I was at Micro Center checking the new Mac Book Pro. That’s right slowly but surely I am becoming a Mac fan! I guess it’s because I am more into videos now. And videos are the future.
While at the store, I started a conversation with a brilliant man. He was sort of perplexed to know someone can actually teach others how to become a motivational speaker. He said, “I don’t think it’s possible. You either have it or you don’t have it. People are born public speakers.”
Oh, oh… He struck a chord in me. At first, I hesitated. Then I got to think about it. I said, “You may have a point. But I happen to believe it’s possible.”
You see, the man was assuming that by looking and observing certain people, one can tell immediately weather they can be a public speaker or not. He said, “You can look at some people and tell.”
Now, I want you to pause for a moment and answer this question for me: Do you believe in the gentleman’s statement? Seriously, do you believe it? Okay, would you like to know what I really think? Here it is…
It is not my job nor is it yours to assume someone can or cannot speak in public or do anything for that matter. Many years ago if you had met me, you would definitely assume I don’t have what it takes to become a keynote speaker. Public speaking terrified me.
I was a very shy and introverted guy. There was no way you could put me in front of any group of people and tell me to speak. I would pass out! Fear would choke the life out of me.
Today, you can put me in front one thousand or one million people and give me a microphone, I will move the crowd without any fear. Well, okay, I may have a little nervousness. That’s normal for any speaker. That little bit of nervousness is necessary.
What’s so remarkable about this is, the first time I gave a speech at a Toastmaster’s meeting, I was a nervous wreck. It was an icebreaker. I still don’t remember what I said. You probably know what I mean.
Here’s a simple advice: Be afraid but don’t freeze. Keep marching in spite of your fears. Take action. Soon the fear will vanish.
My friend, it’s not my business to tell you whether you can do it or not. It’s your business. I’m not going to write you off. You may be thinking, “Some people don’t have what it takes.” And to this I say, Helen Keller was blind and deaf. She became one of the most outstanding motivational ans inspirational speakers in the world.
When I started speaking, I was a doorman at a hotel. One guy told me that no one would ever pay me or listen to me telling stories about a village. He went on to tell me corporate America would not put a doorman on their stage who can’t even speak proper English. Ooh, he really hit a nerve. For a short time I started to believe that jerk! Alright, I’m going to be nice. Sorry.
Guess what? He was dead wrong. I am doing exactly what he told me I could not do. And he is probably somewhere drinking alcohol and wasting his life away. You think I am making that up? Nope. I used to smell alcohol on his breath at work. Hey, I guess drunk people have what it takes to kill dreams, too.
Now, that gentleman (I won’;t mention his name and never will.) told me directly. He was brutal and honest. But there were many others that told me indirectly. I think of them all the time when I am on my way to the bank. He, he, he…
Let me conclude this way. We all have seeds of greatness in us. However, if we never attempt to plant and nurture those seeds, we will never know how great we can be at becoming or doing something. And please, don’t let the naysayers deter you. I am so glad I took the leap. I am hoping you will, too.
Oh, by the way, I was able to persuade the man at Micro Center to rethink his statement. He saw it in a different light. Shall I say I know a thing or two about the art of persuasion? Hmmm… Shed some light on the impossible to show them it’s possible. Food for thought my friend.
I’m still waiting for you at the top. What’s stopping you? Just do something. Anything. Show me you are serious.