The other day I was in Quebec City and I was speaking at the International Camping Congress. Now I have spoken for years to many different groups. Some audiences in excess of 3000 people. I have shared the stage with a Kennedy, Movie Starts, Best Selling Authors, Olympic Athletes, Television personalities and even a couple of Governors, Premiers and even two Prime Ministers. I love my job and I am honoured to be asked to speak each and every time.
This speech that I did at the conference was perhaps one of my most fulfilling. I was proud of myself after I had finished! Here’s the thing, I was given only 5 minutes to speak! Now as a speaker that seems sort of funny. I am used to having at least 60 minutes to get a powerful message across to my audience. So I was challenged with such a short time. It was also a group of my peers. People that I respect SO much. So for the first time in a long time I was nervous.
I wasn’t sure what I would say until I got up on stage in front of the microphone. It hit me just moments before I spoke. I told my audience of close to 700 that I didn’t have enough time to tell them anything useful because I only had 5 minutes. If I had more time I said I would tell them about the lessons I have learned from my days as a camper, CIT, counsellor and camp director and owner. I then told 5 very short stories and the powerful lessons I learned from each of them. Each time saying I wish I had more time to tell them that story.
When it was done I was honoured to receive a warm round of applause. I had actually spoken for about 10 minutes. Later that evening a man who is one of the most respected in all of camping Mr. Jack Pearse took the time to find me and let me know that I had done a superb job and that he had learned from my short speech. I was at a loss for words. All I could muster up was a “thank you”.
I have done more “important” speeches to larger groups and not felt nearly as satisfied after that 5 minutes on stage. Here’s what I learned, you don’t need hours of time to make a point. Sometimes we only need a be a few minutes to say thank you or to support a friend or even impart some wisdom, no matter how insignificant it may be upon a group of leaders. Today I am happy. Thank you to all those who helped make the International Camping Congress such a success, and thank you for only giving me 5 minutes!
Here’s today’s question… Please take a the some time to write the question in your journals, answer it and share your thoughts here on the STUpendous BLOG!
“If you could impart some wisdom to friend, colleague or family member and you only had 5 minutes what would you say?”