How to end up in a meeting with the President?

career Jun 2, 2021

In the next few lines, you're going to read a story that changed my life, and that can change yours, if you understand the lessons correctly...


In early 2018, I was working for a consulting company.
My goal there was simple: to be their 1st Artificial Intelligence Expert
I was one of the few to know about Machine Learning.
There was definitely a sit to take!

One day, in the middle of my work, a colleague came to me, asking for a favor.
​"Hey Jeremy, we have just signed a four hour workshop with a company to teach them about Design Thinking, UX, UI, and for some reason... Artifical Intelligence"

Then she continued...
"We said we could do it, and I thought you could be the AI talker? It's just 30 minutes, on 4 different groups.
" I can always ask somebody else.If you don't want to do it, that's totally fine...

The stakes were low, and I was in the middle of two missions, so I gave a positive answer.

I started to prepare my speech...

  • Start with "What's AI"
  • Go to "Machine Learning vs Artificial Intelligence vs Deep Learning"
  • Conclude


I was excited, and ready to give my speech to the UX team for review!
But the results weren't as I expected...

"Jeremy, nice work on this, but we're the UX team. We can't sell a speech with a bad UX." said Bruno, the leader of the team.
- What? My speech has bad UX? I replied not so shocked.
- What you say is very interesting, but your slides are boring, ugly, and don't connect with people.

Cold Shower, but Feedback is Feedback.
And then, he added something: "Let's work on that."

For 2 weeks, Bruno helped me rework my slides, "gamify" the speech, make it visually appealing, more interesting, and most of all, we designed a way to make the future audience part of the game.

πŸ‘‰ The lessons and explanations were exactly the same, but the way of teaching it was completely different. This is the day I learned content creation.

As you guessed, with his help, I managed to NAIL the 15' speech.
They loved our work so much that they purchased a 6 month project -- Β and they said that the AI speech was their favourite.

I was proud, but then, something even better happened...
The lady that offered me the 15' opportunity came back with more!

"Jeremy COULD YOU GIVE THAT SAME SPEECH TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE BANK OF FRANCE NEXT WEEK?"


I was terrified, but I said yes, boosted by confidence.
The speech was also a success, they LOVED IT, and ASKED FOR MORE.
I couldn't believe my eyes!

I had just spent an entire a year building prototypes to make my name in this company, and a 30' speech that involved a game and weird animals turned out to be way more effective.

Two weeks later, she came again!
- Hi Jeremy, you know we have the Sarkozy meeting next week.
- Sarkozy? Like in Nicolas Sarkozy?
- Yes, The former President of France is coming, and it could be great if you'd be here to represent the AI side of our company.
So, are you in?
- Are you shitting me?

I learned two main things these months:

1 - FEEDBACK is gold.

If I had just stick to my original presentation, none of it would have happened. The original speech was terrible, and didn't deserve to go past the original workshop.

Thank you Bruno. You taught me my current job.

2 - WHEN should you say YES or NO to an OPPORTUNITY?

Saying yes to the original opportunity didn't cost me much and turned out to have great outcomes.

I'll never forget that meeting. Whatever your political views are, beeing in an AI meeting with a president is amazing.

But the lesson ISN'T "SAY YES TO EVERYTHING THAT IS OFFERED TO YOU".

This speech was about AI, not Web Design.

πŸ‘‰ And I strongly believe that the lady came to me first because she saw me do AI and NOTHING BUT AI for a year.

What helped? Staying focus for a year on a goal, and using multiples ways to achieve that same goal.

πŸ“©If you're interested in advanced technologies, such as self-driving cars, AI, Machine Learning, and Computer Vision, I invite you to join the Think Autonomous mailing list where you will receive everyday content about Computer Vision, Self-driving cars and learn how to become a super edgeneer!

See you tomorrow! πŸ‘‹πŸ»

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