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Public Speaking… Can You Become One or Are You Born With It? Here’s My Verdict.

by Feb 14, 2009How To Become A Motivational Speaker, Public Speaking, public speaking jobs, Speaking Careers7 comments

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.

7 Comments

  1. lerato

    May God Bless you and reach you.

    Lerato RSA

    Reply
  2. Edith Allen

    Rene allow me to thank you for all of your informative information regarding Motivational Speaking. I have been speaking for close to 11 years now, but have never generated an income for my public speaking. I told myself that it had been a great way in developing and enhancing my verbal communication skills. My target audience were usually ex-offenders, youth, and those whom had experienced various forms of domestic violence, and or substance abuse. Sense these had been my own personal experiences this also allows other to reveal, deal and began to heal their own personal hurts and wounds as this makes me an expert in this arena as well as gives me a certain amount of creditibility regarding these issues.

    As I am able to share my experience with confidence, and sincerity. You also mentioned that no one individual can reach everyone and this is absolutely true, I also like the thought of writing a book ,which would in turn give value to the related spoken topic. I at this time do have years of written materials which is only in need of reviewing, reorganizing, and revising and submitting the finished product into the right hands. I want to become a paid public motivational speaker and shall surely appreciate and apply any information that fits my needs in order to succeed in this area. I also have many audio, and some DVD’s which helps me to work on presence, rapport and the enhancement of my verbal communication skills.

    So I to shall continue to keep on pushing as I want allow anyone to abort my baby before it is born. Thank you Rene for sharing your information with those of us who are seeking what you yourself has already found. God Bless You!

    Reply
  3. Edith Allen

    I have read you comments, opinioin, options, and various alternative as you kept everything simple and easy to understand. I for many years have dreamed of professional public speaking Rene. I have spoken on a public level for close to 11 years , but have not generated any form of income as a result as this is my ultimate goal. My targeted audience in the past has been ex-offenders, youth , and those whom have struggled with or endured various forms of domestic violence and or substance abuse. As you mentioned earier no one can reach everyone, but I do wish to reach those that extend their hands, mind, hearts, ears,and spirits in order to learn to live a new way of life one which allows them to become happy, joyous and free of past hurts, and on the path of revealing, dealing, and then healing. I have so much personal information written from past experineces that if I took the time to review, orangize, and edit it all it would be a great book one which would cause you to think, cry, laugh, and reprioritize one life. I really thank you for sharing this information and giving me another perspective as it relates to my experience, creditibilty, and willingness to put forth the extra effort needed in order to succeed. And mainly knowing my personal worth and valued experience. God Bless you ! And I to shall continue to push because my baby is coming soon and I want allow anyone to abort it before it even has a chance to be born.

    Reply
  4. Rene Godefroy

    @Alan Brott – Awesome Alan! I am convinced you are serious about becoming a motivational speaker. And I think you God has been preparing you for many years.

    I’m putting some Quick Start Videos for all the fans on this site. You will find them very helpful. Also, I will be launching a membership site to let others look over my shoulder how I built my speaking business. I’ll let you know.

    Keep pressing on!

    Reply
    • Rene Godefroy

      The videos are almost ready. Please be patient. You will be notified as soon as we put them up.

      Reply
  5. Laura

    nice and really truthful post!

    Reply
  6. Alan Brott

    Rene,

    I agree with you. A speaker can be taught. My profession was a truck driver for nearly 20 years. Through some life changing events I went from the truck cab to the pulpit and now preach. I am not a born speaker. It made me physically sick to stand in front of people and speak.

    When I decided to enter ministry it took several years of training and some of what the school concentrated on was speaking, obviously you cannot preach if stage fright debilitates you. My speaking in the beginning was just awful. However, through coaching and practice I have made it and do well.

    My next step is to enter the public/motivational speaking arena. You ask for someone to show you how serious they are, well I could not be more serious. I have decided to learn all I can throughout 2009.
    Take Care and thanks for your info.

    Alan

    Reply

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