High School Guest Speaking Topics
Standing Out in a Sea of Competition
Ever since I was a little kid, I always got picked for things. Whenever we were at a show and they asked for a volunteer, they chose me. I was competing with other members in the audience, not to mention my sister, and it was a known thing in my family,…I would probably get picked. It was like I had a super power! Sometimes it seems life is a competition and we’re always competing for something, doesn’t it? There’s always someone else who wants what you want, and that’s great, but how do you stand out when there are a bunch of people who are going after the same thing as you? I’ll teach you ways to be bold and brave and explain why being authentic and passionate play a vital role in the formula to getting what you want. Students can use these superpowers on class assignments, on college and job applications and in every day life!
The 5 major components of design thinking includes “empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test.” Design thinking is a powerful tool that can help you solve complex problems and design better solutions and experiences. It helps you understand your users, it forces you to think outside of the box, and leads to better outcomes. The goal of this presentation is to teach students to slow down and to follow follow a process when looking for problems to solve and understanding how to come up with the best possible solution (hint: get feedback). Students learn that empathy is at the center of the design process and will make connections between the MVP Design Cycle, Stanford’s Design Thinking Model and the entrepreneurship process.
Coming up with GREAT Ideas
I’m often asked how I come up with great ideas. The truth is, there’s no one answer to that question. For me, it’s a combination of things – including experience, creativity, and a bit of luck. There are, however, some things that I believe are essential for coming up with great ideas like being open to new possibilities. Learn how to come up with unique ideas that solve real problems in business and in life!
How to Start a Business in High School
At a sleepover at a friends house during my freshman year of high school, I recognized and executed on my first entrepreneurial opportunity. We sold bottled water, soda and hot dogs at an art show an as a result, we each made $1,000 over the weekend. The thousand dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to the real-world lessons I learned during my first entrepreneurial experience. I teach students the entrepreneurial process , explain how to recognize opportunities and determine the feasibility of their business idea.
The Importance of Internships
Most students don’t starting thinking about an internship until their junior or senior year of college. OK. Great, but giving students access to experiential learning through an internship before then gives students a taste of the the real world, in an industry they are interested or curious about so why not have them look into it when they are curious about it? The goal of this talk is get students excited about picking something to study in college and to teach them how to get an internship, even when there’s not one listed as available!
Entrepreneurship as a Career?
Doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers, electricians, plumbers….it doesn’t matter. Pick a career. You can either work for an entrepreneur or be one. And let me be very clear…there’s nothing wrong with working for someone! In fact, maybe you can be entrepreneurial for your employer? If you are entrepreneurial but doing it for someone else, it’s called intrapreneurship! I’m sure they’d love it if you acted like an entrepreneur for them! During this educational and motivation talk students get an understanding of what the life an entrepreneur REALLY looks like. They’ll hear stories about other high school and college students who became entrepreneurs at a young age and better understand the steps needed to make entrepreneurship a fulltime job after school!
Web3 and the Careers in Computer Science
If you haven’t heard about Web3, yet you will. Think of it like this. Web1 was back in the day when we used the internet for email and reading things online. Web2 is the current state of the internet where we don’t just read things, we create and share them. We’ve been in the era of user generated content for almost two decades and have amazing applications that have transformed the digital era (ie: Netflix, Amazon, Google). Web3 is where we’re going. In fact, we’ve already begun. The global market cap of Web3 related companies sits at about one trillion dollars and rapidly growing! There are amazing careers students can take to be on the cutting edge of technology, no matter what they study in college. Web3 needs programmers, marketers, CEOs, designers, and communications experts to name a few. Get your students excited about innovation and technology!
High School students are constantly being told what to do. Read this chapter. Do this homework. Take out the trash. Drive your sister here. It can be overwhelming and leave students feeling upset, unmotivated or angry. I teach students how to turn everything into a game. A game where they control the rules. Students learn they can’t control the input but they can control the output. During that processing time I’ll show them how to take whatever they are working on and turn it into a game (where they get a REWARD) and teach them how to incorporate gamification into personal and professional goalsetting. The purpose of this talk is to give the students the tools to improve the likelihood of achieving goals, show them how they can be more productive, and to get them excited about the future!
Trying New Things and the Art of Saying Yes
You’re busy. I get it. Though, everybody’ busy, right? Sometimes we get so busy we don’t want to take on anything else on and we say, “no.” “Yes” is the answer to more opportunities, more growth, and more progress. When we’re open to new experiences, we open ourselves up to new possibilities. We learn and grow, both as individuals and as a society. In fact, collecting raw data (AKA experiencing life) is the first step in the entrepreneurial process. In order to have an “a-ha moment” we needed to have made connections from life experiences. Students will discover that saying yes creates a fun environment where it’s OK to fail and learn. They’ll learn how to make better decisions, become more outgoing (introverts can be outgoing when they need to), and are encouraged to begin to explore what the world has to offer.
Overcoming Life's Curveballs
Many times in life there are events that “aren’t supposed to happen” and we get absolutely devastated. Maybe it’s a death in the family, a breakup, getting fired or not making the team. Or maybe its not getting the grade you thought you would, or your hard drive crashing, or not getting into the school you want, or maybe its your parent’s divorce. Things don’t always go as planned, and I know. I’ve been thrown all of the curveballs I just mentioned. There are no exceptions to life’s curveballs, but knowing how to deal with them helps build better character. Students learn the importance of resiliency and community, why back up plans is important, and better understand how to prepare for the future.
University of Tampa Incubator