When asked, most people will tell you that public speaking is one of the most dreaded activities to be asked to do in one’s personal and business life. It doesn’t have to be. People love telling and hearing stories.
What better topic is there but a story based on your life, experience or adventures? When it’s your story, it’s easier for you to talk about the topic – out loud. For the audience, a real story is easier to draw parallels to and connect with. Naturally, your enthusiasm and authenticity will shine through.
Toastmasters will tell you, topics are everywhere. The first place to look for a topic – is in the mirror.
First and foremost, I recommend you ask yourself: What is the outcome for the audience? For example, are you being asked to speak as part of a fundraising effort for a charity? Have you been asked to speak at a wedding, at a meetup or to work colleagues? You want your audience to identify or connect with you right away.
Whatever personal topic you choose, use metaphors. Metaphors such as strength, courage, overcoming adversity and determination are a few examples. The metaphor you select in your speech should build like a ripple on the surface of a pond as you deliver your speech.
It may sound strange, as there are over 50 different ways to start a speech, but begin your speech with the ending. Better yet, phrase the ending as a question. Hold onto your thought and come back to it later in your speech.
Never spin the answer or the message in your speech. Use the metaphor throughout and allow the audience to come to the conclusion – generosity, inspiration, reflection or just plain knowledge. The choice is yours.
Looking back, it was a different time, with different values. It was a time when Canada was just being seen as a united and prosperous country. Looking fit and lifestyle choices were not like they are today. Did we know of a better lifestyle, or were we following what was in vogue at the time? I’m not quite sure.
What I do remember is that my brother and I were in our early 30s when we lost our father to a heart-attach. At 30, I thought I was fit, but I indulged in some of the popular vices at the time like smoking. Yes, that’s hard to believe when you look at me now.
My younger brother, just 15 months behind me, somehow knew better. He made me take a hard look at myself one summer day when he told me I might be dead at 50, if I continued to smoke. Shocking words from a younger sibling. Kim and I had pushed each other along, in school and life, since we were old enough to wrestle.
It was a pivoting moment in my life, which sent me on a different path. I started competing in triathlons. Soon I had chalked up over a hundred events, of various lengths, to my name.
To mark my 60th birthday last year, I participated in the Penticton Ironman Triathlon. This was a new age class and there weren’t too many participants in my age group. Thinking back, any baby boomer would have needed a mind shift to be running in their 60s today.
For me, I push myself and take on my own leadership. It’s a great means to put away any stress of the day, and, most importantly, recharge the spirit.
Continuing to push each other, as we had in our young lives, I was sure to remind Kim when he was 59 last year that his 60th was coming up soon. I wanted to know if he going to do the Ironman, like his older brother?
Sure enough, I found myself on plane back to my stomping grounds to support Kim as he completed the Ironman Mont-Tremblant this August. We continue to push each other and hopefully inspire others that it’s never too late through physical fitness to give yourself a chance.
I just submitted an application to be a featured speaker at the #MDRT Million Dollar Round Table Gathering in Toronto 2014.
I was in Philadelphia last month for the 2013 gathering. I was truly inspired by this multi-national gathering.
I decided it was time to step up and offer myself as a featured speaker. This has been a goal of mine for sometime.
Now that I have my own personal website, Youtube channel and Social Media platforms, it’s time.
Let me ask you a question today: If you needed to draw on your strength, your inner being, your inner will, your emotional strength, do you know how much strength, you’d really have? Would you be able to go to the moon? Or dig deep in this reservoir that was really, really deep? And you could just pull out strength or would it be just contained in this small box?
Hold on to that question, I’m going to show it to you today a couple of stories. The first story is about the Iron Man Triathlon in Canada, Penticton, British Columbia, and I decided that the magic age of 60, that I was going to do this triathlon, and I knew I would need strength.
But, I didn’t really know how much strength I’d need, and I got through the 4 kilometer swim, and I got through the 180 kilometer bike, and then came the simple marathon, only 42 kilometers. I discovered at the 10 kilometer mark that I have full-on blisters on both pads of my feet.
What would you do? Would you draw on your strength if you really know how much strength you’d have? I decided that I would continue the walk and I would persevere with patience and determination, and I absolutely found out how much strength I needed. You see, it took me 8 hours and 20 minutes to finish that marathon, and I really needed strength.
The other story I’d like to share with you, is when I came back from the Boston Marathon, to the news that my son had been diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. We discovered at that point how much strength, we as a family, me as a person, me as a dad, would really need. We resolved that we would go to the moon drawing on that reservoir of strength, and we went through the chemotheraphy. We went through the radiation and we went through the steroids and we needed strength every day. Let me ask you this, if you went through that situation, your family how much strength could you draw today?
I share stories of strength with my client, I share stories with those that I have an impact on, because I’ve know been involved in this business of life. The business of life and I know I have an impact with the strength that I’m able to deliver to clients each and every day because you’ll never know how much strength you really have, until strength is the only choice you have. I make an impact through the strength I have, through those stories each and every day with the clients. Strength is the only choice I have.
I would value your comments – I’ll let you know when I hear back!
My grandfather and my great uncle, Duncan and Beverley Robinson, were the most successful life agents in Canada Life during the 1920s. This was well before estate planning had a definition or much of an understanding of what you could do today to protect your assets for the next generation.
Starting out in the same company, the Robinson Brothers (as they were referred to) knew little about insurance. To make up for this, they did an exhaustive study of the different types of income and business insurance. They coined the term estate conservation which later came to be known as estate planning.
Consultants in Estate Planning During the Roaring Twenties
Duncan and Beverley Robinson developed a unique service in their day. They helped people analyze their wealth and administer their estate by showing their clients the many uses for life insurance.
They prefaced that the task of estate planning was not simple, but one of vital importance for it required, in their words:
- Assembling all information concerning a client’s affairs;
- Analyzing the client’s situation to disclose any weaknesses, defects or pitfalls to which he, his family or his business may be exposed;
- Creating a plan to solve the problems;
- Tying together all segments into a unified whole; and Cooperating closely with the client’s attorney, accountant and trust officer in completing the plan.
- Practical Solutions Minimize Taxation & Create Wealth
The same principles hold true today and this is what I carry on at Freedom 55 Financial as I help my clients plan for tomorrow. As a financial advisor, I offer my clients suggestions in their financial planning and empower them with information so it will benefit them, their families and their beneficiaries.
With personal and business insurance suited to your situation, you can generate wealth and peace of mind. You can even leave a legacy that will benefit others generations into the future.
Out of the water and onto the bike as quickly as possible. During the Penticton Ironman, my mind was focused on getting my wet suit off and finding my bike. I was empowered when I entered this race, in my new age class of 60, I was determined to finish the race.
I keep active to remain fit and I push myself by competing in triathlons, marathons and half-marathons.
Let Your Purpose in Life Guide You
It’s because of my son that I am a financial advisor with an unwavering purpose in life to help people. I want to empower everyone to plan for tomorrow and consider their legacy. You don’t want to leave such matters to chance or think nothing will happen to me.
Look at me and learn from my example. I didn’t understand the value of risk management until after I was sidelined for nearly 18 months with the loss of my son from leukemia. This devastating loss cost me my job and a good portion of my retirement savings.
Build a Legacy Based on Your Passion
Financial planning is the best thing you can do in life and business to reduce your exposure to risk from life’s unexpected events. A qualified financial advisor can show you how insurance can not only protect your beneficiaries but it can also be used by individuals and corporations to:
- create wealth
- defer taxes
- distribute your estate
- magnify your legacy
I prefer to share my family stories to illustrate how life insurance can help you in your life and your business. As humans, we relate to real-life events better than any words, charts or statistics. If my story touches one person then that’s one more individual who can be empowered to plan for tomorrow.
Empower yourself to learn how.
“The legacy we leave is part of the ongoing foundations of life. Those who came before leave us the world we live in. Those who will come after will have only what we leave them.” – Jim Rohn
While speaking at Ronald McDonald House’s 2012 Gala Dinner, my story of strength touched a number of people in the audience. Each plate, at every table, was helping raise funds for the house many BC families call home – Ronald McDonald House.
I was speaking about the importance of helping others and I chose to share a story about the Penticton Ironman I had just completed in the summer of 2012.
Being Strong is the Only Choice You Have
It was at the 10km mark of the marathon. I had successfully completed the swim in a sea of people who wouldn’t think twice about swimming over top of you to get ahead, and ridden my bike over the Okanagan’s mountainous terrain in beating hot sun. When it was time for the marathon, the last of the three lengths of the triathlon, I had full on blisters. And, 32km to go.
After everything I had gone through to reach this point, there was no quit in me. I discovered my strength, my inner will. I thought of my son Michael, who at the age of 13, was diagnosed with cancer. I remembered the strength we all needed as a family throughout this battle and the places we drew upon when we were feeling low.
Strength Comes From Within & From the Collective
I found strength in myself to finish the race and I share this with you today. I want to remind everyone that this strength is what Ronald McDonald House provides every second of every day to families.
As I mentioned, this presentation touched many. Chantal Kreviazuk who was also at the gala dinner, personally invited me and my wife to be her guests at her concert in Victoria. During her six-song set, Chantelle spoke to the audience about the inspiring and motivating speech she had heard at the Ronald McDonald House Gala.
Strength – let it empower you!