Where it all started.
I used to get nervous doing these types of things, but now I just get up there and go for it. Public speaking is tough. It’s you and the audience. All eyes are on you. I remember my first speaking engagement at the age of 23. My doctor asked if I’d share my story at the Cystic Fibrosis National Conference. It sounded like a great opportunity to inspire and motivate others. Although I was hesitant about it I told her I’d love too. Who wouldn’t want to speak in front of 300+ people for the first time!? I remember being sweaty, shaky, mispronouncing words and my heartbeat racing a mile a minute. Man I was so embarrassed and must have looked like a fool. What am I doing up here!? But then something cool happened. After finishing my speech the crowd stood up clapping and cheering. Wow! The feeling you get from that is amazing! That wasn’t so bad after all.
From that point on, speaking engagement opportunities just kept coming. I’d be asked to speak at other cystic fibrosis events and eventually colleges. The more I did it the less nervous I became. It got to the point where I had no nerves just pure excitement. Why? Because I was doing something I loved to do and it was helping people. My story is actually motivating and inspiring others to never give up in times of adversity. I am passionate about helping others and if I can do that by sharing my story then I’m going to keep sharing.
An Exciting Email.
After years of speaking at CF events and some colleges, I was recently asked to talk to students in grades 1-12 at Hinsdale Central School. I remember opening up my email and seeing a request to share my story with their students. The excitement rushed through my body and I immediately replied with a, definitely! This would be a different type of crowd that I’ve never spoken too, but was eager to have the opportunity. A lot of preparation went into putting this speech together as I had different age levels to share my story too. I wanted to make sure each group was engaged and excited to be there listening. And we all know that keeping young kids focused can be hard to do, but I made it work.
Speaking with Students in Grades 1-12.
The day finally came and I was pumped. I couldn’t wait to get there and inspire the students and staff. One by one, I would speak with different groups about CF and mental health. They were split up by grades: 1-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12. Every single group was respectful, engaged, enthused and I absolutely loved it. I remember looking out into the crowd during each group and seeing kids smiling, crying and fully involved with what I was saying. My speeches take you on an emotional roller coaster ride, so by seeing that I knew I was being heard. When I spoke about my upcoming running event in July (266 Miles for CF), the kids and teachers were amazed. This is an event I am doing to raise money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. I will be running through every town in Cattaraugus County in seven days with the hope to raise $100,000. But anyways, they all wanted to be a part of the event in some way. The first through third graders even told me they wanted to run the whole thing with me! Having that support from everyone was truly incredible.
After each group, I would get a handful of students and teachers who would come up to me and tell me I inspired them. That meant the world to me because that’s what I was there to do. I even had a few kids who reached out to me via social media saying how motivated and inspired they were by my speech. Getting those types of messages brings a tear to my eye. It shows that my message got through to those kids. I want nothing more than to help people live the best life possible, but to also never give up in times of adversity. We will all face hardships, but we must keep moving forward and pushing through. You have one life to live so make the best of it. That’s the message I deliver to my audience.
With all this being said, I am now booking more speaking engagements. I would love to get every school in Cattaraugus County involved with my fundraising event this summer. To have the opportunity to come share my story and talk about my event with students and staff would be amazing. Please feel free to contact me via: Facebook (Bradley Poole Health & Fitness), Email (email@example.com), or website (www.bradleypoole.com) for questions or bookings. Thank you kindly!