There I was, Thursday evening, April 7th, standing in front of a class of students at my old school, Temple University, speaking about speaking – Public Speaking, to be exact. No, I won’t be adding “Professor” to my name any time soon! I was invited by my friend Rev. Michael Robinson to speak to his “New Opportunities Workshop Professional Development Class” at Temple. Mike, whom I met, incidentally, at Radio-One’s “Be Beautiful” expo last year, is Director, Community Outreach and Hiring at Temple’s Office of Human Resources. He’s also Pastor of Greater Enon Missionary Baptist Church, located at 1854 N. 18th Street in North Philadelphia and an international motivational speaker, Career Development Specialist, Corporate Leadership Trainer, Relationship Counselor and Community Leader in addition to being an Ordained Clergyman. Whew – quite an accomplished individual! But I digress – Mike invited me, along with Ms. Rhonda Young of IBM Corporation, who is a member of Toastmasters International; to speak to his class to (in his words) impart practical public speaking tips to help the participants become more effective communicators in their business meetings and interviews with employers. Wow! (Urkel voice) Can I do that? Actually, this is my second year speaking to his class. I eagerly accepted the invitation to help in his mission to help unemployed and under-employed people achieve their dreams. About 25 students were present.
Rhonda and I each spoke to the whole class, then Mike divided them into two groups with Rhonda and I each leading one group; listening to each students’ “elevator pitch,” then giving tips and helping them to adjust their approaches to be more effective. The students were all highly motivated and of various ages and fields of interest. It was challenging, but also rewarding. I think I learned as much as they did!
With Temple and its surrounding community at odds over the school’s proposed stadium and other expansion plans (Temple Town?), maybe more people should know about what Mike Robinson is doing. This is what’s called giving back! Kudos to Rev. Michael Robinson and Temple for helping to improve lives!