CAROL A. PREISS, INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT
POWERtalk International Convention, July 13-17, 2013
Opening Ceremony, Sunday, July 14, 2013
We are all collectors of one form or another. It is true that POWERtalk members are collectors of friends, of learning new skills and of inspirational ideas and quotes. We could go into any member’s home and find many Quotation books. We look for opening thoughts, for closing thoughts, and for significant words to help support our presentations.
My traveling buddy and I took roughly a 2000 mile journey across the United States just 2 weeks ago. The journey had 2 purposes – to attend my niece’s wedding and to fly to Hawaii out of Las Vegas. You see I prefer straight through flights to those with stops and changes of planes.
On this journey, we talked of many POWERtalk subjects. On the 3rd day in Missouri I began reading road signs. Funny as that sounds, this tradition goes back many years in the United States. In 1927 the son of the owner of Burma Shave Company proposed a marketing scheme or small signs along the road side advertising his company. The father was doubtful, but gave his son $200 – a lot back in 1927 – and the legend of the Burma Shave signs was born.
Not only were these signs fun to read, but they were effective as sales of this shaving cream skyrocketed. For the members who have never experienced Burma Shave signs - they were a series of words on small signs, as many as seven or eight. They comprised a sentence and always ended with Burma Shave.
In 1935 the company started giving safety messages. As an example:
“Train approaching / whistle squealing / stop / avoid that / run down feeling / Burma Shave”
Being a member of long standing, I’m always looking for inspiration and found a series of large advertising bill boards. We wrote down these 3 inspiring thoughts:
“Someday is today”
“Experience counts – get the best”
“Welcome to a new day”
Think of the many times you could use an inspiring word; you are looking for an outstanding theme for a program or POWERtalk year. Any one of these is the beginning of new thoughts.
Whether you are a one, ten or forty year member, know that you belong to an organization with outstanding programs to help its members develop their potential.
How do you see yourself and our organization - ordinary or world-class? It is a description that speaks to how you approach the challenges you face.
So, what distinguishes the world-class performers from those who are satisfied with being “good enough”?
The ordinary love to be comfortable. It is world-class to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Our members come to POWERtalk seeking uncomfortable situations. Knowing that by tackling that which we fear, we gain experience, polish skills, gain new skills and become all that we can be.
The ordinary are problem oriented. They see what is wrong and want to fix it. Many times they go back to old unsuccessful solutions. The world-class are solution oriented. We define the problem and seek many possibilities to solve our problems. We brainstorm, do SWOT analysis, set SMART goals and work them to achievement.
The ordinary think they know enough and are satisfied with the status quo. The world-class are eager to learn. We come to POWERtalk seeking new information, improved skills. We are excited to share what we have learned with our fellow members.
So if you are working toward peak performance, if you want to go from good to great, learn the secrets of champions, the secrets of the world-class. These are the secrets our members know and practice.
Two years ago I challenged you to do something different, try something new and take up the challenge. Have you
Given a Workshop?
Held an office?
Written a story?
Participated in a contest?
Brought in a new member?
Organized a short course?
Sponsored a club?
An anonymous writer said, “Sometimes in the winds of change, we find our true direction.”
Have you lived the theme this term - “Be the change”?
I asked you to believe in yourself, in your talents, in the skills you have honed within the clubs of POWERtalk, in the persistence and persuasion in your core to not let this feeling go.
This year, we are celebrating our 75th Anniversary during this convention. What a remarkable organization to have achieved so much, to teach organization and leadership skills to so many and to see our members excel and achieve their goals.
Would all members of ITC please rise… those with 10 years of less please have a seat…. Those with 20 years or less be seated …. Those with 29 years or less be seated …
Look around… those with 39 years or less be seated…..
Those with 45 years or less be seated. Congratulations to those still standing - what a remarkable achievement!
It is wonderful to see so many members with decades of service in this organization celebrating all that we are.
It is appropriate during our 75th Anniversary celebration to quote our founder, Ernestine White, first International President. She said:
“If all of us, realizing our limitations, endeavor to do our best, or even slightly to expand those limitations; and if we place our experience at the disposal of all others through our own clubs and through ITC, then no one can fathom the boundless possibilities and the great role this organization is destined to play in the history and progress and development of woman-kind.”
Believe in the brand. We have all the tools you need: POWERtalk Short Course, Writing and Speech Contests, Master Manual, Accreditation, Hands around the World and more.
We are here in the “Aloha” state celebrating all that we are in POWERtalk, conducting our business, honoring all the work done this term, hearing the best we have in workshops and contests; renewing and making new friendships.
“The world grows better because people wish that it should and because they take the right steps to make it better” words by Ernestine White, our Founder.
Ted Kennedy said “The work begins anew the hope rises again.”
Take the energy and resolve from these days of convention back with you to your Club, Council and Region to begin the work anew. Affirm the resolve to seek new members for your club, if each of you do and if each of you convince other members to do the same, we can again be the organization we all believe we are.