Greg Smith Keynote Speaker

Leadership Expert on Resiliency and Inner Strength – Greg helps leaders and teams “Go Full-Strength!” for maximum productivity.

(228) 424-3896

Inner Strength insights from the world of sports, disability, entertainment, business, politics and everything else I’d like to share with you.

Monthly Archives: April 2014

A shout out to my friends in New Jersey and Atlanta.

The Dream Lives On…

NFL_Films_Presents_Logo

I received word from my new friends at NFL Films in New Jersey regarding my recent audition to be a narrator for their productions. They said they will keep my audio on file and when a producer wants to choose me to narrate, they will be in touch.

I don’t know if that is a nice way of saying “No thanks,” or if I will actually get that call one day. But I do feel so much better after taking the shot.

 

Atlanta Bound and on a Mission to “Silence the Negative Voice Within!”

Kennes_State-Univesity

Today I am making a quick trip to Atlanta, Georgia, where I am speaking at Kennesaw State University tomorrow. My “Quality of Life Coach,” Sugar Stallings, ESQ. will be driving a modified vehicle we secured from Team Adaptive Medical in Biloxi.

The seeds for my speech at Kennesaw State were planted 32 years ago, when my bandmate, Kevin Gecowets and I played for the Marching Mustangs at Downers Grove South high school in suburban Chicago. Haven’t seen him since. Looking forward to our reunion.

  • Atlanta is the headquarters of my fraternity, Omega Psi Phi.
  • Atlanta is the home of about 15 relatives from both sides of my family. It is also the home of dozens of very close friends.
  • Atlanta is the home of the Shepherd Center, one of the best rehabilitation centers in the country and the home of Mark Johnson, one of the greatest connectors of people I have ever met.
  • Atlanta is the home of Dr. Mitch Tepper, one of the leaving authorities on disability and sexuality in the world.
  • Atlanta is the home of Robby and Rickey Heisner, creators of the rock band Van Gogh, who made the music for my radio show, “On a Roll: talk radio on life and disability.”
  • Atlanta is the home of Simon Illa, music producer who produced the music for my radio show, “The Strength Coach.”
  • Atlanta is the site of one of my most memorable speeches of all time. It was at the Philips Arena. It was a graduation speech for Masha Malikina, a wheelchair user who was refused the opportunity to walk across the stage at her high school graduation. A local radio station gave her her own graduation at the arena, and I was selected as the keynote speaker.
  • Atlanta is the home of Steve Cohn, the editor of my memoir, On A Roll: Reflections From America’s Wheelchair Dude With The Winning Attitude.
  • Atlanta is the home of Eleanor Smith, founder of “Concrete Change.” She invented the term “visitability” and championed the concept of new homes being built with at least one level entrance and a bathroom wide enough to fit a wheelchair. So we can “get in and pee! “
  • Atlanta is the home of countless other friends and associates. You know who you are. I hope to see you tomorrow.
  • Atlanta is also the site of one of the biggest disappointments in my professional career. If you have heard me speak in the last 10 years, you know what I’m talking about.

It took me many years to overcome the effects of the negative voice that dominated after that day. If you come hear me speak tomorrow at Kennesaw State, you will learn the secrets to helping you silence the negative voice within. I guarantee that you will be moved by this presentation and it will have an impact on how you view life.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
1 o’clock till 3:00 PM
Register here for details and information.

Gulfport Job Corps To Hear Motivational Message

For Immediate Release:

April 17, 2014

Free Power Lunch” Today (4/17) for Job Corps Students

Motivational speakers Greg Smith and Sugar Stallings will be speaking to students from the Gulfport job Corps Center today at noon at the DeMiller Hall Non-Profit Community Services Center, 610 Water St, Biloxi, MS 39530.

The “Power Lunch” session is free for attendees.

Greg Smith, who is a professional member of the National Speakers Association, travels the country speaking at professional association conferences and corporate events.

“I have noticed that there is a disconnect between motivational speakers and the people who need them the most,” says Smith. “Most people who attend these conferences are already motivated. But the people in need of motivation the most cannot afford airfare, conference registration, hotel and other expenses.”

Smith and Stallings have established the “Power Lunch” as a way to inspire people in the local community.

Smith, who uses a wheelchair and has muscular dystrophy, has been a Coast resident for the past 13 years. Stallings, 31, is a new addition to the Gulf Coast. An attorney by trade, Stallings is the host of “A Call to Action,” a radio show airing Saturdays at 10:00 AM on Power Gospel 1190.

For more information, contact: Greg Smith 228-424-3896. Video and graphic elements are available on Greg’s website at www.thestrengthcoach.com.

You Can’t Win if You Don’t Take a Shot!

Shutting up the Negative Voice Within has Created an Exciting Opportunity! 

By Greg Smith

Sometimes, opportunity is right there in front of us, but we let it slip by because we listen to the negative voice within.  This has happened to me too much in life, but I want to share with you a recent example of what can happen when we silence that voice.

I was in an email dialogue with a producer at NFL Films.  He contacted me weeks earlier because I submitted an entry into a contest and almost won.  I emailed him, thanking him for the opportunity.  I added as a footnote to the email:

“For what it’s worth, I’ve always dreamed of being the voice of an NFL Films production.”

It’s true.  When I was a child, the voice of legendary announcer John Facenda, combined with the slow motion highlights and the dramatic music of NFL Films productions inspired me.   It helped me forge a passionate bond with football and sports broadcasting.  As a kid, I watched “Inside the NFL” on our big wooden color TV console while holding a Nerf football, tossing it in the air and making a fingertip catch of my own pass while diving onto the couch.  And I would imagine Facenda’s “Voice of God” slowly delivering the words… “a spectacular catch to seal the victory…”

All of those hours watching NFL Films productions created a desire to go into broadcasting as a career.  Luckily, I inherited my voice from my father, which translated into a formula for success as an announcer.

The email was immediately returned and the words surprised me:

“Not making any promises,” he said, “But we’d like you to read the attached scripts and send them back to us.  We’re always looking for new and different voices.”

Suddenly, a life-long dream never pursued turned into a real possibility.  If I didn’t put that one sentence at the end of that one email, this dream of mine would never have had the chance to see the light of day.

I recorded the scripts last week and submitted them yesterday.  I was going to wait for NFL Films’ response before sharing this story, but I changed my mind because I have a lesson to teach regardless.

I took the shot!

I created an opportunity for a dream to come true.  Regardless of whether NFL Films adds me to their voice team, I feel victorious just taking the shot!

Muscular dystrophy affects all the muscles in my body, including my facial muscles.  Some sounds are difficult for me to enunciate clearly.  The “J” sound in particular is a challenge.  It takes careful concentration and focus to minimize it.  I can hear it in the final product.  It may or may not be a show-stopper.  We’ll see.

Muscular dystrophy also impacts my respiratory system.  My lungs are small.  More frequent breaths need to be taken to get sentences out.  I need to sneak in breaths during pauses and mask the sound of the breathing.  And my condition results in a large accumulation of mucus.  That mucus needs to be dispelled frequently during a recording session.  My “spit cup” ain’t sexy, but it gets the job done.

Despite all these limitations, I didn’t pay any attention to that negative voice within.  That voice kept saying, “You can’t be an NFL Films voice because you mumble your words!  You have a decent voice but if you can’t articulate or breathe properly, you might as well not even try!”

Whatever, Negative Voice.  Now, like Tom Petty says, the waiting is the hardest part.  Will I be disappointed if they decide to pass?  Yes.  But this experience has inspired me to reassemble my studio and get back to announcing.  Either way, I am better off from taking the shot.

From now on, I will always take a shot when an opportunity arises.  And I will always do my best to MAKE opportunities arise.  In every aspect of life, I will never let the negative voice talk me out of it.  I want you to do the same.  Take the shot.  If you miss, you’ll still be better off.