It has been a long yet remarkably beautiful journey from where I started about eight years ago. I could clearly recall that first-time experience I first took center stage to speak. My body was already up there and as I looked down to my chair, I saw my spirit telling me to go down.
I was shaking. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know anything about public speaking.
But I had to endure. Or, at least finish that 30-minute talk however illogical, inconsistent, and non-sense my speech was going. It was the longest 30 minutes of my life.
When I finally got it done, everybody gave me a round of applause, most probably because at last, I’m done and their boredom is finished as well. Walking down the aisle, I was so disappointed not to mention ashamed of what just happened. The experience will never lie. It messed up.
And so it was a choice between two futures: First, never to speak in public again. Second, master the craft.
After having spoken to more than half a million people around the world, I obviously made the right decision to master the craft. It was a bold decision, and an important one, too. Should I have made the other choice, I wouldn’t be the person that many people know.
But public speaking as a skill is just that: public speaking. Many people can be logical, precise, consistent, witty, and sensical with their speeches. Many can just drop by the nearest bookstore, buy a copy of public speaking books, read them all day and night, and memorize the principles but hey, I deeply believe it is way more than that.
Many people have tried to speak and failed big time. Until now, many people are still trying. There are many who are trying over and over again and still fail. Bad news is, they don’t even know they are failing. There are also the best who try to teach the how-tos of public speaking hoping that skills alone will do it.
Skills set is one thing. The message is another.
As one of Asia’s celebrated motivational speaker, I have a unique story to tell. I am pretty much unlike many others who read someone else’s materials, make a powerpoint, and speak. Mine is my story and my realizations. I think that gives me an unfair advantage over many others who are on their 50s or 40s. Yes, I piss them off many times because of what I am and what I have but I guess that is part of the game as well.
Having “Pambansang Inspirasyon” associated with my name, as attributed by the public, is a huge, huge responsibility and an envy from my enemies. But for me, it means a lot of hard work and higher standard from my end. I need to demand more from my self and continue to master my craft. Living with the title is something that I am both proud and challenged. It is an entire different level.
Pambansang Inspirasyon (or National Inspiration) is just another title. Surely in the end, people will know why this is.