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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Time To Speak

The prompt in my writing group called GBE2 is time. I could talk ad nausea about how time ticks on. I could also discuss at length about the fact that  time goes by so very very fast, especially the older one gets.  I am in a place where I just don't want to do that. I have lost too many people in my life lately so..... I will take this topic on a detour.

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.

I have been speaking in public for almost thirty years now. Wow, no wonder it seems so natural to me at this point.

17 comments:

  1. Oh Laura--you have my dream job!! I always wanted to be a public speaker. I don't get nervous speaking to crowds--I really enjoy it. My professors in college told me I had a gift for it--and they helped me land a spot on local television for a debate. They were so impressed with me, they asked me back twice and asked me if I had ever thought of going into broadcasting. Funny, I had majored in journalism and communications, but I had a job in Logistics--which I needed to pay the bills--and I had no time to play in broadcasting for free as an intern. I had dreams of being a college professor--teaching in a university a subject (any subject really) and making it interesting--engaging the class--and having fun. I almost followed my dream--when I applied to become a speaker for a company that held corporate training events for companies in team building, workplace expectations, HR protocol and the like. They offered me the job and explained it was almost 100% travel and I could not do this with my kids. So I turned down the job offer and the dream job!!

    I think it is awesome that you get to speak publically!! How fun!! Thanks for sharing :) Jenn

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    1. Wow, you did a local tv debate. I am so impressed, but then again, you always impress me and I am so wowed that you were offered that speaking position, but you, like me feel family is way more important.
      Thanks for stoopin it with me.

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  2. It's time for you to share your knowledge and your wonderful personality. Public speaking is the ultimate in teaching, imho. I did it on and off my entire hairdressing career and loved it. I did mostly motivational and product educational programs which I wrote and delivered. It's a good job!

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    1. Jo,You spoke too and did your own curriculums. That is so great. I agree that speaking is a great job.

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  3. Very cool. I could do public speaking if I had to, but I don't have what it takes to be good at it. Kudos to you

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    1. danneromero
      Thanks but I have a feeling you would be great at this

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  4. Your conclusion is great, very inspiring post!

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    1. Claudia
      Thanks so much. I can't believe how fast it has gone.

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  5. During my 25 years as a teacher, I did plenty of 'public speaking'; similarly as a trainer of adult Girl Guide leaders. These days, however, I'm much better at writing than at speaking!

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    1. Paula
      Cool. You did public speaking too. I giggled when you said lately your a better writer. Writing is so powerful too.

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  6. I love that you are able to do something that you love, have a gift for, and that SO many people would cringe if put in your position! Being an engaging public speaker is a wonderful gift and having been able to dedicate yourself to it for 30 years is awesome!

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    1. Word Nerd,
      I did have to giggle when you said people would cringe. I did when I began, but then it becomes part of you.

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  7. I really admire you for being able to stand up and speak in public. I can pontificate, chew the hind leg off a donkey etc, but not in front of real, flesh and blood people. Gimme a pen, paper, a screen to hide behind and I'll tell you anything. Put me on a stage and I'll run a mile! You are a wonder to me *smile*

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    1. Mojo Writin
      What a riot, that you can chew the hind leg of a donkey but not in front of people. Your a wonder to me.

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  8. the way you brought us with you from HS on..how cool was that! LOL you had me chuckling can relate! Awesome post! awesome LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. Brenda
    So glad you liked my timeline of speaking. I have had a blessed life, not easy, but blessed.

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  10. Good that you took the TIME to learn what you loved, and invested your TIME in doing it. :-)

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