Today I had the amazing good fortune to attend an event called Premiere Napa Valley at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone in St. Helena. The event is a fundraiser for the Napa Valley Vintners Association and includes a wine auction.
I had a number of firsts today :
1.) I had access to more than 200 different wines in the barrel room at CIA. Now, I'm a light-weight when it comes to alcohol. But I'm also a southerner. You have to be polite. There are 200 crafts people displaying their wares. How can you possibly not sample them all?
2.) They served us food in the actual CIA training kitchen. What an experience that was! And desserts like you have never seen everywhere!
3.) They had venison and boar on the menu and I tried both - they taste kinda like possum, if you're interested.
4.) I saw a live auction.
Now, I have been told that I talk too fast on occassion, but these auctioneers are something else. How in the world do they talk and figure out who is bidding, their number and keep track of the amount that is being bid, all at the same time. It's really amazing to watch.
I bet you're wondering if there is a lesson in here - aren't you?
Well there is. Even though those auctioneers were speaking a mile a minute, the secret to their success was their ability to make a connection with their audience. They did it at warp speed, but they did it. They were connected, they kept people entertained, and they made people want to spend their money on fine wine- to the tune of a million and a half dollars.
When I get tired of presenting webinars, I'm going to become an auctioneer. I may not be able to pronounce all of those fancy french words, but I have the fast-talking down.