It’s 8:45 on a Saturday morning and twenty women have gathered in a training room on loan from a local bank. They’re here to attend The Total Woman Workshop and Luncheon. There’s a lot of talking, hugging, and introductions but everyone is a friend, colleague, or relative and the connections are obvious.
The Business and Professional Women’s group (http://arkansasbpw.yolasite.com) has been putting on this event for eight years which allows women to talk to women about issues that affect women. The subjects are interesting and varied: advice to achieve success, voting, depression, auto-immune disease, and then Organization: The Key to Success in Life by yours truly.
I am pretty anxious about speaking. I have my speech typed up but then there are blue ink marks and additions all over – like I’m going to remember that when I get up in front of these ladies! I am the luncheon speaker, the last presenter and competing with food for their attention. Who can compete with food?! I worry about how I look, that I am making enough eye contact, and if my face is flushed. It happens no matter what and when I think about it, I blush even more. The one thing I am not worried about is what I want to say.
I talk about organizing being a difficult process and how someone can only be successful if she thinks about who she truly is and where her short comings are and organize for that. Not to organize based on what’s on Pinterest or HGTV, but to organize in a way that supports and makes life easier for the individual works best. I say that sometimes that means having hard conversations about priorities and goals.
I have them do an exercise on classifying something they brought with them. The idea is that everything we own is either a Treasure, Toy, Tool, or Trash depending on the emotion tied to that item and how functional it is. Surprisingly, we have a conversation about cell phones – I say mine is a Toy, I love it and it’s functional. Another woman says that she just thinks of it as a tool – no love there. That’s the point though, everyone is different.
I finish my presentation and ask if there are any questions. To me, this is where you can tell if you did well. If there are lots of comments and questions, it means they were paying attention and were interested in what you said and want to continue the conversation. I get a lot of questions, good questions, which makes me feel my presentation was strong.
Afterwards, I still have women come up and make comments, show me pictures, and thank me for coming. I hand out a few business cards, but honestly I feel like I’m the one who learned something valuable today. These women come in all different shapes and sizes, ages and colors, interests and backgrounds. The common thing is desire: to be a better person, to interact with others and learn from them, and to share experiences. The complete package with female flair is The Total Woman.