DAY 9: WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I WAS INVITED TO BE THE KEY NOTE SPEAKER AT THE RITZ CARLTON

ritz, keynote speaker

Opportunity of a lifetime

When I was contacted to be the KEYNOTE SPEAKER I couldn’t believe it. There was something missing from my life this year up to recently and that was giving back, sharing my story, getting back on stage and making people feel good, laugh, and if I could be a beacon of inspiration- light the fire under people to get started. Then I put my mind to it and the speaking opportunities slowly started to come in.

 

Honored and Humbled for this Opportunity

I can’t believe that I’ll be the Keynote Speaker for an award dinner honoring The Chief Operating Officer of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company speaking to an audience of over 150 industry professionals and executives.

The last two big speaking engagement that meant so much to me is when I went back to my boarding school Girard College and had the opportunity to speak to the entire student body. The second is when I was selected to be the first ever student speaker of the Penn State Schreyer Honors College graduation class.This will be another great milestone and another step forward in the journey. Although I still can’t afford to stay there (hahaha maybe one day)!

Update from the event

I’m just getting back from the event and it was AMAZING!! Where do I even begin? Well first, I received a STANDING OVATION! It was a little frightening walking into an unfamiliar room filled with unfamiliar faces. But when I walked up to the stage and began speaking the fear went away. As I looked up, I noticed the room grew silent and people’s head started to peer up. Hoping to get a feel for the room I made a joke to see if everyone was with me and right on time they all laughed. From that moment, I knew I was in control as I peeked everyones interested and attention. Here I was, a refugee from another country, whose family had always tried to strive towards the American Dream in front of the most American crowd, giving a speech for the ages.

(P.S. I might have made a serious inquiry about running for presidency in 2020, i mean after the election we just had, anythings possible right? Plus, someone’s gotta give Kanye competition. Lastly, thank you Sofiya Ballin for being such an incredible date to the event!)

View the COO of Ritz Carlton imparting wisdom to Abu Fofanah:

 

View the full entire speech below:

 

Getting Feedback from the Event


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