Motivational Speakers for Schools | Luke Kennedy | Emerald
Back to Emerald!!!
It's the third time I've been invited there to be guest speaker, and every time, I have a great visit and receive some beautiful messages from the people there.
This trip was planned many months ago, and it was for a full day with over 500 teachers at the Emerald educators' conference. I was asked to hold my keynote for the 500 teachers, and then two reducing stress workshops for two smaller groups afterwards.
In the past, visiting Emerald was organised by a man who has become a really good friend of mine, Mick Roach. I was first invited by him early last year to speak at a Men of league event he put on, and then at the school where he was principal, St Brigid's primary school, for the students, teachers, then parents.
I've got to meet some beautiful people along my speaking journey, and this man is one of the best. His communication with the students, and obvious mutual respect, really makes me smile. The way he is with his own kids as well, is something special. When I'm a dad, I want to spend a few weeks with him first and sit down with a pen and pad and soak up all his secrets.
Late last year, he invited me back again to hold a full staff PD day, and this was one of the highlights of my year!!!
He heard I was coming back to be guest speakers for teachers conference this year, so while I was in town, he wanted me back to speak to his students, staff, and parents again.
I was pumped for the visit already, but now even more so because I got to spend some time with a bloody good bloke.
The week before the visit, my main man Mick also told me he wanted me over for dinner (maybe I should take my pen and pad!), and I happily accepted the invite.
So this trip looked like...
Dinner with conference peeps
Guest speakers for events to 500 teachers
Two reducing stress and anxiety workshops
Dinner at Mick's
Motivational speakers for schools at Emerald state high school for Yr 12
Teacher session at St Brigid's Primary school
Parent mental health event at St Brigid's Primary school
Two Motivational speakers for kids at St Brigid's Primary school
Arriving in Emerald on the Sunday night, I went out for dinner with the organisers of the conference, and then headed to my room for a good snooze.
Being guest speakers for events, I like to have a good sleep before, because a full day of speaking really takes it out of you. Waking early the next morning, I ventured into town for my regular vegan food hunt. I settled on some pre made food from Woolies, and returned to my room to chill and listen to some beats.
I packed my suitcase with a load of my books, Stabbed Ego (Grab yours here), and walked to the event which was 3 min away.
The event was already underway with other speakers, so I chilled out in the office and waited be taken to set up my slides and get my Mic on.
A young man who was a year 12 student at Emerald state high school was there to help out with all the tech stuff. His confidence and know how really impressed me.
After getting MiCed up, the storm of teachers came rolling in. The energy of 500 people entering the same room is really electric. I like to close my eyes and feel it.
I then met a lady who was going to intro me, and I stood next to her as we were close to rocking and rolling.
While she was introducing me, she told the audience (and myself) the story of how it came about that I was there on that stage about to speak. I get a load of enquires, and to be honest, I rarely find out where they came from (my attention to detail at it's best again), but as she was introducing me, she mentioned a name I knew very well. Mick Roach was again the man that had my back. About 12 month previous, he was with this lady at an event and said any time you're in need of a speaker, you MUST get Luke Kennedy in. I smiled on stage hearing this, and couldn't wait to thank him again for being a great friend and always backing me up.
Time to focus!
It was game on, and for the next hour, I delivered my keynote motivational speakers for events presentation. The teachers nodded, laughed, and were completely engaged the whole way through.
Hearing 500 people clapping for you at the end of telling your story is such a spin out (how'd I get here???).
I didn't have time to soak it all up, because my workshop was due to start in 5 min and I had to get to the library to set up!
A quick bathroom stop on the way, and then with a push of my USB into the waiting laptop (in the library not bathroom), I was ready to go.
Some teachers came up to me beforehand to thank me for my presentation and ask when they can grab a copy of my book. I told them I'd be selling them during the lunch break. I had my suitcase with me that was jam packed with my book, Stabbed Ego.
I then started my presentation, and for an hour, I was getting deep with a room full of eager and enthusiastic teachers. I was approached by a heap of them afterwards, and one gentleman said
"I usually don't like coming to these things but your talk and workshop was bloody great!"
How good is that :-)
We had a 40 min break for lunch, though I couldn't eat much as there was a hall full of people wanting to grab a copy of my book, Stabbed Ego. Selling books after my guest speakers for schools talks, is always a fun experience. I mean it's great getting the book out there, but I also get to have a quick chat with each person and hear what they got out of the talk, and some even tell me similar issues they're facing themselves or a family member.
Something that made me laugh was that one guy pulled me aside...
"I'm actually playing the wing man here, and my friend asked if you could sign her book and put your phone number in it."
I laughed and thought he was mucking around so I just signed it. He looked at me as if I had done something wrong, so I realised he was being serious.
I didn't know what to do, so just put my email in it hahaha.
I had a quick feed, then held my last workshop for the day. Afterwards even more teachers came up to thank me and grab a copy of the book. I had to turn a heap away because unfortunately I ran out of copies to sell. I suppose I should've brought two suitcases.
I sat down on the ground at the back of the hall to listen to the final keynote speaker of the day, Caroline McCarty from 4 Dimensions, and was loving it! She was funny, deep, engaging, and knew her shit. I actually met her the night before at the dinner, and we got along. We shared stories of the positive experiences from traveling around the country speaking, and laughed at our desire to be left alone after a big day of being guest speakers for events.
The day was a massive success, and I got to connect with some unbelievably beautiful people.
I was also totally buggered!
I dragged my empty suitcase back to my room, jumped in the shower and collapsed on the bed to try get some shut eye before dinner at Mick Roach's.
I got a solid hour in which was life saving, had another shower, and headed to Mick's for dinner.
I arrived at his beautiful home, and he came outside to welcome me. I hadn't seen him for a few months (we caught up earlier this year in Brisbane) so it was great to get a big bro hug from him.
I walked inside, and noticed his beautiful wife and one of his two son's sitting on the floor playing with toys. You could feel real love in that home, and I also felt welcome straight away (should've brought the pen and pad).
Mick was starting on dinner, and again, having my back, he was preparing a vegan meal while I sat and chatted with his wife and then jumped on the floor to play cars with his young son. His son was a reflection of his parents, and I smiled listening to his calm and articulate voice talk about his cars and ask me some questions.
Dinner was ready so we sat at the table and then Mick asked his son to start off the dinner talk. Last year when visiting Emerald, I held my reducing stress workshop and I speak about the importance of a dinner talk. The talk is asking everyone at the table what they're grateful for, and then the highlight of their day. Mick has been doing it with his family, the school kids when they're on camps, and wherever else he finds himself for dinner. He tells me some beautiful stories that this little task has brought into his, and others lives.
After hearing his son's gratitude and highlight, we then took turns around the table and told ours. That's life at it's best right there!
Dinner was perfect, but even better was the fulfilling energy from the people sitting next to me at the table.
After dinner Mick gave me a lift home and I passed out as soon as my head reached the pillow.
Next morning was chilled, I took an hour to do my yoga, then walked the 3 minutes to Emerald state high school to deliver my motivational speakers for students presentation for year 12.
Year 12 is such a crucial year, as these guys are about to head out into the big and beautiful (sometimes scary) world. I dived deep into the talk, and afterwards, I was chatting with the school chaplain (absolute legend), but was then approached by a student who wanted to chat to me.
It blew me away, because this very same young lady, I noticed most out of the whole audience during my talk. I nodded at her and smiled before my talk, because like I've said in other posts, I'm pretty sensitive to energies, and could feel that she was very deep and had been through her own heavy journey.
I'm so glad this special young lady came back to speak to me, because when she opened up about her story, I could then chat openly about my further battles and how to get through them. The chat with her was another big highlight, and we gave each other an energy filled hug and I told her how special she was. With tears in her eyes, she thanked me and walked out of the room.
Jamie... don't ever doubt how unique and special you are.
The chaplain who overheard some of the conversation came over with the brightest smile on his face and he also gave me an energy filled hug.
How good is life.
The remainder of the trip was non stop...
Sessions, food, and inspirational chats with some cool people (and plenty of laughs with my homie Mick).
I think I've mentioned it in other posts about my low blood pressure and sugar levels. I've gotta keep my food up especially when speaking because in the past, there's been times where I've actually blacked out and fainted. Luckily it's never happened while speaking, however at the parent evening at St Brigid's I got really close!
It's really been a blockbuster few weeks speaking all over the country, and being non stop in Emerald, my food prep wasn't the best.
While I was speaking at the parent evening, about 70 min into my 90 min talk, I felt really dizzy, light headed, and started seeing blurred stars. Never one to want to cause a stir, luckily for me, there was a table a couple meters away that was near where I was speaking. I reached for the table, hoping it would hold me, sat on the edge, and hoped sitting down would bring some feeling back. Nobody noticed a thing as I sat on the table and continued speaking. Little did they know, I was a couple of seconds from blacking out!
I stayed seated for the remainder of the talk, and it was actually really good to be down on their level and treat it more like a convo. I think I'll utilise the seated position a lot more now. I like to sit with the primary students, but had never done so with the adults. Being forced to was a bit of a blessing, because I felt a stronger connection.
The next day, I was dropped off at the airport and finally had some time to get back to all the emails I had received from the teachers, parents, and students while I was there.
I love that part x
Do you have a group of kids that need a push in the right direction? Let Luke inspire your kids.