2 years ago I competed in a speech contest in Timisoara Romania. One hour before I had to go on stage I was speaking with my mentor Olivia outside of the building. A few people were smoking outside, including the star guest. The World Champion of Public Speaking of 2015, Mohammed Qahtani.
He saw what we were doing and approached to talk to us. I told him that I was about to compete and he said, “I want to give you the best advice I can give you!”
I was very excited! How generous of him, isn’t it? What are the chances? Imagine my luck!
“Give this speech and any speech you give in your life as if it were the last speech of your life! Imagine that after giving that speech you will die! How do you want the audience to remember you?” he said.
I was so pumped up! I remember going “all in” into the contest, trying to deliver the perfect speech! Every single movement, every single pause, every single syllable needed to be perfect. After delivering my speech I had a great feeling!
I remember and apply that advice every time I speak!
But the other day as I was speaking with my friend Denise, I realized something. Something that changed it all!
Denise is preparing to compete at the World Championship of Public Speaking. I shared the advice I got from Mohammed and while we were speaking it hit me!
Giving every speech as if it is the last one, doesn’t mean doing it perfectly. It is not about doing it so people can remember how good you were! Is about something else. Something greater!
Imagine that your child, your grandchild or your niece is sitting in the 4th row. It is the last time you have the opportunity to speak to her! Ever! What would you do?
As my mentor, Olivia once told me, “The audience doesn’t want perfect! They want human! And a human is not perfect!”
Thank you, Olivia and Mohammed. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t win in Timisoara 2 years ago. What matters is that I finally get what you meant!
It took me a while to understand what they meant! I hope that for you doesn’t take that long. Because the truth is that not only on stage. But every time can be the last time you have the opportunity to speak to any person.
How do you want her to remember you?