Poetry was never something Andre liked. In fact, he thought it was downright boring. But when he found himself subconsciously participating in the art form, he decided to become a master of communication and developed an entirely new genre of expression blending principles of corporate speaking with poetic verse, called Spoken Impact: speaking the art of life.
The idea is to take the principles of real-life stories and experiences and express them in an artistic way so that other people hear their own story in his. So far, more than 2,200 fans have seen their story interwoven with his. That’s the number of people who have joined his facebook fan page, http://facebook.com/WhenAndreSpeaks, tuning in to view his weekly video posts.
Through 23 episodes, Andre has integrated story-based spoken word with regular vignettes from professional speaking to discuss various life experiences from the excitement of Obama’s presidency (November/January) to the sadness of Michael Jackson’s death (Madly Missing) to his evolution as a spoken word artist (Holes in the Old Stuff) and struggles with spirituality (Still Too Proud to Pray). Most recently he concluded a series on family perspectives in which he discussed the pressures of family life (Just Demanding), relived the pain he experienced with the death of his oldest sister four years ago (DaRK), and also paid tribute to his two children (Payton/Three) and wife (Almost More than Human), as well as their unborn child (To Be Continued) .
For Andre, Spoken Impact is as much about finding himself as it “inspiring audiences to become creative solutions architects in industry and life.” Founder and owner of a software consulting business, the left-brained, analytical thinker from Howard University has discovered a way to express all of who he is by adding this creative component to his life, he says.
“A lot of this for me came from biblical principles– Paul telling Timothy to fan his gift into flame suggesting that whatever you are given, it’s your responsible to take a little piece of something and turn it into something much bigger.”
Bigger things are definitely on the horizon. With Spoken Impact, Andre intends to revolutionize the genre of corporate speaking. A graduate of the Bill Gove Professional Speaking Workshop, his plan is to use the principles of the class to tell artistic stories in a language that’s rhythmic. Already, corporate America is listening. This spring he spoke at Hewlett Packard’s Black Employees Network Mentor Me Program and has already been contracted for several more speaking engagements in 2010.
In December he will also be speaking to a crowd of 7,000 at a conference for the National Church of God in Christ in Washington, DC, right outside his residence in Ellicott City, MD. Andre has also been a repeat guest on the JustAskKim show on blog talk radio, where he has shared Spoken Impact with the national audience and also connected with fans.
With more than 50 pieces written so far, Andre says the words aren’t stopping and his ideas aren’t slowing down: “I’m watching myself become increasingly comfortable in my skin and I want my audience to leave with a story that’s bigger than any of the pieces. Something that’s effective and indistinguishable.
“I’m letting whatever I feel fuel the spark of writing. I find that as long as it’s thoughtful it doesn’t matter what I was feeling at the time, there’s something appropriate that humankind can relate to and that’s why it’s speaking the art of life.”