Victorian Schools - Speaker Tour
My first tour of the year, and it was one I was incredibly excited about!
There’s endless hours of planning that goes into a tour. I have to liaise with schools, understand locations, specific angles, or topics, each school would like me to focus on, and then put it all together into a week.
I’m good as a motivational speakers for schools, guest speaker for events, but.... I’m not the best with my geography, so lucky google maps has my back.
I was leaving home (Sydney) on the Monday, and I thought it be best to drive. I had a morning talk on the Tuesday booked in at Rutherglen Primary YRS 3-6, and a couple of other talks at the top of Victoria the same day and evening, so I wanted to break the drive up by staying the Monday night in Rutherglen. The itinerary looked something like this…
Leave Sydney 1PM
5 hours 35 min drive to Rutherglen
Staying overnight in Rutherglen.
2 min drive to first talk
Tue School 1 – Guest Speaker Victoria, Rutherglen Primary (YRS 3-6) 200 students 9:30 AM
2 hour drive to second talk.
Tue School 2 – School Speakers Victoria, Echuca Twin Rivers (YRS 3-6) 70 students 2:15 PM
2 hours 20 min drive to third talk.
Tue School 3 – Motivational Speaker at St Joseph’s Primary, Beechworth (Parent & Student Evening) 6:30 PM
2 hours 50 min drive to accommodation at Gisborne
20 min drive to School 1
Wed School 1 – Speaker at Melton West Primary (YRS 5-6), 9 AM 185 students.
4 min drive to second talk
Wed School 2 – Guest Speaker for Coburn Primary (YRS 5-6), 10:30 AM start 170 Students.
45 min drive to accommodation, Best Western 14 The Link, Morang, 3082.
1 hour 45 drive to School 1
Thu School 1 – Inspiring schools speakers, Rushworth P-12 (YRS7-9), 9 AM
1 hour 45 drive to School 2
Thu School 2 – Motivational Speakers, The Lakes South Morang (YRS 7,8,9) 1:30 PM
50 min drive to Accommodation, The Waverley International Hotel.
6 min drive to school 1
Fri School 1 – Guest Speaker Melbourne, Burwood Heights Primary (YRS 4-6) 150 students 9 AM
15 min drive to school 2
Fri School 2 – Melbourne Motivational Speakers, Lyndale Secondary College 180 students 10:30 AM
So…. That was the trip planned.
The morning of the trip, I realized my car was due for a service – my attention to detail isn’t the best. I like to convince myself it’s because I’m a big picture type guy and small details get in the way of that. I suppose driving to Melbourne in a car that needs a service isn’t really a small detail though.
Anyways… a quick call to the mechanic and he said could get it done in time.
After picking my car up a few hours later I headed home to pack the car.
I’m a bit of a routine type of guy so I had to pack a few crucial items…
Ninja Bullet (my important shakes)
Pillow (would die without)
Laptops with USB’s, Powerpoint Pointer, and cords that will go into any schools projector (crazy how many different output cords are needed because of different schools)
And then, of course, my clothes.
Packing the car, I was good to go.
Driving out of the suburbs and onto the highway, I chucked on my favourite podcast at the moment, The MFCEO.
After a few hours of cruising and having enough of the podcast, I turned it off and sat in silence. The sun starting to set, I put the window down, and felt the cool air. I had an ultimate sense of fulfillment and gratitude. Smiling as I cruised along, I thought back over the last 10 years of my life.
Small moments of sadness as I remembered some people who were no longer in my life, were replaced with a thanks that I’m still here. Not only am I still here, but I’m now helping people out of that life that took away a lot of my friends.
When my mind is rested and still, I come up with ideas. Ideas are from beyond thought, so I rest my mind as much as possible to help with my creativity. An idea shot into my mind as I cruised along. The idea was about a new topic for a video. I wanted to show how I became a motivational speaker, but then relate it back to the listener and any ideas that they may be holding back from. It’s a great clip (I think so haha) so check it out HERE.
Arriving at my motel at around 7 PM, I chilled out in preparation for a huge day ahead of speaking and driving. Waking at 5 AM (as I always do), I went through my regular routine before a day of speaking. I showered while rehearsing my opening line, checked over slides to ensure all in order, batteries in presentation pointer, ironed clothes, put in my contact lenses, and then good to go!
I like to get to wherever I’m speaking no later than half an hour early (does that make sense? Hahaha) to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Arriving at Rutherglen Primary, I walked through the school gates and had a look at some of the students. A lot of them were tiny, and my doubtful thoughts started to kick in.
They’re just babies. Your stories are a bit heavy for them…. Will they get it?
Relax, you’ve done this a heap of times. It works! It changes lives. Besides, the younger they are, the better! If we can speak to them and get in their fresh young mind, then it’s planted the seed. I tried to reason.
I do have a few heavy stories, though I PG them a little for the younger ones. I wrote a blog about the importance and impact of the stories HERE.
Standing at the front of the library, I watched as the kids walked in. For the next 50 minutes I spoke, interacted, and impacted the students. Afterwards we got some cool photos and received some incredible messages from parents. Not long after I received this message on Facebook from Mel, a teacher at St Mary's Rutherglen.
I Just wanted to let you know that throughout many of our parent teacher interviews today, conversation came up about you and talking to our kids at St Mary's Rutherglen yesterday. The kids have gone home and obviously been so impacted by your message that they have spent a lot of time talking with their parents. One father said that he sat with his daughter for over an hour talking, writing about it and drawing. Thank you so much for the impact that you have had."
That right there is what it's all about!
I then had a big drive to Echuca for a primary school before heading to Beechworth for an evening Parent & Student talk.
After a big day of driving and speaking, admittedly by the time I got to Beechworth, I was pretty wrecked. Digging deep though, I walked into the school and met an angel.
The organiser, Katherine Hancock (Kitty) was incredibly welcoming, and you could feel from the way she spoke, how much she cared for the people in her community.
One of the best things about traveling around as a motivational speakers for schools, is that obviously I get to change lives, but also meet some magical people. Kitty was one of those magical people.
She was a little concerned that no one would come. There was a couple of things going on in her small town, so wasn’t sure of the numbers.
We were due to start at 6:30 PM, and at 6:20 there was no one…
Early night for me?
Soon, one kid walked in, no parent. Great, at least we have one. Then his mum walked in, and sister. We’re up to 3!!
By 6:30 majority of the seats were filled. I could see ultimate relief on Kitty's face.
The talk went incredibly well! Some insightful questions at the end by kids, parents, and teachers. I finished the night with a book signing and more questions. I arrived a little drained from all the driving, I left though totally pumped! I gave Kitty a huge hug and thanked her for having me.
Later, this is what Kitty had to say...
"We had Luke at our school for our grade 4/5/6 children and their parents. Luke presented an honest account of his life and how he managed to turn this around, even after many setbacks. While our children in Beechworth have fairly sheltered lives there were many great messages for our children. I had very good feedback from the parents. I only wish I had of opened up the night to the wider community. An excellent true and raw account of a life changed for the better with positive self talk. Three parent messages I received after the presentation were: "It was great, Eli keeps talking about it." Parent "I wish I had of brought my older daughters" Parent "Great job. Tonight was great." Parent "Thank you so much, a great night, I will be passing Luke's name onto my sons secondary school." Parent
Luke thank you so much. I will look at getting you again for the community of Beechworth."
The drive to my accommodation was long… it took 3 hours, and after the buzz of the evening session wore off, I was wrecked! Reaching my hotel, I passed straight out.