No. 204



One of the greatest challenges a public speaker faces, after being introduced, is to gain the undivided attention of the people in the audience and to get them to concentrate and focus on what he or she is saying. I love to see and hear a master communicator who can do this. In addition to being well qualified, many times a speaker must also be very creative, especially if he does not have a commanding presence or a distinctive voice quality.

As an introduction to what I want to share with you, please permit me to tell you about a sales manager who was a master when it came to being creative. One day he stood before his sales force of a thousand men and women and he yelled, Who was the first president of our country? They all yelled back, George Washington. Then he yelled, Who was the first man to fly an airplane across the Atlantic Ocean? They all yelled back, Charles Lindbergh. Then he yelled, Who was Irving Loser?

After a long pause, one man finally yelled back, Irving Loser, we never heard of him. At this point the sales manager stuck out his chest and said, The reason you have never heard of Irving Loser is because that blankety-blankety quit. Now, I believe you will agree this story contains is a real message for many of us. Here I would like to ask you an important question that is worth thinking about for a little while. How many people do you suppose could have been highly successful, even world famous, if they had just stuck with what they started out to do.

I was talking with a friend the other day and he was telling me about a young man we both know who has worked for several different companies the past six months. And believe me, he was not moving up the ladder, he was going sideways or even going down. Granted, he was at the bottom of the pay scale but he was not willing to pay the price and stick it out until a better opportunity with his first employer opened up for him. You see, each time he quit, his subconscious mind registered failure and it was also a black mark on his employment record for all future potential employers to see.

The sad part of this story is that he is living out the Saga Of Irving Loser that has been passed on from his father and unless he changes, he will also pass it on to his children. You see, this young man comes from a family of low achievers. In essence, this is what the word saga means. Its the story of the history of a family and when the family tree consists mostly of losers, this trait is just passed on from one generation to the next. The great news is that every healthy individual in our nation has the opportunity and the potential to become successful and in a sense to set new standards.

For example, many highly successful executives know and understand this principle and their kids start at the bottom. This is to say, driving a truck, working in the warehouse and doing other menial jobs. Not that these jobs dont have value, they just dont pay as much and usually the work is harder. If you will do some research, I believe you will find that most successful people started at the bottom and worked their way up.

In closing, I would just like to say that sometimes life is hard and in the long run we would be better off to tell our children the truth, then work to encourage them to do great things. Its called rising above our circumstances and in this country we certainly have the opportunity to make the most of our talents and abilities. In my own life, I have found that when things get rough, if I dont quit, the sky will clear and all kinds of good things have come as a result. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)