What I Learned from Miss America, Superman, and Super Woman

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With Vanessa L. Williams

My coaches always tell me “Never give up.”  Now I understand why.

Having reached the level of Distinguished Toastmaster, I continue to learn about public speaking by studying other communicators. Not just speakers, but broadcasters, writers, lecturers, actors and others in the art of communication.  This week I got to meet many who are exceptional in their respective fields.  Actor Glenn Morshower, comedian Adam Ace, “Secret Millionaire” James Malinchak, entrepreneur Craig Duswalt, Dr. Sudip Bose, and many others.  But three in particular stand out.

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Glenn Morshower, Craig Duswalt, Dr. Sudip Bose, James Malinchak

In 1983, Vanessa Williams became the first African-American Miss America.  Ten months later, she relinquished the crown amidst a scandal that ended up in Penthouse magazine. Today she has multiple Grammy, Tony, and Emmy nominations to her credit and is by far the most famous Miss America ever.  (Can you remember any other?) Currently, her stage performance at the Ahmanson Theatre in “The Trip to Bountiful” is riveting.  She never gave up.

Dean Cain reached his dream of being a professional football player with the Buffalo Bills.  During training camp, a knee injury derailed his career.  He then turned to screenwriting and acting.  After many auditions, he eclipsed Kevin Sorbo for the role of Superman that would change his life.  He is still a working actor and now has the luxury of passing up roles.  He never gave up.

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With Dean Cain

Jen Bricker is a Romanian-American acrobat and aerialist.  Emulating Olympic gymnast Dominique Moceanu, Jen became a decorated acrobat.  In a twist of fate, she later discovered that Dominique was her biological sister. Jen had been adopted and was born without legs.  She never gave up.  She may not be the original Superwoman but in my mind, she is a Super Woman.

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Jennifer Bricker and Craig Duswalt

These three inspiring role models never gave up.  It is isn’t enough to have talent, looks, or good genes to succeed.  It takes never giving up.

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