Inspiring West Chester students to turn their own struggles into professional success, motivational speaker and West Chester alumnus Bill Deering, spoke on Feb. 22, about how he overcame his own personal struggle with stuttering. Deering spoke about his battle with his speech impediment since the age of seven. He also shared very personal memories that were often times painful. Instead of letting this disability hinder him, he channeled his energy in a positive way and in the last 18 months became a motivational speaker.
After a variety of unfulfilling jobs including outside sales, bank teller and driving a van, Deering knew he needed a change. A year and a half ago a friend inspired by him suggested he look into motivational speaking. The only problem was the training program cost $1,000, not including airfare and the hotel fee. Using his connections from working at the bank, he was able to borrow $2,200 from a customer.
“You can empower conversations that’ll give you power or you can have conversations that don’t,” Deering said. “Create whatever you want. I’ve created 18 months ago being a motivational speaker, which is crazy because I stutter.”
Deering engaged the audience by telling stories of his youth, specifically his high school years. He described one particular incident when he was asked to give a three- minute speech, but because of his disability it took him 20 minutes to complete. This left him feeling embarrassed and humiliated. He then went on to reveal how he gained fifty-five pounds his sophomore year and how his grades suffered. It was not until a speaker came to his school and inspired him to change his life. He recalled how the speaker said “Go make next year the best year of your life”.
Deering thought to himself “What the heck?” and decided to tryout for the football team. During his training regiment he had to run a half mile and was almost unable to complete it-if it was not for a teammate running the last lap with him motivating him and cheering for him along the way.
“I can remember giving up all my past failures as I was crossing the finish line,” he said.
As junior year was approaching, Deering set several goals including getting no grade lower than a C and losing weight. That year he went from consuming 5,000 calories a day to 2,000; he ran three miles everyday and lost a total of 65 pounds which he has continued to keep off for over 20 years.
Deering went on to community college where he spent two years. He then worked hard to make the grades to get into his dream school-West Chester University. It was here at West Chester that he went from being a .7 GPA Math Major to graduating as a Speech Therapist and achieving a 3.67 GPA his last semester in May 1993.
Bill Deering will continue his tour at area campuses. For more information, contact him at WJDeering1@aol.com.