Back to school again

Here is Hazel pummeling my briefcase.

Here is Hazel pummeling my briefcase.

Where is my briefcase? What should I wear? Who barfed on my stuff?

All good questions.

My corporate training gig (teaching a 6 week class in public speaking) starts next week. I always look forward to those.

Prepping for it took me back to my working days.

Yes, I bought new shoes. (Always necessary for the first day of anything!) Should I get a new outfit? Hmmmm.

I had to find my briefcase. I use that word loosely as I have a canvas one from Lands’ End. I used it for much of my career. I had a leather one but it was heavy. I’m into healthy back stuff that rather than prestige.

There were remnants of cat hair on it. (How did that happen? Which cat is it? It’s been stored on a shelf for a few years.) Note to self – store in plastic.

The session is one I’ve done before. I looked for my old notes. They were all there gathered in a manner that only I could understand.

There were mentoring notes on former students. Aww, good times.

I could never teach in a traditional school but I enjoy corporate training. People are there because they want to be or they need to be for their job. Either way works for me.

It’s challenging. You need to be grounded in your subject. Adults want answers. They need to know that it’s worth their time.

It’s inspiring. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the lightbulb go on. There is a private personal evaluation prior to the class. The participants review it again at the end of the six weeks to see how far they have come. Lots of smiles! Snoopy dance!

There is also a vote for “most improved.” Everyone improves but some people make huge strides (perhaps they had farther to go).

I’ve never had a session where people didn’t improve. It is public speaking so occasionally a student will hope they never need it (but they will).

It’s rewarding for the trainers too. Win-win!

Note to self: Keep the cats off of the briefcase!





40 thoughts on “Back to school again

  1. Kate I cringe in my boots if I have to speak in front of an audience. But I tell my daughter to practice now while she is young as she also has the shy gene. I tell her to be prepared and things always run smoother. Some people can wing it though and I always envied them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I didn’t know that you were so comfortable in a corporate teaching setting, Kate. I’m glad you have the opportunity to continue in areas of professional development–yours, and your students. Maybe some cat stories as icebreakers will work!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was in corporate training for many years before I generalized in Human Resources. I both instructed employees and contracted trainers. It was a very interesting job. My last stint at that company was a management assessment program that put good employees through a series of situational tests to see if they had managerial skills (and whether they would enjoy it).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your class sounds like a lot of fun. I imagine you’re a great teacher. If I’m prepared, I do like public speaking. As you say, you get energy from the group. I’m probably more shy at a party.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks. It takes building confidence and you do that by practice and seeking more frequent opportunities to speak. I had to speak for work in various positions (I even did very large floral design presentations when I worked in that field). It gets comfortable and easy.


  4. Oh, nothing more rewarding than teaching people who really do want to learn. I loved teaching dance classes to adults, because they actually a) wanted to get it right, and b) didn’t waste your time because it was also their money.

    Although there was always an attention-seeking male who thought he was more hilarious than the instructor…which was, of course, impossible. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • My husband and I took dancing classes twice. He has two left feet and dances to a different drummer but it was a lot of fun. Everyone was willing to do anything the instructor said (and then there was a beer afterward).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kate – I still remember the situation I’m about to explain because it feels like it just happened yesterday. This situation made such an impression on me. Put company was coordinating a corporate meeting and all the department heads were giving updates about their job and departments. My boss was away on vacation and I was elected to do the talk on her behalf. I remember standing there extremely nervous. It was so bad that my legs were trembling and the notes I was holding were shaking in my hand like a level 2000 earthquake hit the earth. What was worse is when I kept stopping and apologizing to the group for my behavior. But then you, Kate Crimmins, told me that I was doing a good job and to keep going. And I did. You truly made me feel better at that moment. A few weeks later I received a star for a job well done. You nominated me for that. Forward a few years later and I decided I was going to take your speaking class at work. I’m so glad I did. I learned so much, and although I still get nervous getting in front of a group, I have a better appreciation and know how to control my emotions. You were a great teacher and I thank you for that. If I could take the class again I definitely would. Can’t wait to see you again.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m guessing that your class would be an enjoyable way to learn a few pointers about speaking in public. I entered the corporate world without having any solid background in such things, and when called upon to deliver my first public speaking engagement within that world, I was over-prepared, ridiculously nervous, and utterly lacking in confidence. Eventually I became a bit more comfortable (mostly by using humor to deflect my discomfort). Of course, you have to know your audience. Misplaced humor can be quickly followed by the sound of crickets. That deafening silence that hangs in the air and grows larger with each passing second. I say it never hurts to brush up on your public speaking skills. Heck, it might even be fun! Good luck. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • That would be a riot. I used to teach communication sessions with one of my friends and it was always fun. Left to our devices we came up with fun ways of making points. You and I would definitely be dangerous together.

      Liked by 1 person

Don't be shy, I'd love to hear what you're thinking!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s