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.

6 thoughts on “My First Public Speaking Invite – T.O.P.S.”

  1. Patty, I decided to read your blog from the beginning. Happy 25th anniversary by the way (I’m still in 2016). I too started gaining very quickly when we moved from Ohio. After 45 pounds I found a TOPS group and I was thinking I should share your blog with them and then I see your post about TOPS! I was going to wait to get through all your posts before commenting but had to stop here and comment. If you are ever driving eastward stop in Columbia MO and I’ll book you with my chapter!

Leave a Reply