Friday, I was given a wonderful opportunity to speak to students at Bettendorf High School. Students had a choice between three speakers who were all speakers that the students were able to connect with. I was beyond honored that the student council reached out to me to speak.
I won’t lie, after saying yes I was very nervous. I was not nervous for the sake of giving a talk, but I was nervous because high school students can be a challenge to hold their interest AND I also know there is a chance that the words I speak could make an impact.
The whole week the school focused on the theme The Power of One helping students to understand that they matter, their voices matter, and that they can do amazing things if they want to.
As I plotted, organized, developed, and practiced my speech over and over I finally was able to connect the dots and make it work. I only had about 23 minutes to deliver my talk which is not a lot of time. My first practice run was over 80 slides and 47 minutes long. Through practice and practice and more practice I was able to get the talk down to under 25 minutes.
The other challenge lied in the issue that I needed to deliver a message that they have heard a million times but in a new way. Students are constantly being talked to about failure, growth mindset, achieving your goals, etc.
For the first time I brought to life personal stories that I have never shared before to a public audience.
Here are my slides
Here is the audio of my words
Or listen to it on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/coffeechug-concepts-podcast/id438001112?mt=2
I believe things went well. I believe my message was received. I hope that my words connected with them. With high school students you don’t always know how they receive information, but I know they were listening. The key is will it transform to action?
Still honored to have had the opportunity and it was so great to see so many former students grown up. It was a reminder why I work hard in education because I am so motivated and inspired by the opportunities for them to be #changemakers.
Going back and listening to the talk and reflecting I see a few key areas of improvement and things I would change if given the chance to give this speech again. That is what life is about. I made move and will now be able to learn.
Here are links to the recordings of the speeches. I have included all three speakers. Enjoy!