Keynote Speaker For Standard Chartered Bank Young Apprentice Programme 2011

It’s always gratifying to train youths as I know I can make a special impact in their lives. This is especially so when they are all fresh out of school and are eager to absorb as much as they can before they join the working world.

Organised as part of a 3 day programme for Standard Chartered Priority Banking customers’ children, I'm honoured to be involved in the Young Apprentice Programme 2011. This is a by-invitation event.

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The purpose of the programme seeks to discover gems among the youths who could become future employees at Standard Chartered Bank should they have a flair for sales, marketing or banking in general. Through these different workshops, an overall winner will be crowned on the final day.
 
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On each of the three days, there would be a keynote speaker who would share his/her expertise on a specific field. From what I learnt, the three topics chosen were 
planning, public speaking and personal grooming.
 
With such a huge responsibility entrusted on my shoulders as the keynote speaker, I took to the stage on the second day at *scape to share useful tips on personal grooming.

While waiting for the rest of the youths to check in, I took a seat among the chairs. Some of the youths who came early found me unfamiliar and asked if I belonged to another team. Then it dawned upon them that I was too formally dressed to be their team-mate. And it also struck me that I wished I was given such an opportunity to learn about grooming at their age. Funny as it may sound, it was from such a beautiful misunderstanding that I got to know some of the participants better. They were keen to find out what made me interested in becoming a style coach.
 
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It’s strange but true that when we grow older, our courage unfortunately diminishes. I can trust these youths, easily numbering more than 100 of them today, to speak up anytime and share their views. When I asked for volunteers, hands shot up immediately. I believe this has to do with our education system which has increasingly seen winds of change blow into the corridors of the educational institutions as youths become more independent, confident and self-assuring. And to give them credit, they don’t just give one or two word answers. They can speak at lengths! Compare that with a group of adults and sometimes, I am really hard-pressed to elicit a response from them. 

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From their dressing today, it was clear some took extra efforts to impress. Chic and immaculate were some; and totally casual were others. But regardless of what look they turned up in today, I’m very sure that they will know how to up their image quotient on the last day tomorrow so as to impress the judges. I was told that besides the presentation skills, the look they chose to project tomorrow would constitute a percentage of the score in determining the winner of the Young Apprentice Programme 2011.
 
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To help them for tomorrow’s presentation and to help them get all dressed up for their future job in the corporate world, I went into great details on how to select key pieces in one’s wardrobe and what to look out for. Covering both the male and female aspect, they were more than eager to pick up every tip I dished out.

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Sometimes when the crowd energy is good, I really hate to leave as it means people are interested. And as a speaker, I would love to impart more knowledge. But then again, not all things are within my control as the organizers were very strict with time. And most keynote speeches have to be capped at maximum 45 minutes.
 
One can always trust the youths to think out of the box. So the next best alternative was for them to swarm up to me after I got off the stage to continue part two of the mini personal grooming series. Forgoing their tea break to extract maximum value, a group of 11 youths decided that was the way to go as the video crew guy too got busy and joined in the action, video-taping me and the youths in action off stage. 

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As the youths crowded around me after my keynote presentation off stage

I love what I do and I do what I love. I am happiest when I know I have made a positive difference yet again in the lives of these youths today!
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