“Talk is Cheap, the Message Isn’t”: An Introduction to David Kohout

By: Anna Edmiston

This Friday David Kohout, of “Talk is Cheap,” is visiting Arlington High School to speak to the junior-high and high school students, and parents are allowed to join. He will be visiting from 9:00-10:30.

From the website, “Talk is Cheap is a non-profit organization that focuses on building character, establishing confidence and instilling hope in the lives of young people everywhere.” Kohout has spoken at venues like West Point Military Academy, Westminster College, Youngstown State College, University of Toledo and many other institutions as well as schools just like ours. The goals of these speeches is to leave people feeling more hopeful and less regretful than when they walked in.

In hopes of learning more about Mr. Kohout before he joined us, I had reached out to him via email and asked a few questions to let everyone know who he was. This is what we discussed.

 ·  Where were you born and where did you grow up?

- I was born in Parma, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, OH and between the 2nd and 3rd grade we moved from Cleveland, OH to Youngstown, OH

 ·  What college did you go to and what did you study?  

- I attempted to go to college at YSU, Youngstown State University, but I quickly discovered those first 13 years of school, Kindergarten thru my Senior year of HS were VERY formative for that 14th year of school called Freshman year of college. Because I didn’t apply myself like I could have as a student, I missed out on the most important part of school as a young person: listening, learning and applying. I dropped out of college after two quarters at YSU and took a job in sales and never looked back! I sold printing for one year and then typewriters, YEP, typewriters and photocopiers for about 18 years.

 ·  What inspired to speak to the groups you do?

– I always liked to talk, many said too much but I learned how to speak in front of groups when I sold office equipment. Most often, when I presented office equipment, it was in front of groups of 5 or 10 folks and quickly learned how to connect to a diversified group of people. As for the inspiration, just watching those I looked up too like my Dad or Zig Ziglar and other motivational speakers. As to why teenagers became my primary focus? Simple, because I remember how mad I was as a kid, confused, hurt, anxious and just figuring out my “why” in life and I believe young people are a lot sharper than most adults give them credit for, it just takes time to earn a young person’s trust, right?

 ·  Is this what you expected to be doing with your life?

– YES, once I realized my “why” and why God made me the way I am!!!

 ·  Is there a job you would have if you weren't what you are?

– Yes, back in sales or speaking to adults.

 ·  How do you describe your job to new people you meet?

–  I describe what I do by quoting; “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.” Socrates, the great Greek philosopher. And when we are attempting to raise donations for Talk is Cheap I explain to a potential donor, “My hope is after having had a student hear me speak, the student when they go to sleep tonight will lay their head on their pillow, (if they have one?) with less regret and more hope!

 ·  Do you have any hobbies or other interests?

– Truthfully? Nothing on a consistent basis. I do hunt, usually just deer season. I like to deep sea fish but on a consistent basis, I speak into the hearts of students and staff and I love to read when I can make the time. The other interests are teaching folks Spiritual truths and I love spending time with my bride and grown children. I also love listening to Podcasts on leadership and serving while serving. By this I mean cutting peoples grass, edging neighbor’s yards and yes, using my snow thrower, blower, whatever some folks like to call their machine and bless others by doing their driveways or sidewalks. The fun part of snow blowing is the garb I wear to stay warm and dry, no one has a stinking clue it’s me!!!

 ·  If there is anything that you would like to let us know about you, feel free to add some!

– I believe once a person has heard me speak, there aren’t many questions left but I will always answer any reasonable question and I will answer it truthfully and hopefully with sensitivity. I have been trying to live out a verse from the Bible that became my “Life Verse” which is found in the Book of Acts in the New Testament which reads;  “And King David served God’s purpose in his own generation.” Acts 13:36

*these answers have been modified*

 With all of this information, I hope that you have learned more about our speaker. We are all eager to hear what he has to say to the students. Hopefully this is a message that we will carry with us and we will use it to help guide us in our prospective futures. We welcome Mr. David Kohout and are excited to see what he brings to our town and children.

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