Going Into a Talking Career By Being Told 'Don't Talk'

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It's amazing I went into the career I did, because certainly there was nothing in my grade school education to prepare me for this. In fact, it discouraged me from speaking. I went to star mount Elementary, public elementary school in Charlotte, North Carolina. And there was a huge, huge premium on not talking, just don't talk on the bathroom, don't talk in the hallway, don't talk at lunch, believe it or not. So we were told not to talk in the classroom unless it was a specific time if the teacher addressed you, so I remember once I was in second grade and Mrs. Smith's class, and she said, okay, class, put your books away, put your pencils away. We're now going to focus on science or whatever the topic was.

And I saw my buddy next to me, didn't hear. He was still reading away writing. I said, Hey, Billy, the teacher said we've got to put our books away and before I could finish She said, Little Timmy, what are you doing? Are you talking? Guess what, here's your punishment. I told you not to talk in class your punishment is you have to write every single word in the spelling book 50 times.

Now I was a little goody two shoes anyway, in class, I was already a pretty quiet kid. But this was like a death set. I could imagine being there. 20 years later, I wouldn't finish writing every single word in the spelling book 50 times. Thankfully, my mother who was a great mom and a great champion of mine, went to the school went to the teacher. This is ridiculous.

All he was doing was telling us ran time to do something else. And she got me a reprieve. I did not have to write every word 50 times. What's the point here? I think the point is you need to be careful, especially with young people. But even if it's an executive in your company or organization, about too much negativity, tell someone Oh, that's a horrible speech is so boring.

You could scar them for life. You could convince people Oh, speaking isn't for me. I shouldn't do that. Fortunately, I didn't let that experience scar me. But I do remember it almost 50 years later. So be careful when you try to snap out someone's interested in speaking presenting, talking.

It can leave scars. Okay, so why do I tell that story? Again, I just try to give people a sense of who I am. A little background. I don't use this story that often. But sometimes when I'm doing a two day workshop with someone they want to go more in depth who I am experiences I have gives them a little more flavor of who I am.

And my general approach to teach people my approach is very positive I stress, here's what you're doing well, let's do more of it. I don't let people just attack themselves. I don't just come in and tell them everything that's wrong or boring. So it's about the general approach of the positive Don't try to stamp out someone's enthusiasm by giving them a lot of criticism.

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