Speaking to the Masses
Have you ever given a keynote in front of a large crowd?
Some say they fear public speaking almost as much as the thought of death. I get it, it can be scary to think about speaking in front of a crowd. I of all people know this.
This past weekend I spoke at CEO conference in front of a crowd of over 800 young entrepreneurs. My keynote was “How to FUND the life you want”. It was a huge success and the crowd loved it. Before taking the stage I thought about the journey I’ve been on to get to the chance to speak in front of that many people.
I haven’t always been a great speaker. Actually, I was far from it. When I was born I had a speech impediment. I had a lisp. Speaking was something that scared me because I wasn’t very good at it and kids made fun of me at school. It was a hard time in my life and I remember it very clearly.
One day I made the commitment to myself to become a better speaker and loose my speech impediment. I was on a mission to turn my weakness into my strength. Daily I spoke in front of a mirror to perfect my speaking and get better. I started to do things that scared me, like volunteering to speak in front of large groups in school and for various class projects.
Eventually my weakness started to become my strength. Right out of college I started speaking more in front of the camera and in front of potential investors for my invention Arctic Stick. I continued to get better as I practiced speaking more and more. Pitching in front of crowds made me realize how much I loved speaking and also led me to more TV work.
Now speaking has become my top expertise. I speak at events, on podcasts, go on TV, and I’m even filming my own TV show Ambitious Adventures. I even teach people how to give keynote speeches in my accelerator program.
If a kid with a speech impediment can train himself to speak properly and become a keynote speaker, then anyone can overcome their fears of speaking and become a keynote speaker for any size of audience.
It doesn’t matter what your weakness or disadvantage is in life. Learn to turn that into your strength and your most valuable asset. I did that for speaking and now I can speak in front of any crowd to inspire, motivate, and educate.
What weakness will you turn into your strength? Focus on it, practice daily, and do the things necessary to make you the best at it.
What are you waiting for?
I didn’t let my speech impediment hold me back from becoming a keynote speaker. Make your weakness your strength.