The Motivational Speaker and the Karaoke Machine

Do not EVER worry about getting a big head or thinking you are just too much hot stuff.  Why? Because there is some Universal law out there that will snap you back to reality when you least expect it.

As a professional motivational speaker, I get to present in some very nice places.  Meeting planners are kind, audiences very attentive and happy and everything usually goes the way it’s supposed to.

Well, last week I agreed to speak at a local high school and, since I like to feel like I’m contributing to my own community, I was happy to do it.  But I should have realized this one might be a little um…”different” when I was told that I couldn’t have a wireless microphone since they didn’t have one, and that “oh we don’t need to introduce you.  When they (450 teenagers) are in their seats, just start talking.”  And this was my favorite, “And when the bell rings at 10:48, they will all get up and leave so stop talking at 10:47.

So when the teacher points to the stage, I run up and start talking, “How many of you like going to the movies?”

And that’s when I see them.  Several teenagers in the front row who are ALREADY asleep!!!  One flippin’ sentence out of my mouth and they have slouched down in their seats, pulled their hoodies over their eyes and are gone.

No worries.  I keeping talking:  “What would you say if I told you there was a movie being made RIGHT now – and the movie is about YOU!!!’

Boom.  Microphone goes totally out. Teachers starting running around like crazy trying to find batteries or something. I try shouting.  No go.  No one can hear me past the 5th row.

And then after about 5 minutes of me strolling around on stage looking for dust bunnies, this lady runs up and – right in front of me – plops down a karaoke machine.  A tiny little karaoke machine with a two foot WIRED microphone attached.  She turns in on, and after the screech dies down, she hands me the microphone.

Of course, two feet of cord is NOT long enough for me to be able to stand and talk, so I have to crouch over in order to reach the microphone.  There I am hunched way over, trying to look UP at the audience and talk NORMALLY.

Have you ever floated above yourself and watched yourself do something?  All I remember thinking was, “Whoa, girl. You look really funny.”

Well, here I am now on the other side of the experience and I still can’t stand up straight.  And that ridiculous image of me and the karaoke machine is now burned into the funny part of my brain where it will live forever – and I’m glad.  It will come in MIGHTY handy the next time I start thinking I’m just too wonderful for words.

Gotta go now.  Must make an appointment with my chiropractor.

From your funny looking motivational speaker, Linda Larsen

Helping people bring their finest, best & happiest self to life!





Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. Oh, Linda, I’m laughing so hard I’m crying. And I’m so sorry it’s at your expense. Can I just say that I have been there!!!!! Yes, ma’am, the scene you just described is the typical scenario when you’re a professional storyteller hired to speak in schools. And may I just tell you, that there is NOTHING you could have done. You lost before you even began. That’s why I became a motivational speaker instead. But you go girl. You gave it your best shot. Somehow you will be a stronger performer/speaker because of it. Or at least have one heck of a story to share!

  2. Linda, I feel your pain! And they say the life of a motivational speaker is so glamorous! I’m sure you handled it like a pro. It sure makes you appreciate the really nice events with staging and lights and A/V guys that actually stay in the room during your speech! I remember hiring a videographer to tape my presentation and while I was in the middle of my keynote, he left. Yes, he just put the camera on a try-pod and left! I should have stipulated that I would like a video camera and a person for the shoot!

    Great job Linda, you’re still a rock star even though those students didn’t realize it!

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