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  • Writer's pictureMickey Carolan

7 Lessons Learned From Speaking at the American School for the Deaf

Good Morning My Friends,

Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to speak at the American School for the Deaf (ASD). It was an experience that left a lasting impression on me, not only for the chance to interact with such remarkable students but also for the valuable lessons I learned.

Today, I want to share those seven lessons with you, hoping they might inspire you, too.

Before I do, I want to publicly thank Maria, the ASD Leadership, Students, and Staff for entrusting me to help celebrate "Read Across America" with the Tigers!


1. Students Love Special Guests

They Were Engaged and Responded Well. This wasn't just an observation, it was a powerful reminder. The energy and enthusiasm of the students at ASD were contagious. Their active participation throughout my presentations highlighted the importance of creating an interactive experience for any audience.

2. Deaf Kids Can

Do Anything Other Kids Can Do Except for Hear. So Many Remarkable Students There!  Their potential shone brightly, and it was clear that they will achieve anything they set their minds to, just like any other child. It's a reminder that we should all strive to create inclusive environments where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
It's why, my children's book series is named Deaf Kids Can!

3. My ASL Needs Work

It Will Always Be My First Language, But It's Not My Primary Language Now and It Shows. (For clarity, I can have a fluent conversation, I just default to finger spelling a bit quicker than I'd like). This might seem like a personal anecdote, but it holds a valuable lesson.
My presentation at ASD, highlighted areas where my fluency could be improved. It served as a powerful reminder that language learning is a lifelong journey, and even those who are proficient must continually strive to refine their skills. This applies not just to spoken or signed languages, but to any skill we want to maintain or elevate.

4. Writing Books Opens Doors

And It Is Just the Beginning. This Unique Opportunity Wasn't Even on My Radar Until I Wrote a Few Books! This experience is a powerful testament to the transformative power of putting your ideas out there.
Before writing my books, I never imagined speaking at the ASD. This unexpected opportunity highlights the vast possibilities that can unfold when you take a leap of faith and share your work with the world. So keep writing, keep creating, and never underestimate the impact your work might have.

5. No Podium, No PowerPoint

Most PowerPoints Suck and the Podium is a Crutch. Leave an Impression Without Using Those. This wasn't just about ditching technology for the sake of it. Presenting without a podium or PowerPoint forced me to connect with the audience on a more personal level and deliver a more impactful message.
It's a valuable reminder that relying solely on visual aids or traditional presentation formats can sometimes hinder a genuine connection with your audience. Instead, focus on storytelling, using your body language effectively, and creating a space for interaction.

6. Everyone Covets the ‘Inside Scoop’

Or in This Case, As an Author, “What’s the Next Book About?” The students' curiosity about my upcoming projects wasn't unique. We all love a good inside scoop! This highlights the importance of engaging your audience and fostering a sense of connection and anticipation.
Whether you're a speaker, a writer, or an entrepreneur, consider ways to create a sense of community around your work. Share sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes glimpses, or exclusive content to keep your audience engaged.

7. Being Low Maintenance Pays Off

Make Your Fees Clear, Limit Any Special Requests, and Overdeliver. Being clear about fees, limiting special requests, and exceeding expectations are all practices I value, and this approach proved to be well-received by the ASD.
It's a lesson that applies to any professional endeavor. By setting transparent expectations and focusing on delivering exceptional value, you build trust and cultivate long-lasting relationships with clients or collaborators.


If you'd like to learn more about the history of ASD, please start HERE.


This week's book recommendation is a new release from an author friend who endorsed my book Mom Dad Not Hear.

Please consider picking up a copy of: You Belong Here: The Power of Being Seen, Heard, and Valued on Your Own Terms by Kim Dabbs 

With CODA Love,


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2 комментария

Gary Fenske
Gary Fenske
08 мар.

My grandson Bentley in the 3rd grade at ASD was thrilled by your visit and the autographed copy of the book he received.It is clear you made a lasting memory for him.Thank You Mickey.

Mickey Carolan
Mickey Carolan
08 мар.
Ответ пользователю

Gary - thank you so much for that feedback! As much as I left an impression, they left an even greater mark. It was such a fantastic experience!

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