Wayne Schoeneberg, guest speaker at the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce Business and Community luncheon held Aug. 16 at the Centene Center sure knows how to hold a crowd in the palm of his hand.
Speaking with a commanding sense of confidence mixed with a little self-depreciating humor, Schoeneberg soon made it obvious that he knew how to capture the attention of his audience while encouraging them with a message that he promised, if followed, would change a person’s life — no matter their current occupation, age, race, color or creed.
Of course, building confidence is something that Schoeneberg has done for people throughout his career — first as a commanding officer in the United States Army, then 40 years as a nationally recognized trial attorney, as well as a Certified Professional Coach. He has served on many association boards and was elected president of the St. Louis Gateway Chapter of the National Speakers Association in 2017.
Schoeneberg paid his way through college as a wildly popular radio personality at a commercial radio station and was recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association. A member of the Million Dollar Advocates, Schoeneberg served on the board of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys and has the highest rating given to attorneys by Martindale-Hubbel, the gold-standard of attorney rating services.
On top of that, he is an avid motorcyclist, logging more than 100,000 miles on the road; a pilot; a two-time cancer survivor; and has engaged in airborne operations in Russia and Belarus with their Special Forces. Perhaps most notably, Schoeneberg served as chief legal counsel to rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry for more than 20 years.
Standing on the edge of the stage, Schoeneberg began his presentation with a series of questions.
“If I were to ask you who the most confident person you know is, who would come to mind?” he asked. “Who is that person that always seems willing to risk failure in order to achieve success? Who is that person who has the audacity to stand up and say, ‘I’ll try!’ when everybody else says, ‘I won’t’?
“Today I want to talk to you about confidence — what confidence is, the benefits of confidence. I want to talk about four things that keep most people from being confident and I’ll do that by talking about six principles called the PAMPER Principles. I came up with the PAMPER Principles because the first letter of each word spells out pamper and that’s how it makes it easy to remember. I kind of like acronyms.”
But before Schoeneberg went on to explain his PAMPER Principles, he explained that the word confidence is defined in the dictionary as “a firm belief in something or someone.”
“So, we show confidence all the time,” he said. “All of you are confident when you go outside and get in your vehicle that it’s going to start. You’re confident that the systems are going to work as you drive down the road that it’s going to steer properly, it’s going to brake properly. It’s going to accelerate properly. You show confidence in people and robots that you know nothing about, but you’re showing confidence — a firm belief.
“Or, you’re sitting around in the evening watching KFVS news and the weatherman comes on. He’s somebody you’ve never met on this strange box that sends signals into your house and the weather person says it’s going to be sunny on Sunday, so you plan your whole weekend based on what this stranger says. Why? Because KFVS has your confidence. So, why can’t we apply this same feeling of belief and firm trust in ourselves? Why is it that we doubt our own abilities? Why is it we can’t be fully confident?”
Schoeneberg shared four concepts that step in the way of one’s confidence by using the acronym GAIL.
• GREMLIN — “That little voice that says, ‘You know, you’re just not quite good enough for this. You’re not going to try that are you? That’s not for you, that’s for other people.’”
• ASSUMPTIONS — “Excuses for not taking action. It is the belief that because something happened before, it’s going to happen again.”
• INTERPRETATION — “An opinion or judgment that you create about a person, place, thing, situation or event in your life that you believe to be true.”
• LIMITED BELIEF — “Something you accept about yourself or the world around you that limits you in some way.”
Schoeneberg next shared the confidence-building PAMPER Principles:
• PURPOSE — “What is your purpose? Mark Twain said, ‘The two most important days in your life are the day that you’re born and the day you find out why.’”
• ATTITUDE — “How you look at the events in your life can change your whole attitude.”
• MODELING / MENTORING — “Find somebody who has what you want and do what they do. Also, become a mentor to somebody else.”
• PASSION — “What is your passion? It does not have to be your job, in fact it most likely isn’t. Often you passion will lead to your purpose.”
• ETHICS — “If you do not have ethics, you will not be confident.”
• RESPECT — “I’m not talking about showing respect to others, I’m talking about showing respect to yourself.”
Concluding his presentation, Schoeneberg said, “If you will silence your gremlin; abandon your assumptions; reframe your interpretations; let loose of your limiting beliefs and practice the six PAMPER Principles everyday in your personal and professional life, I promise that when I ask you who the most confident person is that you know, it will be you.”