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5 Minutes

Wed, 2008-10-08 18:27

The other day I was in Quebec City and I was speaking at the International Camping Congress. Now I have spoken for years to many different groups. Some audiences in excess of 3000 people. I have shared the stage with a Kennedy, Movie Starts, Best Selling Authors, Olympic Athletes, Television personalities and even a couple of Governors, Premiers and even two Prime Ministers. I love my job and I am honoured to be asked to speak each and every time.

This speech that I did at the conference was perhaps one of my most fulfilling. I was proud of myself after I had finished! Here’s the thing, I was given only 5 minutes to speak! Now as a speaker that seems sort of funny. I am used to having at least 60 minutes to get a powerful message across to my audience. So I was challenged with such a short time. It was also a group of my peers. People that I respect SO much. So for the first time in a long time I was nervous.

I wasn’t sure what I would say until I got up on stage in front of the microphone. It hit me just moments before I spoke. I told my audience of close to 700 that I didn’t have enough time to tell them anything useful because I only had 5 minutes. If I had more time I said I would tell them about the lessons I have learned from my days as a camper, CIT, counsellor and camp director and owner. I then told 5 very short stories and the powerful lessons I learned from each of them. Each time saying I wish I had more time to tell them that story.

When it was done I was honoured to receive a warm round of applause. I had actually spoken for about 10 minutes. Later that evening a man who is one of the most respected in all of camping Mr. Jack Pearse took the time to find me and let me know that I had done a superb job and that he had learned from my short speech. I was at a loss for words. All I could muster up was a “thank you”.

I have done more “important” speeches to larger groups and not felt nearly as satisfied after that 5 minutes on stage. Here’s what I learned, you don’t need hours of time to make a point. Sometimes we only need a be a few minutes to say thank you or to support a friend or even impart some wisdom, no matter how insignificant it may be upon a group of leaders. Today I am happy. Thank you to all those who helped make the International Camping Congress such a success, and thank you for only giving me 5 minutes!

Here’s today’s question… Please take a the some time to write the question in your journals, answer it and share your thoughts here on the STUpendous BLOG!

“If you could impart some wisdom to friend, colleague or family member and you only had 5 minutes what would you say?”

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  • Stu Speaks

    Students were very engaged, enthusiastic and excited. Stu is hilarious…seriously. “Humour is never a bad thing” said one student.

    ~Annalisa Varano - Vice Principal - St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    They say a great presenter “leaves them wanting more”. Well, we loved your presentation and the entire team asked me when you will be back! You are truly STUpendous!

    ~Nancy Klensch - Founder of Summit Kids
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is an energetic, entertaining and dynamic presenter. He captures is audiences’ attention and keeps the room engaged for the entire presentation! His stories in his presentation captures everyone at different points, even the teachers!

    ~Sara Meaney - Cobourg Collegiate Institute
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was great! Staff and students felt it really broke the anxiety in the building and we even got cupcakes today from one of the students.

    ~Carrie Rowlandson - William Aberhart High School, Calgary Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was fantastic. There is nothing better than seeing 600 adolescents laughing their heads off. He delivers a terrific message and has the entire audience engaged, thinking, listening and most importantly laughing within seconds, and he keeps it going for over an hour. Thanks again on behalf of the Shores!!

    ~Doug Woods - Vice Principal, Nantyr Shores Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu’s speech did exactly what I hoped it would do when I tried to bring him in: it brought the school together for a good laugh while empowering the student body to be the change they wish to see in their classroom. I feel he hit this goal perfectly.

    ~Steven Fotheringham - Oakville Trafalgar High School
  • Stu Speaks

    I really liked how the speech really just seemed like Stu was telling us funny stories, but he always related it back to the overall message. It didn’t sound like a speech at all, it was as if he was just talking to the crowd. I would say that he is excellent in connecting with the audience and keeping them entertained. There was not a two minute period in Stu’s speech were nobody was laughing. He kept us amused throughout the entire presentation. I thought he was perfect.

    ~James Palloto
  • Stu Speaks

    I would highly recommend Stu, his engaging personality was a real hook for the students and his messages were ones that many of them could identify with. The humour was great and the students shared that they enjoyed the presentation.

    ~Teresa Fowler - W.H. Croxford High School, Airdrie, Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is personable. Students are willing to listen to him. They enjoy listening to him. He has a message, but he is also entertaining. He is fun to listen to and students don’t feel talked down to or preached at.

    ~Tanya Lacey - McKinnon Park Secondary School, Caledonia, ON
  • Stu Speaks

    I was at the OCA conference on May 6th, and I just wanted to thank you on being such a wicked keynote… you definitely put me back in the camp mindset and reminded me of what’s truly important about the up-coming summer. Once again, a job very well done.

    ~Emily Summers
  • Stu Speaks

    The students really enjoyed Stu’s humour and low-key but critical message about getting involved and getting the most out of their High School experience. I would recommend Stu as a speaker who relates well to students, is funny, and gets the message out without preaching.

    Thank you,

    ~Lynn Toye