In 2010, Mike was minding his own business, teaching a college class when a student walked up to him during a break.
“I’m not actually in your class,” he said, “my girlfriend is, and I thought I’d tag along. I actually work at Nike and I’m in charge of bringing in speakers. You seem like an engaging presenter. I was wondering if you’d like to speak at Nike some time.”
This is not why most students want to talk to the teacher.
I, of course, said yes. For a day I was ecstatic, the way you feel when you’ve asked out someone who is out of your league and they said yes. But, similarly, I experienced the dread of “oh God, now I have to come up with something” soon thereafter.
Honestly, I could have done better. My presentation was fine. It was like a B+. But I wanted that to be the best presentation of my life. Instead, I allowed the gravity of the moment to intimidate me. On presentation morning I was *still* playing with my material. Yeesh. I vowed never to do that again.
Now I teach people how to avoid that same level of intimidation – and on how to confidently deliver the best speech of your life.
Sometimes I help overcome the intimidation of “oh God, I have no idea what I’m doing.”
Sometimes it’s “I wish someone could help me do this faster.”
And sometimes it’s “I need to take this to another level.”
Regardless of where you are, my goal is to move you forward.
Since 2013 I have worked full-time for Duarte as a Senior Workshop Facilitator. I’ve delivered workshops to more than 5000 attendees from some of the biggest companies in the world. I’m not at liberty to name all of them but suffice it to say if you are reading this on a computer in the year 2018, I have helped one of the companies associated with making that possible.
On a personal note: In 2016, my wife and I began helping a Congolese refugee family transition to life in the United States. It is some of my best and most challenging work. Ever think of how to explain voice mail to someone who’s never used a phone before? Neither had I.
Born: Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania. We have one main street with zero traffic lights, zero restaurants, two gas stations, one bar and, weirdly, five different places to get your hair cut.
College: University of Richmond
Study Abroad: University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
After college: Boston, MA
Graduate School: Portland State University
Now: Portland, OR. I work remotely for Duarte