My speaking career technically began while I was in the classroom. I was getting paid to teach and coach, and that was done primarily by speaking. Therefore, when I left the classroom, my professional network basically consisted of teachers and coaches. So you can probably guess where the first few speaking requests I received came from--teachers and coaches. Friends inviting me to visit their classrooms or drop by their practices to share a word of encouragement with their students or athletes.
What I learned quickly was that not every speaking engagement would be the most glorified opportunity. What I also learned was that it didn't have to be because it was still an opportunity to influence someone in a positive way.
Looking back, if I could point to one thing that served as my "secret sauce" for success early on, it was my excitement. I was fired up about every chance I got to get in front of a few folks. And as a speaker, you have to approach every single talk (regardless of the demographic or size of the audience) with excitement. People need to see that you want to be there. Additionally, God shaped the human heart to be influenced by words. That said, you never know whose life will be drastically impacted for the better by your words. It's important, then, to be mindful of how you say what you say, not just what you say.
Public speaking is a wonderful and rewarding career that transforms and changes the lives of people.
If you found your way to this blog post in search of a bit of baseline advise on speaking, here it is: get excited and stay excited. Whether it be the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at your local elementary school or the senior leadership team for a top firm that you're addressing, be excited. Every audience deserves your best, and I am convinced that you cannot deliver your best void of your excitement.
So, if you're only going to pack one thing for your next talk (in addition to what you're going to talk about of course), let it be your excitement. Don't leave home without it.
Love you guys. Let's grow.
Download a copy of my latest eBook, The 8 Be's of an Effective Speaking Engagement (Simple Tips for Making the Most Out of Any Talk). It's simple. It's practical. It's applicable.
By Robert Megargel
Every job has positives and negatives. Every decision we make has a ripple effect. Living in a world driven by results and continual improvement can make it hard not to look back and wish we’d done something differently. But in order to have a better tomorrow, we must live in the present and move beyond the past.
Any job dealing with people can wear you down. It can become a grind and steal joy from your life if you’re not protective of your perspective. I’m an optimistic and motivational guy, but even I have recently found the need for a new view of myself and others. I was in a state of mind that was overly analytical, unnecessarily critical, and just negative. I didn’t show joy or much love to the people I was trying to lead, serve, and lift up.
I was carrying stress and anxiety from the past. I just kept making every day like the day before it and over time I lost my way. I lost my vision for the future and along with it my purpose. It took a bit of soul searching and prayer to get me out of the doom and gloom state of mind but I made it. I’ve been living with a new view and it’s making every day better than the last.
The main thing I’d like you to take away from this reading is that I caution you, me, and everyone from thinking that we’re the ultimate judge. Biblically speaking, Paul warned people of this trap. When we judge ourselves and others, we’re acting as if we know all. We act as if we understand all the variables in the past, present, and future. If we’re judging, we may not be helping the situation. We might actually be missing the best parts of life and with it the great opportunities to connect with others.
If any part of this speaks to your heart, I encourage you to consider a new view. Below are a few helpful steps that I’ve been practicing that are making a difference.
1. Free yourself from thinking that you are the ultimate judge. Don’t judge others or even yourself. Paul says God’s the JUDGE and cautions people against thinking we know best and that we’re higher than God.
2. Forgive yourself and others for mistakes. We’re human and life is a process not a destination. Failure is a part of the growth process. So forgive often.
3. Start your day with a new view of yourself and others! Lay down the mistakes, burdens, and battles from yesterday. When you see your best qualities, it’s much easier to be at your best! Leave the negativity in the past. Walk into the present and future with hope and purpose.
4. When you begin to judge yourself or others, just take a 30 second timeout to reflect, pray, relax, refocus, and REPEAT step 1.
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