Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What This Speaker is Thankful For...

2011 has been a good year for me as a speaker and a speaking coach - but virtually none of the good would be possible without so many of the following items and wonderful people:

- I am thankful for my friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, plussers on Google+, connections on LinkedIn, and, of course, everyone who has publicly and privately followed Speak & Deliver.

- I am thankful for BeauJo's Pizza, which gives me a place to reward myself after a job well done.

- I am thankful for Joe Sabah, who, even in his '80's, gives back so much to speakers. It's a privilege to have  the ability to interact with him here in Denver.

- I am thankful for my fellow speaking coaches, who encourage me through their success, including, but not limited to, Lisa Braithwaite, John Zimmer, Olivia Mitchell, and Avish Parashar.

- I am thankful for the four women who lended their insight into Speakers: Find Your Roar - Felicia Slattery, Maureen Zappala, Sheryl Roush, and Laura Stack - it's a great resource for women looking into the speaking business because of YOU.

- I am thankful for Chris Brogan, who retweeted a link to my post about him just once, and sent 1300 people to my blog in a day.

- I am thankful for Tim Tebow, just because.

- I am thankful for those in my Speaker's Mastermind Group, who have helped keep me on track this year. Shout out to the Butterfly Herder for organizing it!

- I am thankful for Toastmasters, an organization I joined 16 years ago which helped turn me into a better speaker, and sparked my passion for speaking and helping others become better speakers

- I am thankful for my home District of Toastmasters, 26, for supporting me in my run at the World Championship of Speaking this year - maybe I didn't win the trophy, but Top 100 for the 7th time in 10 years ain't bad.

- I am thankful for the tightknit group of friends (you know who you are) that masterminded and coached me as I spent my summer preparing a speech that was never given on the Big Stage, but was still shared with hundreds of people over a two month period - and Dwayne Windham, who chaufeurred me around at the championship, and gave me a place to stay!

- I am thankful for Darren LaCroix, who encouraged me after my 'defeat' in Las Vegas, and continues to be an inspiration for me, even if he probably thinks I ignore everything he says. (I don't.)

- I am thankful for District 2 out of Seattle, who invited me to speak at their conference this year, and treated me like a Champion.

- I am thankful for Blogger, Dreamhost, my trusty old copy of FrontPage, Audacity, Google Phone, my FlipCam, Google Docs, and OpenOffice, all of which make my job as a speaker and coach easier.

- I am thankful for my DVR and Netflix, both of which allow me to unwind on my own terms, within my own, obnoxiously busy schedule.

- I am thankful for my clients, whom I will not name, because I don't 'coach and tell' - and you'll know who they are once they are rich and famous, and give me some love in their books.

On a more personal note, I have to thank my wife, Kristi, and my six kids, for putting up with my commitment to entrepreneurship, despite the fact it has yet to make me a billionaire.

I am thankful for the Children's Hospital, who has treated my oldest daughter Bailey this year as she battles the tumor in her brain.

I am thankful for all the doctors and therapists who have treated my wife, and three of our six children who have Neurofibromatosis. As a progressive disorder which reacts differently in each, our family battles tumors, fibromas, Scoliosis, hearing and vision challenges, learning disabilities, and a virtual parade of doctors appointments each week.

I am thankful for my Crosstimbers Church family, There With Care, Make-a-Wish, and the Starlight Foundation, all of whom have taken care of important needs at various times, and provided encouragement and friendship during some of the hardest of times.

And of course, I am thankful for YOU, my reader. 

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, take time to be thankful - and share, if you wish, what YOU are thankful for in a comment below. Then, go out and Speak....& Deliver!


  1. And I am thankful for you, your visit to District 2, your blog, your wisdom and insight into what makes a great speaker and what makes a speaker great. Keep speaking and delivering!

  2. Superb, Rich. This post came straight from the heart. Thank you back.

    John Zimmer



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