Speakers Association Helps Global Messengers Find Their Voice

Through a partnership that began a couple of years ago with the National Speakers Association of Illinois (NSA-IL), Special Olympics Illinois athletes have benefited immensely!

Steve Beck, past President, and Lori Miller, current President of NSA-IL, were passionate and committed to developing a relationship with SOILL in helping to develop the speaking skills of our Global Messengers.

??????????NSA-IL is the recognized voice of the speaking profession in the state of Illinois and the Chicagoland area. Nine of the NSA-IL members took time out of their busy speaking schedule to facilitate the Global Messenger Speakers Academy for 38 athletes and their mentors, 84 total, from around the state on Saturday, Nov. 22, in Addison. View more photos from event.

The workshop began with two very talented musicians – Steve Evans, lead singer from the band Deceptions End, and Shaun Ashley, lead guitarist. Their acoustical rendition of “Time of My Life” by David Cook had the whole group singing along and several of the athletes joined Steve and Shaun on stage.

The workshop part of the day featured different sessions – a Telling Your Story Workshop and the Stage Skills Workshop. The Telling Your Story Workshop focused on helping the Global Messengers write their story or improve upon an existing speech. The Stage Skills Workshop focused more on non-verbal communication and using their voices to impact an audience. NSA-IL volunteers where phenomenal in offering great advice and tips to expand upon what the athletes are already doing!

Comments back from the NSA-IL facilitators included:

  • DSC_0076“I’m so glad I participated today. It will be a highlight of my NSA-IL involvement and speaking career.”
  • “I feel completely inspired.”
  • “It was a very special day!”
  • “We are much richer, as professionals and as members of the team, for having shared this experience.“
  • “A talented group of busy professionals gave and received much today!”

Comments from the Global Messengers and their Speech Coaches included:

  • “Great session. GMs (Global Messengers) are never better than when working together – they are so supportive of each other.”
  • “I learned to be more confident in myself, believe in myself and have fun.”
  • “Very good day! Lots of good tips and practice. Couldn’t have asked for more.”
  • “Wonderful presentations! We really enjoyed it and learned a lot. All of the speakers doing the training were great with all the athletes, they were caring, supportive and compassionate. We have only been doing this a short time, but it is heartwarming to see how people are there for our children and even though they have a disability they want to make them a better individual. We are so blessed to be involved with Special Olympics!”

Thank you to Lori Miller and Steve Beck of NSA-IL for making this a reality! Also, special thanks to the facilitators – Colonel Jill Morgenthaler, Debbie Leoni, Bob Roitblat, Terry Watson, CSP, Marcia Stern, Andy Lopata, Sharon Weinstein and Glenda Sharp for this workshop extraordinary!