Motivational speaker gives tips to students
Bill Cordes speaks at NDSU Festival Concert Hall
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 12:08
Bill Cordes presented “YOGOWYPI” or “you only get out what you put in,” a motivational speech aimed at freshmen, which included tools for being successful in college and life.
Cordes, a national motivational speaker, spoke to NDSU freshmen Wednesday evening in the Festival Concert Hall.
Cordes, 49, is from rural Kansas and received his education from Fort Hays State University and the University of Hawaii. According to his website, he has presented in 49 states and spoken to more than 2.5 million students and educators.
Cordes admitted to the audience that he was not the best student when he was in college.
“I didn’t think I was smart enough,” he said. He explained that he struggled with feelings of insecurity as an undergraduate. However, once he went back to get his masters degree, he received all straight A’s and attributed the improvement to self-confidence.
The presentation centered on a set of tools that Cordes offered to the freshmen to help make the most of their college experience. He explained at length how the decision to come to college is a “cause set in motion” and how it affects everything that happens afterwards.
“You doing this now is bigger than you right now,” he emphasized.
Cordes’ first tool of motivation was telling the freshmen that they cannot have fun unless they get involved.
“Only boring people get bored!” he exclaimed.
He went on to explain that college is like a “tabula rasa,” or a clean slate. Cordes emphasized that people don’t get the chance to get a tabula rasa very often, but college is one of those chances.
Another tool Cordes gave the freshmen was how to overcome difficult times in their lives. Cordes referred to this as the “D’s,” which could be anything from drama to depression.
He explained that when we run into the “D’s” in life, we do one of the following: feel shameful, blame someone else, freak out on someone, deny that it is happening or quit all together.
Cordes himself has dealt with these reactions in his personal life, and especially during his college years.
His message was that none of these five methods work, but there is one that does. Cordes calls it “next.” He explained that when people run into the “D’s” in life they should say “next” rather than dwell on it to make it easier to move on.
“You’ve got to have the ability to respond,” Cordes said.
Cordes presented a third tool to the freshman: the acronym “SLANT.”
The “S” stands for sit straight. By sitting straight, the professor knows that the student is not just physically but mentally present and ready to learn.
The “L” stands for lean forward. By leaning forward, the professor knows that the student is readily taking in information and paying attention.
The “A” stands for ask questions. Cordes said that by asking questions, the professor gets to know the student and creates a relationship with them.
The “N” stands for nod. By nodding, the professor gets feedback that what they are teaching is being received and understood.
The “T” has two meanings. The first is “T-zone.” The T-zone is the front row and middle column of the room or auditorium. By sitting in these areas, the student gets a good view of the board or projector and sits in an area that communicates that he or she wants to learn.
The second “T” is talk to professors. A student can create a deeper relationship by talking to a professor and not just asking questions.
The last tool is to learn to laugh. After presenting this tool, Cordes told a series of jokes and the entire auditorium erupted in laughter. He explained laughter makes people present, and “life happens in the present.”
“The greatest gift you can give yourself is to live with no regrets,” Cordes said, offering his last piece of information for the freshmen.
For more information about Bill Cordes and YOGOWYPI, please visit his website at http://www.billcordes.com/.