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A Guide to Effective Public Speaking
Sean: How did you know that you want to do public speaking?
Jayson: My speaking program it’s called No Dull Moment. And I share there how I started. I really hated speaking. I hated speaking, but I was forced to speak. Because when I was young, I became part of a direct-selling company. And they would force me to go to speak on stage, to be able to relate to the younger audience, the younger demographic.
So I was the youngest that time. And if you know the rotonda at Shangri-La mall hotel. There’s this roundabout. I would drive around that for like five to 10 times and think of an alibi: a stomachache, headache, then tell them I cannot go.
But I never missed an event. I was scheduled to speak and I would always be there. And maybe the only thing lacking was to barf my guts out on stage. Rather than butterflies in my stomach but bees.
Well, Sean can’t relate because he’s highly confident when he speaks. I’m not like that. I needed a lot of practice and I hated speaking. That’s why I don’t believe in the saying, follow your passion. Because it should be follow your hard work, or like Mark Cuban says, follow your effort. I was speaking. I was really bad. I was really bad. Speak again, I was really bad. Speak, speak, speak, speak. And then I became a little bit better, a little bit better. I became better and better. And before I knew it, I didn’t know that I was going to be here today. So that’s what happened to me. I followed my hard work. That’s one. Another is, I have mentors who helped me along the way.
Mentors would cut your learning curve into half, half, half, half. What I keep telling Sean, our story, I earned, I got my first pay from a speaking engagement after ten years of speaking. Ten years. So everything that goes before were all free. What I was doing before, were all free. Although it’s fine because I had my business. I don’t need to earn from it. And little did I know that that’s where I’m going to be placed.
Sean: Just to redeem myself, I do get nervous a ton. Especially in the first few years, super. But I didn’t hate it. I wanted to do it. I want it to become better. And as for how I got a lot of gigs, speaking gigs and inquiries is through SEO. So I rank for Filipino motivational speaker. I just tried out that keyword.
It’s the most searched for keyword before and I said why don’t I try to rank for that? And I ranked somewhere in the top three. I was ranking at one, two, three during that time and now, I don’t give much attention to it because I have turned down some speaking gigs due to the business and the pandemic. A lot of things are going on right now.
And a lot of things are on my plate, but that’s how, that’s how we started. So, very different. But I completely agree. Follow your effort. You will know where you’re getting better at, and that’s where people will pay you because you have a lot of value to give.
Next question for you, Jason would be, how are you confident in speaking in front of other people? How are you not awkward?
Jayson: You have to do your homework and you have to know your audience. So before you speak, before I speak, I study my audience, who my audience would be. I think that’s one of my strengths as a speaker. I can speak to different groups. From top-level to public, from students to CEOs, entrepreneurs, and it’s learning how to speak their language.
So in other words, for example, I will talk about, let’s say leadership. So, let’s say in the corporate businesses, leadership, you need to have your own vernacular. You need to have your own language. So that’s corporate talk. But when I’m talking to, let’s say middle managers. Oh, you have to believe in yourself. If you want to be a leader. Say, if you don’t believe in yourself, other people won’t believe in you.
Then, when I talk to students, talk about leadership. How could I relate this to them? Saying, who are you friends with? The brainy ones? Or the delinquents?
So it’s like, how can you deliver the same language to different kinds of people, the same language, and share it effectively. And, the number one quality of a good speaker is really about passion. And I’m not talking about rara emotional type of passion. What I’m talking about is the passion for their topic, knowing it inside out.
And this is a study that they conducted and they found out that among the 500 plus top Ted speakers, the most popular, that’s the number one quality. It’s really passion. So the passion is very important, right? You care about your topic. You love your topic because speaking in a way, it’s a transfer of emotions. But what’s more important is getting your audience to care about what you’re talking about.
And it takes time to do that. It takes a lot of preparation to do that, but once you get it, that is why what’s important is to know the topic you will be choosing. You’re passionate about it. But also find how you can be different, how your topic can be unique from others.
Sean: So I completely agree with that. Now you have to know your stuff. If you don’t, if you’re not completely sure about it, you go on that stage, it’s going to wreck you and you’re going to stutter. You’re going to get unsure, but I mean, it’s like a vicious cycle. The moment you lose confidence in yourself, because you’re not sure about how well you’re delivering this topic that you supposedly are a master of, it’s gonna ruin your talk.
The next question would be from Cedric. If you weren’t a good speaker initially, and you considered it to be a weakness. So I think he’s stemming from your answer earlier. Why did you still try to hone it? Did John Maxwell not mention that we should hone our strengths instead of our weaknesses?
Jayson: Speaking, isn’t really a weakness for me, but, you know, to be honest, speaking, technically it is a skill. It’s a technical skill. You can learn it even though you’re not a great speaker. And there are many who aren’t great speakers, but they’re doing it out of necessity. And that’s what happened to me. It was out of necessity because, because I needed to do it since we are part of a direct selling company I had to present, well, I have to speak well.
And I learned it. Having that passion, you become passionate about things that you are good at, or you’re good in. So when I was getting better and better at speaking, then I started liking it. I started loving it, but generally I wouldn’t call it a weakness. It’s more of a talent that I haven’t discovered yet.
And it took people to help me discover that. Because we tend to do things that we don’t like to do in the first place, but we have to do it, right? For example, waking up early in the morning. I don’t think people like to do that, but if you run a business and you have to wake up early. Then you have to do it.
In basketball, I don’t think they want to lift weights. I don’t think they want to practice. LeBron James and Steph Curry, they don’t practice every day. They practice two to three times a day. Their practice includes weight lifting, they don’t like to do that, I don’t think any sane human being would want to do that, but they have to.
So I am at that line. I’m also a strengths coach, by the way. Strengthsfinder. I’m a certified strengths coach. So I know that we should be focusing on our strengths, but that’s not part of the strengths of what John Maxwell was talking about.
Sean: The strength spectrum speaking is, it’s more of a skill. Right, I agree with Jayson, you learn it. You learn the ins and outs of it, the technicalities. It’s a very broad scale. More of a weakness would be keeping to yourself or not wanting to grow and improve. I would say being stubborn about your comfort. Those things, for me, that’s more of the weakness and you have to work on that.
The next question is from, from, from Cedric Choa again. I think this is a follow-up question for you. Was there ever a time you relayed the false information or committed a grammatical error during a speaking event? I sometimes want to be a great speaker too, but I fear that I might commit those mistakes, accidentally relaying wrong information, right?
Jayson: Yeah. I mean, we speak for an hour, two hours, one day, sometimes I speak for two days, then I would really make a mistake. Sometimes grammatical errors and I’ve had a lot of epic failures in, in speaking, many. I mean, you wouldn’t grow in any profession, any business, if you don’t commit mistakes. Failure is actually not your foe, but failure is your friend, as long as you don’t commit the same failures over and over and make the same mistakes over and over again.
And some of my speaking engagements, I made some mistakes until today. I remember them. Those that I was highly successful in. Some of them, I forgot already, but those failures were stuck in me. So for the grammatical errors, it’s fine. Everyone makes mistakes and just come in prepared. As for the information, you have to really do your homework.
You have to do your homework. And I’ve had some mistakes also regarding that in the past. I think that someone corrected me, but it happens. Just be open to it and move on. That’s actually the secret to it. It’s also important if you want to speak, the best way is to really look for mentors. Look for people who can help you cut the learning curve in so many ways.
Cut it in half, half, half, because that’s one thing that. Really, it was one of those bottlenecks for me. No one really taught me how to do it and no one taught me hacks. I had to learn it on my own, but that’s why I made it part of my mission also to teach what I learned to some next generation speakers that I have encountered.
Sean: Actually, one of the things also that I learned from, I think I learned this from you, Jayson. Because you sat in twice in different times that I spoke and gave me some feedback, that was really helpful. So I do agree. Get mentors, get friends to help you out. Jayson was really helpful for me cause he’s also a master public speaker.
So whatever he says is gold for me. Of course, don’t get people who don’t know public speaking to comment on your public speaking right? So get people who know more than you, who has more experience than you.
Jayson: One talk I had in Jollibee. I mentioned that my favorite fast food is KFC. So those kinds of scenarios. There was one point in my speech that was really scripted and I forgot to edit.
Then, there was one conference for a thousand people. I did it, and it was for a church event. When I went offstage, I asked my wife, “how was it?” And she said that it was good, but I had a very small mistake and then I asked her for it.
And there’s this verse during my talk, Psalm 78, I think. And the one I typed into the slide, was Proverbs 78. So if you think about it, the bible only has verses up ’til Proverbs 31. And I went as far as 78. After I had my speech, there’s a praise and worship, then I was asked again to go onstage to pray. Then I said, you know, everyone, God is not looking for perfect people. You and I are not perfect. And if you noticed I flashed on my slide there, Proverbs 78, there’s no Proverbs seven, 78.
I made the big mistake in front of all of you. And that’s a good example.
So when I went offstage, people started approaching me saying, “Sir, was the mistake on purpose?”
Sean: You know, it’s so encouraging to hear that from someone who, I have to use this word: great and experienced as you. You know you committed those mistakes. You’re honest about it. And for those of you listening in tonight that’s how you become better. A lot of people look at successful people on top of their mountain.
And I know I’ve said this before in previous podcast episodes. You see people on the top of their game, on the top of their mountain, but you don’t see that the dead bodies under the mountain and those dead bodies are their failures made up of their own dead bodies. And it’s what helps you to climb up. Otherwise you can’t be successful. You can get by, you can get by, but not find success. That’s the truth.