Keith Seckel is not flashy and he doesn’t demand your attention. He has his own way of drawing you in, with a quiet and understated sincerity that makes you want to cling on to his every word.
His gentle presence is what made him one of the most memorable speakers of the inaugural TEDxSalem in 2013, with his touching talk on death — and ultimately — life.
These qualities are what make co-curators Brian Hart and Carlee Wright so excited about having Keith host TEDxSalem at the Salem Convention Center this fall.
There are many decision that go into planning a TEDx event, and finding the right host is up there with selecting speakers. The job of a host involves many responsibilities than might be readily visible to the audience.
“You are not only the guide for the audience, explaining the flow of the event, but you are also the event’s ambassador,” Brian says. “Being the face of the event, they have to wear many hats, they are responsible for introductions of the speakers, giving the audience the perfect tease of what is about to come, but at the same time never telling the audience how to feel. They are also in charge of time-keeping, troubleshooting, announcements, connections and audience engagement.”
Phew! Good thing this year’s event theme is “fearless.” Keith has fully embraced this big role.
He says he hopes to be effective and invisible — to help the event run smoothly and comfortably, but then getting out of the way to let the speakers shine.
“In other words, throughout the day I want to be the semi-colon; the punctuation that gently guides people from one space to another,” Keith said. “And at the end of the event as people think back on their experience, I want them to remember the speakers and the breakout sessions — and sort of forget about me.”
Please join us in welcoming Keith back on the TEDxSalem stage.