17 Mar Real Help for Real Living: I got the Rose – now it’s off to “Shark Tank”
I have been secretly appearing on two TV shows – “The Bachelorette” and “Shark Tank.” I recently got the rose on “The Bachelorette.” Now it’s off to the final presentation with “The Sharks.”
I’m not a TV reality star. I’ve been in Charlotte’s own version of these shows. It’s called Seed20 – a Social Venture Partnership to significantly impact people in need. Seed20 chooses 20 charities who give a three-minute pitch to say what new project they would do with an extra $20k. On March 1st, all 20 participated. Ten were selected to go to the final presentation on March 27th where they present to 800 people (the “Sharks”). I got the rose to be in the top ten.
This has been one of the most difficult things I have done. As much as I love public speaking, this was very difficult. I was limited to three minutes. I had to make my speech with no notes. If I went over the three-minute mark, I could be penalized. I couldn’t re-write the script while I was speaking because there was a time limit. I was stressed.
Of all the things that have been on my plate lately, this is at the top of my stress pile. I rehearsed my speech while exercising on the elliptical trainer at the Y.
At our first practice session, I volunteered to go first. My speech had 557 words. I talked fast, very fast. I covered every facet of the Mission and our project. I thought it was wonderful. No one understood me. The consistent comment from the coaches was “slow down.”
I practiced even more for our second practice session. I rehearsed and rehearsed in my backyard, trying to convince the squirrels this was a worthy presentation.
The night arrived for my second practice session. I chose not to go first. After a few presenters were done, I came to the stage to make my presentation.
It started off great as I gave my first paragraph. It was dynamic. It was powerful. It was the last thing I remembered.
I could not remember the next paragraph of my speech. It wasn’t hard; it was just my name. But I couldn’t remember that. My mind went blank. I was a polar bear in a snow storm trying to find the white board. The harder I thought, the more I was convinced I had no idea what to say next. I knew the clock on the timer was ticking. I was in trouble. I expected them to tell me to sit down. I would have wasted my practice session.
I pulled out my sheet and remembered what to say next. Then I asked for a “do-over”. I didn’t deserve one. I should have been told “no.” Instead, the leader said, “Go ahead.”
I began at the first paragraph and continued with the entire speech. It came off well. This time there were 484 words. I spoke slower with more phrasing.
What I most recall is that I was given something I didn’t deserve – a “do-over.” I should have been told to sit down. I was given a second chance.
Isn’t that what God gives us each and every day. He gives us a second chance. There is a scripture verse that says, “God’s mercies are new every morning.” Whether I mess up my diet or say or do something I regret, each day God offers me a “do-over.”
Consider attending the final Seed20 event on March 27th. Be one of the 800 Sharks who will decide between the Rescue Mission and 9 other great Charlotte charities.
I’ll be back in two weeks. Until then, live well my friend.