Character Traits of a Youth Motivational Speaker

I’ve been a youth motivational speaker now for 20 years and have addressed audiences all over the world.  I consider being a teen or youth motivational speaker the greatest honor and career path that anyone can have.  I have been blessed beyond belief and still after 20 years, I am honored and grateful that my phone rings.

To every youth motivational speaker or teen motivational speaker that graces middle school and high school assemblies every day like I do, I have some words for you.  I also want these words to be heard by teens, youth, and adults respectively.

What is character?  What really is character?  It’s who you are and what you would do in times of adversity and triumph.  It’s what you do in times of pain, loss, suffering, but also how you respond and handle times of victory as well as defeat.

Many years ago, someone once said to me, “Jeff, when a school invites you to speak, you never not show up!”  I will always remember those words and have taken them to heart and honored those words with the exception of three times in my career because I was sick.

Going back to September 11, 2001.  I remember speaking in Bradford, PA when this day impacted our airlines and all flights.  I could have cancelled my high school assembly the next day in St. Louis, but I didn’t.  I took the hit on the car rental and paid the extra $500 to drop it off at a different location.  I drove through the night and made it to my high school in St. Louis for an 8am school assembly.

Most recently, I lost my best friend.  I lost my dog Chase, unexpectantly, as he passed in the night.

The morning that my wife found him, I was in Connecticut speaking.  I had just finished an evening program and was using the following day to travel to Pennsylvania for a high school assembly at Central Mountain High School.  At 7am I was awoken by my wife’s phone call.  She said, “Honey, I don’t know how to tell you this (pause), but Chase is dead.  I am very grateful that I have an amazing wife and she handled this much better than I did.

After I got myself together I rushed home and knew that if I were going to continue to Pennsylvania that I would have a 13 hour drive ahead of me.  I made it home and dealt with the loss of my best friend.  By the way, this was the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.

It was about 1pm and I asked my wife, “Marsha, do you want me to cancel tomorrow’s high school assembly to stay here with you?”  My wife is a high school english teacher and responded, “No, those kids need to hear you speak!”  I got in my car and drove the 9 hours and made it to Mill Hall, PA very late to speak the following morning.  I’m glad I did because the students were awesome and it was healing to share my stories with high school students.  Then, I drove home.

A few days later, I had to leave again for a Student Council Leadership Conference.  I said to my wife, “I gotta go!”  As hard as it was to be a great youth speaker for the teens, I did it and the kids responded on my facebook page with awesome testimonials.

In the end, we have to make sacrifices and do everything we can to fulfill our obligations.  Like many of us, sometimes we want to quit, cancel, or give up, but that isn’t an option if you are a person of character.

Don’t ever not show up when you make a commitment.

Here is the video I did of the passing of my dog:

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Author:Jeff Yalden, Youth Motivational Speaker

Youth Motivational Speaker & Teen Life Coach. Since 1992, Jeff Yalden has been mesmerizing audiences with his engaging style and passion. Jeff is a story-teller that every where he speaks, he guarantees he is real and in the moment, perfect for every audience. He is one of a kind. He's interactive and nobody pours as much energy and passion into their programs that Jeff does. Guaranteed, Jeff will be a defining moment and a highlight of your students lives.

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