Microsoft Inspire 2020 Coverage – a Word to Your Puppy!

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What an amazing week the second from the last week of July was professionally! In fact, I don’t recall the last time something got me so engaged and excited about the job I do.

“Microsoft Inspire 2020 Highlights”

A quick internet search on “Microsoft Inspire 2020 Highlights” will produce a list of 3,250,000 results in about 0.38 seconds. While I knew this year’s virtual event had tens of thousands of attendees, I suppose I underestimated the sheer amount of content the event would produce as a follow-up, and I had planned on throwing my two pennies onto the pile, as well.

Fortunately for me, it appears as though no one else thought to put together a “Wordle” word cloud. (Don’t laugh.)

Microsoft Inspire 2020 word cloud generated by Robert Kavanagh

“Listen Twice and Speak Once”

My father (now retired) was a brilliant business person and often my coach and mentor. I can remember sitting down to our family dinner one evening after he arrived home from delivering a contentious presentation to roughly 350 union workers. Being an agent of change, my father told us that he started by telling them, “If you walk away from today’s presentation without learning something, you weren’t listening.”

My father’s words stuck with me, and in my career when fostering a proper attitude, I do always try to listen twice and speak once (to borrow an expression meant for construction).

While I was actively listening to roughly 48 hours of online-streaming content about technology, life, health, farming and digitization, it became apparent that it is, in fact, companies like Microsoft that very directly define the vernacular society used to communicate now in business and in our lives every day.

I was intrigued. I felt it was something I should pay attention to—the words, the actors, the personalities and their respective presentation styles. As I told my boss, “the Olympic Microsoft Inspire 2020 coverage” was, at times, so well overproduced that I assumed they had hired actors for a number of the keynotes.

Puppies, Puppies, Puppies

For certain, they were not mincing their words. If they were not actors, they had masterfully selected employees who obviously aspire to be in front of a camera, notwithstanding selfies and pictures of puppies of course … there was no shortage of puppies.

It was a simple exercise to listen and extract keywords and phrases over those few days. I kept a running list and imported it into the Wordle engine for the sake of visualization.

Are you curious to learn the phrases that are now defining the future of humans at work? Do you want to “talk the talk,” so to speak? Check out my fancy Wordle, and tell me whether or not I am on the mark.



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