Eye on Oracle

Apr 11 2011   1:51PM GMT

Collaborate 2011 keynote dazzles with gymnastics, juggling metaphors

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Dan Thurmon, the motivational speaker who gave the keynote Monday at the Collaborate conference in Orlando, started with a gymnastics tumbling pass that included back handsprings and a back tuck. He finished by juggling some axes while riding a unicycle.

Along the way he provided metaphors for each of his acrobatic and juggling feats, relating them to challenges in business and life while sprinkling in key Oracle technology phrases such as “Fusion,” “PeopleSoft” and “R12.”

Thurmon started by walking out on the stage and talking about how great it would be if he started the show with a tumbling pass. But he said that talking about it wasn’t enough.

“Success in life and success in business is not only about ideas…it’s about action,” he said. “It’s about everything you do every time you step on stage.”

Then he did the tumbling pass.

His presentation continued in that same vein. He juggled pins as a metaphor for how many things people have to juggle in their lives and in business. He juggled scarves and said how they stay up in the air until you grab them, and how that’s “kind of like cloud computing.” He told the story of how he improved from juggling three balls to four and then five as a metaphor for the increasing difficulties in life and how to deal with them. And on and on.

Finally he hopped on a unicycle and explained how he leans his body forward to get the unicycle going forward, and how in life you often go where you see yourself going. Then he juggled three very sharp-looking axes while riding the unicycle, and everyone cheered.

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