Just a quick note about what I learned last week. I was lucky enough to go to see some pretty impressive speakers sharing their visions live. Two of them were Richard Branson and Al Gore. I listened intently, not only to what they were saying, but how they were saying it.
And wow. I was so impressed by them both. Richard Branson inspired me – from one rebel to another, I felt his message resonate within me. When he talked about following your heart and taking risks, I nodded emphatically. (I left a safe, well-paid job at Regina Coeli Taleninstituut to follow my dream of being a Personal English Coach – something that did not even exist – 15 years ago. Everyone thought I was insane. Have never looked back.) Branson talked about taking yourself out of your company so you can focus on yourself and letting someone take over the nitty gritty for a while. He was honest about being abused at school because he was dyslexic. And in the end, despite his wealth, fame and status, he seemed so down to earth, so truly earnest and honest, ready to admit his mistakes and encouraged everyone present to learn from them – “We tried to be the first ones to cross the Atlantic – we sunk. But fortunately, the part that was sticking out of the water had ‘Virgin’ written on it.’
And I was deeply moved by Al Gore. The man has so much passion. He stood the entire time (Branson was sitting, being interviewed by Eva Jinek) and (from where I was sitting) did not appear to use any notes whatsoever. His body language resonated with his message – he stood up straight, his shoulders were relaxed, and his tone of voice conveyed authority and warmth at the same time. His wonderful Southern accent was reassuring – almost like you’d want him to read you a bedtime story. I love how he ‘leaned’ into his vowels. He presented some pretty scary facts about climate change, but warned us ahead of time that the end of the presentation would end on a positive note. There was a technical glitch and he stood there calmly, and asked for help. He never lost contact with the audience. He asked us questions, he got us involved, he made us feel and share his passion about climate change. By the end of the night, we were all promising to take 4 -minute showers.
Both men serve as an inspiration to speak from the heart, but back it up. With facts, with anecdotes, with a story that only you can tell. Stay humble. Think big. After no, after the last no – that’s when the yes will come.
What story is yours to tell today?
What rules are you going to break?
What passion of yours needs to be shared?
I can’t wait to hear it!