On the 29th of March, for Townley’s annual EDGE Day Mr Steve Beckles Ebusua, better known as The Speaker with the Orange tie, visited Townley Grammar School to give a motivational and educational workshop. The goal was to inspire the students to meet and exceed their own expectations.

EDGE stands for Explore, Discover, Grow, Engage. According to Townley Grammar School’s website, ‘It is a programme designed to introduce our students to theories and practical application of metacognition and self-regulation.’ In preparation for mock exams, the theme this year was ‘Revision’. And of course, who better to host than The Speaker with the Orange tie.

As someone who was able to witness his workshop, I was incredibly privileged to be able to interview Steve and enjoyed learning about his love for his job and his personal experiences. Steve is an exceptional motivational speaker who has spoken to over 1 million people and has been doing this for 17 years. He has dedicated himself to helping young people – travelling to 8 different states in the US, 5 different countries in Europe, and countries as distant as Ghana. He truly is an international ambassador for excellence.

I asked him what motivated him to choose this career and to this he replied: “I’ve always believed it’s important to do something you love. I’ve gone through journeys where I haven’t done what I really enjoy doing. I read that 86% of adults are in jobs they dislike, and the highest heart attack rate is on a Monday morning between 6 and 9 o’clock, and I decided that, at one stage in my life I was part of that. That motivated me to do something which helps others. One of my frequent sayings is - If your WHY is big enough, your HOW does not matter. My WHY was trying to help young people to help themselves, and I’ll always be doing that.”

A big part of Steve’s theme is the colour orange. It is even in his title - ‘The Speaker with the Orange tie’. Steve is never sighted without an orange accessory, his orange tie as an example. So, what’s the significance behind this colour? In Steve’s words ,“I’ve always liked orange, it’s a vibrant colour and I read that the Japanese said it’s like a Feng Shui colour. With orange, it connects and draws people together, so orange has an energy that whenever I put it on, it changes my mindset. That’s why I love the colour.”

During Steve’s workshop, several useful revision techniques were brought up such as: • The 30-10 method Spending 30 minutes revising or homework and then spending 10 minutes on a chosen chore) • ‘Being a spy to remember’.

Using the alphabet-based phrases to code key dates. E.g. Step 1. 1666 – The great fire of London. Step 2. AFFF. Step 3. A Ferocious, Flaming Fire • Learning by listening (Listening to podcasts or audiobooks while doing a core and getting ready) • Utilising the type of learner that you are Auditory learners, kinaesthetic learners, visual learners etc.

Abigail Tesfay, a year 11 student who also watched the event, described it as “very fun and engaging”. She added that the revision techniques were useful and that she will be using them in the future.

When asked what his overall message was, this is how Steve responded - “My overall message is to believe in yourself because when you get on with yourself, you can get on with anyone. I believe it’s about connecting, talking and helping others but always believing in yourself that something can happen, if you believe in it. If you believe in something enough that doesn’t exist, you will create it. You must get the right people around you because your circle often depends on how successful you are. Your circle will help you make the right choices. Look at the friends you’ve got, how are they? Are they aspiring to what you're aspiring to do, and if they're not, sometimes during exam period you need to find people who are aspiring, and really want to achieve.”

Some of Steve’s favourite quotes: • “If your WHY is big enough, Your HOW does not matter.”

• “If you believe enough in something that doesn’t exist, you'll create it.”

• “When you change the way you look at something, the thing you look at would change.”

• “Your beliefs determine your attitude. Your attitude determines how you feel. How you feel determines how you act, and how you act will determine what you gain in life.”