Total Education Blog

Lizzie Wagner and Loving Yourself

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Recently we had a visit to the school from Lizzie Wagner, a consultant and presenter in the field of personal development and presentation.

One of our parents had worked with Lizzie and created the opportunity for her to do a presentation to our secondary students while she was in the district.

Teenagers are traditionally very chary about adults giving them advice on how to look and be, so it was with a little foreboding that I agreed.

My presentiment was entirely misplaced as it turned out. Lizzie, a former international model, loves engaging with young people and has a story herself which totally captured them from the word go. It was clear that she gets a lot of satisfaction and pleasure from seeing young people light up and progress.

Lizzie greeted every one of the 70 or so students from our school and the Warwick State High School personally at the pre-presentation morning tea. She later asked them all what was their first impression of her, and talked about the importance of personal presentation, particularly when looking for work.

Even the most sceptical students, while not necessarily agreeing with her, was won over by Lizzie’s charm and straightforward approach.

The part I loved most was her advice on giving and receiving compliments, something I think a lot of Australians have difficulty with. Lizzie told the students that a compliment was a gift and needed to be given as one and not with a detracting joke at the same time. Similarly, receive a compliment as a gift and thank the giver. She then got all the children to practice. What a great self esteem building exercise it was.

But the biggest surprise I got was when I asked one of the older students what was the single most important thing that they got from the session. “How can you expect people to love you if you don’t love yourself?” was the answer.

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