One of the greatest rewards I have experienced throughout my journey is the opportunity to teach others about various neurological conditions I have faced. These educational opportunities have taken me to schools across the country allowing me to speak to every educational level through post-graduate college classes. Last week, I spoke to an amazing group of students at Valhalla High School in El Cajon, California.
Here is the letter I offer to introduce myself to educators. Please, feel free to share this with anyone you may feel is interested in having me speak to their group. Teaching people not only allows me to bring textbook lessons to life, but it also offers me insight into what others are hoping to learn from someone who has first-hand experience with seizures, surviving a stroke at a young age and acquiring prosopagnosia.
I am seeking the opportunity to come and speak with your students.
I hope to educate all ages regarding what it is like to experience, first-hand, a world of misunderstood conditions and unrecognizable faces. My story about living with prosopagnosia – known as face blindness — is compelling in that it speaks to everyone, not just those people with the impairment. I speak to schools to share the story of coping with epileptic seizures, a stroke, and the resulting face blindness. It is my goal to help people.
I am a wife of a Navy officer and mother of two daughters. I hope my words inspire my audience to focus on what makes them special, not different. Hearing this story can make everyday problems feel less defeating.
My story has been told both nationally and internationally. You can find links below from the Today Show and for “The Spectator”.
If you would like me to come speak to your class or need more information about my story, don’t hesitate to contact me. I am happy to help.
Tara Fall – firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Spectator” video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfXvI11Ocos
Today Show interview: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42888371/ns/today-today_health/t/face-blindness-leaves-mom-unable-recognize-her-own-children/
Late last week, I was asked, “Are you a motivational speaker?” I didn’t even hesitate when I answered, “I hope not.”
Please, do not misunderstand me; I have listened to some amazing motivational speakers. I have had chills as they energized me to run from the room and hurry to go accomplish my goals. I have wanted to set the world on fire as they predicted I could. On my first business cards, it states “motivational speaker and author”. Yet, just as life changes around us, I evolve, too. When I speak, I no longer strive to set your world on fire and make you want to run from the room to sell the next 10,000 pieces of your product, make you stop your bad habits or set fire to your world.
Rather, I want to offer you seeds. As I reach a greater audience, I have realized I want to provide more than a quick touch of motivation and magic. When I am invited to speak to your large group, your classroom or a small dinner setting, I have three goals I set out to achieve. I want to: 1) Make you laugh at the silliness and entertainment life can offer. 2) Make you cry with the acute realization life can and will deliver powerful setbacks that will take a lot of work and determination to overcome. 3) Make you think about the lessons I have offered for years to come. I want to plant a seed for you to carry forever.
Everyone is at a different stage in life. This is what offers the harmony and balance as we meet new people. This is what gives us the love and compatibility as we grow our closest friendships. You might not be there yet, but someday you will touch on a lot of experiences I recount. Whether you have never been there or you are no longer facing similar adversity, I want to provide you with a seed of knowledge I have gained from my own life trials. I want to plant this seed in you leaving a pathway directing tragedy to grow into triumph when we use optimism to conquer obstacles. I want to offer you not motivation for the moment but lessons that somewhere, someday, will be remembered throughout your lifetime.
Maybe, rather than the classification of motivational speaker, I should begin a new category of a “seed planting speaker”. I have learned my true desire is not so much that I want to offer you motivation; rather, I hope to leave you thinking while I plant seeds that can help offer you strength and hope in the weeks and years ahead.