Last night I was privileged to attend a talk by THE Francis Kong. It’s only recent that I started following him on Facebook. I’ve heard about him before but I got more interested after seeing him in church, hearing him speak in a retreat and learning more about his values.
I love that he’s Christian. His talks are based on biblical values and his words and actions stem from that. He emphasized the need to be consistent in whatever you say. And since the word of God is unchangeable, he is consistent whether he’s talking about sales, marketing, family, life, love, business. Here is a successful man who preaches what he practices.
He is funny, engaging, down-to-earth, authentic. The talk last night was about public speaking. And not that I have any dreams of becoming a public speaker, but I think he offers practical lessons that can be applied in different aspects of life and contribute to character and skills development. I can use the tips in engaging my students and improve my communication skills in general, which is about as important for everyone! (unless you live marooned on a deserted island, then you’re excused)
Here are lessons that really impacted me:
1. “You cannot teach anyone unless you first learn to love your audience.”
This is the only way to escape sounding condescending, he said. When you genuinely love and care for the people you’re teaching, your words will come from your heart and you will only want what’s best for them. As a teacher, my students may not immediately understand what I’m teaching, so I have to be patient. I can’t be patient if I don’t have a love for them.
And this isn’t only for professional teachers. We’re all teachers in some way. Parent to a child, sibling to a younger sibling, colleagues training a newcomer, mentors, small group leaders. At some point in our life, we will be passing on knowledge to someone else. Do you have a love for that person? Do you genuinely seek the improvement of this person?
2. Everybody starts out as amateurs.
I’m actually an impatient person. Ironic, right? I’m impatient to get to my destination. Where that is I don’t know. But I keep thinking if what I’m doing now or about to do contributes to where I would want to be someday. For instance, I don’t know if I want to be teaching my whole life. The impatient me says, if this isn’t what you’ll end up eventually, then why even do it? But we all have to start somewhere. Maybe the skills I learn here I’ll be able to use later on. Maybe this will open other doors for me.
Francis Kong said, you have to start somewhere. If you want to be a public speaker, then you have to start speaking. Don’t expect a massive crowd with standing room only on your first night. It may be a small group, 5 or 6 — 7 if you include your dog. In my case, I’m starting out with one – my student hehe (oh poor him).
3. You’ll always wonder if you don’t give your all.
He ended the talk with a story (stories are powerful, he said). There was a boy with lots of marbles and there was a girl with lots of candies. One day, the boy told the girl he’ll exchange all of his marbles for all of her candies. The girl agreed. The night before their exchange, the boy had second thoughts. He had some pretty nice marbles in his collection. He thought, he’ll keep some of the shiny pretty ones for himself and give the rest to the girl. And so he did and they exchanged in the morning. That night, the girl slept soundly. But the boy didn’t: He kept wondering whether the girl had given him all her candies.
Perhaps it’s the only way not to have any regrets. Give it your all. Do it excellently. Or else we’ll look back and wonder what would’ve happened if we had given it our all. As Francis Kong said, i-todo mo na! Now I wonder, are there any parts of my life where I’m still not giving it my all?
Visit Francis Kong’s website http://www.franciskong.com or follow him on Facebook to get tips on public speaking, love, parenting etc. To know more about his speaking engagements, check out http://www.inspireleaders.com.ph