public speaker

Day of Thanks

Many in the United States will be celebrating Thanksgiving today.

Unfortunately, there are people who find they do not have anyone to celebrate with. Some cultures recognize today as a day of mourning instead of thanks. There are soldiers who are in foreign countries and cannot share this day with their family. Many people cannot afford to take today off and celebrate thankfulness. And dedicated others are sacrificing their holiday to ensure our communities are safe.

No matter how you honor your values today, remember we are all united by our humanity. When it comes down to it, we are thankful for all of you. Your beliefs, your values, your humor, your pains, your lives.

We thank each and everyone of you for allowing us to share in your worlds, whatever they may look like.

Thank you to those who serve, those who helped shape our understanding of culture, those who sacrifice for others, those who push forward during tough times. You are all amazing. You are amazing.

Blog, breakout session, Choices, consult, consulting, event, Help, hope, interview, law enforcement, mental health, national speaker, public speaker, southern fried asian, speaker, speech, Strength, suicide prevention, susie reece, Susie Reynolds, susie reynolds reece

Finding Your Public Speaker in 2020

How do you choose an impactful speaker these days?

You have a conference, training, or general event coming up. You’ve planned and put together your agenda. You know your audience, but who are you bringing to really cement your program in stone? Are you simply bringing in the first name you can think of or do you have the perfect person in mind?

1: Talk to your speaker and be sure they understand the needs of your audience as well as what your goals are for the event.

2: Ask qualifying questions up front. What is your rate? What additional services can you provide for this rate? Have you worked with this audience type before? What are your needs during the event? What technology needs do you have? What types of event promotion can we expect from you? Think of this as a job interview, because that is exactly what you are doing.

3: Do your homework on them and be sure you have a feel for their style.

4: Be upfront about your needs. Your event agenda, logistics, your goals, and your expectations. Don’t settle!

5: Check around! The ball is in your court. If you are in need of a speaker, do your research and find one you connect with on a personal level. There’s no harm in having a few speakers you like either. You can always create a speaker list for future events.

6: Don’t wait to book a speaker! Many speakers are booked out weeks to months in advance. The sooner you can get them to tentatively hold a date the better.

7: Keep your speaker informed of your planning and event process. The more information they have the better they can be prepared to do a great job.

Good luck on your search for the perfect complement to your event.

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public speaker

Hapa- half. Not whole.

Somehow this feeling of less than-ness is more pervasive here than others pause to realize. I didn’t realize I wasn’t the only one, until I came here. The stories sound terrible. Unbelievably so, but I know they aren’t fiction. I have been there. I have been covered over and pushed under so no one would see my broken self as a reflection of her. 

You would think that after nearly a decade of not knowing her daughter. After years of scattered phone calls and a handful of visits that a summer would be built on bonding. But what I recall is my differentness, my “American” characteristics were brusque and garish. She compared me to my father and not in a good way. I was all the bad traits of a man who I could never compare myself to. Only others could compare us. And somehow I was just as terrible to her as he had been. This white child of a white man who only took and caused pain. 

Then I realized how not whole I truly was. 

I remember when I first saw her basement, thinking it wasn’t a basement at all. It was more a warehouse. I ran across it smiling. I ran and thought, my mom has a basement. MY mom. I can’t recall wanting anything as much as I wanted to be her daughter. So many hateful women surrounding me, and this one, this one gave me life. This one loved me. My mom has a basement. 

It’s where she kept the kimchi fridge. All my Korean friends know about the importance of the kimchi fridge. It’s also where she exercised because health and beauty are important. More than important. We ran, and exercised there everyday. I wanted to stop and she made me keep going. Yelling at me about lazy Americans. I was always too white to her. Not enough Korean in this motherless Korean girl. 

Eventually, the basement became the place where she kept me. Hidden away, told to be quiet and wait. No one knows about you. They don’t need to know about you. 

Fuck. Those words cut me still. 

I feel them deeply. I feel them through that tiny body, entering into that frail little chest, stabbing my breaking heart right in the center of everything. This woman, this “mother,” she only wanted me when no one else could see. Who could love me if she can’t? Hide me away in the basement quietly. Even the dogs get to be seen. Even the dogs get to be loved in the open. But not me. Because I chose to be less than. I chose to be half. I chose to be created in a world that only accepts whole people. I chose to be a half of something on either side. 

Our stories hurt. They aren’t always easy to share, but God, how I wish I had known these stories years ago. How I wish I had known it wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t just me. How I had begged to be accepted by both my halves and never thought it possible. 

So yes, I don’t speak a lot of Korean. But, what I do speak, I learned the hard way.