A great axiom I first heard from Craig Valentine. "Don't get ready to speak, stay ready." You never know when your moment in the sun will come. This young man was ready for his in October, 2010.
What can we learn from Sam Hollyman?
- Be Willing. Don't shy away, be willing to jump up and speak next time someone asks your opinion, has an open spot to fill, or gives you a shot at something you weren't expecting. False (or real) humility won't serve you here. Opportunities have a reputation for closing quickly on the meek.
- Know the Words. Be familiar enough with what you're known to talk about. Don't just talk about talking about it, talk about it! With your friends, co-workers, online, EVERYWHERE! Can you imagine if Sam didn't know the song? Crash, boom, bam!
- Don't be Intimidated. Sam, with all the exuberance of a teenager, belted it out. Remember when you were fearless? Be fearless next time you speak. Your confidence will give you power to sway your audience.
- Work Together. Sam was flexible, and took direction from Michael without, literally, missing a beat. Follow the lead of the person asking you to speak. Let them know you'll do whatever they need. Now is not the time to demand green M&M's in your dressing room.
- Make them Swear! OK, maybe we don't really want the audience shouting 'Holy S#1TBalls', but would it be so bad if they thought with that kind of excitement once you got onstage to speak? Start strong. Lead with your best material. You've got one chance to excite them from the start.
- Follow Up. Don't actually know what Sam is actually up to these days, beyond snubbing Britain's Got Talent. Where he goes from here is up to him. What will you do after your moment in the sun? Sit back and enjoy it? Or parlay it into more opportunities? Remember, every speaker is unemployed once they finish their last speech!
Once people know you can speak, they are going to ask you to speak. Stay ready to Speak...& Deliver.