3 Big Takeaways From Giving a Talk at My Alma Mater

On Monday I got the opportunity to give a talk to marketing students at my alma mater, Bob Jones University. Here are 3 insights I jotted down immediately after.

I had pre-game butterflies and it felt so good

This caught me by surprise. I talk/present/speak publicly for a living, and am typically confronted with boardrooms full of skeptical decision makers instead of a friendly class of college students. It may have been a new environment, or just the genuine excitement I felt leading up to the class. Regardless, the feeling of butterflies I once experienced before a big game returned moments before the class started and I loved it. In a strange and probably sick way, I crave and thrive on the anxiety, pressure, and opportunity that builds up in these pre-performance moments. Challenging myself in a new setting was a great opportunity to further refine my skills. I need to do that more often.

Q&A is awesome

I can see why the King of Q&A loves it. Makes me appreciate the shooooww
I can see why the King of Q&A loves it. Makes me appreciate the shooooww

My gracious host Dr. Tony Miller asked me if we could scrap the original plan for a monologue on marketing strategies and blah blah blah… and I’m so glad he did. Having a Q&A session I was completely unprepared for was a great experience. There is no way to prepare pre-packaged or boiler plate answers for a live Q&A session. In fact, there is no time for anything to be delivered except the raw truth.

Additionally, Q&A creates fresh and unique content simply by its nature. There is no agenda that I’m trying to establish, so we talk about whatever the audience may want to discuss. Very genuine and engaging from my perspective.

I love my work

Thx to Sarah for sitting through my ramblings and snapping some pix!
Photo Cred: The Real MVP, aka my wife Sarah

After the class, I continued to marvel about how grateful I am to be doing what I am. I am blessed to pursue a dream I’ve had for years now, and am beginning to get to share that dream with others. That’s invaluable to me.

The second part of this is that I am really motivated to help other people find work that is both meaningful and impactful for their lives. Part of that is through writing and speaking like I am doing/did in this post and for that class. Finding out how to do this further is something I need to spend time brainstorming (TELL ME YOUR IDEAS!). Seeing the engagement that students had when we were talking, and their graciousness to stay after and chat was really humbling and exciting for me. This is the kind of stuff that matters, and I need to do it more often.

The opportunity to grow and learn by talking to folks who are at different stages than I am is always refreshing and impactful for me. I’m very grateful for the students sharing their thoughts with me, and letting me share mine in return. Thanks again to the good Doctor Tony Miller for the invite. I really enjoyed it.

Note To Self: I didn’t have business cards. Surprisingly, several folks ask for them. Bring some next time.

4 thoughts on “3 Big Takeaways From Giving a Talk at My Alma Mater

  1. “The second part of this is that I am really motivated to help other people find work that is both meaningful and impactful for their lives.”

    I’ll never forget your kindly taking the time to have a coffee at Starbucks and encourage me in the throes of my employment-seeking despair! Glad you can pass along more motivation and encouragement.

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