At this very moment somewhere around the world, someone is squealing with delight because they just got engaged.
Maybe you're one of those people who just said, "OMG! YES!" I want your attention.
Before it's really kicked in that you're on your way down the aisle, I bet you've already created your wedding inspiration Pinterest Board, picked out the crew for your bridal party, and already have 5 venue visits lined up.
But what about hiring a MC for your reception? Have you ever thought about that or were you thinking of going with your Uncle or your bestie who, let's be honest, really can't be trusted after a few? Here's why you SHOULDN'T ask one of your guests to be your MC:
While it may be a great honour for them when you ask a friend/family member to MC at your wedding, it will also be a burden for you...and for them.
Your guests want to celebrate you and your big day! If their day job doesn't involve hosting, it will probably be overwhelming for them to coordinate with vendors, catch any problems before they happen, and follow a very tight schedule. I can almost guarantee that you will be watching them closely to ensure everything is running smoothly.
So basically....let your friends/family do their one job: Be-your-guest (insert Beauty and the Beast here)
Allow me to give you 5 solid reasons why you should hire me to lead your reception:
1. CAN WE SAY #RECEPTIONGOALS?
Your guests won’t have THE best time you want them to have without an experienced entertainer who can read the crowd and keep the momentum going. You have a vision for your reception. You want your guests to be talking about it for days and weeks to come.
Believe me when I say, I can make that happen. Completing your reception vision is what I aim to do.
2. I'M EXPERIENCED IN CHANNELING THE FLOW OF EVENTS
I meet with you and your partner to cover the entire event in detail, ensuring that's going to make your reception perfect is covered. I can recommend timelines, suggest ways to enhance the event and provide you with suggestions you may not have heard that can create a unique feel. This organization carries throughout the night because I have a clear indication of how the evening should run and what your expectations are.
3. I BRING YOUR GUESTS TOGETHER
Distant relatives, friends out from out of town, young and old - doesn't matter how they are/aren't connected, I want everyone in that room to feel like they’re family. Through our pre-wedding consultation, I will gather information about who's attending so I know about your guests. Having that vital information helps me ensure that the flow of good vibes, laughter, and connection is flowing from beginning to end.
4. I'M A PRO IN KEEPING YOUR SQUAD IN CHECK
Who will direct your bridal party and family at the ceremony? Who’s going to line them up for introductions? Who’s in charge of making sure the toasts, special dances and dedications go without a hitch? What about reminding them to keep their speeches short, sweet, AND APPROPRIATE?
5. POINT BLANK ... I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING
It's more than just being able to #SlayTheMic. A large part of being a MC involves audience management. Being able to manage a room with 60+ people is not an easy task and given my track record of event hosting and speaking engagements, I’m qualified to take on the job.
I remember the magic I felt on my wedding day and I still can feel how sore my feet were from dancing and cheeks were from smiling so hard. If you hire me, I want to bring that same feeling to you.
Have questions? Want to see if my energy is right for your reception? Let’s schedule a meeting.
Hit the contact tab and let’s plan a date.
Who knew this topic would resonate with so many people? I first shared this message on my InstaStories (@iamjamgamble) and was told that I absolutely needed to share it with others as it will be gone in 24hrs!
Conflict is definitely something we've all gone through once or more in our lives and I'm sure we've experienced the physical side effects. In this short video, I actually thank my negative experiences for their rich and valuable lessons.
If you're someone who needs to talk further, don't hesitate to comment below or contact me through my website as I'm here to help.
When I've been interviewed for articles or have sat on a panel, I am often asked how I manage to do it all.
I find myself stumped because I don't feel like I do it all! I am simply doing what I love...which I guess seems like a lot because they all fall into different categories yet are all connected.
As a young woman growing up, I remember being coaxed by my parents and sometimes teachers to find a job that could provide me with financial security. Back then it had nothing to do with what you loved but more about which could give you better pay, benefits, and a pension. Now that I am older, it finally makes sense why I changed my mind every year in high school about (interior decorator, culinary chef, midwife, and CSI agent...see where my mind was?...) what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wasn't meant to be just one thing! I guess...I was meant to do it all.
In this interview with ON TV, I talk briefly about how I discovered my personal brand and ultimately what that did to help my career soar.
So what about you? Are you someone who believes in the 'power' of personal branding? Are you like me and have multiple passions on the go? I'd love to hear how you juggle it all! Share your answers below and help start a discussion!
If you're in transition and are looking to talk about your personal brand and image, hit the contact tab and let's talk!
*hides face in shame*
It’s been a while since I featured an educator on the blog and I’m so glad Kathleen finally shared her story with us because there was so many points she made that reminded me of my “why” as an educator. There was no fluff in her answers – it was just straight up (just how I like it!) and I couldn’t stop nodding my head when she talked about a difficult situation she faced in the classroom because I know that story oh too well.
Thank you Kathleen for participating and readers, be sure to connect with her too!
Name: Kathleen House
Who are you?
My name is Kathleen House
How long have you been working in the education field?
What school district are you in?
Peel District School Board
What subject/ grade do you teach?
I am an Educational Resource Facilitator
Big thanks to the wonderful women at See, Hear, Love for inviting me on their show to talk about a topic that's near and dear to my heart. Be sure to share your feedback by commenting below!
WATCH: Jam Appears on 100 Huntley Street | How Can We Be More Inclusive In Our Churches and Community?
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Maggie John, one of 100 Huntley Street 's incredible hosts. We spoke briefly and I shared with her my thoughts on disability awareness and inclusion in our churches. Little did I know, Maggie wanted our discussion to continue, and on 100 Huntley Street.
Side note: My Mother was ecstatic when she heard I would be making a guest appearance. She LOVES getting her dose of daily spirituality by watching the many stories of testimony and listening to the band's beautiful music. I made it, Mama!
As an able bodied educator and advocate, I felt an immense amount of pride being apart of this discussion. I am grateful for any opportunity that allows me to educate others about inclusion and acceptance.
Watch the segment below and be sure to share with your circles as it's a message we can all benefit from.
Another international educator being featured this week on the blog! I am really proud of how far the #HowDoYouDoIt series has gone and the educators it's introduced me to. Maria, is currently based in Ireland and it's very clear she's an educator who is love with her student's development. Thank goodness for educational superheros like Maria!
Be sure to connect with her after you've read about her journey into education!
Name: María Ortega
Who are you? How long have you been working in the education field? What school district are you in?
I am María, teacher of Spanish language and culture, with over 13 years teaching experience; six of which I worked in secondary schools in Spain and France, and also taught English and French to adults working in multinationals. During the last seven years I created my own teaching business, teaching Spanish language and culture online and offline.
What subject/ grade do you teach?
I teach Spanish language and culture, both online (via Skype) and offline by the means of workshops and retreats. The majority of my students are adults over 25, who want to be able to communicate in Spanish for personal and professional reasons.
What was learning like growing up for you? Easy, challenging?
My years as a student were very challenging. I was a mediocre student according to my teachers but I put in the hard work to be ticking along. However, despite the so-so results and an increasing lower self-esteem after every school-year, I loved learning and felt a profound admiration to the majority of the teachers.
Growing up, I often got into trouble for being a tad chatty in class. It didn’t matter where my teachers moved me, I found someone to talk to! Obviously I was preparing for my future career as a professional speaker and media personality! (how 'bout that past teachers?!)
I've always loved speaking to groups. I'm pretty sure I was mastering my skills in Mama Bear's tummy.
I remember when I was in middle school, whenever we had an assignment and had a choice between a written or oral report, you ALREADY KNOW I was all over option B! So to those who know me personally, it's no surprise that a large part of my career focuses on public speaking. It's no longer an odd gig here and there, but a job where I'm booked months in advanced for.
But here's the thing, it took time before I could confidently declare I was the #SlayerOfTheMic and my goal is that you'll have the same level of confidence after reading this blog.
1. Get comfortable on camera:
Before you get comfortable with an audience, you need to get comfortable with yourself! Talking in the camera to watch your facial expressions, hear your tone (we all think we sound awkward at first!)...are major factors that can keep your audience engaged or lose them completely. How did I get comfortable on camera? I acted like it was my best friend I was confiding in! "Wow! Can you believe that's what they told me?!" Could you imagine how I looked/sounded when you read that? My eyes were wide, my tone was high, and my body language was definitely expressive. I made mini clips every day and watched them back to critique myself (which was again, awkward at first but so needed). Look at it this way: if you can take selfies, do IG stories, and Snap...you're definitely capable of building on those social skills and bringing it to an audience.
2. Know your topic(s):
I can't believe I'm actually saying this but PLEASE know what you're talking about before you except people to pay you to talk about it! This is where 'fake it till you make it' doesn't apply. Did you see that clip of Justin Trudeau where they thought he wouldn’t know a thing about Quantum computing? Could you imagine the backlash he would face if he just decided to freestyle what he thought it was? When you're knowledgeable about your content, not only does it show confidence and professionalism, it demonstrates to your audience that you are worth what you’re asking. Spare your audience and your reputation your alternative facts and tell them what they need to know.
3. Don't dismiss unpaid gigs:
Instant payment isn’t everything! I can say without hesitation that if I didn't do pro bono events, I would not be the speaker/host I am today. Through social media (especially Twitter), I’ve connected with several community groups because I pitched myself as someone who can speak on a variety of topics and captivate their audience. Why was I able to do that? Because I was confident enough in my ability to #SlayTheMic. This is my theory when it comes to making money: I am paid in 3 ways - opportunities, money, and blessings. With 80% of my unpaid gigs, I:
4. Connect with your audience's energy:
I can't stress enough the importance of connecting with your audience. I can bet you remember a time you were at an event and the speaker was pretty much speaking to themselves because they weren't doing anything to engage the audience! I especially love looking out for people in the crowd who I am potentially losing. For example, I'll ask the group a question and will make eye contact with the person who needs some 1 to 1 attention. A simple question like, "anyone else been in this situation before? What about you?” is enough to wake up the stragglers because they know at some point, they may get called on and they don’t want that to happen! I'm all for audience participation as well because it brings up the energy, gives people the opportunity to share their thoughts/feelings, and ultimately allows you to hold their attention.
5. Treat the stage like it's your playground:
Once when I was hosting TEDx Distillery District, I had space to move throughout the audience and a very large stage to work with. I loved that I was able to utilize both because it made my audience feel like I was interacting with them individually. Being able to move freely, I was making eye contact with people, giving high fives, heck I even got someone dancing! Nothing bad can happen when you work the room and the stage simultaneously. This is another simple technique that demonstrates that you're comfortable with yourself and your audience. Have fun, get the audience on your side, and make magic happen on stage!
WARNING: Just make sure you pause with your movements every so often as you don't want to come across antsy.
Want a free 30 minute #SlayTheMic coaching session? Sign up via the contact tab!
Anyone can be a speaker as long as you have a way to communicate. But...you have to know how to deliver your message and use your voice in a way to captivate your audience AND get booked.
Have a tip of your own? Comment below so we can learn together!
After a mini break, I am SO excited to be back featuring another incredible educator. I've been wanting to feature more educators of colour because growing up, I rarely saw any in the classroom and even today as an educator myself, that's still the case. It is obvious that Katrina is always learning AND is having fun too, which is the sign of a true educator. Her insight was refreshing and inspiring - a perfect read to start my week
Be sure to connect and learn with Katrina after you learn more about her.
Name: Katrina Denise Kearney
Who are you? How long have you been working in the education field?
My name is Katrina Denise Kearney. This year marks my sixteenth year as an educator.
What school district are you in?
I currently work as a fifth grade teacher in the Howard County Public School System. I am also a part of a cadre of teachers who support other fifth grade teachers in the area of social studies.
What subject/ grade do you teach?
As a fifth grade teacher, I teach all core subjects which include math, language arts, science and social studies.
Who was your favourite teacher when you were a student? What made them stand out from the rest?
I love answering this question. My favorite teacher was my middle school 8th grade teacher, Ms. Nichols. As a student in an inner city public school, many of my peers had never traveled or imagined mountain climbing. We were aware of problems within our communities or those within the United States, but not around the world. Ms. Nichols often reminded us that the world was expansive and we had the ability to see and know about it al. She was an “out of the box” educator. We learned about segregation in the US and apartheid in South Africa. She helped me to think globally and analyze how I can impact the world even at a young age. I distinctly remember meeting two K2 Mountain Climbers. They visited our class and shared stories about their previous expeditions and the challenges and expected victories of their expedition to Mt Everest. I really do not remember why we met those climbers in relation to content, but they impacted me greatly because they really showed us that if we conquer fear, we could climb any mountain (metaphorically speaking). I know this was not a part of the curriculum, so it shows that she was willing to teach us no matter what it took to connect.
I’ve been carrying a sack of guilt for the past month and it’s finally taken a toll on me. I’m calling it out, I’m addressing it, and I’m taking control.
I’ve been trying to determine what I’ve been carrying in this big ol’ sack of mine. Is it a feeling of inadequacy? Am I going about things wrong? Am I not doing as well as those around me? What is this feeling?!
Last night as I was trying to tackle my to-do list at 11:30 PM it came to me. I am feeling this way because I have a Fear of Not Keeping Up.
I’ll be the first to raise my hand and admit that I am an impulsive idea starter. Are you too? Something comes to me, I jump on it, and thennnn…..another idea pops up and that last one takes a temporary back seat. Sometimes I manage that feeling, and other times, like now, it begins to eat me up inside.
So I decided to share my concept of FONKU on Facebook Live. I talk about what FONKU is and how to deal with it. Yes, it’s long! When I’m super passionate or excited about something and start vlogging, it’s hard to summarize in 5-10 minutes! So please, allow me to have your attention for 20 minutes.
Perhaps FONKU is the reason behind how you’re feeling now. If so, talk about it! Share your feelings, let out those fears, and give yourself permission to not feel guilty if you’re not keeping up. Believe me when I say that it's OK!
I’d really love to hear your take on FONKU, so please be sure to share your comments and feedback!
Jam Gamble - Connector of People, Ideas and Energy