This speech the final speech of the Competent Communicators Manual of Toastmasters – Project 10 Inspire Your Audience.
It took almost 2 years to complete these 10 speeches and I’m pretty proud of my journey so far.
- To inspire the audience by appealing to nobel motives and challenging the audience to achieve a higher level of believes or achievement.
- Appeal to the audience’s needs and emotions, using stories, anecdotes, and quotes to add drama.
- Avoid using notes
Time: 8 – 10 minutes
Just Be Yourself.
“Just be Yourself because everyone else is already taken!” These words by Stuart Wilde make up one of my favourite quotes. It’s funny, simple and incredibly wise. But its not the easiest thing to do. Because at the heart of this quote is the question “Who Am I? Really?”
I know in my life I’ve struggled with this but it’s to the extent that we can answer that question and live it out in the world is to the extent that we are able to fully experience what it means to live an authentic life.
In fact the greatest people that society has ever known were never versions of other people. They were, themselves. And thats what we admire most about them! There’s only one Michael Jordan. Only one Emenim. There will only ever be one Princess Diana, and luckily there will only ever be one Tony Abbot!
When I look around at successful people I always walk away with something, and thats to always be myself. It can be as simple as asking yourself:
How can I be me? How can I be more of me and less of someone else?
Because you will always be the very best you but you can only be the second best someone else. Just like I’ll always be the second best Vince , the second best Madeline but I can be the best Samith Pich.
If you ever wanted to see the perfect example of someone who knows how to just be themselves inside and out, spend time with a four year old.
Four year old have got the whole Just BE Yourself thing sussed.
And here’s the thing, they haven’t read any Deepak Chopra, they haven’t been inspired by Anthony Robbins to Be The Best They can be and they don’t have a library of self help books telling them the 7 steps to being themselves. They just are.
Young kids don’t care what other people think of them! They have no concept of being anyone else but themselves. For example have you ever seen a four year old dance? Put some Katy Perry on and their little bodies are moving in ways you didn’t know they could! And it’s not how they dance it’s when they dance! They dance all the time! And it’s not just the little girls the little boys are dancing! they’re singing and jiving. I’ve never seen a little boy go ‘woah, no I don’t dance. I might make a fool out of myself, actually I’m going to ahh stay at the bar and drink lots of milk until I get enough courage
No this is what 4 year old boys do!
And then what happens?
Somewhere along the line… they just grow up, they stop dancing, they stop singing..
And start worrying what others might think of them, if we do..
I really believe that for many of us we’re afraid to be ourselves. And often what we’re most afraid of is that we believe that those we care most about won’t approve of us if they see the real us.
Like so many people I went through so much of my life trying to be like other people, just trying to blend in with the crowd. Which for me was really silly because have you had a look at me? When I was growing up I didn’t look like any of my friends – I was short, dark and I had massive ears. Actually nothing has changed! My school lunch consisted of fried rice and a fried egg. I was a walking ‘look at me’ sign at a time I didn’t want to be looked at. And despite flashes of being myself I so desperately didn’t want to be different, I just wanted to be like everyone else. And thats what I did for the longest time…
But if I look back at all the opportunities I’ve had, all the pretty cool things I’ve done and the girls I’ve dated (not that many by the way) I’m now pretty sure it was because I was different.
The first time I laid eyes on my beautiful wife to be Iris was at the Bayswater Hotel.
We met on the internet and it was our first date. She looked amazing, I wasn’t too bad. Anyways we started chatting and unknown to me she decided to test me three times if I was dinkum material.
She asked me 1. Would I mind getting her a drink of Shandy, which is essentially a lemonade with a bit of beer. I said no worries. Turns out she had a date where the guy refused because he wouldn’t be caught dead asking for a shandy at the bar because he was too manly. Well that date didn’t last.
She asked me if I was into football I said hell no. And she breathed a sigh of relief. And then finally she asked, since it was a friday and we had met at the pub if I was teh kind of guy who liked to spend friday nights at the pub with my mates and I said ‘No I would rather spend my friday nights having dinner with you at my place instead.’ Very forward I know.
But by this time she kinda figured I wasn’t an axe murderer and we had a great dinner at my home. But this only came about because I was comfortable just being me and not caring either way!
You see you’re never going to be great, you’re never going to be exceptional if you’re afraid to just be yourself. In fact the great tragedy I see in the world today is how James Mason puts it ‘so many people are born originals but they die copies.
And here’s the real kicker. You are great, you are exceptional! How do I know? Because you’re all here! Everyone here is investing in themselves tonight, you’re investing in your dreams in this journey with Toastmasters.
We are all fellow travellers in this journey to find our true voices. Yes some of us have started earlier and some have just begun, some of us are darker some are fairer. Some have long hair some have no hair. So what! Because inside we’re giants on the journey to reclaim our giant-hood.
To become a giant you have to first find out who you are as a person. You need to define your values, you need to define who you are and who you are not and you need to invest time in working all of that all out. This requires trusting yourself to know what’s best for your, and to work hard to be the best you that you can be.
Start by paying attention to the moments in your life when you come most alive. Howard Thurman said it best “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
So what turns you on? What gets you fired up? What would get you waking up early and going to bed exhausted but happy. Conversely what gets your goat? What turns you off? What wrongs would you like to wipe off the face of the world if you could? Thats the real you! A piece of you thats outside the norm, outside the everyday tick tock. Someone bigger than you’ve ever played!
I wish for you to have the thrill of knowing that of all the things you could be doing, of all the places you could go to and all the people you could be with you’d rather be right here, right now, doing your one thing. that one thing might be having both hands on the helm of a sailing boat as you make your way to Karratha with a mate.
Or you might be standing in front of a classroom the moment 30 small light bulbs go off and excited hands rush up bursting with answers. Or just might be spending time with those you love most on a glorious summers day at the park.
What ever it is, just do more of it!
Look at the gifts you alone have been given and do the best with what you have.
But above all Just be yourself! Not just because everyone else is already taken but because there’s no one else you’d rather be!