Stand and deliver. Many of us wish we can do that any time. To stand and deliver a message that is life-changing and awe-inspiring is like a superpower. We can do extraordinary things.
Unfortunately, most of us would instead choose to be on the sidelines than to stand up.
Let me tell you a story of an experience that convinced me to speak when it matters.
One night, I was not able to sleep. I was thinking of what happened in the early morning of that day.
I attended a seminar on becoming an effective teacher. The speaker spoke like a cult leader. He peppered his talks with frivolous ideas (i.e., the end of times is the Y2K) and supported each with factoids and obvious lies.
I told another teacher about my observation. He shared it with another teacher. They said, “you are not a Christian; that’s why you cannot understand him.” They knew that I am Catholic.
I told them that lies do not become true when spoken by a Christian minister. Besides, I have friends who are Christian ministers. They never lied to me.
These two teachers advise me not to make any trouble to be not in trouble. So, I bit my lips and sat on my ass.
I was upset.
That night, I wondered if other teachers also felt the same. Nobody questioned the speaker’s lies.
Nobody stood up to correct the apparent wrong.
I was aware that most teachers (even school principals) are afraid to speak in an assembly of teachers. Even those who have been teaching for years find it challenging to talk for fear that they make mistakes in pronunciation and grammar.
But the situation was different. As a teacher, I felt I was duty-bound to speak. Was it because I was a coward or because I did not want to often the Christians in that room that I chose to be quiet?
That was more than two decades ago. A lot has changed. But I won’t forget the feeling of regret for not speaking my truth when it matters.
I understand that there is beauty in staying silent. We don’t have to speak all the time. I enjoyed listening to people who share their stories and their truths.
And I also realized the importance of always being ready to express myself and to tell the truth. When staying silent is a choice, not a cowardly act.
So, I resolved to stand and deliver when it matters.
But it was not easy.
Aside from what I told you, I had many excuses not to speak in front of others.
I am an introvert. I know that this does not sound right to most people. How can a professional speaker be an introvert? But I am.
I prefer to listen. I will instead be in a quiet place writing a piece like this or maybe cultivating the soil for my ornamentals, herbs, vegetables, and trees.
I am a Visayan. Though I grew up in Metro Manila, you can still hear my thick Visayan accent sometimes. Though I have no problem with my accent, many Tagalogs have. When I was in high school, a few of my classmates made fun of me because of it.
I am not good at English because it is not my mother tongue. We don’t speak English at home. I did not learn to speak English in school until Mrs. Sabile assigned me to teach English. I was already 30 years old when I realized that I mispronounced many words I used when I was teaching.
I can tell you dozens of reasons why it is more convenient to stay seated than to stand and deliver.
But let’s stop there.
As I have said, I resolved to stand and deliver when it matters.
I started to read dozens of books about public speaking. I joined organizations that will provide me opportunities to learn how to deliver effective presentations. I volunteered to speak in Rotary Clubs and some business clubs.
The world became my laboratory for learning.
Not only that, I started to conduct seminars and workshops to harness my public speaking skills. Later on, I began to offer myself as a motivational speaker.
Doing this allows me to apply the concepts and ideas I read from dozens of public speaking books. Unexpectedly, I realized that I have to unlearn many concepts I learned about public speaking when I was in college. Colleges still teach the same ideas until today.
And the best way to know whether ideas I read from a book are of any good is to test them. It is like I was doing action research. When I did this, I found that many speaking techniques are regurgitated ideas that do not work when applied. And that’s good. Those books led me to many discoveries.
So, I am inviting you to create your adventure in public speaking.
You don’t have to become a professional speaker. You don’t have to be like Steve Jobs, Tony Robbins, or Rodrigo Duterte.
But when your voice matter, it is best that you keep yourself confident and ready.
When you speak, you make your thoughts visible.
When you speak, you get hired to do your dream jobs.
When you speak, you can teach people.
When you speak, you can sell your products and services.
When you speak, you can move people to action.
When you speak, you can inspire employees.
When you speak, you can change a community.
When you speak, you can change the world.
Imagine a world when you can stand in front of people and deliver a message that will help you and your audience get what you want.
That world is possible. That world is real to some of us. That world can be yours too.
You only need to do the first step.
Get your Stand and Deliver emails.
For the next 60 days, twice a week, I will email you ideas, tools, and tips to help you stand in front of a crowd and express yourself with confidence.
I won’t charge you a fee. But if you can pass every email forward to someone who needs it, then I am paid generously.
I will deliver each message every Tuesday and Thursday.
The first issue of Stand and Deliver will be delivered on June 1, 2021.
The button below will bring you to the registration page.