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5 months ago

Inspiring teenagers

Opening the door,

Opening the door, Melissa continued her education of Riccardo. "At this high school there is an entrepreneur program supported by 'Young Enterprise', a non-profit organization which provides advice and support to new companies during their start-up phase. 'Young Enterprise' has for many years paid for motivational speakers at this high school to deliver their message to students about the services they offer." She rounded on Riccardo, "I see that you are going to give a talk on 'Starting and Running a Company'. We have asked the teachers to gather the first year students in the Assembly Room. There are about a hundred of them. They are aged between 16 and 18, and have been at here for less than a week. This assembly is part of their orientation to the school." True enough, there were about a hundred teenagers in the Assembly Room. "Welcome," Melissa concluded her speech to Riccardo, and walked on stage and stood behind the podium, picked up a microphone and tapped it. The room hushed. Standing onstage at the podium in the front of the Assembly Room, Melissa greeted the students and said, by way of introduction, "We are going to hear from Mr. Midwinter about his company. We look forward to an interesting and inspiring talk." Melissa passed the microphone to Riccardo and walked offstage. The students applauded politely. They had little idea about what was going to happen. Neither did Riccardo. His heart was pounding in his head. "Read the room, listen to them, contact and engage," intoned Riccardo's inner voice. Riccardo held the microphone to his chest and began his introduction, "My name is Riccardo and I run my own company. I have almost always run my own company. I started when I was young." 30

Leaving those clues hanging in mid-air, he paused, looking at the hundred faces turned towards him. He pointed at the projector screen. "Here is some information about me and my company." He stood to one side of the screen and clicked the remote control. On the screen now there were three words, two numbers, and five pictures. "What do you think those words mean?" Riccardo asked the audience. Answers came from students sitting in the front row: "It’s where you were born"; "The name of your company"; "It's where you work." Riccardo nodded at them and looked around for more comments from the students in the back rows of the Assembly Room. He next pointed at the numbers on the screen. He asked, directing the question as far back into the room as he could, "What do you think those numbers mean?" One of the back row students shouted out the first thing that came to his mind, "It’s the year you were born." "Almost," encouraged Riccardo. "What else could it be?" Another student shouted out her answer over the first student, "No, it’s your age!" and two more students chimed in with agreement. Riccardo paused, even though their answers were correct. Another student raised her hand and suggested a different answer. "It’s how many employees you have?" she offered. "Interesting." Riccardo raised an eyebrow, "If that were true, then what else would be true?" She gave no answer, but was clearly thinking about his question. 31

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