Guest speaker? Motivational speaker? Inspirational speaker?
Or a speaker who asks questions? Who shares the space with the audience?Who listens? Who promotes a conversation rather than a convention?
When engaging an external influence (speaker) to work with your students,staff or workers the choice is yours.And like all choices there are questions that should be asked and answered-but they aren’t always.
Whilst these 3 questions might look similar they are distinctly different.
Being of interest to an audience is critical.And the game of ‘interest’ is won or lost in the first 2 minutes (max) of meeting said audience.
Being able to connect with an audience cleverly dovetails once you have their interest-only occurring when elements such as atmosphere and style are favorably received by the audience.
At which point the focus can shift to ‘holding’ the audience-which is a highly challenging focus (particularly) given school aged students.
Thus the need to present a style of speaking that involves subtle nuances in movement,tone and language-which challenges the audience (And has them wondering what’s next)
Speaking publicly is not an easy job.
And neither is selecting a public speaker.
Asking the right questions is a critical first step-your audience will be glad you did.
Yes.Whilst many people instantly recognize my sporting and media backgrounds some are unfamiliar with my extensive tertiary study and practice in education.
I have been working within schools for over 25 years-including 5 years in the classroom (full time)And I’ve been speaking professionally in schools since 2003.
From inner-city private secondary schools to remote (predominantly) aboriginal schools to juvenile detention centers,university’s and beyond,I’ve been asked to invest in young people of all backgrounds-races and religions.Said invitations have seen me work (consistently) across Australia and Internationally.
The ‘idea’ that any guest speaker can guarantee an outcome speaks to nothing more than their ego and salesmanship.
(I promote neither)When creating a co-direction with clients/schools I promote only 2 key areas of focus – communication and relationships.I see those 2 areas as being the most important building blocks for all other personal and group development.
I hope to promote critical thinking,opportunities to reflect and the space to strengthen understanding and connection within individuals and groups including that between students and staff.
And I do so by speaking with my audience without prescription-(young) people deserve the opportunity to jointly own the conversation rather than being spoken at.
Rigid programs and instruction fail to genuinely connect.How can one size fit all? How can a template be fitted to an individual or group particularly one whom a speaker has just met?
My work (in education) is bespoke and conversationally based.
Whilst each session (conversation) has structure my ability to read and relate to an audience allows me to create unique connection/s-ensuring individuals/groups are treated thoughtfully.
When speaking with a school I look to accommodate requests for multiple visits by using the initial visit and the knowledge gained to create further engagements.There is never any shortage of conversation that can be shared or creative ways to share it.
When we engage in authentic conversation (personal) experience,
empathy,exposure and reality collide.The conversation I promote and moderate is 2-way.Story telling is a powerful yet subtle tool.Sharing raw personal experience connects with any audience and trumps technology.And when the audience feels empowered (safe) to share their own stories the number of opportunities to ‘learn’ multiplies beyond my experiences.
Having worked as a classroom based teacher for 5 years I appreciate the challenges of managing the directed curriculum.Achieving balance is always important in any setting.
In providing genuine connective opportunities my ‘work’ promotes communication and relationships which offset the day-to-day constraints (such as time or workload) of education for students and staff alike.
I work without gimmick-or prescription.The conversation that is shared reflects each individual audience and the setting in which it was held. Young people are sold short by labels and gimmicks.One of the most common being a ‘lack of resilience’. Sharing in conversation allows for a young person to co-create their learning ensuring meaning and understanding. I would hope any audience member would walk away wanting to invest further in their ability to think critically,communicate accurately and strengthen relationships.
Yes.Primary aged students appreciate my approach and engage without hesitation-often pushing boundaries in ways that an older audience won’t.
Given the key focus of each session is communication/s and relationships I always encourage as many (additional) staff to attend as possible,as it provides an opportunity for them to strengthen their student connections and further develop themselves.
Yes.My latest book Real me.Real you? is a specifically written and designed educational resource created to act as both a personal and/or staff (class) resource.
*Real me.Real you? affords staff over 50 lesson outlines.
Some schools/organizations are unable to create opportunities to follow up in person but I am always available via Instagram or email to continue the conversation (answer questions or provide suggestion/s).Having provided this direct link for over 25years I am well versed in dealing effectively and appropriately with any and all communications whether that be individually,with a school,company or health services.