This weekend was the first time I, as That Hard Hat Girl, spoke in front of a large crowd. My school, the University of Portland, has an event every year called Weekend on the Bluff, which is a weekend for prospective students. My involvement was presenting on behalf of the business school as the sophomore representative. I was very honored to even be asked be the representative, but I was ecstatic when the person in charge specifically asked me to wear my hard hat. What a milestone for THHG, and shout out to the Pamplin School of Business for the opportunity. I mentioned my hat in the presentation and throughout the day had conversations about my hat with parents and prospective students who recognized me because of my hat. I would consider it a very successful weekend! I love public speaking, and I really loved being able to wear my hat in front of 200+ people.


Possibly the best part of the experience was getting to watch my fellow presenters speak. Each of them, Connor, Katie, John, and Grant had their own style, and they were all truly excellent presenters.  I feel inspired to keep working on my public speaking because of how good they were; surround yourself with who you want to be. I am a believer in the power of learning from others, and I noticed some strategies that I want to emulate in my future public speaking events. I think they are GAME CHANGING, so I wanted to share them with you!


  1. Leave a Lasting Message- The last person to present did an amazing job pulling together all of our presentations, and left a clear message about the school. He quoted the university’s mission, that UP is committed to, “continued education of the mind, heart, and hands.” He then backed up each component of the mission with an anecdote about how he experienced this during his 4 years on the Bluff. It was powerful for me because it left a simple statement on my mind about UP and its commitment to the students.
  1. Tell a Story- My friend and public speaking coach has always said that telling a story is the best way to engage a group. Beyond that he says that it will be more impactful in the long run. People remember stories, so tell them.
  1. Be real. Be passionate. Be bold- I have had the hardest year of my life, so I put a poop emoji on one of my slides. Not to get attention, but because I wanted to be real with the prospective students: life in college is fun, but it ain’t easy. I was encouraging them to choose a university that was going to support them through the thick and thin. I saw the other speakers be just as genuine, and it was extremely powerful. Clearly I wore my hard hat, which was bold and showed my passion. Many people told me after that they both liked my hat and admired my excitement about hard hats. It made me blush, to say the least. Hard hatting in such a setting was awesome- which is why I am encouraging you to be bold this week. Be passionate. Be real.



Real time action shot, me and my fellow presenters, and me and a prospective student and parent!


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