Tales From the Road

Posted February 01, 2008 by Terri Sjodin

Bush and Terri SjodinHi to All! Happy New Year! I hope this note finds you well! I am finally back home again after a very interesting week. On Wednesday morning, January 23rd I flew out to DC for a special speaking engagement for the US House of Representatives Republican Members at their annual GOP Congressional Retreat.

We were asked to all meet at the Rayburn House building by the Capital and load onto secured buses. We were then transported to the train station and onto a private train for a 5 hour journey out to the Greenbrier Resort Hotel in West Virginia ( You must check out this very interesting hotel. It has a bunker underneath it which was designed to hold the Congress members and their families in the event of a nuclear attack – so crazy!

Rich Thau and I were the “Edu-train-ment”. Our job was to deliver short programs in the theater car on the train. My program was on “Case, Creativity, and Delivery – The Core Elements of a Winning Speech/Presentation”. In Rich’s session, he presented the latest polling data results from his research and Dial Testing work on the debates, etc.

Speaking on a moving train to the members of Congress is challenging. It was not a smooth ride and we got tossed around a lot. I literally flew around a couple of times and had to grab onto the side rails after catching air! I laughed out loud and the good news is that they all laughed with me. It ended up being funny and very exciting! I must admit it was all worth it because this event has been one of my most memorable speaking engagements ever! Moral of the story: Try as you might, you just can’t be prepared for everything! So go with the flow and enjoy the ride!

The Greenbrier Resort is an amazing place. I had a blast! The staff was incredible. I wish I could have stayed longer and explored it more. I also really enjoyed the more personal interaction with the members and their families. Note: The Hot Chocolate made from real chocolate with cream was unbelievably decadent but worth the calories!

This was my 2nd invitation to present at the Retreat, and I feel so incredibly honored to be included in these programs. I truly enjoy meeting and working with this incredible group of people. Seeing the thought-leaders in our country who are in attendance speak, visiting and meeting with the House Leaders, Senior Staff, and the President is just incredible! (This time I got a formal press photo taken with the President, which is kinda neat.) I am so grateful for the opportunities! The good news is that they told me they were pleased with my work again and that they intend to bring me back to assist with ’08 election/reelection campaign speech coaching… So, hopefully, more to come! Wishing you great sales presentation adventures in 2008!


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