This fall was crazy busy. I spoke in 10 states for six different types of conferences, and I got to know students from hundreds of schools. Each stop focused on different missions; from community service and developing leadership skills, preventing underage drinking and keeping our highways safe, to stopping bullying behavior. As always, I’m honored and humbled that I was chosen to be one of the speakers for these programs. I’m constantly amazed at the desire to make a difference, the hard work that goes into planning and executing a conference, and the responsibility that I have to ensure my presentations reaches ears and then channels to hearts.
It’s not enough that I give an entertaining presentation. It’s not enough that I give facts and figures regarding the dangers of distracted driving. It’s not enough that I educate my audiences on how to be an effective leader. My words and my message has to ignite a desire to leave the conference and start practicing what I’ve been “preaching.” I want my audiences to feel so much passion for their respective jobs, missions and organizations that they are literally “busting” with ideas and knowledge they can take back and implement. They may forget my name, but I don’t want them to forget my message.
Every time I step on stage, I realize the importance of my message. I am prepared to change direction at a second’s notice, and I’ve got an arsenal of stories and activities that I can “pull out” at any time. I don’t just come prepared with a speech. I come prepared for an experience. That’s why I love my job. It’s never the same. It’s completely challenging. It’s always rewarding.
Until I step on stage again in January, I wish you all a happy holiday and a Merry Christmas. Remember you ARE somebody special, life is great, and sometimes people need to hear you shout, “This ain’t YO dream!”