I spoke to a group of college students tonight. My message: “Be a college superhero”

It’s a version of a talk I’ve done several times to various student groups, sharing wisdom I’ve learned from the many amazing students I’ve known over my twenty-one years working in higher education.

Tonight’s audience was a delight, very attentive, engaged, and encouraging. They did their part to make the experience more of a dialogue than a monologue. And I was tired at the end of my 30 minutes.

If I’m not exhausted at the end of a presentation, I know I have not given enough energy to the audience. I read that Tom Peters, the prolific business speaker, said that if you don’t need to take a seat after a speech you have let the audience down.

An effective speech is the transfer of emotion from the speaker to the audience. When you stand before fellow human beings, raise your energy level and give them all you have. Otherwise, why even show up?

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