We all, as children, had a big dream. That one thing that made your heart jump and your imagination run wild, really really wild. There were no limits, only endless possibilities and an even greater oblivion to what requirements there were to achieve that dream. All you knew was that it was what you wanted and it was going to happen when you grow up.
For me, that was being a great speaker. Commanding audiences, always elegantly dressed and going places. The world was at my feet, all I had to do was make my move and all would cheer me on. I saw myself on TV reading news. I saw myself on a big stage hosting a show/MC-ing. I saw myself surrounded by young enthusiastic people imparting wisdom. I was bigger than Oprah Winfrey. I was braver than Nelson Mandela.
Years later, that dream was painfully far from my reach. Not only had I since picked up so many many many don’ts and countless stereotypes, I wasn’t brave enough to dress up to that image. But I had one thing on me: a very active reading habit.
Thanks to my mother, I learned to read early and had one tool that would later work well for me in regards to getting closer to my dream. I didn’t see it over the years as a great tool but it kept my dream alive. I read a lot about people doing what I loved to do and so many other great things. If you know me, then you know that I never run out of good stories. One problem though, my audience was too small to get me to that dream, and I always consulted the wrong people.
In 2015, I was invited to a public speaking course. My first ever. I was in shock that such classes even existed. It was an amazing short course that gave my articulation more muscle with the different tools used in forming/writing a great speech/story. This was thanks to my friend Samuel Bakutana of Inspired Leaders International.
While it was an amazing and eye opening opportunity, one switch remained turned off. My writing improved greatly with the new tools given during the course, but I couldn’t comfortably take to any stage to speak. Something was still missing but I was unaware of it. I just sat on these gifts and did nothing much about it. I took the tools, but didn’t really use them beyond my pen and paper.
I later learned that that was because I didn’t have a clear Why for mastering the art. My voice had been stifled so long, I didn’t see the greatness within me. But I walked away with one thing, a renewed curiosity. A hunger to learn more.
That’s where the World Class Speakers course by Intelligence Performance International found me.
I had picked up so many stories, but was still so scared to tell them. I had better platforms and opportunities to command audiences but didn’t have the courage. I had cheerleaders but was still chained to and by numerous limiting beliefs.
Day One was daring. It wasn’t about taking to the stage, it was about me. Guided by Coach Phill Kambe, we had to dig deeper into our souls, leaving most of us uncomfortably exposed and questioning so much about who we really are and what was possible for us.
The four day course pushed us beyond our assumed limits. We confronted our biggest fears related, not only to public speaking, but life in general and did a number of very insane activities all designed to deliver our breakthroughs. It was a holistic package that helped you review each area of your life.
But what’s a breakthrough without obstacles? My biggest fear came to life during one of the practice presentations. I choked on my own words. Not even a confusing sentence could make it past my throat. All I had prepared flew out the window and I looked on at my audience in shock and fear.
The amazing team of trainers at IP International always had our backs. In moments like this, they quickly reassured you and nudged you on. I felt more encouraged than criticized. They reminded me of the basics and recovery was mine to enjoy.
The most valuable lesson in that moment was that It’s not about you, the speaker, but about your audience.
I discovered that the biggest reason we fear public speaking is because we make it about ourselves. We get sucked into our heads and forget why we took to the stage in the first place.
- What if they don’t like me?
- What if I make a mistake?
- Oh, I am so fat they won’t see past my round waist.
- Oh my shoes, my hair, my very judgmental “##” is in the audience.
There were no better metaphors to breakthrough this psycho bubble than breaking wooden boards and walking on fire.
Breaking thick wooden boards with our bare hands was Insanity!!!! After a great deal of preparation, I, for one, just focused on what I wanted to break through. I brought it to life in that piece of wood and summoned all the anger for the times I failed in life because of it and shot out with all my strength.
I was fired up beyond description.
Then came the fire walk.
This is fire, man. Hot burning coals. Who does this guy think he is????
I looked at our trainer, Phill, like he was out of his mind, and prepared all my reasons why that was impossible for me to do. I had to be exempted, you know.
All the fear came back for me. A bit of regret too about why I signed up. And….. Then I remembered the board and what I crashed with it. My hand was still in perfect shape. What’s the worst that could happen here, right?
You’re prepared. You’re in state.
(Psycho bubble) Oprah Winfrey did it. Yeah? Yes, she did, with Tony Robbins, remember? You watched her and wanted to be like her. Here’s your moment. Deep breath!!
There is no turning back. It is excellence or excellence.
Now, let me tell you about overcoming obstacles. Remember the limitless possibilities you had as a child? Now here, You, my dear, are an unstoppable force. What can fail now you after walking on fire? What is going to burn you where fire didn’t? Huh???
Tell me, what???
What I achieved attending this course equipped me to take any stage and wow the masses. You too can by visiting their website here for more information.
There was more. A special gift from the organizers, because they believe it’s pointless to have all the wealth if you don’t have the life to enjoy it. That’s how I met the phenomenal Coach Jennifer Mwangangi, the most practical Nutritionist I have ever met. It wasn’t just about food, she delved deeper and addressed one’s mental and emotional well-being, led us through a guided meditation and more. You can find out more about Licial Wellness here.
Get equipped through the World Class Speakers training.
Your voice changes everything. Speak up!