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Okay here’s a comment Thom Wert posted about my last post on You Don’t Need Any Special Education:

No special education nessary?? I agree, but let’s make sure people understand that education is necessarily to be successful. How can you speak on something that you know nothing about? You need to read and study about the subject your going to speak about. Mine you, education doesn’t have to be formal, it can be self taught! You don’t need to go to school (even though some of us get lessons from the school of hard knocks!) So my advice is to choose a subject that interest you, then it will not be a chore when preparing speeches.

And here’s my reply…

Hi Thom,

Great point. You said it right. You are such a faithful fan man.

Of course one needs to have great knowledge of the topic. Are you kidding me? I was talking about formal education such as a college degree. Yes, it’s a plus to have formal education. But it should not be a reason not to make it as a motivational speaker. I’m a prime example.

I don’t have a college degree nor do I have a high school degree. Heck, I’m still learning English. Listen, there are countless highly successful businessmen and keynote speakers without a college degree.

Hint… I’m not telling not to get a degree. Get it if you can. There are many ways to skin a cat.

Now, do I know a thing or two about my topic? Well, what do you think? Of course! I spent years studying my field. Oh, I should also mention I spent a truckload of money to acquire the right knowledge. Let me put it this way, I bet I spend more hours studying than your average college student. I mean hours…!

Book knowledge cannot and will not move an audience to tears, laughter, and deep reflection. That’s boring. It’s the knowledge we acquire through personal experiences. AND it’s our ability to tell those experiences compellingly in an emotional way.

I just spoke to about 500 hundred high powered sales professionals three days ago. There’s no doubt they know much more than I do about their subject. But once I finish speaking, lights went on like a Christmas tree inside their heads. Hmmmm… I wonder why. Can you guess?

That’s right. I was able to challenge their assumptions and cause them to think differently. Simply put, you have to take your audience to a place in their mind they have never been before.