A+ Squash

February 24, 2018

So a couple of weeks ago I get a call (it always starts with a random call lol) and a friend of mine tells me that the organization she mentors with is looking to launch a monthly speaker series that would aim to introduce students to various career paths. Her team was sure they wanted the first speaker in this series  to be someone who could offer a unique perspective by way of an unconventional career path. She thought of me.
I’d be lying if I said I jumped at the idea of speaking to a room full of…well, anyone for that matter. As a producer, I appreciate moving and shaking behind the scenes. Center stage doesn’t necessarily feel like home for me. But before I can respectfully decline the invitation, my friend reminds me that the group is full of 4th-8th grades, many of whom have already expressed an interest in entertainment, and I have the freedom to design the presentation however I want. Silence fills the space between us as I consider my position. If I’m going to be this big time super producer that I say I want to be, then I’ll have to grow into someone who’s comfortable with public speaking, regardless of the audience. Besides, my perspective deserves a platform. Challenge accepted.
I learn that the organization is called A+ Squash and they facilitate a children’s program committed to developing their youth through educational programming, sports, and community service. Cool. So I rack my brain for two weeks trying to come up with the perfect presentation until, literally, the day before I am scheduled to speak, it hits me: this is a group of kids, I produce a kids show, I’ll use The Rap Game as my point of speaking reference….duh! Why do we allow resistance to the most obvious of solutions (maybe that’s another blog post lol).
Presentation day arrives and I’m all set with handouts, speakers for clean audio, and even a projector for video examples. I had practiced my talking points all day and was ready to blow these kids’ minds. So why was I still anxious? I like to reason that such nervousness, despite adequate preparation, is just a reminder that what you’re about to endeavor is important to you. Because once I was introduced and began speaking and connecting with the wide eyes of children who were actually interested in what I had to say….all those nerves went away.
My friend texted me after it was all over and said that the kids really enjoyed my presentation and could not stop talking about it after I’d left. That wasn’t so bad. In fact, I’m really proud of myself for accepting and growing through an uncomfortable challenge.
The lesson: Don’t stress. Relax into your greatness.
Thank you again to the team at A+ Squash! If you’re located in Atlanta and seek a children’s program that is committed to your child’s development, I’d highly recommend checking them out here.