... and the story continues...

IF YOU CAN MAKE IT THERE…

    Have you ever found a perfect match? A perfect friend? A perfect job? A perfect place? Well, if you ask Michael, he will tell you about New York. He loves New York. In the past decade, Michael has progressively been doing more and more programs in New York and hits a homerun everytime. "They are just my type of people," Michael says.

    The one program that was Michael’s perfect match was called Statewide Advocacy for School Health or SASH. You can’t imagine… it was like the entire conference was designed for Michael’s message!

    As you certainly know by now, one of Michael’s central themes is personal wellness – and that was the theme for this entire conference! When Dr. Nancy De Korp contacted Phil Frankio of The Speakers Guild, she asked him for the perfect speaker for this event. Phil, being one of the country’s leading speakers bureaus, suggested a brain-damaged speaker who speaks on finding strength from adversity – Michael Scott Karpovich! (God Bless Phil!)

    Unlike most speakers, Michael is proud of his nervousness before every presentation… he says he uses that nervous energy to give the presentation "an edge." While other speakers go around greeting and meeting the audience before their talks, Michael often "hides" until he is introduced. However, this time was different…

    Michael was still nervous and "scared" but as people came into the auditorium, Michael just sat in a chair and watched. Then something different happened…

    An audience member sat down next to Michael and asked him if he knew anything about the speaker... Michael was amused by this question, but didn’t want to confess. Thinking quickly he said, "Yes – and I hear he is quite boring!" I don’t know who was more surprised by this comment, Michael or the person he was talking to.

    Michael continued, "That is why I am sitting in the back of the room…so I can take a nap!" The audience member said, "Well, if he is really that boring, I might just read a book." Another audience member overheard them and said, "I just sit back here so I can walk out without bothering anyone!" Michael already knew that some educators are notorious for reading the paper during presentations, or grading homework, or knitting… so this wasn’t news to him. However, for some perverse reason, Michael found pleasure in this line of discussion, so he made a concerted effort to tell everyone sitting around him how "boring this speaker was." Just then Nancy, the planner, walked in. She overheard Michael commenting on how boring the speaker was, smiled, and without a word, moved to the front of the auditorium.

    Nancy then proceeded to introduce Michael. She said, "Some people believe this speaker is going to be boring…" (The people around Michael started to look sheepish – Michael pretended to look sheepish, too.) "But," she continued, "We decided to give him a chance anyway…" Then she read Michael’s standard introduction.

    The audience politely applauded, including Michael, but no one came forward. After a few awkward seconds, Michael turned on his wireless microphone, stood up, and said, "Thank you!" A confused audience looked around the room, but those whom Michael had been speaking with gave an uproarious laugh, like only New Yorkers can! They knew that they had been had and they loved it!

    Throughout the presentation no one applauded louder, no one laughed louder, and no one seemed more receptive than Michael’s new advocates in the back of the room. And… Michael stresses… none of them walked out, read, or slept!

    After the presentation, these New York educators gave Michael the longest standing ovation he has ever experienced!

    Everyone wanted to talk with Michael afterwards, and as usual, he stayed until he spoke to everyone of them. The last person in line said, "I didn’t think you were boring at all!"

    Although every member of the audience seemed grateful for the presentation, no one seemed more appreciative than Nancy De Korp. As she put it, "Michael…brought the audience to laughter, tears and thought-provoking silence. He educated us by disguising it as entertainment. He spoke to our hearts, to our minds and to our souls. His message was loud and clear, quiet and subtle. He was very deserving of the standing ovation given him… I not only recommend [him]… but would urge groups to seek out his services." Click here for the corresponding letter of recommendation and the actual evaluations.

    Moments like these could make Michael’s head get a tad big. However, in reading the evaluations, he noticed that once or twice he was referred to as "her." It occurred to him that participants may have confused him with the other keynote speaker of the conference… Certified Speaking Professional, Janie Jason. Michael says his lesson is to never take himself too seriously.

    After that experience, Michael will occasionally do as he did at SASH… sit in the back of the room and tell everyone he is boring. So, if you are ever sitting in the back of the room and some guy comes up to you and suggests that the next speaker is "boring," check closely – it may just be Michael!

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