Earlier this week, I was honored to be among a small handful of people to be selected to be one of the speakers at the Emerson Hour at ILEETA 2021.
There are something like 880,000 (according to estimates) sworn law enforcement officers in the United States.
I have no idea how many retired LEOs are roaming the land, teaching at the square range or in a classroom.
And ILEETA is the premiere gathering place for those wonderful and talented instructors.
So, to be asked to be one of the handful of people to speak at the Emerson Hour at ILEETA 2021, I was pretty much gob smacked.
Let me back up for a moment, to more fully explain what the Emerson Hour is (for those who have never attended, much-less been invited to dais).
The Emerson Hour features six of ILEETA's premier trainers that speak for nine minutes without the assistance of audio or visual props... no "slides" no videos. Just stand there in a room full of about 500 people.
Each presenter speaks about "what has become clear to them" in the last year... a question Ralph Waldo Emerson was known to have asked his contemporaries. Thus, it's called the Emerson Hour.
I had to do it "virtually" via video because earlier this year I had the COVID, and my doctor told me in no uncertain terms, "You're not getting on an airplane until I tell you you're okay."
So, I recorded a video.
Actually I recorded four videos.
They were "rehearsal" for what I anticipated would be the "real thing" the next day…
I was going to get into a pressed white shirt, a necktie and that herring-bone dress jacket that I love so much…
I did my rehearsals from my desk chair, wearing my usual garb of a Wrangler denim shirt and one of my favorite T-shirts beneath ("Front Toward Enemy").
This video was really meant to be the final "run-up" for the next day, but when I reviewed it, I knew I'd never top it.
This one was "it."
I've done hundreds of video interviews.
Been "live" on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and all that jazz, but recording this talk for my brothers and sisters of ILEETA was the most terrifying time I've had on camera.
When Joe Willis invited me to be among this year's speakers at the Emerson Hour he admonished me to not begin with an opening statement along the lines of, "I'm humbled to be up here," or "I don't belong here."
Here's the video.