Tickle your funny bone … visit the CBL Presentations website to learn more about the work/pleasure I have been doing since 1986 as a motivational … ooops I mean moodivational speaker.
How CBL Presentations began …I was not the young person in school who won every speech contest. Truthfully, I hated every aspect of the annual assignments. I clearly remember my first 3 years of topics … John Quincy Adams (don't ask), Babe Diderikson (I was inspired) and Fads … now I started to have some fun.
In high school I did have opportunities to speak at assemblies, elections and pep rallies but I always felt as though I was ‘outside of myself' as I did. I felt totally unaware of where I was or what I was doing and never really had a sense of what I was saying at all … except I always got rave reviews for whatever I said or perhaps how I said it. I really could not understand it because when I would be done, I had no clue of what had just happened. Very slowly, these feelings eased … but not much.
In university, I chose to do oral presentations in rhyme and that way I could still cover the content, be creative and also express myself in a prepared way. It worked! At that time I also developed a strong interest in Body language and as a frequent ‘watcher ‘of people' it was a perfect pairing of interests. I soon felt comfortable enough to share my ideas and information with others and went on to speak to various groups in the next 10 years. Again I was somewhat oblivious … I only knew that when I had the chance to get up there and speak, I was confident that I knew enough to be informative and was gutsy enough to make it interesting and entertaining. It worked … and I went on to speak for ‘free' for the next 10 years to close to 200 groups. At the end of each presentation, they would feel great and so would I. At the time, I had no idea that people actually got paid to do this. I also had a chance to hear someone speak on Humour and remember thinking “but, he's not even funny!” Thus, the wheels started to turn and I began thinking that maybe someday I could get paid and maybe I could even try my hand at the Humour thing.
One evening in soring of 1985, I spoke to a sales group from the Mary Kay Cosmetic Corporation. It went over well. I did my thing to great applause and appreciation. I was thanked and tossed a book on Mary Kay and an empty cosmetic case. My first thought was “if you took the time to fill the case, you might be gaining a future customer. I then packed up my stuff and prepared to leave the room. A woman was there waiting to speak to me. She extends her hand and says “Wow. You are one of the best speakers I have ever heard. Is that all they gave you?” I answer, “Yes. Sometimes I get a bottle of wine and sometimes I even get to take a plant off he table for my own.” Acting surprised she says “Really? Well, I think you're being taken advantage of … I think you should start to charge”. Well, it's not that I hadn't thought the same thing, but feeling fraudulent about the possibility of making money doing something that I did out of interest and out of enjoyment … I had not yet taken the step.
But she got me thinking. I made a pact with myself that as of that September, I would start to charge. First call came from the Salvation Army … a group I had spoken to for the past 3 years. I was assured that everyone was once again looking forward to hearing me and was very complimentary with her words. But as she continued her pitch, I was whispering in my head … “come on now, be true to yourself and be true to your word … you promised that you would start to charge … now here's your chance!”
I took a breath and responded with trepidation… “I'm really sorry, but I charge now!” … not missing a beat she quickly says “No problem Carole. We can gladly pay you an honorarium of $15!”… Oh my goodness, I was excited … “I'll take it!” … and that was the humble beginning of CBL Presentations (1986)
PS … my rates have increased slightly since that first booking!!