2021 Disney Keynote Speaker firsts

couple gazing into each other's eyes
These two share 66 years of Disney Service and Leadership.

2021 Disney Keynote Speaker firsts…this is an “intermission” in my unpacking last night’s intensely-painful event.

Deep breath.


And remember that writing is as cathartic a daily exercise as any other option.

Here goes a remarkably simple, uneventful story. Yet this story illustrates a dramatic leap in my artistry as a professional speaker. And it happened just four months ago. This is significant in the 23-year arch of a prolific speaking career.

Here goes:

Grateful that risk taking yields growth…

Let’s review the Disney Keynote Speaking firsts from 2021: 

Walked from home to Disney Convention Center, to speak.

1st Disney speech – in 2,000 speeches – delivered without slides.

1st time using conference A/V staff to role-play a story.

1st Disney Keynote delivery in jean shorts.

1st time in Walt Disney World’s 50-year history a Disney conference speaker walked from their house to speak at Disney.

Bonus 1st: 1st time in 23 years with a 16-month (Covid) public-speaking gap.

All firsts happened in one day. Would have been ridiculously easy to take no risks. Just do what you always do – what works – since 1999. Without multiple risks of failure on this day there’d be no growth. And because none of the risks failed, it was an epic growth day.

None of these firsts required a checklist. All of these firsts required an unexplored frontier.

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.