Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Time To Speak
I will discuss the time and energy I have put into public speaking in my life. I adore public speaking. This is not the type of career one wakes up one day and says, " I want to be a speaker." For myself it kind of just fell into place, it just happened. I do believe though, that everything happens for a reason.
My first speaking engagement was speaking to my own peers. Wow, was I nervous. I spoke at Lord Fletcher's restaurant in one of the large special event rooms. I was the only senior in high school, nominated and selected to go on a weekend for Distributive Education seminars. I was a straight 'A' student in this class and well....... the rest was history. Once I returned from this trip, I was asked to speak to members of the 'Rotary club' and peers. I was so anxious in fact, I couldn't eat the wonderful plate of food that lie before me. I actually ended up giving it to my teacher, Mr. Furlong (or Furl's as we use to call him). My father and twin sister came to watch me speak. They said I did pretty well. No one knew that my innards were, 'a shakin and a bakin'.
After college, I took a position as a Behavioral Counselor at a Nutri-System weight Loss Program. I facilitated groups for those on a weight loss journey. I taught many different topics on weight loss and helpful strategies. I enjoyed this position tremendously. I learned a lot about myself, the reasons why I ate when I wasn't hungry and I met amazing people. Most of all, I liked being up in front of a group and teaching something that I thought was worthy.
Once I received my masters degree, I took a position at an agency called Perspectives. I was there for a couple of years working as a Group Coordinator, where I ran a variety of groups. I taught parenting skills to community participants and those that were court ordered. It was at this agency that my boss handed down her community speaking gigs, to me. She was moving on to a mental health agency where she would be working as a social work therapist. I was honored that she had the faith and trust in me to put her reputation on the line. These are the speaking engagements I presently facilitate today. I have been speaking every few months, for many years now, to: recovery centers, shelters, food shelves, corporations, colleges, churches, staff retreats, non- profits and more.
The picture I've uploaded on this post, is me at Cargill Corporation, this winter. They asked me to do a motivational speech to help pump up staff for a fund raiser. The money would go to help end homelessness.
Believe it or not, when I am out speaking, no matter how heavy or serious the topic, I am in my element. God gave me the gift of speaking and I've learned how to hone this skill through experience. I feel so blessed to share this gift because I see how it affects people. Speaking can educate, inspire and touch.