Speaking at a school
I visited a secondary school in Warwickshire and gave a talk to their year 11 girls. It's not something I'd done before and have to say I worried to start with. People that book me or on to one of my workshops pay because they want to learn something from me, these girls were going to be there because their teacher thought it was a good idea.
So I put this to the test...
"How many are here because they want to learn something new? (3 hands went up), How many are here because they think it will be better than an hours lesson? (half the room put there hands up) and who's just here because their teacher told them they had to be (the other half put there hands up)". I could imaging them being a tough crowd but I got on with it and introduced myself.
I told them my story, about how at school I wasn't a high achiever, I was just average. My own careers adviser told me I didn't have the personality to be a childs entertainer (which is what I wanted to be at 15) so to settle into childcare! I talked about my career path in catering and retail and into management but again spoke about it not being something I particularly wanted to do but I had a good work ethic. I then spoke about having children and how I needed something that would give me a career, an income but also flexibility. I then spoke about The Lifestyle Group, how it started and Networking Mummies UK LTD and how I became co-owner and then brought it up to date with where I am now and why The Confidence Coach happened, I want to help people be the best they can be!
I kept the talk interactive asking them to do little tasks and rather than giving them facts I shared small stories and amazing studies with them to get them all thinking. I talked about positive and negative thinking and all those self beliefs that can get in our way. When I'd prepared this talk, I made sure I thought back to my last year at school, how I thought about myself and what was important to me, I wanted to draw from my own experience and use it to engage them. There was around 70 in the room and I thought it would be quite hard to keep them all engaged and while some were distracted now and then I was impressed that they were engaged for the hour.
I ended the talk with the story of the Two wolves and a famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt (see end of the blog) and got a round of applause as the bell went and they left to go home. The teacher came over and asked if I'd got time for a coffee, I had. So we had a coffee and discussed how it went. He was happy and couldn't believe that was my first time talking to students. He was pleased with how it went so my work was complete, but then he told me 2 of the girls want their own business and although I couldn't see it they was taking lots of notes throughout the session. That made me happy I can remember being that age and my own business wasn't even on my radar. He also told me that one girl in the audience was an elective mute and in 3 years of teaching her he'd never seen her raise her hand to answer someone and she did it 2-3 times in that hour. That is amazing feedback and I'm one happy lady.
I really enjoyed today and with the teacher telling me he wants to book me again next year and he's happy to pass my details to other schools it's definitely something I will look into doing more of. If I can help inspire the next generation of business owners then why not?
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."