Sunday, July 17, 2011

Follow the Frog

Summer in Chicago is truly magnificent. Maybe it's because our weather is so often miserable, maybe it's because I'm getting old and sentimental, regardless, a gorgeous day is a welcome gift. Yesterday we took advantage of a perfect day and for those unfamiliar with Chicago, our beaches and lakefront parks are truly world-class.

A hidden gem along the lakefront is the Caldwell Lily Pool. This exceptional respite, smack dab in the middle of everything moving and grooving, is simply delightful.

Check it out:

As one might expect in a lily pool, take a look into the water and you're likely to see a frog or two. For any botanists out there, don't crucify for getting this wrong—sure, it might be a toad, but to a city boy like me, they're all frogs. I continue...

Let me set the scene: dragonflies are buzzing just over the water, lotus flowers are blooming on the lily pads, birds sing and frogs are bobbing motionless in the water, mouths just creeping into the daytime air. Then, without warning, and with incredible speed and ferocity, the frog leaps into the sky, body fully exposed—above the water, snagging an unsuspecting dragonfly out of thin air, flopping into then under the water to enjoy it's lunch. Amazing.

This is exactly what I witnessed yesterday at the Lilly Pool. Beyond being totally cool, unless of course you're the dragonfly, it served a great lesson. You see, the frog took a risk, leaped from the safety and comfort of it's spot under the water and snagged a prize from thin air.

Presentations are exactly the same. If you're not willing to take a few chances, leap into the unknown, you're never going to make a splash. Don't you want your presentation to be memorable? Don't you want people to notice you and what you did? Don't you want to enjoy the prize for your efforts?

The next time you're preparing a presentation, remember the lily pool and the frog. You can choose to remain hidden, silent and forgettable. On the other hand, you can leap and make a splash everyone remembers. At SquarePlanet, we say "Follow the Frog".

Cliff Clavin Sidebar Moment: Did you know Dragonflies EAT bees and mosquitoes? I love these things! Find more fun facts at

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