Life is giving me these special opportunities, special moments to be present on great events and to meet great people. One of these special opportunities happened just a few days ago. On 30-4-2015 in Poznan, Poland I had the privilege to be with Les Brown, Dr. Julie and their Team during a very powerful event ”Life without limits”. With 25.000 people present on the stadium it was the biggest personal development event in Poland ever. As it was a powerful day for me I decided to write about the most important lessons I learned from it.
You could imagine that a person like Les Brown, a legendary speaker, does not need much in the form of preparation. So I was surprised when one of the first question asked was: What does this crowd need to hear? What should be the main message they need to receive? These questions were asked to several people. I come from Poland, I should know what the people could need to hear. The message of hope, faith and responsibility for their own destiny. The message of opportunities, persistence and victory. I knew all of that, but how to tell this to someone like Les within one sentence? Communication is an art!
- You can’t be over prepared!
- In the end it is not about the speaker but about the public needs and expectations that makes a speech a success or failure.
“Do not allow this what you want to say stand in the way of what people need to hear!” – Les Brown
Not in the spot light, but always busy, always alert, always organizing. Keeping an eye on all details. Time, activities, food, drink, rest etc., etc., etc. I never thought that so much happens during such a big event and you need to be well-organized. Without a good team the speaker cannot focus on the speech!
- To be able to focus on the speech you need to have someone capable watching your back.
- It is not only the speaker who deserves applause but also the people making it possible to have a speaker deliver the best.
“One man doesn’t make a symphony orchestra.” – Jim Rohn
Can someone like Les Brown feel the stress before going on stage? I have seen the crowd from the stage perspective. It was overwhelming. The responsibility is huge. Just before going on stage I have seen Les with Dr. Julie getting focused. Getting into the energy.
- It is necessary to get focused and to get into the energy before going out there.
- It is great to have someone close, someone you trust to help you in getting focused.
“Where focus goes energy flows.” – Tony Robins
By being part of the team I looked at the speech Les was giving a bit different this time. I felt somehow part of the speech. I could see much better than before the changes in pace, changes in focus, getting the energy flowing, getting an alignment with the translator. The speech was great. As usually Les delivered a fantastic message. A message of hope, encouragement, responsibilities for our own life and the life of others.
- It is not the information that counts, it is the experience one can create on stage that makes the impact.
- A good speech is like old Jazz. You get the general line and then you use your skills, energy and interpretation trying to make it into something special, something unforgettable. It comes from your heart, not from your brain!
“If getting information would be sufficient we all would be wealthy, healthy and slim.” – Les Brown
Just after the speech ended we moved back to our Sky-box. I could see that the excitement, stress and focus was gone. After resting for a while Les started his evaluation questions. He did not asked how it was, he asked what we learned, what have we felt and what have we seen. We discussed several aspects of the speech, of the public’s reaction and technical aspects, including a drone camera getting very close to Les.
- The best time for the first evaluation is when the feelings and memories are fresh. When you can still feel the energy.
- You need to be very specific in asking questions if you want to learn something from what happened.
“Perfection doesn’t exist – you can always do better and you can always grow.” – Les Brown
After the speech I have seen different people coming to Les, telling him what was important in his speech for them. What I noticed is that he was very warm and very open to everybody. He was listening and time to time gave his feedback or comments. Always uplifting, always positive. One moment a young man from the organization come with his younger sister. She wanted to thank Les for telling his “twin brother story” as she felt that she was living in the shadow of her big brother. Les not only listened to her and gave her very uplifting message, he also asked if the parents of the two where nearby and he invited their parents to the Sky-box. When the parents arrived he made them shine by telling how fantastic their kids were and how well they have done by raising such fantastic kids. It was incredible to see it.
- Your message on the stage should be consistent with who you are!
- It is very important to create a special experience for people not only on the stage, but also in your daily life.
“I think of myself as a catalyst of action and a messenger of hope, turning people onto themselves and turning people onto their dreams.” – Les Brown
It was an incredible day, which I will not forget. Not only have I learned a lot, but it gave me tons to think about. Being with people who really care about what happens on the ground in Nepal, people who are dreaming of raising half a million USD per day to fight poverty, people who care about other people, who want them to become better, to find their dreams and to go for them. It makes you wonder what my own purpose is. What I was born for? What kind of greatness is within me? I will have to figure it out but for now I would like to thank to Les Brown, Dr. Julie and their Team for sharing this day with me.