How do you take 400+ high school kids and make them feel like a million bucks by doing good? The answer was found in Wyoming where I was a motivational speaker for the FBLA — Future Business Leaders of America. (It’s a youth group on steroids.)
Let’s be honest… I don’t love speaking to all youth and high school groups. I don’t love it when the whole school HAS to be there, and the good kids are over-shadowed by the slacker kids in the back. High School audiences can be among the toughest, and to be honest I don’t speak to all groups who call.
But I LOVE speaking to FBLA and similar groups. (FCCLA, DECA, FFA, etc.) These groups have kids who WANT to be there, and have gone to some trouble to make sure they are in the audience. There are no slackers…back row or not. And trust me, it makes a huge difference to motivational speakers like me.
Ok..so back to Wyoming. We had fun. Lots of fun. The group was outstanding, and the quality of the students was first rate.
But my favorite part was related to the Holiday Inn where we all stayed. Before I went on, the students were reminded basically not to trash the hotel, to be respectful and polite, etc.
But when I hit the stage, I told them a story about how to turn that request on it’s head. Right now Holiday Inns give little stars and ribbons to employees who have a positive comment card turned in about them.
I was told earlier that day that these stars are coveted…that some employees work there for YEARS without getting a single star. I had already been responsible for 3 stars that morning, and took the idea to the high school audience.
I challenged them to fill out as many of the comment cards as possible. I dared them to find people doing good and get them a comment card. I challenged them to make the Holiday Inn run OUT of stars. Forget having a difficult group of youth! We would be the SINGLE most appreciative and thankful group ever.
And guess what? We were.
It was a blast and an honor. Thanks FBLA Wyoming! I love it!
PS. Learn about my work as a high school motivational speaker here.