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I have a secret to tell you

One of the activities I volunteer my time for is serving on the board at my daughter's school to help raise funds for arts education. This isn't something that the Department of Education prioritizes (yep, even in New York City), so it's up to individual schools to find the funds. The silver lining is that we get to choose the programming. This past week, to close out Women's History Month, we hosted two assemblies and invited the wonderfully talented Jenny DiNoia to talk to the kids about her journey touring the world as Elphaba from the hit musical 'Wicked.' My dear friend and fellow board member, Kristen Gorski-Wergeles, who was also in the original cast of 'Wicked,' and I hosted the event. (And yes, I do feel giddy and spoiled being surrounded by all these talented humans☺️).

Wicked, the musical
Jenny DiNoia as Elphaba from the musical 'Wicked'

And I have to say, there’s no better training for a speaker than finding ways to captivate an auditorium full of middle schoolers, then switching gears to engage K-2nd graders.

At one point, I sat at the edge of the stage with Kristen and invited all the younger kids to lean in because we had a secret to tell them. All 100+ kids leaned forward at the same time, eyes sparkling with curiosity. It was heartwarming magic. And once Jenny started singing, she had them all in the palm of her hand.

So, what does this have to do with you?

Well, it got me thinking about how you are switching gears when you are asked to present the exact same material to different audiences, because the way you engage these audiences will be completely different no matter how similar you think they are. Whether you're presenting to a room of seasoned professionals or sharing a story with eager young minds, the key lies in understanding your audience, being adaptable, and connecting with them where they are.

There's a unique opportunity for every presentation and every audience. It's about finding that spark that resonates, much like the incredible magic that filled the room when Jenny sang. So next time you're preparing to speak, remember the middle schoolers and the kindergarteners: the same message can inspire, educate, and captivate, but how you deliver it makes all the difference.

P.S: If you want to be a more confident and credible speaker and you are looking for a brave and supportive community to grow, please check out the Grundei Coaching Network!


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