Wendy Wortham on Public Speaking at Weddings & Events
When I’m conducting a wedding, funeral or other religious ceremony, it is my role to “take charge” while effectively working the room with a sense of humor should it be necessary. Addressing a large group of guests or the wedding party is no easy task when it’s my responsibility to get everyone “in their places” or, to quiet down and commence the ceremony. Is there often drama or unexpected crisis? You bet there is and it’s my job to fix whatever is wrong and “move along.” My hilarious sidekick sister often throws her own brand of humor into the mix with her Cindyism spin on the situation. As a child a chronic stutter kept me silent for years, as an adult I’m fun, fearless and capable of achieving great things because I believe in myself and anything I involve myself in.
This means that I don’t half heartedly doing anything, if it’s important enough for me to involve myself with then it’s important enough for me to give it 110% not 50% I’m no longer the frightened child who grew weary of anyone having the patience to listen to me attempt a conversation. I evolved and by learning to speak I’ve also learned to kick the trash out of my way, the “Negative Nancy’s” the naysayers that could suck the life out of you, crush your dreams and your goals.
I’ve met a lot of these “trash talking types” who contribute nothing other than a negative opinion or put down. Instead, I surround myself with other wounded warriors who found their spirit and realize their potential, who cherish the people we meet and listen to the stories of their own pitfalls and setbacks.
You see, this “little light of mine- I’m gonna let it shine!” I surround myself with others who “shine” we are a good team of resilient soldiers who may carry the scars of battles we were forced to overcome but, battled on anyway to earn our place.
Being a good listener is a requirement in nearly any career path, if you cannot fathom what is important to the other individual- how on earth are you planning to satisfy them? I’m comfortable addressing large groups of people because my history in the modeling and fashion industry forced me to be.
I was never the “skinniest” or, the affluent socialite who was modeling as a hobby or for fun. You see, I needed to sell high end products to pay my bills and support my son so effectively, it was a job and at the end of the day, a paycheck I needed.
Being “shy” won’t move merchandise but having a “bold and outgoing” personality will! My twin, Cindy Daniel and I are bold redheads who have never been shy or afraid of a new “challenge” or, “adversity.” We’ve never been lucky but, we are resilient! Outspoken, passionate and perseverant, my twin and I have run from the grasp of poverty all of our lives. Poverty is the “dark stranger” that keeps you running into the alleys and around the cars to escape it’s painful grip.
If you are in a field that requires you to sell in order to earn a living then you need to learn to listen too. The sales industry often “teaches” you a lot about consumers as a whole. They are either open and honest or, guarded and suspicious of salespeople. If you are unable to gain their trust- you will never be able to sell them. I wouldn’t buy from anyone I didn’t trust and you shouldn’t either.
I’ve never sold anything in my life that I wouldn’t buy, wear or drive. If you attempt to sell a product that you can’t believe in, you are in the wrong field and need to consider changing your career path. If I was asked to sell a cheap import and say it was a high quality, hand crafted item- I quit. Thousands of my previous customers trust me because if I told them a third party warranty was worthless- I meant it! If you are buying a used vehicle, do yourself a favor and get the certified warranty or, none at all. The commission on third party vehicles warranties is very high for good reason, an unethical salesman will “pitch” this product in order to “fleece” a customer, I never did.
Folks ask how I can “control a room.” How did I get brave enough to take risks and be in the spotlight? Well, I didn’t really have a choice if I wanted to earn a living ya all. Thrown into the spotlight with Cadillac (a position I took while going through a divorce in order to have a vehicle since my ex husband sold my car) I was the ONLY female new car salesperson at the dealership. Without a way to seek employment and pay my bills- I was a “creative” survivor. Now I would need to learn everything I could on my own about the product so I could sell it honestly as my opinion regarding anything I’ve ever sold is asked 99.9% of the time. If I didn’t think it was a good value- I told you about it. If I thought you could get a better price, I told you that as well. I’ve always been upfront and honest about anything I’ve ever sold. Lying to earn a living is a horrific way to do business!
“Old dogs” with repeat customers and years on the sales floor had many advantages that this struggling single mother did not. I needed a demo vehicle to get my son to school and to buy groceries, visit my family or have any degree of independence. Within 6 months of taking the position- I was among the old dogs in sales quotas because I was driven and passionate about the product I was selling AND, targeted the market group of consumers buying luxury vehicles. Yes, I’m smart and take the time to find an effective marketing “strategy.”
In order to “keep” my demo, I had a sales quota. I did and gained the Cadillac Mark of Excellence in customer satisfaction as well as top sales for North Texas three years in a row. Yes, I beat the “old dogs” by working harder and, thinking outside the box! Ah, now you’re catching on. Thinking outside the box was a necessity for me and, with a history of modeling under my belt- I hired a photographer and paid for advertising at area country clubs. Creative by virtue of necessity, I’ve overcome many adversities in my life with flying colors because failure was never a luxury that I could afford!
I’m not shy, my twin isn’t shy and our Little Pawners Maryssa and Makenna aren’t shy either. Being shy will isolate you, take risks and succeed in any field you desire by believing in yourself and trusting your own judgment.
Controlling a room can be easier than you think but remember, there is a remarkable difference between a performer and an entertainer! Engaging your audience is part of being a great entertainer, being a self involved narcissist (I’ve met a lot) will give you the spotlight you don’t want.
Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself, smile and the world will smile with you. Speak the truth and others will learn to trust you, reach back and smile at that person behind you- they might need the kindness of a stranger and finally, be the person you’ve never met.
I sacrifice everyday in order to provide a Dream Event for families- I sacrifice my time, my money, and my team to give others the gift of hope and the memories of a dream event. No, this is no small task and it involves a LOT of dedication on my part but, I AM the person I’ve never met.
Sure, I had many things to overcome and none of them were either “easy” or without sacrifice. Feeling sorry for myself would always be the luxury I couldn’t afford, being a pioneer, a survivor, compassionate and capable- I would march on and accomplish things in my life that seemed inconceivable at the time but challenged me, empowered me and granted me the resilience to achieve great things without the benefit of a benefactor.
I never had a mentor, a financier or anyone to fall back on- I only had myself and a dream that one day the fear of poverty would be a forgotten nightmare that I need no longer run away from. Failure a thing I had not faced with a fearful heart and adversity a challenge that no longer defined me.
I would “dust myself off” and find a way over, under or around anything that stood in the way of myself and gifting others with kindness, compassion and self sacrifice to achieve a Dream Event and, I would later involve my family in an endeavor that I knew would give them faith in humanity and a voice for those who could not find their own. When I go to sleep at night, I have no things that I “wish I would have done” no apologies, no apprehensions about not doing the “right” thing in a situation. Why? Because I live my life for others and I trudge on to help other families who need my help. Controlling a room? Yes, if I need to.
Surviving? I had no other choice and, at the end of the day- things that challenged me, that scared me and brought into my life the fear of failure have never defined me. Quite the opposite, they made me who I am, a Wedding Warrior. The Pawning Planners takes trades for services when clients can’t afford to pay us. Refurbishing these items is an often expensive and time consuming endeavor on my part in order to “flip” and recover expenses for the event. Am I that committed to helping others? You bet I am! Nearly four years after starting Texas Twins Events, my dedicated followers already know that I write creative content to be on the top of search engines- I don’t “buy” placement, I earned it. Years of blogging several times a week is time consuming, years of retweeting, liking and sharing to earn a dedicated following on social media? I earned it as did my twin, Cindy Daniel.
We are not afraid of hard work and dedication mainly because we have never known anything else and had we benefitted from middle class or affluent parents- we would be lazy and self involved and most certainly would have never jumped into the Dream Events business that often doesn’t cover expenses due to the large number of clients who have no money or, nothing to trade. It happens more than anyone realizes and, we are working hard on other ideas to get more revenue in order to continue with our humanitarian efforts.
Coming soon- Pawning Planners Apparel and Cindyism Texas Humor Tshirts and mugs to fund dream events for families who otherwise could not afford them. I’m changing the wedding and events industry one family at a time from Fort Worth, Texas by taking trades for services and sponsoring families in need- what have you done for a stranger today? Wendy M Wortham