Saturday, March 19, 2011 was a beautiful, sunny day in southeastern Pennsylvania. I had spent the night before near the Philadelphia airport and took the short drive to Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, in Lincoln University, PA. As I drove up to the gates of this Historically Black University (HBU), I was impressed with the beauty of the campus and the contrast of the grand, older buildings dating back to 1854 and the newer construction reflective of more current times.
I was on campus to lead the afternoon portion of the Emerging Leaders Conference for approximately 60 outstanding students. They had done group interactions including bonding and get-out-of-your-comfort-zone activities in the morning and I was there to present my “Everyday Leadership” program. We were able to get in depth in a lot of ways and the students had the opportunity to learn more about each other.
Everyday Leadership includes five leadership topics:
1) “Making the Most of Your 24/7” showed them how to get more out of a 24-hour day than even Jack Bauer could by determining their priorities, recognizing their distractions, and not allowing themselves to get into a state of overwhelm by creating an elephant list.
2) In “Public Speaking for Student Leaders” I gave them tips and tricks on how to liven up their presentations, how to handle nervousness, and ways to inject humor into any speech or workshop they may be asked to present.
3) “Conducting Fun and Exciting Meetings for Campus Organizations” gave me a chance to show the students a lot of the cool ideas I have to make club and organization meetings more fun and enjoyable including a magic trick in which I made a fireball appear out of my palm!
4) “Playing Well With Others” is one of my most popular and interactive programs. We talked about interpersonal communication, listening skills, dealing with conflict, and defining and defending your own personal values. I love all of my programs, but I get an extra jolt of energy every time I present this one!
5) “Play To Win” was the final piece of this program and gave the students the opportunity to create a blueprint towards the achievement of a personal or organization dream/vision. I encouraged the students to use the experience to make that day, March 19, their “leaf day” (the day to turn over a new leaf) and create a new direction for themselves.
The response was so cool as I was presented a plaque by Ihsan “Ziggy” Mujahid, the Assistant Director for Student Life and Development. The students even gave me a standing ovation! The theatre major in me loved it! Here were some of the comments from that day:
“Dave Kelly is a funny, insightful, engaging speaker who does a phenomenal job in communicating effective student leadership skills. His presentations are fluid and well thought out and prove useful in everyday life.” – Kyle Goggans, student and Resident Advisor Candidate for Student Government
“You were great! Entertaining. Informative. Funny. Great at holding my attention.” – Diamond Austin
The “Play to Win” portion was particularly special for student Terrical Bellamu: “Very good presentation and I enjoyed the stories. The Goal Pyramid Systemsm is something that I will be able to use throughout my entire my life.”
Some students were succinct and enthusiastic in their praise:
“Very inspirational and is worth listening to if you ever plan to be a leader.” – Jamella Smith.
“Your Presentation was really entertaining. DAVE YOU ROCK!!!” – Princess Bambina. (Princess also indicated with a ♥ that she would love to have me come back again!)
And when the Associate Dean of Students speaks, people listen:
“The session was very informative AND educational. Even as a Dean, I feel I have so much more to learn as a professional. Dave’s session had so much info I can use in my journey. As well, his energy & passion are contagious. He is the perfect person for this job!” – Dr. Jacqueline Gibson, Associate Dean of Students
How do you make the “Everyday Leader” within you “rock”? Share your thoughts below!