“Basti, you are a stalker! A very gentle stalker! Keep it up! Cheers!”
Those were the toast words of my friend Olivia at my birthday party, last year.
Why did she say that?
Olivia is a Londoner, living in Berlin.
She overcame a speech impediment to become the top woman speaker in the Finals of The World Championship of Public Speaking in 2011.
Today she is an international keynote speaker, executive coach and public speaking trainer.
A very lovely, inspirational and energetic person to learn from.
In her toast, she told that every time she gives a keynote, seminar, or even invites friends on Facebook to go to any event in Berlin.
I am always there, taking notes.
But, what she didn’t mention, is that I went beyond that. Wait! Not that far!
I checked out everything she has related to public speaking.
YouTube videos, Posts, Articles, Speeches, Everything!
She is not the only one.
When there is someone I look up to, I “stalk” her or him.
Online courses, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Videos, Speeches, Keynotes, TEDx Talks, Interviews, Books.
So many sources of knowledge.
Nowadays people are very busy, role models and mentors are no exceptions.
But, we still can learn a lot from them.
Stalker, Fan, Follower are just names.
The concept behind this approach is what matters.
If there is somebody that is 5, 10, 20 years ahead of you, a person you look up to…
Be a stalker! A very gentle stalker!
Learn everything you can!
In a way that if you meet them one day or ask them for help, you are very well prepared and able to use that opportunity to the fullest.
Last year I had to deliver a very important 7 minutes’ speech in front of 300 people.
I was having problems memorizing my script.
Through my “research”, I knew that Olivia gives 45 minutes long keynotes and that she could help me with this problem. But, I also knew that she didn’t have much time to help me.
I prepared myself as good as possible and then I asked her for help. She appreciated that and gave me many important tips, for example:
- Write a script like poetry: short, simple and beautiful. Use short sentences and short paragraphs.
- Learn by heart your introduction and conclusion. Know where you want to go, but stay flexible in-between.
- When you give a speech, give it from the bottom of your heart!
In my experience, role models and mentors are more than happy to help us.
They just do not have much time as they would like to.
Let’s use that time wisely, be prepared and ask specific questions!
If meeting the person, you are “stalking” is not possible, don’t worry.
You already will have gained an invaluable amount of extremely helpful knowledge.
And if you do a good job and are so lucky that one day he or she becomes your friend and comes to your birthday party, you can not only ask them any question you want.
But, there is a good chance, they give a very nice toast about you!