Jim Rohn taught me, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!” I wanted to put Jim’s theory to the test but I needed help, a lot of help! With the support of my wife as my coach, my friends, family and mentors as my guides, I decided to do something I had never done before.
It is 8am. I have trained 8 months for this; competing against more than 30,000 people from 116 countries. I am speaker number 8 during the final round of competition on the 88th anniversary of Toastmasters out of 88 districts around the world and the date is August 18th (8/18/2012).
After the final speaker, we sit with the other 2,000 people in the audience and wait 30 minutes to hear the announcement. My heart is pounding, my palms are sweaty and then I hear it…. “The 2012 World Champion of Public Speaking is… Ryan Avery!”
The next morning, I woke up to 269 emails asking me to speak, coach and train leaders all over the world on how to improve their communication abilities. My wife, friends, family and mentors, showed me things are possible when you surround yourself with the right people and they push you past your limits of what you think you were able to accomplish!
After long months of talking, thinking, contemplating and debating, my wife and I decided to take the risk and start our own public speaking business. We quit our jobs, sold everything we owned except what fit in our car, traveled to Texas to move back in with my parents at 26 years old (true Millennials) and start our company out of a corner in their home. Six months later we got on our feet, moved out and now live in Denver, CO (when you want the hour version of this story, let me know and we can grab a drink).
This has been an incredible adventure. I still have a lot to learn. Every day I study, search and submerse myself in the art of communication. One of the biggest things I have realized in the past three years doing this full time is this:
When you improve your communication abilities, you increase your leadership capabilities.
Now I am on a mission to train leaders how we can utilize the power of storytelling to get others to take action.
I am so glad I get to be here with you today! Let’s have fun, learn a lot and work together on being better communicators so we can be effective leaders! As always…
Top articles to print and share with audience members:
Being a… Speaker
1) 9 Speaking Tips for Non-Native Speakers
2) How to Sound Confident By Deleting Two Words
3) 17 Speeches in 17 Days with 17 Photos
4) Are Speakers Made or Born?
5) Avoid These 3 Things When Speaking on Stage
6) 3 Easy Ways to Make $500 Speaking
7) How Your Life Can Change in a Year
Being a… Leader
1) Lunch with a Billionaire
2) 6 Reasons Why Real Leaders Are Really Speakers
3) 5 Types of Mentors Everybody Needs
4) How to Get Over the Past and Focus on The Future
5) Seven Things You Can Learn From Nelson Mandela
6) 5 Things You Need to Run a Business with Your Life Partner
7) Questioning My Credibility!
Being a… Champion
1) 31 Days of Kindness
2) 5 Lessons Learned Being a World Champion
3) 9 Reasons You Really Haven’t Accomplished That Goal of Yours Yet
4) Can You Afford Louis Vuitton?
5) 6 Reminders Why You Should Take a Risk
6) What is The Best Investment to Make in Today’s Economy?
7) How to Live a Good Life