Using the past & present to navigate your future – Tish Norman’s Story


Everyone has a story to tell about his or her life. Whether it defines their daily actions, or paves the way of their future—one’s personal story is a reminder of their history, who they are and where they are going.

Tish Norman, CAMPUSPEAK speaker, talks about using honor, tradition and pride to promote one’s personal dignity and self-respect. Tish encourages students to challenge what they’re told defines their generation, and to become much more than what they see in the news, on television or in advertisements.

But, how did Tish get to where she is today?

Leah LaMoure, Marketing Coordinator at CAMPUSPEAK, wanted to learn a little more about Tish’s story, and to learn the inspiration that fuels the passion behind her keynote, History, Herstory, YOUR Story.

Leah: You have a keynote—History, Herstory, YOUR Story—what is your inspiration for making this keynote?

Tish: I was motivated to develop this program because of the need for one reason; questions to be answered. Today’s generation has multicultural groups at many predominantly white institutions. African Americans, in particular, lack substantial examples of role models and positive examples in their lives.

They may not have been “audibly” crying out for examples, but I have observed this trend and determined that there has been a gap; a riff, a misunderstanding in their social norms and behaviors. “History” uncovers the information that this demographic doesn’t even realize that they’re hungry to learn. Students leave this keynote enlightened, inspired and empowered.

Leah: What’s your story? What has gotten you to where you are today?

Tish: I am a former educator, and what has gotten me to this point is an amalgamation of three significant personal and professional experiences. As I mentioned, I was a classroom teacher, having taught grades 3-12. Additionally, I worked in the entertainment business for many years and I was speaking for the largest speaking force in the country that provides speakers for high school assemblies. I traveled all over the country, speaking to high school students about making the most of high school and successfully preparing for their next step after graduation.

During that time, I met some awesome speakers, many of whom had their own speaking companies. After developing relationships with them and learning more about the speaking profession, my interest was sparked. Soon after, I transitioned from teaching, and pursued speaking full time. And, the rest, as they say is… history.

Leah: What made you want to speak to college students across the country?

Tish: These are the best folk on earth! Firstly, college students want to be there—they are not forced to go to college. They want to learn, they’re hungry, and I like that. While business audiences keep me on the go, very often, I stay drawn to my college and university crowd. I have crazy energy, and that is reciprocated in this market.

Leah: What’s the best part about college speaking?

Tish: The best part about college speaking is being able to reach large groups of future leaders in a short period of time. Today, the mind of a college student is like a sponge. It’s ready to absorb information that will help equip and empower them for the future. I LOVE being a part of this development. What I do is very effective. Books are good, blogs are great…but reaching a groups up close and personal…you just can’t beat it.

Leah: What are some things you are most passionate about?

Tish: Because I have a background in education, I naturally have a unique interest in the personal and professional evolution of young people. Dr. Myles Monroe said, “The thing that makes you the angriest is what you are born to fix.”

I believe my purpose is to reprogram and redefine what it means to have it all. All? All is what ever you can imagine and dream of. I want to remind students that they can embrace that process with grace, class and style.

Leah: In your keynote, History, Herstory, YOUR Story, you talk about overcoming what is portrayed in the news, television and/or in ads—why is this so important?

Tish: Our society is over-saturated with worshiping celebrities. All too often, these are talentless celebrities. That is, people who have reached “celebrity” status from reality television, YouTube, or otherwise. It’s no secret that societal norms are influenced by all aspects of the media and we’re living in a time when being bad is good. However, my programs remind my audiences that it’s still good to be good. Even though “bad” people seem to be finishing first in the media, having morals, and integrity are still positive qualities to have. Students CAN be smart and sexy. You can read a book and be up on current events with your swagger on full tilt! Hollatchagirl…

Leah: You help students challenge the label their generation has received. How should first year students just stepping onto campus approach this?

Tish: With full force! Young, hungry, impressionable minds is one of my top target audiences. Most first year students are open and willing to be enlightened by receiving valuable information. If one doesn’t know their past, they’re destined to repeat it. I want to help influence first-year students to learn about the past, it’s significance, and how to write their own future.

With practical tips for personal success, Tish motivates students to try harder, aim higher and create a better reality. Check out her keynote, History, Herstory, YOUR Story for orientation programming this fall.

Visit to learn more about Tish and her available keynotes.