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.