I feel like once, just once, you’re likely to have a teacher or somebody else who stands up at school and gives a speech that blows your mind. Of course, all the odds differ person to person, but among everyone I’ve talked to, once seems to be the consensus. Some people seem to have no idea what I’m talking about, and they’re the people you can’t help but feel a little bad for. For my part, I’ve been one of the lucky ones. For me, it’s happened twice.
I remember both of them with startling clarity. The first one happened when I was fifteen. We were having an assembly at the beginning of the school year, something to get us revved up about the six months to come. At that kind of assembly, they always get the highest achiever from the last year’s final exams to come in and give a speech. Usually, it’s nothing significant. Just some fresh-out-of-school kid, a couple of years older than the rest of us, trying their hand at a little awkward public speaking. But Alice, even though it was years ago I still remember her name, Alice was amazing. She walked in wearing a fashionable, put together outfit, her hair pulled back nicely to frame her face. Her speech was incredible, she took on the role of being an inspirational speaker and just took it to a whole other level. Afterwards, we all walked out professing ‘that is what I want to be when I grow up’.
My second encounter with a life changing speech was a little different. The school had hired out this motivational business speaker to talk to us about getting our foot in the door and becoming a part of the business world. To be honest with you, looking back I don’t even really remember what exactly she talked about during the speech, but I walked out of it at the end and I had made a small decision, that led to a bigger decision, that changed the course of my life.