Inspirational Speaker Brings Together Multiple Collaborators | e-Inside | Kent State University

Inspirational Speaker Brings Together Multiple Collaborators

Donald Wayne McLeod, author of ​Perceptionology 101, spoke in the Kent Student Center Ballroom on Tuesday, Oct. 9, to a crowd of local high school students, Kent State University students, staff, faculty and community business members from all over Northeast Ohio. The event was a collaboration between LaunchNET Kent State; DECA at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent; and the Hudson, Kent, Streetsboro and Stow-Munroe chambers of commerce.    

Julie Messing, executive director of entrepreneurial initiatives with LaunchNET Kent State and one of the key organizers of the event, observed the full room and expressed thanks to those who worked together to bring the speaker to Kent for the benefit of the entire community.

Donald Wayne, as he is known to audiences around the country, inspired students, staff and business people with his informative message of understanding how we are perceived by others. Demonstrating through intense audience interaction that “people make value judgments in five seconds,” he drove home the idea that everyone is “on camera” every moment that they are in public, being seen and making impressions on the people around them, whether they realize it or not. Using stories and examples from his many talks with companies around the world and his own varied experiences, Mr. Wayne brought the crowd together through his message, “how your world reacts to you is a reflection of you.”   

LaunchNET Kent State is a co-curricular, cross-campus program that serves students, alumni, staff and faculty to promote entrepreneurial thinking, innovative mindset, creative collaboration and venture creation through advising, events and connections to the greater Northeast Ohio community. Questions or comments can be directed to LaunchNET, located on the second floor of the University Library, via email at launchnet@kent.edu or by phone at 330-672-6700.

In addition to the keynote address by Mr. Wayne, Kent State sophomore and LaunchNET student fellow Javon Miller led an interactive workshop revealing participants’ perceptions about themselves and one another.    

“I couldn’t have been more pleased with how the collaborative event featuring speakers Donald Wayne McLeod and Javon Miller was received from members of the business community, which was nothing but positive,” remarked Lori Wemhoff, executive director of the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce. “I was also very impressed with how members of the audience, in particular the students, were engaged and participated in the discussions.”    

DECA students from Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent made up nearly half of the audience and participated heartily throughout Mr. Wayne’s two presentations. He spoke directly to the students often, reinforcing the importance of forming positive professional habits such as making eye contact, proper handshake form and writing cover letters and thank-you notes. The students were able to participate thanks to the leadership of Marketing Education Coordinator and DECA Advisor Brent Pfeiffer, who commented, “Donald Wayne's ability to engage all audience members was fascinating. Regardless of age, Donald was able to make a connection and an impact. I am certain that everyone in attendance left the event with valuable and practical tools to use in everyday situations.”