State FFA officers came to Ballinger on Tuesday, January 21st to give a leadership presentation to Ballinger’s 200+ FFA students. The officers that came down were state FFA president Carlye Winfrey, First Vice President Calvin Morgan and state Vice President Area IV Jake Bagby.

The students filed into the Bearcat auditorium to hear the 3 state officers speak about confidence. It was much more than a speech and probably much more than many of the students expected. The FFA leaders started off right away by having all of the students stand up and compliment each other. Compliments echoed through the auditorium as students called to each other from different areas of the auditorium. Compliments such as, “Your hair looks nice,” along with a loud and emphatic “Weston, I love your mullet,” echoed off the walls, along with some laughs. The students spent 2-3 minutes complimenting each other, which got the presentation off to a great start.

The next activity was when Winfrey had two students, Cayden Collier and Adam Wynn, come up on the stage. A table with two items stood before the students. Winfrey said that the students would have to wrap those two items as if they were Christmas gifts. There was a catch; Collier would have to wear oven mitts and Wynn would have to wear a blindfold. They were given a 30-second time limit to wrap the gifts. Their fellow students heartily cheered them on as they attempted to wrap the gifts. After the 30 seconds had expired, Winfrey asked Collier and Wynn what their confidence level was before they tried to wrap the gifts and then what it was after they had finished. Collier said that his confidence level was a 4 before he began wrapping the gifts but that it was a 6 after he finished. Wynn said that his confidence level also increased to a 6. Winfrey asked the FFA students seated in the auditorium what they thought contributed to the confidence level of Collier and Wynn. Many of the students felt that them cheering Collier and Wynn on contributed to their confidence.

The FFA leadership team spoke about the “3 P’s of Confidence.” The 3 P’s are perspective, people and performance. They also spoke about understanding confidence, utilizing confidence and influencing confidence. The presentation was interactive and kept the students’ attention the entire time. Three students were brought on stage to be part of the exercise in confidence, Able Martinez, Caysen Collier and Brenson Riggs. Here and there the presentation was kept going with things such as the “golf clap,” “power clap,” “snaps,” and “hand glasses.”

The leaders also asked the students what scares them. The answers ranged from taking tests to girls to public speaking. The leaders said that keeping confidence helps you improve. Then they told the students that when it comes to perspective, “We have complete control of our perspective. We control our perspective when we go into any given situation.”

The next exercise that all of the students participated in involved the students pairing up. In their pairs, one student was watching the stage (actor) and the other student was facing the back of the auditorium (guesser). A sign was held up with a word on it and the “actors” had to act out the word and the “guessers” had to guess the word. The first word was, “gecko.” It took most of the guessers took several minutes to come up with the answer to what the actors were acting out. The second word was, “elephant.” The guessers got this one correct in less than a minute. Morgan held a discussion and said that the actors confidence grew and that their confidence gave the guessers more confidence.

Winfrey then spoke again to the students, asking them what they were unconfident in. She spoke of her own confidence, “For me, I’m unconfident in math. So, the ‘P’ that I can apply here is ‘people.’ Next year when I take a college math class, I can ask a friend or tutor to help out. She then had the students pair up once again so that they could tell each other what they were unconfident in.

The presentation was an hour but there was a significant amount of information given out and constant participation by the students. The presentation kept them involved and interested in what was being said and let them experience some examples of growing confidence first-hand.

Afterward, Ballinger FFA teacher Tyrian Long spoke about the presentation, “It’s always important to have confidence. People are always tearing each other down online and otherwise and this will help the kids with their confidence. We’ve got some good leaders focused on leadership and working on leadership development. We’re teaching how to lead.”

The state FFA officers travel to more than 400 schools during a year. Ford donates a truck for them to use.