Am I Smarter than a 9th Grader?

SmarterOwl_opt150On Monday I gave a talk to two of the local high schools during their district’s Freshman Career Day.

Normally, I am excited before a talk. Sometimes a little nervous, but for some reason, I was more nervous than usual and this was merely a bunch of 14 and 15 year olds for about 20 minutes each. I mean, how hard was this going to be…really?

But there I was the night before wondering, “Was  my message going to resonate with them?”

“Were they just going to look down and start working their thumbs on their screens like crazy?”

“Was I going to be able to grab them and captivate them and motivate them to care about something, …anything?!”

These are 9th graders. I’m an old fart at 46 (at least to my kids…).

As I caught myself psyching myself out, I tried to think of how I coach my clients in this situation. Speaking is only 1/3 content. The rest is comfort and connectivity. I had rewritten the talk to relate better to a young adult so all I had to do was go and rock their world. Stop focusing on what could possibly go wrong and go inspire these kids! (It’s like getting up to bat and not wanting to strike out, so you become tentative and more than likely, strike out…)

Monday arrived and I was ready.

“Mike hooked our kids from his first word, sparking their interest, inviting them to seize the day, step out of their comfort zone and take control of their future”
Jessica H., Event Organizer and Community Placement Specialist.

Still not sure I’m smarter than a 9th grader, but I sure as hell woke some of them up! Enjoy the article below.

ARTICLE: Career Fair gets 9th graders thinking early about their future


Leave a Reply