My First Public Speaking Invite – T.O.P.S.

Today I gave a 30 minute motivational talk to the members of the local T.O.P.S. group.  T.O.P.S. stands for Take off Pounds Sensibly

On my way – with my props!

One of the ladies at Gold’s Gym, Constance asked me about 6 weeks ago if I would come speak for 30 minutes to the TOPS group she attends.  I had actually never heard of TOPS, but I said I would absolutely be happy to.

I began to research the group a little and found out that TOPS mission is “to help and support our members as they take off and keep off pounds sensibly.”  Well I felt like that fell right in line with a big part of why I had been so successful these past ten months.  I have had incredible support from first of all the trainer, and then my family and friends.

I wrote up my talk and practiced it.  It was right at 30 minutes.  I had a few people proof it (and thank you to those who did) and offer me feedback.  I wasn’t nervous about speaking in front of others, I was more nervous wondering if they would like me.  (Still working on that self-confidence piece apparently.)

They start their meeting with the pledge of allegiance.  Then they gather in a circle and hold hands and recite the TOPS pledge (pictured below.)  I was impressed already.

TOPS Pledge

They handled some other business.  I could tell all the ladies knew each other well and all were very supportive of one another.  Then came my turn to speak.  I had some serious moments where I definitely held their attention and I had some humorous moments, where they all were laughing.  They really enjoyed the “seatbelt” story. 

I had traveled in August 2015 on a plane and could barely buckle my seatbelt.  Then I traveled in April of 2016 (after the 12 week challenge) and I buckled it with 9 inches or more of slack.  I was so excited I tapped my neighbor’s arm on the plane to tell them all about it.  And then I did the same thing on the second flight.  I demonstrated this by tapping on one of the ladies’ arms.  I am glad that went over well and the room was enjoying that story immensely.
I made it for the 30 minutes and then answered questions.  Then I stayed afterwards and answered some more questions.  They would love for me to join their group, but honestly it would conflict with my workouts in the morning and I have an awesome support system.  But I loved their group above anything I had ever tried before.  I said I’d love to come back and speak again in 6 months and show you that I am still progressing.
Of course, everyone wanted a “Ryan.”  Ryan continues to teach me things every week.  And they are probably things he has told me all along, but I am just now grasping.  I’m so thankful for that.  
So I don’t know if I’ll get asked to speak again anywhere, but this was certainly a great experience for me.  Thanks to Constance for asking me.

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