Here we reconnect to our creativity, imagination, flexibility, curiosity and more – all necessary skills to thrive in today’s new emerging world.

By sharing fun and inspiring stories, leading engaging activities, and offering practical tools and research, Vince will support you to:

  • Learn how play teaches essential skills to thrive in the new emerging world.
  • Understand the importance of sharing your playful spirit with kids and others.
  • Look at common blocks to play, and why play is disappearing from our world.
  • Learn how we can inspire kids to play simply by being playful ourselves.
  • Explore how play influences your leadership style, capacity to make productive decisions, and ability to practice self-care.
  • Understand how play fosters creativity, and is the gestation period for the ideas and innovation our world needs
  • Discover how play is a different pace than work, and how it invites a different kind of relationship with others.
  • Learn fun and creative ways to bring more playfulness in your personal and professional lives.
  • Open to what is possible if our world becomes more playful.

Watch Vince present Remembering to Play!

“Vince Gowmon keynoted Remembering to Play and received overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic feedback. The energy and laughter in the room was wonderful to experience. Vince had an ability to keep the participants engaged and created a playful and play-filled learning experience using visual aids and interactive activities that got everyone to connect with each other. His passion for the importance of play was evident in his inspirational message as he spoke from the heart. It was a pleasure to have him present for our conference and I would be delighted to have him return for a future event!” ~ Catherine Carter Clark, Regional Coordinator, Vancouver Island Child Care Resource & Referral

Related Reading:
The Disappearance of Play ~ 7 Reasons We Play Less Than Ever
Remembering the Soulfulness of Play ~ Trusting the Intelligence of Play to Raise a Child
14 Play Values

 

LEADERSHIP FROM THE INSIDE OUT ~ Attributes and Practices for Leading in the New World

Traditionally, leaders have been viewed as being at the top of the chain of command, authoritative, directive, and logical; they have generally held fort from a paternalistic, unilateral approach. Now, however, we are recognizing that for communities, organizations, and our entire planet to thrive, a new kind of leader must be born—one who imbues a collaborative mindset, and engages with emotional and social intelligence.

No longer can we wait for others to fulfill this role. It’s time that each of us be the leader we are waiting for, to recognize we are always at the front of the room and having an impact. This requires a higher degree of self-awareness and personal responsibility, as well as the courage to step outside the limits we’ve always placed on ourselves such that we lead and serve more fully from our heart and potential.

In this fun, inspiring and practical keynote, Vince shares his courageous and wild story of living four years below the poverty line, and the risks he took to follow his heart and become the leader he is now, presenting to thousands of people a year. By participating, you will:

  • Examine the attributes and practices that serve empowered leadership and team cohesion in work and life.
  • Learn the importance growing as a person and professional—choosing to be self-aware and conscious of your impact; moving out of victim energy and towards personal responsibility
  • Better discern between the challenges happening within you and in your team, and the hidden opportunities that want to happen
  • See everyone as a teacher to learn from, especially the difficult people you work with
  • Become more proactive in how you lead and relate to others, versus reactive
  • Remember that leading is not necessarily about making people feel happy or comfortable, but rather doing/saying what’s needed in order to activate one’s inner ethical compass, including personal values and integrity
  • Learn to trust your intuition in the face of adversity, when everything and everyone around you says otherwise
  • Leave the keynote inspired to apply your new found learning and lead from the inside out

“Vince Gowmon led an energizing keynote on leadership at ECEBC’s 2016 provincial conference. His ability to lead such a large group through his own personal journey of leadership and then tie it into their own was inspirational to both well-seasoned and new early childhood educators from across the province. The combination of humour and intentness set the tone. Afterwards, strong dialogue and energy carried throughout the weekend. One delegate said, ‘Vince inspired me to dig deeper into my own capacity as a leader in my community’. Whereas another said, ‘He made me cry, laugh and think differently all within a few minutes.’” ~ Emily Mlieczko, Executive Director, Early Childhood Educators of BC

Related Reading:
Empowered Leadership Free Mini E-Book ~ 20 Attributes and Practices for Leading in the New World
2 Questions to Transform Conflict into Empowerment
It’s Time to Be the Leader You Are Waiting For

 

LET THE FIRE BURN ~ Nurturing the Creative Spirit of Children
Based on Vince’s Book!

Children are here to help us birth a new world. They are coming into this planet with higher levels of awareness and perception than we had, and with unique gifts, talents, needs and desires. These inner qualities make up their unique imprint or creative fire, and point to a purpose for being here that can only be found in their heart.

Children are not here to re-create the tried and tested. Rather, in this critical time in humanity’s evolution they are here to offer something new and needed—to lead us down unprecedented innovative paths, elevating and transforming our existing paradigms and models, and leading us to healthier, happier and more productive ways of living.

And we as adults have an important role to play in this. The question is: Are we listening? Are we paying attention? Are we availing ourselves to the power and potential of their creative fire?

In this fun and inspiring keynote, you will:

  • Better understand the creative fire that lies in each one of us, and why it is more important than ever to listen to it
  • Learn why children are so deeply connected to their creative fire, and how the fire speaks through each child
  • Understand the Rascal that lies within each child, and the purpose it serves 
  • Discover how play fosters creativity, and why it is the gestation period for the ideas and innovation our world needs
  • Learn the many colorful and engaging ways you can support children to feel and express their creative fire
  • Explore how you can nurture your own fire, and why doing so is paramount to nurturing the fire in every child
  • Gain a better appreciation for how children are our wise and powerful teachers, inviting our own inner child and creative fire to come out and play
  • Discover why children are here to help us birth a new world, and why the expression of their gifts and talents is essential to the future of our planet

“During his Let the Fire Burn keynote, Vince Gowmon most definitely ‘lit the fire’ within a large group of family child care providers. Vince helped to reinforce the importance of ‘fanning the flames’ within each of the youngsters we see each day, and he gave us some great tools to help do that. It was so touching to remember the important ‘sparks’ existing in each of us, and how vital it is to let them grow and become beautiful, unique ‘fires’ to add new life and ideas to the world. Our time with Vince kept everyone happy, energized, and engaged; and we left with so much to consider as we went back to the most influential people for bringing about necessary change to the world—our precious children. Vince has a gift for presenting in a very personal, touching manner with humour, joy and passion. He is a captivating speaker with his own great ‘Fire’ to share.” ~ Shauna Lockhart, Director, BC Family Child Care Association

“Vince was an engaging and energetic keynote speaker at our annual conference. He is passionate about children and really added some sparkle to our event. We left feeling inspired, energized, and with a greater appreciation for the work we do with children. Vince has a refreshing and down to earth approach in terms of the importance of play in our lives. He really gets you thinking about the need to live in the moment and take everyday interactions as learning and growing opportunities.” ~ Community Options – A Society for Children and Families

“What an amazing experience last night! Vince, thanks so much for coming to our community to enlighten us and help us open up to the power of the creative spirit! Enjoyed every second, learned so much and had tons of fun!” ~ Seanah Roper, Executive Director, Fort Nelson Community Literacy Society

Watch Vince present Let the Fire Burn!


Related Reading:

Let the Fire Burn ~ Nurturing the Creative Spirit of Children
Children Are Here to Help Us Birth a New World
Why Kids Need to Question, Not Conform ~ Unleashing Creativity and the Rascal Within

 

TAKING THE RISK TO STAND OUT ~ Following Your Creative North Star | For Youth

“When you are born into a world where you don’t fit in, it’s because you were born to help create a new one.” ~ Anonymous

More than ever, we are seeing that young people would rather succeed at fitting in than fail at standing out. Yet, especially now, in this conflicted world, we cannot afford this loss of inner resourcefulness, for them, or the planet. Humanity needs fresh, creative ideas if our planet is to survive and thrive in this new emerging and troubled world. And that means we need kids to take the risk to stand out with their inner genius, including their curious minds, unbounded imagination, inherent wisdom, and burgeoning dreams and desires.

In this fun, interactive and inspiring talk, participants will:

  • Explore examples of young people who have done great things with very little
  • Learn the value of listening to one’s own heart, even at the cost of disappointing others
  • Discover that courage and creativity goes hand in hand with standing out
  • Explore why we don’t want to stand out, including examining the beliefs we have that hold us back 
  • Distinguish the voice of fear from the voice of intuition 
  • Using fun activities, begin the process of playing with dreams and divergent thinking
  • Understand how each of us has the power to change the world through our inherent gifts and talents

“While listening to you I observed your youthful audience. Not one attendee was phoning, twittering, tweeting, texting or blogging – all eyes and ears were on your presentation. I could have heard a pin drop. The same applied to the mature members of the audience. In fact, one Lion executive commented that your enthusiasm and message is the exact injection Lionism needs. Two thumbs up! Way up!!” ~ Kirk Dickson, Program Director, District 19A – Leo Spring Conference 2016, Lions Clubs International

Related reading:
Why Kids Need to Question, Not Conform
 ~ Unleashing Creativity and the Rascal Within
Children Are Here to Help Us Birth a New World

 

WHEN YOU SLOW DOWN ENOUGH ~ Touching the Empty Space of Possibilities 

We live in a world that encourages us to move, think and even speak fast. Our embedded socio-economic systems are filled with pressures and expectations, lists of To-Do’s and To-Get-There’s, that make being slow a difficult option to choose, even recognize. Part of this is imposed on us—it is part of the collective story that we all live in. But so much this rapidity is self-imposed. We are addicted to it, and perhaps even fearful of what may happen if we walk away and create room for ourselves.

In this inspiring keynote, Vince will share why slowing down is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage to do so. Learn how taking time to fall into silence and solitude helps you reclaim your Self, your right to have a voice, and to live the life you want. Discover the many things you can learn about yourself, and others, by creating space for you, and uncover common blocks that may impede your willingness to touch the empty space of possibilities.

Specifically, Vince will share how slowing down supports you to:

  • Access your creativity and imagination
  • Become aware of feelings, needs and desires you did not know existed before
  • Change your relationship with others in a more positive way
  • Practice greater self-care and improve your health
  • Learn how to say No to others so that you may say Yes to you
  • No longer fear your aloneness, and all it holds
  • Make this moment, and yourself, enough
  • And much more!

Related Reading:
When You Slow Down Enough
Embracing the Space Between