I was a shy student but I wanted to be popular – especially with the girls.
I knew that if I became president of the high school council I would become popular.
It was apparent to me that the way to become president of the high school council was to deliver an incredible speech to the school assembly. I noticed that the one who became president delivered the best speech.
So I devised a plan. I would deliver the best speech.
The first part of my plan was to create an incredible speech.
I started to write that speech. It included a strong opening. There were quotes from famous people. I would appeal to the interest of my audience without pandering. I would be bold but humble. And we would end with a rousing chorus of the school song from the band. I figured that I could arrange that because I was a trombone player in the band.
It was a great speech. It would be the best speech that they every heard.
But I never delivered that speech.
I chickened out. I didn’t run for high school president. I told nobody about my dreams or plans. I was afraid to speak. I was afraid to try. I was afraid that I would mess up. I was afraid that they would laugh at me.
I never became high school president. No one ever knew – until now - of my hopes.
It could have been the greatest speech I ever delivered. But it never happened.
I wish I had the courage the wisdom to deliver that speech – even if I failed.
The reason that I share this story with you is that you can’t go back but you can go forward. It took me 25 years to become a professional speaker. Today I have delivered over 1,000 professional presentations. And I coach and train others to deliver million dollar presentations.
It doesn’t matter where you were yesterday. If you want to be a better speaker you can.
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