Chapter 4: The Conversationalist

One of the most important keys to being successful in anything you do in life is having confidence. Whether you believe that you can accomplish it or not, have some self-confidence because you might just get lucky or as Michael Jordan put it, “You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.”  That includes even the most simple things such as conversations.

Being the type of person that I am, when I was in high school I was always the person chosen to speak. Whether it was a group project or otherwise I usually was chosen. However, skipping ahead to the story sometime during my college years I moved to a different state and was asked to speak to a group of high school students. Not a problem right? Well, let me paint the picture.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

As I said before my job that day was to the break the ice with high schoolers. What I did not say earlier is that the second part of my job was to convince them to help out with a particular project.  

When I walked into the building I immediately fell back into the ways of high school living. Memories from my own high school of all the times I walked to class, stopped to talk to someone, or in some cases, ran errands for the office. I took a minute to let all my memories sink in, but then I remembered the real reason I was there.

Upon walking into one the choir practice rooms, I saw pictures of former choir students on the wall, but that’s not what commanded my attention. It was all the trophies and accolades that seemed to beg me to take a glance, so I did. While looking through all the achievements of the group, I was met by the choir director and the student who led the award-winning choir.  They greeted me and walked me towards the choir room and this is where the challenge began.

Let the games begin.

Before me sat students, some looking older and others looking younger. Looking back at that day now I don’t exactly understand why some of them looked older than me.

As the lead student and the choir leader introduced me, it seemed like the high schoolers peered into my very soul as I walked up to speak in front of the large group. 

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The look of the students.

At that moment, I immediately began to think about the next action I should take. I thought to myself, “You’ve been in this situation plenty of times, why are you freezing up now?” I asked myself “should I bow?” “No that’s weird, maybe I should show them my I.D. so that they know I’m not some weirdo.”

In seconds my head filled up with different ideas of how to approach a group of strangers who I was not prepared for. That’s when it came to me. I remembered I was once one of them and that even if I didn’t know the right words all I had to do is look the part, meaning show confidence.

I looked to the left of the group and then to the right. I took a step forward and I asked……

Sometimes in life, you have to go out and just do.  Even if you feel like you might embarrass yourself or mess up you have to at least try. The worst feeling isn’t the part about messing up, but rather the regret of not giving it a try. So show some confidence and a little backbone because you might just win the crowd over.




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