Thrown To the Wolves

I started a new job today. Now, in addition to Strategy Guide Author Extraordinaire and Wannabe Photographer I can also list Motivational Speaker on my resume. For real. Last October, one day while a little bored, I saw on an ad requesting videotaped auditions for the "Making It Count" speaking program. And, having nothing to do, I set up the camcorder and whipped together an audition and sent it in.

Months pass and I hear nothing. Then, one day this past April I receive a phone call. They've gone through over 7,000 auditions and selected about 120 people to invite to a training session. I was one of the 120. So, after a hasty phone interview, I get sent the script to the 45 minute long presentation titled "Making High School Count". It's a program designed for 9th graders and not only gets them thinking about their options regarding life after high school, but it also provides them with some very useful study techniques and a lot of other information that, quite honestly, I wish someone would have told me when I was in 9th grade. Ahhh... if only we knew in the 80's what we know now.

So, after an intense 48 hours of training and certification back in July, I was officially offered the job and I gave my first presentation today. Of course, I hadn't looked at the script once in the past month, but a cram-session last night quickly refreshed my memory.

And now that I got my first speaking gig under my belt, I can honestly say that I don't think it could have gone any better. There were about 190 ninth graders in attendance, as well as some of their parents -- one of which sat right up front and stared at me the entire time -- but fortunately most of them were pretty well behaved and they didn't talk too much.

I got some laughs, some applause, and the coolest moment of all was while going over this very useful studying technique. The room was silent and every pair of eyes was focused squarely on me. Now, for those of you who don't have a clue as to how your kids behave at school, let's just say that for me to have 190 thirteen-year-olds' undivided attention -- even if just for a minute -- was a major triumph and total verification that the material is useful.

Now it's up the guidance councelor to give me a good recommendation. Or else.

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