I spent the next year getting to as many Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis groups I could find. It usually mean two or three every week. My two presentations were “Incubators Are Not For Chickens” and “Mixing It UP!”
But I found little satisfaction in talking to groups who didn’t take action. Most of the service organization members were satisfied with the status quo of their businesses and didn’t seem to want to make the time to help others. It could have been because of a lack time or maybe they didn’t realize what they could do and how much of a difference it would have made for a start up company to have a mentor help guide them.
Then one day I was invited to talk with a group called Experience Unlimited. The members were laid off from corporate jobs and typically in mid to upper level management.
Since I had personally been laid off in 1985 from a sales position after 8 1/2 years of dedicating myself to the position, I could relate all too well to the group members.
I put a new presentation together and called it “Create Your Own Reality – The Bad News is You Have No Job, The Good News is You can do Anything You Want!”
It was well received, even though I was very nervous speaking to upper management individuals and acting like I had something special to offer them. Then one day after another year of speaking at two or three outplacement facilities every month, a Japanese man standing on the side lines waited until everyone else had left.
He bowed slightly and said “That was better than going to church, thank you.” and then turned and walked away.
After all the challenges and all the difficulties of trying to perfect my presentations, that one statement was the one best comment that changed my impression of public speaking forever.