We are all judged by three things in life:  1)  How we look  2) How we act (behave)  3)  How we speak.  That’s the message I emphasized during my mini-workshop at the SHELeads conference sponsored by the Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy (WYWLA) in Raleigh, NC.

The topic:  How to Prepare for a Successful Interview.  I absolutely love workshops like this because it gives me an opportunity to share my knowledge and expertise on the skills young people will need in order to be successful in a job interview (or any type of interview for that matter).  It also allows them to be engaged through role-playing various job interview scenarios. I always stress the number one skill everyone should have is the ability to communicate effectively.  Without strong verbal and written communication skills, you won’t be very successful in life.

I also  challenged them to build their vocabulary because it would help them with their writing.  I went as far as to write two words on the white board that they didn’t know and told them the first person to respond would receive a little prize.  The words were  extemporaneous and elaborate.  About two hours after I left, I received this response:

Hello Mrs. Mahone, 

My name is Hedille (last name omitted). I am a freshmen at Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy. Today, I came to your Session 3- How to Prepare for a Successful Interview during the Wake Young Women’s Leadership Conference She Leads. I am emailing you to return what you asked us to do, which was to define and use the words extemporaneous and elaborate in a sentence. 

Definitions (according to Merriam-Webster):

Extemporaneous – composed, performed, or uttered on the spur of the moment; carefully prepared but delivered without notes or text

Elaborate- (adj.): planned or carried out with great care; marked by complexity, fullness of detail, or ornateness (verb): to expand something in detail. 

I would like to thank you one more time for giving an extemporaneous lesson and speech about how to be well-prepared and successful for an interview.  I really enjoyed your session and how you elaborated on the details on what you should wear, how you should act and speak. Thank you so much for coming and giving an amazing breakout session!

Thank you,

Hedille (last name omitted)

I am thankful to God for my communication gifts and for allowing me to be a positive influence on young lives.  I’m a firm believer that “If you can speak well, you can influence.  If you can influence, you can change lives.”  I am excited to be a positive life changer for young voices!