The night before I spoke at a Toastmasters event, I came down with a stomach virus. Spending most of the night and following day in a room I’d rather not mention. With three hours of sleep, one can of chicken noodle soup and one piece of gluten free toast, I arrived to share my story with Toastmasters. I was tired and drained.
Dressed in my orange signature dress, Orange is the New Dress, I smiled through my sickness. The technical issues had been resolved and the guests began to arrive. One by one people entered the event, exchanging hugs and business cards. Guests enjoyed an assortment of food and something cold to drink, since the air conditioner had stopped working! Not only was I still sick, now I was praying I wouldn’t keel over.
Once the ice-breakers were finished, Vanessa Vaughn, President with Asfalis Consulting introduced me. I met Vanessa at a previous speaking event. Vanessa, called me the day after she heard my story and told me I had saved her from making a huge mistake.
“Have you ever said yes, when you should have said no?”
The Toastmasters audience motions their heads with an affirmative yes, while others humbly laughed at themselves. What I was about to share was an unexpected story, for this event.
Speaking to an audience of fellow speakers, creative souls and published authors, was an honor. Although my presentation would differ from most others.
Events come in all sizes, genders, and professions, yet reading the faces of the attendees is the best way to tell if they’re listening. This Toastmaster audience was fully engaged, as they listened to my story, what I shared was not only eventful, but relatable to professional and personal lives. We all have thinking errors.
Here are a few of the stand out questions I was asked during the Toastmasters event;
Do you think females are more prone to critical thinking errors, due to our nurturing roles?
Great question. Co-dependency is found in all of us to some degree. Women tend to be more willing to compromise, their time and priorities, especially when it comes to children and relationships. However, that same compromising nature in the workplace with clients, can have a negative effect when you measure your own self worth based on how others perceive you. This speaks to male and female.
What kind of books did you read when you lived in Cube 44?
Prison became my classroom, I not only read books, but wrote papers, journaled daily and spoke often at our Chapel morning meetings. I read all of Richard Rohr’s books. By practicing contemplation, I learned not to reason better but to see everything—including myself and other people differently. As I broadened my perspective, I found a deeper sense of peace. That’s why I say, I found freedom in prison.
What happened to the man that orchestrated the fraud?
I was told he was an international fugitive, living in Tehran, Iran.
What would you tell someone, if they were considering getting a real estate license, what do they do first?
Wow, you’re asking me?The first step is to enroll in the pre-licensing class, pass the class test, enroll for the state test, pass the state test. Focus on one step at a time. Who knows, you might win the lottery and move to Italy! Do you buy lottery tickets?
If you are looking to get your real estate license here is a nice place to start
Where do you get the confidence tell your story?
I know I have a powerful testimony and without sharing, it serves nobody other than myself. It’s not the education we get, but the empowerment, we give, that makes a difference. If my experience can make a positive impact on someone else, then I have served well. It matters to me. Every choice we make has a consequence. I choose to speak about my poor choices and those consequences. If anyone in my family had to go through prison, I’m glad it was me. Although my family went through their own prison because of me, speaking is my way of giving back to others so their families don’t experience similar pain. The chips we experience in our lives, can turn to positive. I’m determined about that one.
Do you have a question for Holly or are interested in having her speak at your event?