In the 11th grade, Miss Hilda Horn, my speech teacher, asked us to prepare a speech for presentation for the next day’s class. When giving out the assignment, she specifically stared at me in my seat in the back of the classroom.
Why was I in a speech class in the first place? Someone told me it was easy and I liked to talk. Sounded like a perfect match.
The next day I gave a speech on How to prepare a hot dog. Everybody laughed. It was funny. It was meant to be funny. But Miss Horn, in that voice that says, “You have crossed the line,” sternly requested that I stay after class. It would be just the two of us. That was not a comforting thought.
Miss Horn was and remains my favorite teacher. She was stern in a friendly way. Physically, she was a large woman and she could be imposing. But, she liked me. She thought I had talent. After that class she told me so. She suggested that I could make a difference in the world, if I applied myself. Exercised my talents. She made me think. She planted seeds in my head that sprouted and grew. She inspired me. Two weeks later, I was writing for the school newspaper.
Today, I love speaking before an audience. I connect, inspire, motivate and entertain.
As my life has unfolded, as an actor, writer, corporate exec, 30-year business owner, athlete, Dad, husband, son, uncle, godfather, and friend to many, the stories of my life are lodged into my head. When I stand in front of an audience I partner with them, taking them for a ride. Whether it’s The Film Of MY Life (Inspirational), The Moments of our Lives, (Inspirational), I Never Had an Entourage (Educators), The Billion Dollar Man, (Fundraising), Diversity, Access and Inclusion and Leading through Transition with Dr. joyce gillie gossom, I’ve been lucky. I get to do what I love and I’m good at it. Thank you, Miss Horn.