There was a humongous opportunity I took this year! The opportunity to speak at an elementary school in Kirkland, Washington! I was so excited about it! One of the first times in a long time of speaking in person in front of people and not in front of a camera. Especially when children are involved, then I was really looking forward to speaking at the event! Wanted it to be near perfect for the kids.
The topic that the teachers wanted me to focus on talking about was all about acceptance, community, and never dissing your ability. Completed the outline, practiced, and was off to the races! This was also the very first time I have done a keynote event without anyone with me. Normally, I would be accompanied by either my dad or my mom, but on that day, it had to be me; Everyone else was occupied. Population: ONE! Literally!
Was not as bad as I thought it would be. I now want more of it! Check in at the motel, get settled, explore a bit, enjoy some recreational activities, and be ready for the big speaking event the next day! You see, we get this thing called “island fever” here, and I have been waiting for so long to get out and go exploring. Have mentioned many times where adventure became routine for me growing up; Where everything is almost always so different, extravagant, and chaotic; to the point where I have grown tired of the same old thing every day. I wished I stayed in Kirkland a little longer; Just one more day at the very least. I remember being invited to another keynote event that will take place this summer over in Michigan and I hope that I can spend one more day over there before the long trip back home. Here’s hoping at least. I enjoy the adventure!
The elementary school in Kirkland! Did not expect to see so many kids! May have been my youngest audience I have spoken to! Had experience with other children, but they range from middle school, high school, and even college! Sure does feel strange to have a kid be the teacher in front of other kids my age at times, but I am not one to complain.
The experience was magnificent! I could tell that the teachers were and are some of the best teachers in the state because the children were so well behaved in the gymnasium! Sat still, kept quiet for the most part, and paid attention to what I had to share with everyone. One of the things I have done before the event was peek my head out of the curtain behind the stage and see if the kids spot me; I heard them noticing me behind the curtain! Wanted to have a little fun before going up on the stage. Then I went up and delivered a fun informative speech for all to hear! The one thing I did with the kids was saying that children are some of the smartest individuals I have ever worked with and proved it with a little word game. What I did was I said to take the word “disability” and take away the “d”, “i”, and “s” letters and then I pointed the microphone toward the audience and they all yelled: “ABILITY!”
The event was wonderful! Message was all about celebrating all abilities and discoveries. The ability to observe and absorb all kinds of information being presented. Then I had one more thing to say towards the end of the event.
When you fail, fail forward.
Which is one thing I did by mistake. I accidentally lost my footing when going off the stage and comically fell down on my back; I wasn’t hurt though, I fell down and got back up with style; Failing forward! I always say that it’s not about the failure in itself, it’s how you recover from them. Worst case scenario is giving up. That’s why I thought of the three stages that all have separate levels.
Knowing you have made mistakes is hard. Recovering from them is harder. Starting over is the hardest part.
I enjoy putting a light spin on these things; Letting everyone know that it will be okay after making mistakes. Good to start young. Children are the future; all they deserve is guidance.