In case you don’t have time to read the whole post, the answer is no.
Most of the readers of this blog are people I know personally. So if you are reading this, you are probably already aware that I started a new job in May. I am still at Leeds, the business school at CU Boulder. But instead of being a regular faculty member (whatever that means), I am now the associate dean for the Leeds undergrad program.
As part of my duties, I helped to welcome our new class of students this week. On Thursday, I spoke to a room full of transfer students. On Friday, I spoke to freshmen and their families under a big tent. We got a perfect Colorado day. Recent heat, rain, and wind all subsided. Whew.
The fearless organizers of the day gave me a 30 minute speaking slot in the tent. What in the world would I talk about for 30 minutes in a tent? If I had slides to project, I could give some useful details about advising or the curriculum or show pictures of the new building. That might take 30 minutes. But just talking? I reframed the event as my tent revival debut. Motivational speaking isn’t my thing, but I guess it was about to become my thing.
Here’s how it landed: I told the stories of two former students, William and Madison. It was a solid 15-20 minutes with no notes. I mostly stayed in the rhythm. There were a few places where I hesitated. I was proud of myself; instead of freaking out in those moments of hesitation, I channeled my inner ringmaster and plowed ahead. I think the no-notes delivery was worth the stumbles.
After the event, I got a REALLY BIG compliment. From the sound guy! He told me I had great cadence! The sound guy! He must hear a lot of speeches.
I told my parents the story. My mother’s reaction:
Was he hitting on you?
Mom is funny. Such a loaded question. Clearly it needed a blog post for me to process it. Should I be flattered? Insulted? I think I’ll just be amused. I hope you are too.
Lol, yay Laura! I would have been so nervous!
Next post- tell us the stories of the students!
I saw this amazing photo on LinkedIn and thought what a great event it must have been for Leeds students and their parents. They are so lucky to have you as their leader!
Would you be able to share your speech with us?!
Best to you,
Thanks, Jen and Christina. There may be a video I can share. Not sure yet. If not, I will do a blog version of the student stories.
Here is the video of my speech. The student government president introduces me at 27:05 and I go until 50:30. Enjoy!