Lecture Mode: On

Series: Behind the scenes of DH

4 January 2019

#behindthescenes

The DanieleHenkel.tv team accompanied Danièle Henkel (the person!), to one of her lectures and reveal a behind the scenes look at the wonderful relationship she has carefully weaved with her audience throughout the years.  

Wherever she goes, magic manifests. As soon as she arrived at the Centre des congrès, this business woman was received with enthusiasm and honour by team ScotiaBank, the organizers of the event. During her interactions that day—and there were a lot of them—this graceful lady would gaze into the eyes of the individual, and take the time to build a relationship, as if everything around her ceased to exist. Her human approach, is one of the many qualities she is known for.

Until the very last moments leading up to her lecture, Mrs. Henkel was perfecting the contents of her speech. Being organized, she always presents herself to events well prepared, by doing her homework ahead of time on the region’s situation, on the organization, or on the institution she is visiting. Sitting in her loge, the guest speaker takes a few minutes to ground herself. Despite having some 300 lectures—in Quebec and across the globe—under her belt, she is still a little febrile before taking the stage. “I’m always really nervous”, she admits. “I don’t sleep very well the night before and my heart beats out of my chest.”

Her moment to shine is fast approaching. Cue cards in hand, Danièle Henkel makes her way with a confident stride to the hall where no less than 375 people are impatiently waiting for her. Among them, 330 are entrepreneurs. Besides the editor and the community manager for DanieleHenkel.tv, the auditorium counts one more important guest personally invited by Mrs. Henkel herself: a critic. Why not! A writer is there to evaluate her performance. “I like being critiqued”, states Henkel. It’s necessary for progress. I ask him to tell me what I do well, and what needs work.”

DanièleHenkel.tv

Her lecture on “Entrepreneurship and Leadership” references her exceptional and unique career path. With the passion she’s known for, she addresses the values, themes and causes that are dear to her. She speaks as a business woman, as a mother, as a wife, as a citizen. She controls the intonation of her voice, at times to emphasize certain passages, at times to soften the edges. Between the laughter that fills the room here and there—Mrs. Henkel can be really funny!—the audience,  maintains their silence, mesmerized by her presentation.

No one is immune to technical difficulties, not even Mrs. Henkel who has to deal with faulty mics three times during the presentation. Each time, she recovered by projecting her voice like any all-time great theatre actress would. “I’ll send you the bill for my voice,” she adds with a chuckle.

DanièleHenkel.tv

At the end of the presentation, participants are invited to ask questions, they are numerous and relevant. The answers follow, sincere and spontaneous. After leaving the stage, Mrs. Henkel takes the time to meet those who have stayed behind to meet her. Joy fills the room, warm hugs are given, and sometimes hands that stay connected during entire conversations. Touching testimonials are shared. Interesting business projects are discussed. Mrs. Henkel leaves the event elevated by the the most beautiful testimonials. She makes it her duty to never forget them!

We’ve collected a few thoughts from members of the audience:

“Danièle Henkel is real and genuine woman who has a true perspective on life. She reaches women as well as men. Today, she reminded me that living in the present moment is important. That it’s the foundation of what we will build in the future.”—Patricia, entrepreneur

“Danièle Henkel is a very generous woman. I particularly liked her suggestion to change the word ‘problem’ for ‘challenge’ in the workplace. I work in a field where problem-solving is a daily task, and I think the word challenge would be better suited to describe these situations. I intend to put it into practice away.”—Barbara, entrepreneur

“I really appreciated the tone of her lecture and the fact that she touched a range of emotions. She instilled hope. I came out of the lecture and told myself that I can do it too!”—Reza, Small Business Manager, Scotiabank

“What moved me the most was what she said about recognizing the role men play in supporting the women’s movement in the business world. I realized that I should write letters to the men in my life who made me the professional I am today. She also talked about the importance of supporting other women, to share our skills with one another. This momentum of solidarity has touched me in a profound way.”—Mélissa, a new entrepreneur

About the author

Mélissa Proulx

About Mélissa Proulx

Editor

Mélissa Proulx is a journalist, news contributor, and copywriter. Passion and creativity have been driving her to create rich and diverse journalistic content since 2002.